Tag Archives: show

Concert Photography: The Phoenix Show, Hsinchu

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.

Starting off is Peaks, a band which plays a mix of psychedelic, alternative, and punk.


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.

See the rest of the photos on Flickr.

Hsinchu Air Show, 2012

Each year, the local air force base hosts an event for the public which is open to all to visit the base for an air show. Growing up, I frequented events like these with my grandparents taking me each year. It was exciting to see this again, even if we were a bit limited for time and the weather could’ve been better.

The stars of the show were the ROC Air Force’s “Thunder Tigers,” a stunt group much like the US Navy Blue Angels or US Air Force Thunderbirds. They flew AT-3 trainers, which is a Taiwanese-created and engineered aircraft. They aren’t too fast, but are very maneuverable and actually quite quiet compared to the louder engines of a Mirage or F-16.

I noticed that tigers play a big role in ROC squadron art – I’m guessing this is partially due to the involvement of the American “Flying Tigers” who flew against Japan for the Chinese Air Force before Pearl Harbor. Their history is a bit fascinating and serves as a sort of basis to the rest of the ROC Air Force.

After the Thunder Tigers was a Dassault Mirage 2000:

Unfortunately I didn’t get this “sweet spot” over the crowd, but I survived. It was quite humorous to see them moving their cameras in unison as the planes flew by:

One of the main issues facing the ROC Air Force is its weakening relationship with the United States. Ever since ties have warmed between the PRC and United States, the ROC has found itself short on weapons to buy as the US fears it will anger China. As a response, the IDF or Indigenous Defense Fighter, was created in the 1990’s:

Of course, Taiwan does have its own F-16s, but they are the older A/B variants:

In addition, other American-made aircraft include the E-2 Hawkeye and C-130:

Spring Scream Night 2: ONC

This is the first of very many Spring Scream posts as I get photos processed, organized, and uploaded to Flickr.  The first band is a Japanese punk group called ONC. They’ve got an old school punk flavor which I prefer – very much along the lines of Rancid, Black Flag, and some other groups who I’ve always liked.

The first image is a repost from the preview, though it was my favorite. I noticed that my images from this set aren’t as great as they could be for two reasons – first, I was enjoying the show. This group was too fun to take too seriously and everyone was having a great time. Second, I hadn’t yet switched to my 35mm prime f/1.8 lens, which forced me to get up close to the stage. I worked on this the next day and really liked the results.

I originally attached the 70-300, thinking I’d need the distance with the crowds. The nice part about this festival, though was the accessibility – it was easy to move around the stage with the 35mm and the images were much, much clearer.

Before I begin, here’s a link to their Reverbnation page.

I made it a point to not forget the drummer – even though I forgot the bassist in this band! Whoops…

Actually, this should be him above. Something about the lead singer’s haircut is photogenic, though…

In retrospect, the wider angle of the 35 had a lot of advantages I just hadn’t seen until pulling it out of my bag – more on that another time.

Kenting Spring Scream Preview

It is Day Two of Kenting Spring Scream 2011 and things are going great. Yuling and I are staying in a guest house on the other side of Kenting and going to concerts in the early-mid evening through the night.  These shots are from the first night – I don’t have band names yet because the list is in Chinese.  Lots more to come later!

Spring Scream 2011 Preview, 1

Spring Scream 2011 Preview, 3


Spring Scream 2011 Preview, 10

Spring Scream 2011 Preview, 11 (小山 X the Little)

Hsinchu Fashion Show

These shots were taken during a fashion show I actually “happened across” in Hsinchu last Sunday.  It was a somewhat big production, as it was professionally lit and the designers of these dresses were on-hand to show off their work.  I took it as a chance to practice portraits more than anything, as the stage was lit well and there was no stupid fog machine – only a bubble machine.  I was a little leery of a laser shooting off and hoping that it wouldn’t hit my camera’s CMOS sensor, but I guess I stayed pretty safe.

All of the above were taken with the 70-300mm, probably at close to 5.6 aperture, because that’s what I’m stuck with at the 300 range.  Thankfully, the stage lights worked very well to keep things sharp.  I also tried to balance colors in postprocessing, because the different colored strobes made it more difficult to shoot.  Some of these were shot with the SB-600, but I quickly found that it wasn’t as necessary.  I maybe only used it half the time.

This next set was shot with the 35mm prime at f/1.8~2.8.  I do wish I had more control over my background, though I love this lens’ low light capabilities.

A Break from Street Photography

This post is a break from street photography for a second.  While I’ve been enjoying it immensely after going almost all-HDR for a while when I first started this hobby, I’ve found it enlightening and important to branch out to other types of shooting.

When I bought the 70-300mm, a whole new world was opened to me.  Wildlife photography actually came after the ability to shoot public events from a distance.  This fashion show was shot in Ximending, Taipei.  I came across it after wandering through this district and saw that they were setting up a stage for Playboy and Paul Frank.  Apparently, a branch of Paul Frank was introducing a line of Playboy shoes.  I decided to stake out a spot in the front near some “real” photographers to try at getting some shots.  This wasn’t impossible, as it was raining, which was a mixed blessing, I guess.

All of these were taken with the 70-300mm and the SB-600 speedlight.  I used regular TTL auto-metering and opened my aperture to the largest stop (f/4.5 at 70mm and f/5.6 at 300mm).  Some of the more irritating things about a shoot like this are the very production values that make a fashion show or whatever it is on stage look “good.”  The low light mixed with the changing strobes and fog machine made things extremely hard to see.  Further, since I don’t have a professional lens (and I also don’t have $2,000 to buy one!) it was difficult to force my lens to be as fast as it could at times.  Oh, and did I mention about that stupid fog machine?  Ugh.

These first three images were shot with the conditions/settings mentioned above.  Nikkor 70-300mm opened wide with an SB-600 aimed directly and on TTL.


The last shot was not taken on stage, but rather down the street.  This girl was promoting the show and I used the 35mm f/1.8, again opened wide, without a flash.

As always, click on each photo to enlarge it and find the EXIF data through Flickr.

“The Fist”

This photo was taken during a concert which ended the Hsinchu County International Folk Drum Festival. While I planned on checking out more drumming that day, I missed much of it, unfortunately. The reason for this was because of some schedule/location confusion as well as some unseasonably cold weather which made me look like a big wuss.

Anyway, on to the photo. More will come – but don’t expect much drumming! I was mostly attending a concert in the evening. There were some very cool shows, though – including Taiwanese pop singers, a martial arts demonstration, and an orchestra with fireworks at the end.

This martial arts demonstration was very impressive and put on by members of what I gather to be Taiwan’s military. It was a tough set of shots to take, as I was reaching over shoulders and having struggle with timing shots.