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.
Tag Archives: d5000
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.
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:
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.
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 and below: more street scenes around a large market/shopping district. Near Donghuamen and Wanfujing.
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).
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.
It’s been way too long since I’ve posted here, so I’ll return to posting not with Taiwan, but with photos from a place that is a bit more fast moving and hectic – South Korea.
Today’s post is about the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and Military Demarcation Line (MDL). This region is a must-see for anyone wanting to visit and understand Korea, though you must go through a usually expensive (but reasonably priced) tour. With the right passport, you can book a trip through the USO or other organization that enters through Camp Bonifas, the joint US Army and Republic of Korea base situated near the border. The ticket is filled with a waiver notifying you that “The visit to the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom will entail entry into a hostile area and possibility of injury or death as a direct result of enemy action,” and you pay about 90 US dollars for the ability to visit.
I’m not going to give a specific account of what happens as you can find plenty of these that are very well written all over the web. Here are some photos though – to my surprise, I was able to use my telephoto lens and was generally pretty free to shoot photos of the interesting stuff, though there were some restrictions on when and what direction the camera was pointing. Unfortunately – or fortunately if you ask my mother and wife – not much happened on the Northern side of the border that day, but here is an interesting account including some interesting sword rattling on both sides. While it was a quiet day, it was also a beautiful day in terms of weather and visibility, which made the second part of the tour great.
Above: the lone visible North Korean guard standing his post at the Panmun Gak, the main, iconic building on the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area (JSA). According to our tour guide (a US Army military policeman), there was a second guard inside the tinted glass taking photos of our tour group. Notice the boarded window to the right.
Above: various shots of Republic of Korea (South Korea) soldiers standing guard. The soldier at bottom left guards the door to North Korea. On the bottom right, the soldier is standing half-exposed to keep cover in the (hopefully unlikely) scenario of shots being fired across the border. All are standing at a modified Tae Kwon Do stance. The soldier on top is actually the geographic border of the two sides while inside the treaty room. You can see this better in the next photo.
Above: the soldier shown above straddles the border at the main UN conference table.
Above: Republic of Korea soldiers stand guard at the JSA.
Above: a guardpost on the border.
Above: the “propaganda village” as seen from the South. Apparently, this village is fake. It was built in order to show people how prosperous the North is and why people should defect north. It is called propaganda village as it acts as a Potemkin Village that used to spout out propaganda on giant speakers. The flag pole is famous as its the largest in the world at 160 meters tall and was built after a bit of sabre rattling between the two sides in the art of flagpole construction.
Above: some detail of the propaganda village. A 100% zoom will show some (pixelated) glimpses of life like people airing dirty laundry – but I can confirm that it was eerily quiet.
Above: Dorasan Station, the last Korean rail station before heading north. It was briefly reused for freight reasons and there were plans for commuter trains to move north, but these plans were reversed. This station is in an area that is the furthest north civilians can go without having to cross the MDL, or Military Demarcation Line, which limits civilian movement due to military concerns.
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.