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

Taoist ceremony in Dihua old street – Taipei – Taiwan

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I was very lucky last march in Taipei to stumble upon this Taoist ceremony while visiting the Dihua street area with my family and local friends.

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I must admit my ignorance of Taoism, so I will not comment much here. Teh following blog post contains quite interesting information on Taoism in Singapore :

http://weecheng.com/singapore/9eg/index.htm

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Various groups are parading their idols or images of gods around the area of Taipei Xiahai City God Temple.

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Most of the groups as below have musicians, Taoism is noisy and colorful, I learned this a long time ago when I arrived in Singapore.

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This group has gods puppets dance in front of the temple.

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Another group was composed of young people dressed as what looks lie warriors.

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This group traditionally rock the sedan chair when the image of the god is carried, portraying their struggle with the superhuman force possessing the chair once the god has come to posses its image.

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Taipei Xiahai City God Temple

All shots with Leica M262 and Summicron 50v4 or 35Asphv2

 

Taoist ceremony in Dihua old street – Taipei – Taiwan

The summer bag

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So here are summer holidays and it is time to pack the camera bag. Where to start ? Minimal or not minimal? When will I finally go in the field with one body one lens? Ok, let me cut it short: not today. But to keep of suspense, let me start with the bag. I have been carrying around the Crumpler 5 Mio dollar home since 2010, and it was a wonderful bag, it can carry one M body with an extra lend or two or you can cramped two M bodies with lens attached or even and M and the Hassie. But you cannot add much more: wallet, sunglasses, specs, flying documents cannot really fit. And after all these years, the hip side has a nice hole, and after 3 trips in the washing machine it is a bit shabby. Kudo’s to Crumpler, but they no longer do these inconspicuous bags nor the bit bigger 6Mio dollar home.

The web is a hell when you look for camera bag, I have been there man times. So this time I picked up a Scout Shoulder bag from Wotancraft at the nice Rice Ball photo shop. (https://www.wotancraft.com/product/scout-charcoal-black) made in Taiwan. More expensive than Crumpler, fits both for town and country. Can fit the ideal combination of two Leica M bodies with lens attached and an extra lens or two. Papers, wallet, specs and sunglasses fit as well.

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So I think I betrayed myself, the travel will consist of the Leica M262 and the M6 with my new 50mm Summicron, the 28mm Summicron and the 90mm Elmarit. Some various rolls of films are waiting for me in France for the M6.

BW I’m going to the south of France, both to the sea and the mountain, also to Venice, so I’ll have plenty to shoot. Let me make a guess, the 90mm will get less than 10% usage, the 28mm 40% max, the 50mm will get the rest.

So what is happening to the D700 Kit? I had the pleasure to shoot a couple of events this year and if performed perfectly as usual (of course the high ISO is lacking behind now compared to more modern cameras), and the M262 will not allow me to do this. But frankly I think I am done with it: I no longer carry it for casual street shooting, I did not brought it on holidays for two years now. It is big, bulky, the whole set with my zooms and fixed lenses weight a ton, and frankly nobody will miss the shots that the Leica does not allow me to do. So I think we’ll part our ways, so long my friend, I like your well-worn look and the colors of your sensor, but it is time to move. We traveled Asia together the last 7 years and had a lot of fun.

D700 was introduced in 2008 and the M240 (on which the M262 is built) in 2012; Leica being a bit lagging behind in term of bodies I think they are quite probably comparable; I missed the M10 by a year.

(To be continued)

The summer bag

The year of shooting with Leica(s) – Part 1

 

I bought my first Leica in 2009; it was a very nice M4 paired with a Summilux 50mm version2; both from 1967 as close as I could to by date of birth (I was a bit worried at the time about getting involved in the double stroke or single stroke on the M3).  In 2009 I was already back into film for 2 years, I was lusting for a Leica. After much considerations I splurged the equivalent of 2500 USD on the above combo.

M4

If was not love at first sight with the Leica. First I was back to the shop (actually another) to invest in a light meter (Sekonic 380s). Then I brought it in  couple of trips, but with mixed feelings.

Japan 2010

I enjoyed using the little fellow, but really the results were no all great and also I have a trouble bringing the Leica on travel : I though the 35mm was redundant with my DSLR; at least in term of format.

The following years I bought a few other film cameras and got distracted, so indeed the love story with the M4 was not going the right way.

In 2013 I invested in a small LeicaIIIc and a Summitar 50mmF2; this fellow had a couple of problems, but I quite liked it for shooting around.
The Leica IIIc

I got a couple on third party lens in various stage of in-usability to pair him with (a back focusing Jupiter 35mm, a non-focusing Canon 135F4, not mentioning  the Industar of the Zorki 1) , but all in all we had good fun. Around this time I also invested in a 21mmF4 Color Skopar, that I always found difficult to use. And I made my first Leica trip only to Taiwan.

LeicaIIIc Taiwan 2013

Leica M4 Taiwan 2013

Last year finally when Lee Kwan Yew passed away I shot a lot of the funerals with the M4 and my interest was aroused again by the Leica M, so finally for a similar amount of the M4 kit, I bought a minty M6 Classic (Back) and a Summaron 35mmF2 (The version with the goggles).

And so started the year of shooting with Leica(s) (to be followed)

The year of shooting with Leica(s) – Part 1