You may be friends with the Facebook account ‘Sidaepoongkyung (the Scenery of the University of Seoul (UOS)).’
Through the photos that he posts on Facebook, many UOS students can see how beautiful our campus is. When the Facebook account, first started, many students wondered who Sidaepoongkyung is. However, this semester Sidaepoongkyung exposed his existence. For those of you who do not know him, we interviewed Sidaepoongkyung to reveal who he is, how he started the Facebook account and how he became somewhat famous on our campus.
Who is he?
Sidaepoongkyung is Kim Yong-soon (Dept. of Architecture, ‘09). He used to post the scenery of UOS on Gwangjang (the UOS internet cafe). He said, “There were a lot of photos of Yonsei University on the internet, but there were no beautiful photos of UOS. That is why I started to post the pictures of UOS.” However, his postings on Gwangjang did not get many hits. Therefore, he made a Facebook account by the name of Sidaepoongkyung, thinking that more people would be able to see his photos that way.
How famous is he on campus? At the UOS Student Council’s request, he did an exhibition of his photos in the Student Hall during 2012 Daedongje (the UOS festival). The photos that he took were frequently used in UOS brochures and newsletters. Also, postcards of UOS from his photos are sold at the UOS souvenir shop.
Life as Sidaepoongkyung
▣ Know-how Those of you who have looked at his photos may have probably wondered how he takes his photos at the perfect time on a perfectly nice day. He has his camera with him at all times and when he walks around campus, he can tell whether that day and the weather are good enough to take photos. Not only can he differentiate a good weather from the bad, he finds the perfect spot and takes a photo that looks like a masterpiece. How does he do it? He said, “When I take a lot of photos, my viewpoint becomes very detailed. Also, since I major in Architecture, when I walk around, I look carefully at the buildings and think ‘the surroundings look like this now, but how will it look at a different time?’ Another one of his know-hows is that he makes good use of editing his photos. He said that “Using the computer to fix photos saves the time that could have been spent outside. Of course, taking a good photo is important, but by fixing the photo, one can change the photo to one’s taste.”
Some of you may think that in order to be good at taking photos like him, you have to take about 100 photos at once. However, it was surprising to hear that he only takes one photo. At first, when he started to take photos, he took about 10 photos at one place. However, now he goes to a place where he wants to take a photo and frames it in his head. He waits till someone or something comes into the frame and completes it. Then, he takes the picture. He said, “Nowadays, for me, taking a good picture does not depend on how many pictures I take, but it depends on waiting.”
▣ The object of his photos Does this mean that he only takes photos of the scenery? He said, “No. I like to take photos of everything if the light is good. Light makes everything beautiful.” Even when this interview was taking place in a cafe, he took a picture of a seat near the window where a strong sunlight was shining.
▣ Awkward situations Sidaepoongkyung has posted on his Facebook that if people said “Hi” knowing that he is Sidaepoongkyung, he would happily answer back by taking a photo of them. I asked him whether he actually does this to the people who he first meets. He answered, “It is kind of funny that no one really says “hi” out loud. When people notice me on campus, they just whisper to their friends about me. This leaves me in an awkward situation.”
▣ Giving photography lectures Sidaepoongkyung gives photography lectures for free to UOS students. They are usually on Fridays and take about an hour. During his lectures, he seemed so comfortable that he even shared some funny jokes. Then, is he a born speaker? He said, “No. However, in the Dept. of Architecture classes, you have to do a lot of presentations, so I got better. I try to tell funny jokes whenever there is free time during my photography lectures, so that the students do not get bored.”
The Future of Sidaepoongkyung
You may have heard that Sidaepoongkyung is now looking for his successor. Why? He said, “Since I have to prepare for my graduation, I will not be able to focus solely on taking photos. I will do a short interview with the applicants while drinking to find out whether the applicant socializes well.” This is because while running Sidaepoongkyung, that person will have to participate in many different events and get along with other people. He also said, “During the interview, I will find someone who will run Sidaepoongkyung not simply to pad the resume of his or her university life, but who has true love for taking pictures.”
He said he will not only continue to use the Sidaepoongkyung Facebook account alone, but also make a separate Sidaepoongkyung Facebook page and operate it with two or three of his successors.
Kim has become very successful through his photos of UOS. So is his future dream related to taking photos? Yes. He said, “In the field of architecture, many people design buildings, but very few take pictures of them. Therefore, I do have a dream of becoming an architecture photographer.”
What he started as a hobby made him famous on campus. Therefore, I asked him to give advice to university students who do not have any hobbies. At first, he was hesitant about answering. However, when he started to answer, he was firm on what he believed in. He said, “I always tell the freshmen in my department that no one but themselves can make their university life fun. You have to find something enjoyable and make your university life fun. Try many different things. Of course, you will not enjoy all of the things you try, but by doing this and that, you will be able to find your hobby. Why not spend some money and time on developing your hobbies?”
When I said he was chosen to be interviewed, he was thankful that UOS students commend him for raising the image of UOS while he is just doing something that he loves to do. When I asked him when he feels happy while taking pictures, he answered, “Every time.” Throughout the whole interview, whenever we talked about taking photos, I could see the happiness in his eyes and felt that the title of ‘Sidaepoongkyung’ definitely suits him well.