I used to think monsoon season meant the rain didn’t stop for weeks at a time.
In reality, weeks can go by with no rain at all. Then, out of the blue, you wake up to an ominous sky and a ceiling of umbrellas in the street.
It could rain all day; or, the rain can stop and start without warning.
Sometimes, this goes on for a few days before the monsoon breaks and blue skies return. You just never know what to expect.
Apparently, neither do the weathermen; as they have barely gotten the forecast correct during my month in South Korea.
Filming a TV Show During Monsoon Season
Monsoon season makes filming my National Geographic Channel TV show a bit unpredictable. It also makes continuity a pain for Hyejung: our director.
One day, we can have beautiful weather and clear skies. Then, the next morning is cloudy and raining.
This causes a problem for editing, as Hyejung can’t blend multiple days of footage into one scene because the shots look completely different.
On a few occasions, rain has changed the actual content of what we filmed.
During our first day of shooting, we were unable to work in the salt fields of Jeung-do; they were covered with black tarp and the workers were all at home.
Later, while filming in Seoul, Hyejung had to shoot a scene of us running from a pedicab, across the street and into a coffee shop to escape the rain.
We figured it would slow down or let up in a short while. It never did and the rest of that day’s filming had to be cancelled.
This video is what we saw from our dry seats in the coffee shop.
Why Don’t we Just Reshoot or Wait Out the Rain?
Normally, we would just reshoot these scenes later. However, other filming delays have already caused our production go three weeks over schedule and we’ve run out of time.
So, Hyejung takes what she can get and will work her magic later in the editing room.
Clear Skies vs Clouds for Filming and Photography
I asked Hyejung which she prefers for filming: clear skies or overcast days.
Her answer was easy: “clear skies.”
For my photography, I think a cloudy sky adds a certain moody atmosphere to an otherwise boring scene. Not that I want gray in all of my photos, but it does break up the monotony a bit.
. . .
I also think that having a completely white background can help draw your eye right into a photograph.
. . .
. . .
Plus, rain puddles on the ground provide great reflections for photos!
GET LOST IN KOREA
In 2013, I was hired by National Geographic to film a TV show in South Korea … following my adventures as a travel blogger and photographic storyteller.
The single-episode show offered a mix of humor, tradition, adventure and stunning imagery; as I teamed up with Jesse Day: a Canadian entertainer who lives in Seoul and raps in Korean.
Here are the highlights from filming Get Lost in Korea …
EXPLORE SOMEWHERE NEW