This set was also taken last Saturday, along with yesterday’s post.
I’ve decided to post every day this week due to the sheer volume of images from last weekend.
First off is a small hip hop dance competition. As I’ve said before, these are extremely popular events with young people in Hsinchu and there have been bigger contests – see one here.
A scooter zips through the roundabout in downtown Hsinchu.
This is the first street in Hsinchu, appropriately nicknamed “old dark street.” It is located near the main city god temple and is a good shortcut to get away from the city traffic.
Left: Three vacant seats at the Guan Gong Temple in Hsinchu. I often see young people sitting here who are waiting for their parents to finish temple business or pray.
Right: Through a street adjacent to the Guan Gong Temple. This includes Chinese herbalists and doctors, restaurants, and a barbershop.
A man in a park near the main temple. This park is usually full of elderly people playing chess, mah-jong, or poker. This guy smiled at me and when I asked if he could take his picture he said yes… then went back to what he was doing.
Inside the City God Temple, a man covers ceremonial balancing tools with ash. I was unsure of the significance of the ash or ghost money he is holding, but found it to be pretty fascinating.
A Gundam-style robot with wings sits in a shop in Hsinchu. I’m not familiar with these, but toy shops which carry these are pretty popular.
These are from yet another visit to Jhubei’s market on Saturday. I’m torn when I visit this place – it’s great with all of the activity, yet so hard to capture due to the huge crowds that visit this place. I end up having to stick with the same perspectives in most cases so I don’t end up getting pushed out of the way!
Oh well, the fact is that I had a productive weekend with photos for a change. More to come soon!
Left: A frying pan salesman shows off his wares. I forgot to account for movement, and he looks like an amputee due to a blurred hand. Whoops.
Right: Frying pans, everywhere. I used black and white because there was very little difference compared to the colored version.
I could’ve lined this shot up better. The man who just hopped off of it seemed super excited that I was taking his food cart’s photo – unfortunately, I was about to get run over by a scooter, so I couldn’t spend more time with the shot.
…a shot “from the hip.” I like this method as it doesn’t draw attention to me. Of course, I get really weird angles. F/8 is a must for this method.
This is one of two fruit store that compete with each other at the opening to the road for the market. Sometimes I wonder how and if this fruit is all sold…
You can see me in the reflection in the larger version.
These photos were taken ages ago in Hsinchu – I’m not sure why they didn’t get posted.
Taiwanese cities like Hsinchu have a certain flavor that can only really be seen/smelled/heard after the sun sets.
Part of last weekend was spent in Hsinwu township and another township near Taoyuan for a family get-together. I brought the camera along and was glad I did, having visited the actual town center of Hsinwu for the first time.
The second set includes some rice fields near Yuling’s grandparents’ house. It’s interesting having visited last September/October during the harvest season and now while crops are fresh again to see how much the season changes the geography of the area.
These were taken in Sanxia, Taipei County last weekend – it’s an interesting town with an “old” section of older-style brick buildings nearby a large temple and a bridge.
Another short post – blame a mix between how cold I feel and how busy I’m getting for these being so short! It’s in the 40′s and 50′s here in Taiwan, which means everyone (including me, the Ohio native) freaks out due to a lack of central heating in most buildings.
These were also taken during the Double Ninth Festival – which I’ve posted about time and time again. I hope to get out to shoot more this weekend, but I have a bad feeling I’ll be too much of a wimp to venture into the cold!
These are a mix between the streets of Hsinchu and a market in Jhubei. I’m getting better at being relaxed about street photography – and find it well-suited to Taiwan. Most of these were taken with the 35mm. Check Flickr if you’re curious for more info.
I have to say that I’m starting to like Hsinchu City a lot. There’s always a lot going on and unlike a large city like Taipei, everything worth doing in the city is within walking distance. Combine that with some underground pedestrian tunnels that are quite convenient and some nice shopping districts which include camera stores for gear I might need and it’s even better.
In addition to the Cosplay event last weekend, I also saw a hip hop dance competition. This gave me a great chance to practice with the SB-600 as it was getting quite dark outside. I put the white balance on cloudy (which works well with the tone of the lights at night) and also took the time to practice the multiple-releases on my flash. Also, some of these do look better in black and white, and I liked the emphasis it gave on the movement of the subjects.
Below are the best shots from the hip hop competition. You might also have seen some photos from when these teens were practicing this in the park in an earlier post.
Last weekend I witnessed a truly Asian phenomenon in the form of a Cosplay event in Hsinchu City. If you’re not aware of this, it’s a hobby that attracts anime (animation/cartoon) and manga (comic book) fans across Asia, especially in Tokyo’s Shibuya district where you’ll see strangely-dressed people – usually teens – nonchalantly hanging out in costume. In this case, it was a competition attended mostly by high school/college-aged teens.
Cosplay is short for “costume play,” and people who take part in it take some pride in usually making their costumes. In Asia, this also means that girls will tend to wear different colored wigs, expand their eyelids (through a somewhat painful-looking makeup procedure), wear very white makeup, and perhaps wear colored contact lenses.
I have to say that through this blog, I’ve tried to stay as objective as possible. I try to look at my subjects and not judge, and I won’t do that here. However, this event sort of creeped me out, for some reason. I’m not sure if it was the unfamiliarity with the subjects or the giant-eye contact lenses, but I saw it all as a little strange.
Oh, and two other Taiwan photographers have covered these events on their blogs. Check out the excellent images of Craig Ferguson and Neil Wade. The latter photographer’s entry has some insight on to how he felt a little… creepy… taking photos at an event in Taipei. Even in spite of these personal complaints, it was still a good experience.
All of these, minus the first photo of the street performer, were taken with the 35mm f/1.8. The street performer was taken with the 18-55mm.