Single Shot: Standing Guard at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial

Taken from the archives as I still haven’t been taking new photos lately. Shot this last March while family was in Taiwan visiting Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

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Older Photos from Throughout Asia

As I was digging through my Flickr archives today, I noticed that I don’t post very many photos at all here! My Flickr account, small by some standards, just passed 6,000 photos recently. This is a miniscule amount of what I shoot, as I think I have 25,000+ photos in raw/.NEF format on an external hard drive.

Anyway, it’s good now and then to take a look at older shots, especially with my lack of digging out the camera these days. Here is a mix of places and subjects:

Above: Bangkok, Thailand: monks disembark from the Chao Praya Express boat.

Above: Bangkok, where I got stuck in the middle of after-school rush hour. Somewhere near the Chao Praya river.

Above: Ryukyu drum performance in Okinawa, Japan.

Above: Traditional “hanbok” style Korean dresses in Seoul.

Above: Taipei’s Ximending district, sometime around Chinese New Year 2013.

Above: Somewhere in Naha, Okinawa.

Above: Khmer folk dancers in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Above: Bas relief, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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Rainbow Village, Taichung

Brief note: I’ve still been focusing on running and cycling over photography lately. I may be in shape but my camera isn’t being used! I’ll dust it off and get out at some point. I hope! These photos were never posted for some reason. I took them over a year ago in Taichung. 

I’ve never understood most emergent art forms, I have to admit. I’m a bit conservative in terms of what I consider “art.” Performance art and the like usually get dismissed by me as being a bit too far out in left field for me, but I’ll try new things if pushed.

When it comes to painting an entire town, I’m all for it, though. Perhaps the bizarre nature of painting an old village just excites me. This is what “Rainbow Grandpa,” or Huang Yung-fu, a Hong Kongese man who lives in Taichung, Taiwan did. In order to encourage the government to preserve a historic district of Taichung, he painted it.

The day I visited, the small property was overrun by lots of couples, tourists, and people wanting to get pictures, which I completely understand. However, I never got a “wide” shot to my liking, so please check out these images by Siobhan Lumsden of Taipei 543 as well.

Here are my shots, all a bit closer in perspective:

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Single Shot: Mountain Temple

OK, so I haven’t been taking any photos or posting much of anything. This post is an attempt to get back to taking photos and posting again. Life’s been busy, but I hate that I’ve neglected this blog.

Anyway, little to say about this shot. It’s a mountain Buddhist temple at Lion’s Head Mountain, Miaoli County. I’ll stick to this single shot today and hopefully there will be more to come soon!

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Solemn Sights in Washington, DC

During my trip to the US, I stayed with family in New Jersey. As I’ve visited New York City with my wife countless times, we decided to visit DC via the Amtrak train.

I was last in DC when I was in the sixth grade. As an adult, I “get” the historical significance and the city’s ties to conflicts such as the War of 1812, Civil War, and events like the MLK “I Have a Dream” speech much more than when I was younger. One thing that stuck with me during my first visit, though, is the solemn significance of two sites: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. While we can argue all day and night about politics (and Americans often do just that), it’s important to reflect on the sacrifices made by others.

As a measure of personal interest, I googled some names on the wall shown in the photo above. The first name I searched belongs to Sgt. Melvin R. Wink, shown at the bottom right. I was saddened to learn his story through various resources including the Virtual Vietnam Veterans Wall of Faces, a wonderful resource that personifies the wall. In addition, more information about Sgt. Wink is found through the website of his unit, A Troop 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment of the 25th US Army Infantry Division. More photos and resources can be found at TogetherWeServed.com.

What struck me about Sgt. Wink’s story is the backstory to this hero. He was a young 22-year old, had a wife in Pennsylvania, and was nearly complete with his tour of duty during a reconnaissance mission into Cambodia. There, his unit was ambushed and he was killed.

I’m really grateful for projects like the Wall of Faces. With 58,195 names, it’s important to put this into context.

