This was taken at a recent celebration at Mazu Temple, Jhubei. These men were part of a group of about seven who participated in a small “side ceremony” as festivities and fireworks filled the rest of the area. My 35mm f/1.8 was pushing it, though I was able to get decent shots without blinding them with flash at ISO 1600.
These are a mix of street food shots from Hsinchu and Jiufen, taken within the past few weeks.
Ba-wan, or Rouyuan – spelled in Chinese as 肉圓 – is a pork meatball popular in Hsinchu. Very tasty, it’s served with a sweet spicy sauce that really makes the dish.
Chou Doufu, or 臭豆腐 – known by its literal English translation as “stinky tofu” certainly lives up to its name. It’s hugely popular in Taiwan – an unfortunate fact if your nose is too sensitive. The taste isn’t nearly as bad – it certainly has a cheesy quality that westerners aren’t used to when it comes to tofu.
Sea-snails – I think the Chinese for this is luo or 螺. Please correct me if I’m wrong! They had a fishy taste to them and weren’t bad with some red tarter sauce.
These were taken last week while in Jiufen – you’ll notice a lot of food here. Obviously that’s nothing out of the ordinary for Taiwan but one of my favorite snacks seen below is a mix of ground peanuts and ice cream in a wrap. Kind of like PB&J… but with ice cream. Genius.
This woman was at a small shop in Jiufen, a town north of Taipei that is known for its history of gold mining and the Japanese colonialism which brought miners into the village. I’ll be posting some more shots in the next few days from that trip as I get them organized and labeled on Flickr.
I took this shot while visiting the Hsinchu Dragon Boat Festival (新竹龍船節) last June. That post was “Freshly Pressed” by WordPress.com and while I had a great time taking those shots, I never posted this image of dolls lined up for sale at the event. I wish I would’ve taken more photos – they all represent certain Chinese gods and heroes. I like the bokeh in this and hate it at the same time – it may have been too shallow, but still works in an interesting way I think.
If you haven’t seen it already, I have updated some parts of this site. The Other Travels section is trying to keep track of posts not relating to Taiwan while I’m experimenting with some wallpapers above where it says, well, Wallpapers. Of course, you can always check out my Photobook as well.
These dancers, which took some stylistic inspiration from the Buddhist “1,000 Hands Dance” – a mostly Chinese phenomenon - recently performed at a Tibetan Culture Festival here in Jhubei. While this dance is not Tibetan, it was the first time I saw such a performance.
For the posed shots, the 35mm f/1.8 was great. I mixed it with an upward-pointing SB-600 to get a sort of glow and kept it from being used directly. The 70-300 without the flash was useful for the actual dance.
Apsara, the traditional Cambodian ballet which dates back thousands of years, is a dance form which is a bit of a mainstay of southeast Asian culture. Many people associate the dance form with Thailand, but Cambodia and Thailand probably share this form as a result of their Hindu-influenced strains of Buddhism.
We saw this performance in a pretty luxurious hotel (which we didn’t stay at) which offered a dance and a dinner for about $25 – a fortune for a meal in Cambodia. Also included was a form of Cambodian folk dance.
While we were seated near the front and I soon noticed photos were OK, I had trouble with the stage lights being unpredictable, not wanting to use flash (though others did), and the movement of the dancers being much quicker than I had realized.
Left: I included this image from Angkor Wat to show you how similar these dancers are. They could be apsaras or devatas, and I’m am not 100% certain.
Above: a representation of the killing of a demon. I believe this relates to the Hindu story of the Ramayana, detailing the stealing away of an Indian princess named Sita and the rescue of her by Rama, an avatar of Vishnu.
This monk was on a street corner in Jhubei last night begging for alms during that beautiful hour of sunset, making for a nice chance to get a good image. I was really struck by the amount of people passing by as he stood there, making me want to take the shot on the right. I wish I had a tripod so I could’ve tried an even longer exposure, but was happy enough with what I got. I finished off the shots by dropping some change into his bowl and he was gone by the time I came back half and hour later.
Samurai Attack, or SA, is a Japanese “Oi”-style punk band that formed in the 80′s and still tours extensively today. I had a chance to see them warming up and dropped into their show about halfway through. Though I couldn’t stay long, I got some of my favorite shots with the 35mm f/1.8 and attached an SB-600 to a cable to use sparingly as strobes were going all over the place anyway.
Video first, then photos below.
The personality of the lead singer helped me take one of my favorite concert images ever as he hoisted the mic above the audience to help them take part in the music. The black and white works well for punk bands, and it makes the noise from the high ISO almost acceptable!
Both of the above were taken with the 35mm. As you can imagine, I had great access to the stage and still managed to keep away from the mosh pit! I doubt my camera would like that experience…
The crowd was much larger/thicker than is seen here. While it’s great to show the crowd’s response, it’s sometimes hard without the right angle on the shot or a wide-angle lens.
Yuling and I are waiting at the Kaohsiung HSR station to head back to Jhubei and I found myself with a chance to get everything uploaded to Flickr. The next part will be cataloging everything now that processing is finished – luckily for me, EXIF data will show what time I took each picture and this handy guide from GigGuide.TW will tell me the English/Chinese/Japanese names of each band.
In the meantime, here’s a photo of the energetic lead singer of Taiwanese ska band Mary Bites Kerry. If you’re into ska in any way, be sure to check their Indievox page out at http://www.indievox.com/oldhorse.