Tag Archives: houston

Reprocessed Shots: Places of Worship

Since I’ve been lazy with the camera as of late, I decided to at least reprocess some photos I have backed up as NEF (“raw”) files. Some of these date 3-4 years.

While I’m not personally an overtly religious person, places of worship have always fascinated me – something people who have followed this blog will notice. In a way, they encapsulate a place’s culture. I think a perfect example is this first church, located in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Note the differences in architecture compared to the American churches below.

Something else that interests me is the difference between more rural and urban churches. In League City, Texas, a small farm town until it expanded recently due to suburban expansion, Saint Mary Church’s old building is now a historical site for the town. I found its humble stature interesting, especially compared to St. Paul, located in nearby Houston.

For good measure I included a few Buddhist temples which also show differences in geography. This is less evident however in these photos, but can be seen when visiting these temples in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong versus Thailand and Cambodia.

Above: a church located in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

A Buddhist temple located on the Chao Praya River in Bangkok, Thailand.

A Baptist church in Taipei, Taiwan.

The “Big Buddha” of Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong.

  

Left: Wellington First Congregational Church in Wellington, Ohio. Right: Wellington First United Methodist Church in Wellington, Ohio.

  

Left: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston, TX. Right: St. Mary (Old) Catholic Church, League City, TX.

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Filed under taiwan2010

In Houston: Teo Chew Temple

While I am not yet in Taiwan, I have taken many chances to visit the ethnic communities of Houston and see what this city has to offer.  Over the weekend, I brought my newly acquired Nikon D5000 for the ride, and here are the results.  Click on each image for a Flickr.com page and larger view.  I always label these Creative Commons – not like I’m a real photographer or anything.  I would like any comments and constructive criticism preferably here… or if it’s detailed, on the Flickr page itself – please let me know what you think.  I’m just now learning about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and the other (seriously) fun things that go into a DSLR photograph – although many of these were taken with minimal customization and “post processed” through iPhoto.

The visit itself was nothing short of amazing.  The scent of incense filled the air as I fumbled around people – trying not to get in the way of their conversations with the divine.  People were walking around gods with incense giving offerings of food (I saw some Asian-style pound cakes), incense, and money.  My girlfriend thankfully is a native Mandarin speaker – she was able to ask permission for me to take these photos… I responded with a brutal “谢谢” (Xie Xie… thank you) and smiled.

NOTE: Some of these were compressed for size, so the iPhoto/Flickr conversion ruined some sharpness on the stark blue backgrounds. Let me know if you want to see the real thing.

The rooftop of Teo Chew Temple

A gateway leading to a meeting area.

土地公 - Tu Di Gong is an ancient Chinese god worshipped in many villages.

Offerings in front of a god at Teo Chew Temple.

Lanterns and roof at Teo Chew.

Streamers and Lanterns at Teo Chew.

A focal-length focused shot on incense. Not sure who the god is... enlighten me if you do!

I should also mention the flickr photostream of kinjotx.  His photos of the temple are wonderful – especially some of the portraits.

I’ll be getting more photos of Houston before I leave.  Please give some feedback if you know more about photography than I do!

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Filed under houston, photos, temples