In the kaleidoscope of Korean dramas, where storytelling meets visual artistry, the role of cinematography stands out as a defining factor in creating unforgettable viewing experiences.
The marriage of captivating narratives and stunning visuals has propelled certain dramas into the echelons of acclaim, making them synonymous with the best cinematography in the K-drama realm. Join us on a cinematic odyssey as we explore and celebrate the visual brilliance of Korean dramas that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of global audiences.
Korean Dramas with The Best Cinematography List
1. Crash Landing on You
This is one of the best romance K-dramas that catapulted to international fame because of its heartwarming story of love that transcends borders but also because of its stunning cinematography.
Adopting extraordinary cinematic quality, this Kdrama displays beautiful views and cityscapes of North and South Korea, as well as stunning views of Switzerland.
The shots are also extensive and manage to capture the majesty and beauty of the setting. If you are looking for a Kdrama with the best cinematography, then this is a must-watch for you.
The show was released in 2019 and has 16 episodes. You can watch it on Netflix. Starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin.
2. Mr. Sunshine
Taking viewers to the end of the 19th century, this one of Korea’s dramas with the best cinematography not only reveals a gripping historical narrative but also immerses them in a visually rich tapestry.
The use of era-appropriate lighting and magnificent compositions make this Korean drama a visual spectacle that is truly pleasing to the eye.
They use a warm, slightly desaturated color palette for the past, but there are certain colors that are often used to symbolize different characters or factions.
From dynamic action sequences to intimate moments, there’s a wide variety of techniques shared by the cinemators here, including slow motion and shifting depth of field.
It was released in 2018 and has 24 episodes. You can watch it on Netflix. Starring Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Ri.
“Goblin,” a modern fantasy masterpiece, boasts cinematography that feels like a living, breathing work of art. Cinematographer Lee Gil-bok’s imaginative use of lighting, composition, and special effects transforms ordinary scenes into extraordinary visual moments.
This drama not only captured hearts with its otherworldly narrative but also with its visually stunning landscapes and ethereal cinematography.
Released in 2016 with 16 episodes and is available on Apple TV and Netflix. This tv show stars Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, and Yoo In Na.
4. The Legend of the Blue Sea
Diving into the depths of storytelling, “The Legend of the Blue Sea” enchants audiences not only with its mermaid tale but also with its mesmerizing cinematography.
The drama, lensed by cinematographer Nam Na-young, presents a visual feast that seamlessly blends underwater sequences with terrestrial scenes, creating a harmonious visual narrative that elevates the overall viewing experience. It was released in 2016 with 20 episodes. You can watch it on Netflix.
5. When the Camellia Blooms
“When the Camellia Blooms” is a testament to the power of storytelling and cinematography in perfect harmony. Cinematographer Kim Ji-won captures the essence of both the romantic and suspenseful elements, utilizing various visual techniques to mirror the emotional beats of the narrative.
This drama is a prime example of how cinematography can enhance the storytelling experience. Released in 2019 with 40 episodes and available on Netflix. Starring Gong Hyo Jin, Kang Ha Neul, and Kim Ji Suk.
6. Descendants of the Sun
“Descendants of the Sun” not only captured hearts with its heartwrenching love story but also with its compelling cinematography.
Cinematographer Lee Gil-bok, known for his work on “Goblin,” once again proved his prowess by crafting visually arresting scenes against the backdrop of military operations and humanitarian efforts.
The result is a drama where every frame tells a story of its own. The series was released in 2016 with 16 episodes and is available on Apple TV.
7. Hotel Del Luna
“Hotel Del Luna” stands as a visual extravaganza in the realm of the supernatural. Cinematographer Kwon Gyeong-jin’s skillful use of lighting and color creates an otherworldly atmosphere, complementing the drama’s ghostly narrative.
This is a prime example of how cinematography can contribute to the overall ambiance of a drama, making it a standout in the genre. It was released in 2019 with 16 episodes and you can watch it on Netflix.
8. When the Weather is Fine
“When the Weather is Fine” embraces the beauty of nature through its cinematography. Cinematographer Kim Ji-won captures the serene landscapes, changing seasons, and the intimacy of the characters, creating a visual narrative that mirrors the ebb and flow of the storyline.
This drama serves as a reminder of how cinematography can evoke a sense of tranquility and enhance the emotional impact of a narrative. Released in 2020 with 12 episodes and available on Netflix.
“Start-Up” not only explores the world of entrepreneurship but also pushes boundaries in cinematography. Cinematographer Kim Tae-sung employs dynamic camera work and contemporary visual styles to reflect the fast-paced nature of the tech industry.
The result is a drama that feels as innovative visually as it is narratively. This drama was released in 2020 with 16 episodes and is available on Netflix.
10. A Piece of Your Mind
“A Piece of Your Mind” exemplifies how subtlety in cinematography can be equally impactful. Cinematographer Yoon Jong-ho captures the nuances of emotions in quiet moments, using soft lighting and delicate compositions.
This drama proves that sometimes, it’s the understated visual elements that leave a lasting impression. Released in 2020 and has 12 episodes. You can watch it on Viki. Starring Jung Hae In and Chae Soo Bin.
11. The King: Eternal Monarch
“The King: Eternal Monarch” ventures into the realm of parallel universes, and its cinematography mirrors the duality of its narrative. Cinematographer Lee Seung-hoon creates a visual distinction between the two worlds through contrasting color palettes and compositions, adding a layer of complexity to the storytelling.
This series was released in 2020 with 16 episodes and is available on Netflix.
12. Search: WWW
“Search: WWW” not only explores the intricacies of the digital world but also does so with a keen eye for visual style. Cinematographer Kim Woo-hyung uses modern aesthetics, sleek compositions, and dynamic camera movements to capture the fast-paced nature of the online industry.
The result is a drama that feels as contemporary visually as it is conceptually. It was released in 2019 and has 16 episodes. You can watch it on Netflix.
13. Twenty-Five Twenty-One
“Twenty-Five Twenty-One” encapsulates the vibrancy of youth through its cinematography. Cinematographer Yoon Nam-joo infuses energy into every frame, employing bold color choices and dynamic visuals that reflect the exuberance of the characters.
This drama is a visual celebration of the spirit of youth. This drama was released in 2022 and has 16 episodes. You can watch this on Netflix.
14. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
“It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” not only explores mental health themes with sensitivity but also breaks visual norms in the process. Cinematographer Jo Sang-yoon uses surreal and dreamlike visuals to mirror the emotional landscape of the characters.
This drama stands as a testament to how cinematography can be a powerful tool in conveying complex emotions. The series was released in 2020 with 16 episodes and is available on Netflix. Starring Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Yea Ji.
15. Hometown Cha Cha Cha
“Hometown Cha Cha Cha” takes viewers to a coastal haven, and its cinematography mirrors the charm of its setting. Cinematographer Kim Ji-won captures the picturesque landscapes and small-town warmth, creating a visual delight that complements the heartwarming narrative.
This drama stands out as a testament to the importance of location and cinematography in creating an immersive world. You can watch it on Netflix. Released in 2021 with 17 episodes.
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