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.
This is the largest statue of Mazu (媽祖) in the world, located in Hsinwu (新屋), the township which is home for much of my wife’s extended family.
Mazu, perhaps the most popular Chinese deity in Taiwan, is considered the goddess of the sea, and has an estimated 800-1,000 temples dedicated to her name on the island.
The statue stands at about 50 feet tall, overlooking the sea. This is appropriate as Mazu is perhaps the most popular Chinese deity in Taiwan. This is evidenced by a pilgrimage which lasts for three days each spring.
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.
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.
These are oldies, taken in January and September, 2011 while visiting Daxi and Jiufen. They’ll have to make up for the fact that’s been quite a while since I’ve even touched my camera between a few different factors like half marathon training and other hobbies.
Starting off with a shot repeated on this blog. This was taken and posted the first time I visited Daxi.
These are from Daxi:
From Jiufen. I wasn’t paying attention to the gentleman smiling big, so he was out of focus. I’m guessing that’s why I didn’t include it the first time around, but I kind of like the photo, actually.
This was actually taken years ago while visiting Thailand. I did NOT do this, but thought it was photo-worthy when I noticed it by chance while out walking in Bangkok.
Kuda Lumping is a Javanese traditional dance employing a horse made of woven bamboo. The dancers are sometimes in a trance, during which time they do remarkable or unusual things like eating glass or being whipped. While we didn’t see either of these while watching these dancers a Prambanan, it was an interesting facet of Javanese culture to learn about.
This is the last of what I took in Bali. These are from the limited time I had there, mostly around Nusa Dua. If you venture away from the beach resorts, there is much to see in terms of daily life and culture. I realize much more can be seen elsewhere on the island – I’ll just have to return someday!
Above: a woman prepares offerings for local Hindu statues.
Above: detail of completed offerings.
The kraton, or palace, of Yogyakarta is an interesting site as it hearkens to both pre-colonial and Dutch colonial Indonesia. The center of the Yogyakarta Sultanate, it has been a center of regional power since 1755 with the current building having existed since 1790. Today, the Special Region of Yogyakarta, a sort of autonmous territory which includes the city, is ruled by the Sultan, Hamengkubuwono X.
During our tour, which cost 15,000 rupiah (about 1 USD) with an English-speaking tour guide, we were guided through the palace grounds and given chances to take photos.
Above: the official seal of the monarchy.