Tag Archives: taipei

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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Year of the Snake: Lunar New Year 2013 in Taiwan

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.


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Ten Shots from 2011

I decided to put together ten shots from 2011, mostly based on popularity of posts, but also including shots that I really grew with as a photographer and just plain old like.

Let me know what you think. I’ve linked each image to the Flickr page and each description to the original post.

This guy was taking part in the annual Dragon Boat Festival (龍船節), a major Chinese holiday celebrated as a bank holiday in Taiwan. Cities all over the island hold races between dragon boats – large, colorful regatta boats powered by rowing teams. This particular race was in Hsinchu. 

These dancing San Tai Zi (三太子) gods were in Taichung during the annual Mazu Festival. The festival involves a large pilgrimage which takes days to complete and the size of which can only be explained as “massive.” See this for the original post.

Hsinchu’s East Gate is seen here at the “roundabout” in the city’s center. This photo was taken with my iPhone and the app Instagram. More shots can be seen here. 

Not long after the Mazu Festival was Spring Scream, a multi-day music festival held annually in Kenting, located on the southern tip of the island. This was a Japanese punk band called Samurai Attack, or SA.

In the days and weeks following the Fukushima incident, the international controversy surrounding nuclear power reached Taiwan. I took a look at a protest taking part in Taipei.

This was taken during my trip to Thailand last summer. Wat Arun is the tallest temple in the city of Bangkok and one of the most amazing places I’ve visited.

Another “touristy” shot from Southeast Asia, but one which I had in mind as soon as I got on the plane to Asia. Angkor Wat is a spot that everyone needs to see and its location in Cambodia is changing the face of the local town, Siem Reap.

This bear was at the Taipei Zoo, an extremely affordable and large zoo located in the country’s capital.

Also in the capital is the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, home to one of many ceremonies showing the changing of the guard. Precision and solemnity highlight this ceremony.

And the last is a shot of a sushi joint called Sushi Express from a newer camera, the Nikon P7000. I wrote about my initial reactions and posted some shots around the time of Dragon Boat Festival weekend. It’s a nice camera, but the lack of a mechanical shutter kind of irritates me.

For anyone who follows my blog: thanks! To be honest, I mostly blog because it forces me to take pictures. The fact that I have a bit of an “audience” helps me get out the door with my camera in hand. Doing this has helped me develop my photography and force me to make the photos “good enough” for public consumption. In the future, I hope to add a little more as I delve into film photography and continue to explore “Ilha Formosa.”


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Single Shot: Ximen

This is from Ximending, a popular youth-oriented district in Taipei. It’s never boring as it gets the lion’s share of funds for anything from movies to video game promotion as big companies seek to take advantage of the new generation of young wealthy Taiwanese.

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Double Ten Temple Procession

On 10/10, a major part of the Taipei event was a temple procession involving a huge amount of “walking gods” which are very common in temple processions throughout Taiwan. This event was amazingly orderly compared to how these usually go – in other words, fireworks and firecrackers weren’t being set off without warning in the middle of the street.




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Double Ten, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial

On Double Ten, the day which marks the Republic of China’s independence from the Qing Emporer, huge masses of people flocked to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial to witness a military display celebrating an anniversary of Nationalist rule. While Taiwan itself hasn’t been in its current form for 100 years, it is celebrated much more heavily here here than the mainland, where the date is foreshadowed by the 1949 Civil War.

It was nearly impossible to get a view of the main parade ground with the amount of people. For this reason, I stuck to the sides and got shots as the drill teams and bands came off and marched away. The day was beautiful for photography as it was a bit overcast but rather bright. The white tile ground acted as a huge reflector, which made things easy for me.





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Taipei Double Ten 2011: San Tai Zi Gods

Monday was a bank holiday for Taiwan as “Double Ten” was observed. The holiday commemorates the Nationalist Chinese uprising known as the Wuchang Uprising, which sparked the separation from the Qing Dynasty and changed Chinese history forever.

Part of the celebration in Taiwan included a temple procession and inclusion of many, many figures of San Tai Zi (三太子), who as a folk god, has become a sort of national symbol for Taiwan. The images below show San Tai Zi costumes lined up for a later performance and temple procession.




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Daily Life in Black and White

This post is a mix of Jiufen, Hsinchu, Taipei, and Lukang. The main thing that these all have in common is my black and white processing. While digital just doesn’t have the same feel as film, it is fun to play with B/W when the situation calls for it.

Above: Taipei Main Station. This is a cliche’d composition, but it always seems to work well.


Above left: Hsinchu scooters – more cliches today. At right is a famous alley in Lukang.

“Old Hsinchu” near the City God Temple.


Above left: Lukang Mazu temple. On the right is some detail from a temple’s wall in Lukang – I think this was at Longshan temple in the city.


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Single Shot: Woman in Jiufen

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.


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Around Taipei

These were all taken in the past YEAR, as I’m digging through my hard drive looking for images that haven’t been processed. All are from Taipei, and were processed in the past two days.


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