Tag Archives: sunset

Single Shot: Mazu Temple, Hsinwu

This temple is located near the water in Hsinwu, a mixed farming-fishing town. It represents the very-important Mazu, goddess of the sea, and is mostly known through its giant bronze statue of the deity.

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Giant Buddha, Hsinchu

These were taken last weekend while visiting a monastery near the Lion’s Head Mountain site.  This temple is under construction and a massive Buddha statue has been erected.  This is not the first time I’ve seen a “Giant Buddha” (see this Hong Kong version) but this one was quite impressive.  We managed to be treated to a nice sunset, too – perfect for some HDR shots.

Now that I’ve been weaning myself off of HDR all the time, though, I’m not sure if I like these!  The second one had a crane taken out in Photoshop CS5 – mostly just because I can and wanted to practice my skills doing it.  See if you can see any lighting inconsistencies – I’m sure they exist!

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On the Edge of Heaven

Last weekend, I visited Miaoli with Yuling to go hiking on Lion’s Head Mountain, a trail and mountain ridge located in a national park.  While we had beautiful weather and a decent hike, I was a bit disappointed at first to note that the “peak” did not have anything worth looking at… it was too crowded with trees.  Once we made our way further down to a temple complex, however, things changed.  We were met with a 180-degree view and a temple complex that works its way down the side of the mountain.  It was pretty amazing.

This HDR image was taken to capture the sunset and how the rooftops looked with the mountains in the background.  I’m proud of it, but it’s given me some headaches.  First the picture… I’ll describe more below.

First, I’ll mention that the image deserves to be seen full-size.  You can do that by clicking on it and ending up in Flickr.  Or, you could right click and open it up in a new tab/window.

I’ve shot HDRs for this blog before, but had trouble with this one because of the lighting.  On one hand, I wanted my subject, the dragons, to be well-lit and easily visible.  On the other, the sun was setting BEHIND them.  I shot this at f/11 on the 35mm at 1 1/500 shutter speed and bracketed the pictures to a -2, 0 and +2 EV setting.  The ISO was 200, though I did de-noise the final product because of Photomatix giving me more crud to deal with.

After de-noising, I had to deal with the dragons.  Taking away too many shadows meant making a dreamlike/creepy HDR.  The kind that I hate.  Including what was originally there meant taking away from the wonderful detail of this temple.  I went for a mix and spent quite a bit of time brushing the layers on where necessary.  It wasn’t an ideal way to spend my time, but I think it worked.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

If you’re a photographer and want to criticize/critique, please feel free.

I’ll probably post more photos from this trip tomorrow.

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Silhouetted Horizon

This horizon was taken last night after a day in Hsinchu and Jhubei.  I usually take a lot of HDR photos when it comes to landscapes, but opted out on this as I liked just giving the silhouettes of the buildings at the bottom.

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More from Sinwu

I managed to miss posting some great shots last time that I took in Sinwu.  The main reason was that when I got back on Sunday, I didn’t feel like processing them all.  Here are some more from last weekend:

The above is obviously a grassy field.  Typhoon Fanapi makes up the cloudy section of the sky.  You might notice the garbage can to the bottom right – I would’ve cropped that out, but I would’ve had to take out the beautiful sun… or the interesting irrigation ditch that kind of leads the eye.

Finishing off with a country house – much like you’ll see in rural Taiwan.  These are interesting… kind of a mix between urban architecture along with the countryside.  Much different than American styles when it comes to architecture or city planning.

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Sinwu Countryside

Here are some shots from yesterday when Typhoon Fanapi was heading to the south of us as the Moon Festival festivities occured:

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Looking Out the Window

I know I’ve posted my apartment view before (see this), but I thought I’d include some recent photos that I took of the same view… plus a few out the other end of the building.  These shots really show the amount of growth in my area, and it’ll be interesting to see how different it is in 1, 5, or 10 years.

The first two are HDR… one looking west and the second is looking east.

…followed by a single exposure looking west.

…and another looking west.  This last one is a bit of an experiment – it’s a mix between a nighttime long exposure (see the previous post) and a single-exposure HDR shot turned black and white.  Let me know what you think.

As always, you can click on these for full image sizes.  The reason I do not have the full size here in the first place is to keep load times on this page fast.  If you want to see the full size, click on the photo and click the magnifying glass above the picture.  If this isn’t big enough, you can click “view all sizes” to choose.

In the course of the next few days, I’ll have a lot to photograph.  You might remember my post at the beginning of Ghost Month.  Well, the month has come to a sort of climax and there are a lot of festivals this weekend – this time that I know of beforehand.  It should be interesting.

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Luce Chapel, Taichung

This set of photos looks like it could have been taken in the US – a chapel on the campus of a private Methodist-founded college in Taichung by the name of Tunghai University.  Taichung is Taiwan’s third largest city and geographically in the center of the country… its name “台中” actually including the chracters for “middle of Taiwan.”*

All photos are HDR except for the last which is made with a single exposure.  Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, I changed the layout and theme of this site – let me know if you do/don’t hate it if you want.  I went with the black background because this oddly became a photo blog – something I never planned on starting.

*Lots of Taiwanese cities are like this.  台北 (Taipei) simply means “north of Taiwan.”  The city I live in, 竹北 (Jhubei or Zhubei) refers to being “north of bamboo.”  Just south of 竹北 is 新竹, or Hsinchu.  The “竹” character refers to the bamboo which I’m guessing used to be in the area while, if you haven’t noticed, 北 means “north.”

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Sunsets and Sights in Jhubei

These are some shots of a recent sunset I was lucky enough to catch in a riverside park in Jhubei.  This park is on the southern edge of the city and borders the river which splits us apart from nearby, much larger Hsinchu.  In addition, it’s next to a set of train tracks, so I was able to practice getting some movement with my camera.

The first two shots of the sunset are HDR – I really think the 3 exposures were important to capture what the sky looked like that night…

…the next few shots feature these red-colored plants which grew up along the side of the hill like weeds.  Not a bad subject for a sunset.

…and lastly the train.  Notice the graffiti on the bridge – there’s not much of it here in Taiwan, but it’s kind of interesting how it’s less obnoxious to me just because it’s written in Chinese.  I’ve certainly noticed the same thing with advertisements and storefronts – odd how being a bit more removed from a culture changes your perception.

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