This is a becak, or pedicab, in Yogyakarta. It was taken while out and about in the Indonesian city last January.
These are from The Phoenix Show, an event which took place last night in the hopes of boosting Hsinchu’s local music scene. It was a huge success and the three bands that performed were a huge amount of fun to shoot.
I used the 35mm f/1.8 as usual, and was able to get some fast shutter speeds at an ISO of 3200.
Next up is the Cuervos, another expat band in Taiwan:
Finally, the first band to perform that night, Crazy Lazarus. They’re a Taiwanese punk band which was pretty awesome.
Taken in Sanxia at the main city temple, these are located on the second floor of the large building, which includes pretty traditional but ornate architectural elements. While it’s similar to most other temples in Taiwan, it’s a bit special in that there just seems to be a bit more. Sanxia is one of my favorite places to visit. I’ve posted about it a few times before.
Moving to a different part of Korean history, Gyeongbokgung Palace is a major historical site and tourist attraction dating originally to 1395, but rebuilt as recently as the 1990’s due to war and its symbol for Korean pride even in the midst of Japanese occupation.
Part of a visit is a changing of the guard to the palace gates, where costumed soldiers march in to the area. This gave a perfect beginning to the visit.
Above: this symbol, seen on a ceremonial drum, is a variant on the Taegeuk, or 태극, an ancient symbol which appears on the national Korean flag in a two-color form. The example above is three-colored, so its known as the “삼색의 태극,” or “Samsaeg-ui Taeguek.” Yellow represents humanity, while red and blue refer to heaven and earth.
Last weekend marked a few steps for me: the inclusion of a few of my photos through Flickr to Getty Images as well as the acceptance to Alamy’s photo wire service and stock image database. I’m very excited to be a part of both services even though it’s a small deal for most photographers. I see this as a chance to put more energy (and hopefully, eventually more earned cash!) behind my photography in the coming months.
For an Alamy news submission, I took photos at the 2012 Gay Pride Parade in Taipei. Knowing that the first Buddhist marriage between two women took place this year in Taiwan – which was huge international news – I thought I’d have a chance to get some exposure through some submitted shots. Unfortunately, I was wrong for now, but this was a great chance for me to work on taking photos in a new sort of “culture shock” type setting.
Above: two men walk in Taipei’s 2012 gay parade near Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial. The annual parade, which drew thousands, was aimed at promoting same-sex marriage rights in Taiwan.
Above: a man receives face paint before the start of the 2012 Taipei gay pride parade.
Above: two participants carry a rainbow banner in the 2012 gay pride parade.
Above: a Google cheerleader performs at the 2012 gay pride parade. Google Taiwan was out in full force, as the corporation has recently been pushing for the rights of same-sex couples.
Above: people march with a banner advocating same-sex marriage legalization in Taiwan.
Above: a woman carries a sign representing a university LGBT organization at Taipei’s annual gay pride parade.
Last Sunday, a celebration of San Tai Zi ( 三太子), a major figure in Taiwan’s popular and religious culture occurred throughout the streets of Jhubei, heading north toward Hsinfeng. I’m always excited by the chances I get to see these parades as I really get to experience the culture, practice my bad Chinese, and interact with the people.
Above: a spirit medium representing who I believe to be San Tai Zi dances in front of a moving altar with onlookers watching. This was taking place, as you might see with the truck in the background, on a busy highway bridge to Hsinfeng.
Above: a temple leader shows off his sash.
Above: a two-faced god, representing Yin and Yang (陰陽).
Whenever I travel, I find it important to get an idea of what daily life is like in that place. Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and now Okinawa have given me this experience and it’s ALWAYS different.
Most of these were taken in and around Naha, the financial, social, and economic capital of Okinawa. While I certainly noticed fewer old buildings, there were plenty of cultural gems found only in Japan and in some cases, only in Okinawa.
Heiwa-Dori, the famed shopping street, during the midday. Multiple streets actually intersect in this area, and it is under cover in the style of a Japanese “shopping arcade.”
As with the rest of Asia, you’ll find traditional food everywhere. Okinawa soba, varied types of tofu, sashimi, tempura – it’s pretty limitless – and delicious.
Above left: a pachinko parlour named “Monaco.” Above right: this Burger King requires you to take off your shoes upon entrance. Something I’ve never seen, even in Taiwan.
The Naha monorail is a great way to get around the city. Though they only have one line, it covers the important parts of the city – like the airport.
Above left: I’m not sure if this place is actually popular with servicemen/women, but I liked the sign. Much of Naha is off-limits to service personnel. Above right: another restaurant. Like Taiwan, it was hard to decide where to eat.
Above: a representative of the Japanese Communist Party (yes, you read that correctly!) announces an upcoming protest. Notice the MV-22 Osprey silhouette – the Japanese are protesting its use by US Marines due to safety issues. I think the restrictions on the aircraft should pass soon, but it was a pretty noticeable symbol.
Vending machines after the rain. I loved the rain in Okinawa – it was always just enough to cool things off and never stormed all day. Vending machines are everywhere.
Ice cream shop, Heiwa-Dori.
A vending machine-controlled restaurant. You order, it prints a ticket, and you get your food. Not a bad idea.
The monorail conductor.
A fortune teller waiting for business in a Naha alleyway.
Orion beer lanterns. Orion beer is a malty beer brewed on the island itself. Similar to most other Asian style lagers.
Old and new on a Naha street.
More old and new. This intrigues me about Asia and I see it all the time in Taiwan, yet never tire of it.
I’ll take a break from posting a recent series from my last trip to Okinawa to show off something I saw last weekend at the Hsinchu City God Temple. This is part of a ceremony allowing and welcoming spirits to roam sort of “finish business” from the earthly realms. During this month, spirits are appeased and/or kept away from homes through incense and offerings and spirit money, or ghost money, is burned as an offering. I have some more shots from last year here.
As school is about to start, this is a bit of a culture shock to many foreigners entering Taiwan for the first time. It’s hard to believe this is the start of my third year on the island!