More photos of both the wall, Arlington National Cemetery, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the famous Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are below.

 

 

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24 Hours in Beijing

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything here, but I’ll hopefully be getting the camera out again as I’m back in Taiwan. I recently went through Beijing and was “stuck” with a 24-hour layover. This allowed my wife and I to explore some of the city through the subway. We only spent a few hours really exploring as we were a bit jet lagged after a 13-hour flight. Shots below.

Above: Tienanmen, translated as the “Gate of Heavenly Peace,” the iconic red central building at the heart of Tienanmen Square.

The Imperial Ancestral Temple in the Forbidden City (above and below).

Above: Tiananmen Square from across the street near the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Visible is the “Monument to the People’s Heroes,” (foreground) and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

Above and below: more street scenes around a large market/shopping district. Near Donghuamen and Wanfujing.

  

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Experimenting with Film

These shots were taken with a not-so-recently acquired Olympus OM-2S, an excellent SLR from the 80′s. I love the mechanical feel of film cameras (and DSLRs as well, to an extent) but can’t say I love the cost per-click or the hassle known as film. For this reason I find this to be a great learning tool as I have to think about each shot. This roll was started in 2011 and I’m just now posting it – so it shows you the lack of turnaround that makes me thankful that I started on digital!

Above: first shot. Film was ISO 400 Kodak Tmax. I got some more “grit” and problems as they scanned my photos at a pretty low resolution, but oh well.

Above: Flushing, Queens, New York City, USA, December 2011.

Above: United Methodist Church, Wellington, Ohio, USA, 2011.

Above: Crocker Park, Westlake, Ohio, USA, 2011.

Above: Wedding in Taoyuan County, Taiwan, 2011.

Above: Wedding in Taoyuan County, Taiwan, 2011.

Above: Taiwan Streets, 2011-2012.

Above: Taiwan Streets, 2011-2012.

Above: Taiwan market, 2011-2012.

Above: Taiwan park, 2011-2012.

Above: Taiwan drinking water hoses, 2011-2012.

Above: Taiwan temple 2011-2012.

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In Korea: Snowy Changdeokgung (창덕궁) Palace (Korea Post 4)

Changdeokgung (창덕궁) Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the five grand palaces, along with Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), which I posted about earlier. Both were landmarks of the long-lasting Joseon (조선) Dynasty, which lasted from 1392-1897.

Changdeokgung is known not only for its castles, but its royal gardens. While we did not get to see these due to time constraints, the palace complex is huge in and of itself, and it was apparently more preferred to some kings over the main palace, Gyeongbokgung.

Above: notice the intricate detail of the painting as well as the net installed to keep birds out.

Above: a marker in the central courtyard marks where officials would line up for court meetings. This official is ranked #9 (九).

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Year of the Snake: Lunar New Year 2013 in Taiwan

With a vacation to Korea, an apartment move, and a visiting family member, I didn’t go out to document this year’s Lunar New Year as much as in the past.

With that said, it was a great time of relaxation for me even if it was a bit busy. This time of year always sorts of reignites the spark and excitement of living in Taiwan for me and this was no exception.

Above: Mazu, goddess of the sea, at Cixian Temple, Taipei.

Above: Cherry blossoms on a (very) foggy day at Lion’s Head Mountain (獅頭山).

Above: Temples on the same foggy day at 獅頭山.

  

Above left: worshippers walk under a lantern for blessings at Longshan Temple, Taipei. Above right: temple lanterns hang at Cixian Temple, Taipei.

Above: temple worshipers gather at Longshan Temple, Taipei.

Above: lanterns hang at Longshan Temple, Taipei.

Above: an incense burner at a temple on Lion’s Head Mountain.

Above: fried noodles being prepared at Shilin Night Market, Taipei.

Above: the calm before the crowds at Liuhe Night Market, Kaohsiung.

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In Korea: Streets, Markets, and Daily Life (Korea Post 3)

Minus the snow, many of these aren’t too different than my normal Taiwan photography. All are situated in the varying districts of Seoul.

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