After three days of exploring Hong Kong, Yuling and I are back in Jhubei and quite exhausted. The great thing about not working until the end of this month is that I had today to sleep away – I didn’t get out of bed until about 11:30 – a good 11 or so hours of sleep.
During our three days, we were active during every waking hour – exploring nightmarkets, famous landmarks, and taking in the beautiful view of the city. I do have to say (and this is a good thing) that I prefer Taiwan. A few things work against HK – the fact that it’s so expensive, very Westernized, and sometimes just too touristy.
With that said, I’m glad I made the visit. I’ve at least got it off “the list” and have to say I did enjoy my time. I will be posting my first photo I’ve finished here for now – an HDR of the Tian Tan Giant Buddha, a massive bronze statue, and will be getting the rest of the trip’s photos up in time.
…so this blog won’t be updated until at least this weekend with more photos. In the meantime, I created a video about my first week in Taiwan. Since my DSLR, a Nikon D-5000, records video, I’ve decided to learn some basic video editing. Unfortuantely, a few things work against me:
- I only have iMovie, and obviously won’t get anything better;
- Shooting video with a DSLR is awkward;
- I’m still learning what kinds of shots to take (e.g. should I pan? zoom?);
- the Nikon annoyingly doesn’t auto-focus while taking video;
- I’m not the most graceful person…
Anyhow, here it is below:
This is a statue on a hill at Hermann Park – I actually haven’t been back since July 4th, but decided to HDR-ify this one…
I finally took the chance today to visit the Battleship Texas – the second ship to be known as the USS Texas and serve as a battleship in the US Navy.
The battleship served in both world wars – and in both theaters during World War II. It supported troops at Omaha beach and was sent to the Far East to aid in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Fascinating stuff, indeed.
As always, click on a photo for my Flickr site – I actually posted 32 photos there.
Starting off with an HDR near the bow looking aft:
Another HDR, this time the Sonar Room:
More from Hermann Park last week. And yes, it’s still pretty rainy, keeping me from going out for more shots – thanks, Hurricane Alex!
This is an HDR of a sunset in Kemah – near where I live. You saw this view earlier from my Kemah shots I took before – but this is in HDR… so glad that I kept all three exposures!
With Hurricane Alex sending storms my way, it’s not easy to get out and shoot… which is unfortunate.
You know the drill. Click on the photo for my Flickr.
孔夫子, or “Master Kong” – the famous Chinese philosopher. With Houston’s diversity, there is a local garden with statues of other famous names – Simon Bolivar, Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi are some others – that were donated by local immigrant groups, consulates, and sister cities.
I’ve always been more intrigued, I have to say, by the local gods of Chinese religion than the Confucian system – though “Master Kong” is certainly very important to Chinese history and daily life… something I’ll be seeing regularly in Taiwan.
I tried to get a dramatic shot with the sun behind – I should’ve waited in order to get the sun to peak out of the clouds. Oh well.
Today I’m going to head out for some more photos as I’ll be having to get my International Driver’s Permit. I think I’ll make a detour to Chinatown since I’m craving some things and with my girlfriend gone never get to go to the market….
I’ve always been into the outdoors, but the sad thing is that living in Houston doesn’t present itself to getting a chance to experience this much. I decided to take my camera with me on a beautiful June evening tonight and came back with these…
While I am not yet in Taiwan, I have taken many chances to visit the ethnic communities of Houston and see what this city has to offer. Over the weekend, I brought my newly acquired Nikon D5000 for the ride, and here are the results. Click on each image for a Flickr.com page and larger view. I always label these Creative Commons – not like I’m a real photographer or anything. I would like any comments and constructive criticism preferably here… or if it’s detailed, on the Flickr page itself – please let me know what you think. I’m just now learning about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and the other (seriously) fun things that go into a DSLR photograph – although many of these were taken with minimal customization and “post processed” through iPhoto.
The visit itself was nothing short of amazing. The scent of incense filled the air as I fumbled around people – trying not to get in the way of their conversations with the divine. People were walking around gods with incense giving offerings of food (I saw some Asian-style pound cakes), incense, and money. My girlfriend thankfully is a native Mandarin speaker – she was able to ask permission for me to take these photos… I responded with a brutal “谢谢” (Xie Xie… thank you) and smiled.
NOTE: Some of these were compressed for size, so the iPhoto/Flickr conversion ruined some sharpness on the stark blue backgrounds. Let me know if you want to see the real thing.
The rooftop of Teo Chew Temple
A gateway leading to a meeting area.
土地公 - Tu Di Gong is an ancient Chinese god worshipped in many villages.
Offerings in front of a god at Teo Chew Temple.
Lanterns and roof at Teo Chew.
Streamers and Lanterns at Teo Chew.
A focal-length focused shot on incense. Not sure who the god is... enlighten me if you do!
I should also mention the flickr photostream of kinjotx. His photos of the temple are wonderful – especially some of the portraits.
I’ll be getting more photos of Houston before I leave. Please give some feedback if you know more about photography than I do!
I like watching my WordPress Stat counter-thing, so thanks for visiting. Also, thanks to Taiwan Blogs for linking to me even though I have yet to arrive in-country!
It’s coming in August, promise, guys :)
Also, while I’m making some posts tonight, I thought this was strange. Part of me would be scared if I see this in Taiwan… I’m not sure why, it’s just unsettling.