Minus the snow, many of these aren’t too different than my normal Taiwan photography. All are situated in the varying districts of Seoul.
Last weekend marked a few steps for me: the inclusion of a few of my photos through Flickr to Getty Images as well as the acceptance to Alamy’s photo wire service and stock image database. I’m very excited to be a part of both services even though it’s a small deal for most photographers. I see this as a chance to put more energy (and hopefully, eventually more earned cash!) behind my photography in the coming months.
For an Alamy news submission, I took photos at the 2012 Gay Pride Parade in Taipei. Knowing that the first Buddhist marriage between two women took place this year in Taiwan – which was huge international news – I thought I’d have a chance to get some exposure through some submitted shots. Unfortunately, I was wrong for now, but this was a great chance for me to work on taking photos in a new sort of “culture shock” type setting.
Above: two men walk in Taipei’s 2012 gay parade near Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial. The annual parade, which drew thousands, was aimed at promoting same-sex marriage rights in Taiwan.
Above: a man receives face paint before the start of the 2012 Taipei gay pride parade.
Above: two participants carry a rainbow banner in the 2012 gay pride parade.
Above: a Google cheerleader performs at the 2012 gay pride parade. Google Taiwan was out in full force, as the corporation has recently been pushing for the rights of same-sex couples.
Above: people march with a banner advocating same-sex marriage legalization in Taiwan.
Above: a woman carries a sign representing a university LGBT organization at Taipei’s annual gay pride parade.
Not my normal style, but something I came across while working on my processing of old RAW shots. This is from April, 2011 during the pilgrimage of Chinese deity Mazu, goddess of the sea. Here are more images.
Whenever I travel, I find it important to get an idea of what daily life is like in that place. Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and now Okinawa have given me this experience and it’s ALWAYS different.
Most of these were taken in and around Naha, the financial, social, and economic capital of Okinawa. While I certainly noticed fewer old buildings, there were plenty of cultural gems found only in Japan and in some cases, only in Okinawa.
Heiwa-Dori, the famed shopping street, during the midday. Multiple streets actually intersect in this area, and it is under cover in the style of a Japanese “shopping arcade.”
As with the rest of Asia, you’ll find traditional food everywhere. Okinawa soba, varied types of tofu, sashimi, tempura – it’s pretty limitless – and delicious.
Above left: a pachinko parlour named “Monaco.” Above right: this Burger King requires you to take off your shoes upon entrance. Something I’ve never seen, even in Taiwan.
The Naha monorail is a great way to get around the city. Though they only have one line, it covers the important parts of the city – like the airport.
Above left: I’m not sure if this place is actually popular with servicemen/women, but I liked the sign. Much of Naha is off-limits to service personnel. Above right: another restaurant. Like Taiwan, it was hard to decide where to eat.
Above: a representative of the Japanese Communist Party (yes, you read that correctly!) announces an upcoming protest. Notice the MV-22 Osprey silhouette - the Japanese are protesting its use by US Marines due to safety issues. I think the restrictions on the aircraft should pass soon, but it was a pretty noticeable symbol.
Vending machines after the rain. I loved the rain in Okinawa – it was always just enough to cool things off and never stormed all day. Vending machines are everywhere.
Ice cream shop, Heiwa-Dori.
A vending machine-controlled restaurant. You order, it prints a ticket, and you get your food. Not a bad idea.
The monorail conductor.
A fortune teller waiting for business in a Naha alleyway.
Orion beer lanterns. Orion beer is a malty beer brewed on the island itself. Similar to most other Asian style lagers.
Old and new on a Naha street.
More old and new. This intrigues me about Asia and I see it all the time in Taiwan, yet never tire of it.
I’ll take a break from posting a recent series from my last trip to Okinawa to show off something I saw last weekend at the Hsinchu City God Temple. This is part of a ceremony allowing and welcoming spirits to roam sort of “finish business” from the earthly realms. During this month, spirits are appeased and/or kept away from homes through incense and offerings and spirit money, or ghost money, is burned as an offering. I have some more shots from last year here.
As school is about to start, this is a bit of a culture shock to many foreigners entering Taiwan for the first time. It’s hard to believe this is the start of my third year on the island!
Shuri-jo, or 首里城, is a castle located in southern Okinawa which I visited last week while on a trip to the Japanese island. The structure itself is rebuilt, having been used as a Japanese military headquarters during the 1945 battle and subsequently destroyed during the fighting. It dates back to the 14th century, during which it was part of not Japan, but the Ryukyu Kingdom. The Ryukyu culture, which is similar in many ways to Japan through language and culture, played a central role in trade in the region. It was, however, taken over and annexed by the 19th century as Okinawa became Okinawa Prefecture.
This was taken quite a while ago during a trip to “Lukang,”, or 鹿港, an old town further south in Taiwan that was once an important harbor. Apparently, this cart is from the nearby Presbyterian Church, and I forgot about this picture as I was getting other shots posted and moving along.
These shots were taken near the docks in a small city near Yilan a few weeks ago. The weather kind of stunk, which makes it easier to “see” in black and white. I don’t see black and white as gloomy as overcast/rainy weather, but I find it easier to visualize when there’s no sun peeking through the clouds.
The area included a large dock that was sheltered from the eastern coast as well as a fish market. In addition, a small town drew in tourists from all over the area. This was near Yilan and is on the east coast but is NOT Yilan City – I forgot the name of this particular town.
Last weekend, I was able to follow and slightly take part in a Mazu festival for a local temple. I’ll tell more about the day itself when I make a proper post with the photos from that day, but I took many Instagram shots. I am enjoying the update to Instagram – it seems that they have improved sharpening and while my iPhone 3Gs is no 4s, I can’t complain. These photos look great for coming out of a phone and as more features are added to the software, it’ll be fun to see what I can do.
As I said, these are from a temple celebration in Jhubei. It involved a very large, very long parade that I followed with a friend. We were treated with great hospitality by the participants as they let us photograph them throughout the afternoon.
You can follow me on Instagram at joshintaiwan. Here’s a page with more of my photos.