10 January, 2012

Seoul – The Monkey Shrine

Daily Banana – The Monkey Shrine

Last year, there were many reasons why Seoul rapidly became one of my all-time favorite cities.

Was it the phenomenal culinary delights? …Sure.

How about the strong (and dirt cheap) Jinro Sake? …I don’t remember… ;p

What really stood out was the fact that nestled within this vast metropolis are these beautiful palaces and garden districts. This is The Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and it’s a part of The Gyeongbokgung Palace area, which is one of the largest (and most famous) palaces in Seoul. It’s really great because within a few short minutes from a Metro Station, you can find yourself in one of these peaceful places. They’re a very soothing escape from the noisy city.

And no… I can’t pronounce: Gyeongbokgung. 😉

The Monkey Shrine - Gyeongbokgung

Banana Breakdown – Before And After

The cool thing about this particular comparison is that it’s not too dramatic. The main task was removing the people from the shrine and also removing the foreground objects in the sky and water. Other than that, I just brought back some of the natural colors in the roof, sky, and reflection. The already beautiful sky and sunlight did most of the work.

As always, questions are more than welcome. 🙂

(move the slider to compare before and after)
About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally acclaimed professional travel photographer, videographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker, and highly skilled educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world.


As featured by Professional Photographer MagazineCNet Australia,, Wacom USA, and Fstoppers, Elia has built an engaged social media following of nearly 3 million people across FacebookGoogle+TwitterInstagramYouTube, and Snapchat. Due to the years of dedication and genuine openness with his audience, he has become one of the most followed photographers in the world.


Location independent since March of 2012, he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle, perpetually traveling from country to country, continuously circling the globe. Since he began traveling full-time in 2009, he has visited more than 55 countries, flown over one million miles, and collaborated with major companies, brands, countries, and tourism agencies all over the world.


Using a combination of traditional in-camera techniques, targeted times of day, and advanced post-processing methods, Elia has developed a widely recognized and highly unique style of photography that has become well known around the world. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision so others can see the world as he does, full of color, texture, beauty, depth and emotion. Many of his photos have been used in some of the most widely circulated publications in the world including National Geographic.


Throughout the journey, he shares the Art of Photography on many different websites including his popular blog, blamethemonkey.com, teaches post-processing workshops worldwide, speaks at major international photography conventions, and is proud to be one of the founders and leaders of Dream Photo Tours.

  • Terrance

    Hi Elia,
    I’ve been following you for quite some time in Google+ and your website.
    I have a question for you.
    Did you use different techniques to remove the people from the shrine and the foreground objects?
    If so, what are the techniques?


    • Hey Terrance,

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

      Most of the time with object removal, I use the rubber stamp tool. In some cases I can duplicate part of the existing image to make a patch but there is always clean up work to be done after.

  • Jane

    I love this picture and I would love to visit this place. Seems so tranquil. Keep making these beautiful images. They’re so inspiring!

  • good work, the reflection came out nicely and the difference in the pavilion really pops. btw, the yellow metro station is most impressive, the hdr work really brings out that cold, steel and glass feel that is going on here. where’s my friggin kitten pic done up in the hdr glory? if you were really a pro you would have one by now

    • I’ve been saving my kitten pictures for 500px! ;p

  • Has it been 4 years already? At any rate, I am putting together an article about pro photographers and Korea. Any thoughts on what brought you here? Also is there a reason why South Korea is not really a destination for pro photographers?