SEO MIN-BUM on Architectural Photography

SEO Min-Bum (BUMI), Seoul

Assistant Professor at Hoseo University’s College of Humanities & Liberal Arts

Currently, BUMI is an assistant Professor at Hoseo University’s College of Humanities & Liberal Arts & also a French architect (D.E.S.A). BUMI was born in Seoul, but lived in New Zealand for 3 years then in France for 18 years & came back to Seoul, 10 years ago.

He was told that it is weird that an architect teaches liberal arts but for him, he is spending most inspiring time at the department, for which he thanks to all types of students from every major. He too became a student to learn humanities and psychology & "believe me, from what I learnt; my visions of photography & design changed a lot in good ways". That is why life experiences are the best teacher to widen your vision & to diversify your imagination.

BUMI started with iphone 6 & he just got Fujifilm X-A5, both are really easy to use for a beginner as him, as he believes.

When asked about his favorite lens, he tells us that he is still studying about lenses, so need more time to have his favorite one.


Expressing more about the type of pictures he likes to click, BUMI tells us that he likes to shoot mostly Urban Patterns, modern architectures, details, colors, shadows & more, "but capturing facial expressions is & will be my biggest weakness", expresses BUMI, as architecture doesn’t move, "I have all the time to find the right angle," but capturing people’s faces in the street is the most difficult photos to shoot.

"Love all type of architecture. But Personally, I have a thing for ugly ones; they make me walk around more than others to capture their uniqueness".


Explaining us more about Korean Architecture, "I don’t want to criticize my country’s architecture" BUMI tells us that, it still makes him angry that big Hotel brands are respecting one’s country’s architectural history, their own materials, their identities to build a unique hotel but it is not the case in Korea, maybe it is due to lack of their own architectural identity or lack of public relations or may be bit of both…Korean Modernity needs to design more from the architectural heritage to evolve while keeping its roots, if that happens & continues he thinks, Korean architectural identity will be strong enough to be considered for any project.


"I can write a book about Korean modern architectures but according to what I experienced; Korea needs to promote more about the architectural heritage & the tradition to the world".


BUMI explains in very poetic manner, important factors to consider for shooting architectural photography, "personally, it is very important to learn the history & architect’s intentions before shooting. History will be the path & architect’s intentions are doors".


"Frankly, I don’t know yet", exclaims BUMI when asked about his photography style But he is trying to be as minimalist as possible, according to him, long promenade is his education. He likes walking limitlessly to discover something unfamiliar.

"As all art, a good picture needs its unique identity. It doesn’t need to show everything, just need a minimal clue to make people imagine all sorts of images & stories of their own".


It’s not only his major but for BUMI it’s THE life. Architecture changes according to its users, seasons & time so it is his biggest will to capture all those differences from architecture to architecture and move on to the next one. That is his inspiration. BUMI has so many artists that he loves and respects their works, all of his Instagram friends are his teachers.


BUMI tells us about architectural story telling according to him, "Like I said earlier, I don’t want to show everything through my photos. People have to imagine ending & my architectural history. I provide the bones & people have to add muscles to finish the form of their choices".


You start shooting as a hobby & when you can enjoy it, your skill will be unconsciously developed & it could become your major job for life, but you don’t really think about process & all that steps your photo will tell itself whether you are ready to go further or not, expresses BUMI when asked about how his vision & thought process has developed his skills.

"Life experiences are the most powerful tool that human can use to prove & show their capacities & identities. Once you understand life, everything you see & learn will give you diverse perspectives to dig further & further to find the authenticity. Story will be automatically told to your mind".


BUMI has been enjoying his journey as an architectural photographer since 2015. He doesn't have any difficulties yet but as it isn’t his major job, it is very difficult to find time to travel to discover. If there is any famous architecture or a city that he wants to check, his researches won’t stop until he found architect’s intention, concept & philosophy, & it only ends when BUMI interpret his own version of it despite what he researched.


"I do like my photos with clean shadows, because shadow is one of the best natural artists who teaches so many things about everything".

BUMI is a frequent traveler, he travels a lot to France & Bali with his wife & daughter. Those two are his favorite destinations. They have these unique identities in terms of architectures, traditions, colors, materials & histories that BUMI can never resist. His next architectural trip will be Singapore!! "Can’t wait to discover that country".

"Art certainly is a very powerful tool, because it frees people’s mind to think, imagine, move, love, hate & more to give them chances to feel beyond. My only responsibility is to provide a freedom through my photos to break the boredom".


"The destination won’t be fixed for me". Architectural Photography is coexisting with Architecture itself, speaking about the future of architectural photography BUMI tells us, "I as an architect have to work hard to make sure architecture will survive no matter what & have to discover young talents to pursue our goals together".


Talking about his adventures, BUMI tells us, "If it’s memorable that can be only good". 😊 His favorite adventures are his every & very first trips to any destinations because you have so many things to discover and learn!


Only thing BUMI doesn't like is cameras are getting expensive, about architectural photography.

Do not make “I am a tourist” face especially in Paris, if you do Pickpockets will find you & steal what they want, shares BUMI out of his travel experiences.

"If you learn architecture and its history and concept, you will see much more than what you used to see".


SEO Min-Bum (BUMI) insta: iambumi

All the images in the article are clicked & are intellectual property of SEO Min-Bum (BUMI)

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