A tour around Taipei

I am cleaning a bit of my backlog, and found on my work-space some remaining pictures of our Taiwan trip back in Feb/March.

The only day we decided to take a tour with our friendly guide was also the only rainy day of the trip so it ends up being a no so great experience.

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We took off from our hotel in Daan and headed to the North West, to visit what I believe is the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden. A historical house and garden from a rich Taiwanese family.

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This is a very nicely preserved house, a quite interesting visit, not a good as the Lin Family mansion in Banqiao  district but still a nice thing to see.

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We then drove down to see the change of the guard at the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine, but we arrived too late, and the rain started. Continuing further west we stopped in Beitou, a suburb of Taipei known for its hot springs

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The place made its living through mining and hospitality, including bath and spas.

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There is a very nice museum is an old bath house, including the beautiful pool below.

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At this point we headed along the Tamsui River to the fisherman’s wharf for lunch. We did not find anything much exciting, had a sandwich and then a long walk, without rain, before finding our car again.

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The last stop was Tamsui old street, that we reached after visiting the interesting Fort San Domingo, showing an interesting display of the colonial times. By then the weather started to be very.

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We nevertheless spent a good hour walking along the Tamsui River and through the old street with a stop at the beautiful Longshan temple, above and below.

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Finally, after a nice Taiwan beer in a dry place, we happily headed back to the city and our hotel ( probably the rain stopped along the way ).

All shots Leica M262, Summicron 28/50/35, it was another day where the weather was not enticing to pull out the M6 and play with two cameras.

A tour around Taipei

Outing at Redhill Market with LUGS

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These are pictures taken during the LUGS (Leica User Group Singapore) outing in August to the area of Redhill in Singapore. Redhill area is accessible by MRT. Places of interest are the newly renovated market (dried goods, meat and veggies, but also religious artifacts) and the soon to be demolished Redhill close estate.

 

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Ciggie break version one
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Ciggie break version two

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Picture were taken with the Leica M6 classic (mine is black but that does not affect the pictures) and my new, Summicron 35mm Asph v2.  In my opinion this particular version has not a big added value on film, but it seriously kick ass on digital.

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The flower stall
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The market singer
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The chatty veggie seller
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Local vegies

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Egg business

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The shy butcher

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Old style trade

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King of fruits

I used the two rolls of Ultrafine Xtreme 400 film. This is the first time I hand roll film myself (I bought a 100ft roll and a bulk loader, for 100$, this is about 18 roll of 36 shots for roughly 5.5$ a piece).  I shot 14 rolls of it so far this year, this is quite a good film, with fine grain and good contrast. I don’t develop myself, but my local lab does a good job with it.

 

Outing at Redhill Market with LUGS

NORTH THAILAND TRIP – PART 4 – SUKHOTHAI

We had decided to fly from Bangkok to Sukhothai, that was half a good idea as the plane was mid afternoon and staying at the airport we missed nearly a full day of holidays.

Despite its name being quite well known, Sukhothai is actually a very small city. The center is mostly made of hotels and restaurants for tourists visiting the main attraction; the Historical Park.

The Sukhothai historical park is a vast compound of ruined temples just outside the city centre. This is a very large area, better be visited by bicycle as some temples are quite remote. You can easily spend a half day in there. We went for the walking option, but we missed a couple of nice spots.

This man is picking what seems to be algae from the moat surrounding the main temple.

You can find there dozens of temples, shrines and shedis (pagodas), in various states of conservation. You can take hundreds of pictures of Buddha statues in various positions and state of decay.

There are also some nice pieces of water, used for the Kratong festival, which unfortunately would happen a few weeks after our visit.

NORTH THAILAND TRIP – PART 4 – SUKHOTHAI

Hoi An – Street life – The film shots

Hoi An, is a beautiful and very touristy; but it is still full of local life. Street food, food stalls, … there is a lot of photo opportunity and you may well pretend you are the only tourist around. This is selection of film shots done with the Hasselblad 500 CM. Color shots with Kodak Portra 400 and black and white with Kodak tri-x. I have two backs and I think it is safer to carry same sensibility film to avoid messing up with the exposure on the heat of the moment.

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Actually talking of the hit of the moment, it happened a couple of times already that in the excitement of having taken what I believe was a good shot I hit the rewind crank instead of the winding knob and end up my roll after just a few pictures. Silly me ! Well as least now I have identified the issue and will try to behave in the future.

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On a side note, as in Cambodia, the conic hats does not make it easy to picture people faces.

Hoi An – Street life – The film shots

Hoi An – The fishermen

Basket boats
Basket boats

During the Vietnam trip we stayed 3 days on the coast between Hoi An and Danang. We drove all the way from Hué, through the “cloud pass”, through Danand, and passed the Marble mountains to the hotel; all in all a 3 hours drive. On this part of the coast fishermen are using round basket boat; I saw a few or our drive but they were a bit far off or we did not have the possibility to stop to investigate and take some pictures. So I was a bit frustrated when getting to our resort; I’m not too much of the sea-side photographer and anyway the weather was not so good.

Walking along the beach, what was my surprise after getting out of the resort to see a group of these basket boast ashore; I had to ran back to the hotel get a camera and snap a few shots. The next morning I was back and so the next evening; in both occasions when I spotted the guys rowing back to the beach. They have me pay for my taking picture by asking me to help carry their boat out the water, which I found a very fair trade.

Shots on this page are made either with the 50mmF1.8D or with the Angenieux 70-210F3.5AI

Hoi An – The fishermen

Little monks in the Thien Mu Pagoda – Hué – Vietnam

Little monks in the Thien Mu Pagoda  - Hué - Vietnam

 

Little monks in the Thien Mu Pagoda – Hué – Vietnam

 
I realize it’s been a long break; my last post dates back from the end of September! Like many other people I have been busy; nearly two seeks in Vietnam, kid going back to school, seeing friends, walking around with a camera and a bit of work, in a word: life.

So Vietnam was our last destination, we spent 10 days in the the middle and south part between Hué and Ho Chi Minh city aka Saigon. Weather at this time of the year is not great and actually it is the start of the bad season. We had a lot of rain in Hué, but we were quite lucky in other places.

Camera wise I slightly modified my usual kit and brought along the Angenieux 70-210 F3.5 AI lens instead of the Nikkor 80-210 F2.8 AF. The reason is that I wanted a lighter kit that fits in a back-pack I borrowed from a friend. Yes I was again wondering about a new bag bt could not make up my mind so I decided to try a back-pack instead of taking along the Crumpler 8Mio back (which is no longer produced it seems). I could fit in the bag:
– the Hasselblad 500M with an extra back
– the D700
– the 50mmF1.8D
– the 17-35mmF2.8AF
– the Angenieux zoom

There is enough room left for the lonely planet,the light-meter, a couple of films. The rest of the accessories goes in the checked luggage, including spare film.

As we traveled “free and easy” (meaning we did not have our own car and driver all the time) I enjoyed the back-pack very much as it enabled me to carry all my stuff around all the time. On the down side, even if this one (Lowepro 200 something) has a kind of “Sling” feature, it is not as practical as a shoulder bag. So I think I will have more crisis of looking for the perfect bag in the future again.

Oh the picture, this is one of the first of the film shots, these kids are little monks in the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hué. This pagoda is famous for its 7 levels tower, but also for the monk who drove from there to Saigon to set himself in fire in 1963 in protest against the government.

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Wayang (Chinese street opera) – Hong San See Temple – Singapore

Wayang (Chinese street opera) - Hong San See Temple  - Singapore

The artists from this Chinese Street Opera (Wayang) troup preparing for the show at Hong San See Temple Mohamed Sultan road Singapore

You can read more on the Wayang .

Wayang (Chinese street opera) - Hong San See Temple  - Singapore

Wayang (Chinese street opera) - Hong San See Temple  - Singapore

Wayang (Chinese street opera) - Hong San See Temple  - Singapore

Wayang (Chinese street opera) - Hong San See Temple  - Singapore

Wayang (Chinese street opera) - Hong San See Temple  - Singapore

All shots done with :

Camera:Nikon D700
Lens:Nikkor 85mmF1.8D

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