Since the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan, the campaign for an end to nuclear power in Taiwan has picked up. With three operating nuclear plants and a fourth close to completion, it is an issue that affects everybody, especially as two of the existing plants and the under-construction plant lie a relatively short distance from Greater Taipei, home to some 8 million people. Add frequent earthquakes and typhoons into the mix and people get worried. There’s even been some recent calls by foreign political and strategic observers that Taiwan should develop a nuclear deterrent to counter the rise of China, although thankfully there’s no political support in Taiwan for that option. So with the third anniversary of the Japan disaster approaching, activists and citizen groups took to the streets in a series of marches around Taiwan to voice their opposition to nuclear power. Despite rain and cold, wintery weather, tens of thousands hit the streets in Taipei, along with smaller marches in other cities. I was on hand to photograph the beginning of the event but as I have been fighting the flu didn’t stay out too long in the wet conditions.
These photographs posted here are not strictly journalistic. I have applied a slight colour edit to them. There’s a good discussion in the current (April 2014) issue of PDN magazine on the larger issue of manipulation in news photography. The toning on these photos here is just for this, my personal blog. If you’re interested in the full, unedited set that I sent off to the news wires, you can see them here in my Light Rocket gallery. There are about twice as many images there, and they are all unprocessed, straight out of the camera.
Calendar time once again, and this month’s edition is a photograph taken at dawn at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It was actually shot through a window, which offers a unique set of challenges, not least reflections from the glass. In my eBook Travel Photography Essentials I give some pointers on how to go about photographing in such a situation so if you haven’t got a copy yet, what are you waiting for?
As usual the links to grab the calendar are below.
That’s all for now. It’s the Peace Memorial holiday weekend here so I’m going to head out and enjoy the good weather while it lasts.]]>
The latest edition of the Lonely Planet Taiwan has just been published, and for the third or fourth time a number of images from my travel photography of Taiwan library have been included. It’s always nice to see your work in print, particularly when it’s as respected and loved a publication as the Lonely Planet travel guides. All together they ended up licensing 6 photographs from me. It was a little different this time though. Previously they sourced the photography directly from their own image library. A number of years ago one of the photo editors there had approached me about collaboration which is how things got started. In 2012 though, they rolled the Lonely Planet Images section into a deal with Getty Images, and so now photographs are sourced from the Lonely Planet collection on Getty. Not quite as hands on as before but it does open up the collection to more buyers. Anyway, here are a couple more of my images that were used. If you want to see the rest, grab yourself a copy of Lonely Planet Taiwan
Travel Photography Essentials is an eBook designed to get you up and running with travel photography. From beginner level right through to enthusiast this 98 page book was created in response to many requests for such a resource. Within the pages are sections covering basic settings, composition and techniques as well as advice regarding pre-departure preparations. The bulk of the eBook though is taken up with subject oriented advice. Covering a range of common travel photography scenarios including people, landscapes and nature, festivals, city life and more. Rounding things out is a look at image management including basic workflow, monitor calibration and what to do if you think your photographs are good enough to sell.
Travel Photography Essentials eBook is priced at only US$15.
As a launch special, from now until February 28 2014, if you use the code travel33 you can get US$5 off the purchase price of Travel Photography Essentials.
Travel Photography Essentials eBook is priced at only US$15.
As a launch special, from now until February 28 2014, if you use the code travel33 you can get US$5 off the purchase price of Travel Photography Essentials.]]>
In all the years of posting monthly calendars I think this may be the first time that I’ve been a little late with one. With Chinese lunar new year falling on the last day of January and the accompanying family events for that, combined with deadlines for some work, and photographing the various lunar new year festivities, I just plain forgot to post it. So better late than never. Another from Australia, this one a sunset from King’s Beach in Caloundra. Grab it at the following links.
In other news I have an eBook coming out this month and there are some opportunities for affiliate positions for anyone interested in helping publicize it. You’ll get the chance to make some decent commissions on sales, as well as an advance review copy. Spaces in the affiliate program are limited though so let me know if you’re interested and I’ll do my best to fit you in.]]>
Xin Nian Kuai Le or Happy New Year. In the Chinese lunar calendar it’s now the year of the horse, and all over the greater Chinese world, millions of people have been busy with family reunions, celebrations, prayers and enjoying some well-earned time off. Across Taiwan, temples are packed throughout these first few days of the year, with the devout and the once-a-year folks alike turning up at temples to light incense and offer prayers for the fortune in the upcoming year.
As I do every year I spent a bit of time in Taipei’s Longshan Temple, as well as heading over to Baoan Temple, to capture a series of photographs of the rituals. After circulating around the temple and getting all the standard shots I tried to experiment a bit and see if I could come up with something a little out of the ordinary. Not the easiest way to shoot but I hoped that getting the camera way up above everybody would offer a more unique perspective on the scene.
I’ll have some more Chinese new year images for you in the next few days after I cover a festival that’s coming soon.
Lunar new year is the most important holiday throughout the Chinese world, and in Taiwan that’s no exception. As we prepare to enter the year of the horse in another 10 days or so, shoppers begin to flock to new year markets set up to provide snacks, dried goods, sweets and candy, nuts and edible seeds, and a whole lot more. The closer it gets to the big day, the busier the markets become so I always make sure I venture down to Dihua St early to get a new series of photographs.
As always at this time of year, I’ll have a few different posts over the next few weeks covering different aspects of the new year festivities. This is one of the best times of year for photography in Taiwan, and photographing everything is something I always look forward to.
My previous two posts featured churches in Malaysia and Hindu prayers in Malaysia. Now it’s time to publish a series of photographs from Malaysia’s biggest religion. 61% of the population follow Islam, and it is by far the predominant cultural driver. On this visit we went to Kampung Kling mosque in Melaka, and Majid Jamek in Kuala Lumpur. The former dates from 1748 when it was originally constructed in timber, being rebuilt in brick in 1872, whereas the latter is a little over 100 years old and prior to the construction of the National Mosque, served as Kuala Lumpur’s major house of worship. I’ve visited the National Mosque twice previously (1997 and 2010) and so didn’t go there this time.
Masjid Jamek is a mosque that I’d seen a few years ago and was impressed by it’s architecture. Our hotel was nearby this time, and I’d hoped to be able to enter it and create some photographs inside however it had a sign up saying that it was temporarily closed to tourists, so I had to make do with some photographs from outside. Kampung Kling mosque on the other hand, was open, friendly and welcoming, and we were fortunate to arrive there just as noon prayers were beginning.
Hindu’s make up 6.3% of the Malaysia population and the oldest temple catering to them is the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur. Tucked away on the edge of Chinatown near the Central Market, it is reputed to be the richest Hindi temple in Malaysia. Originally constructed as a private family shrine in 1873, it moved to its present location in 1885, and opened to the public in the 1920′s. The current temple building is a reconstruction that was finished in 1968 and consecrated a few years later after completion of the entrance gate.
A couple of days ago I posted a series of photographs featuring some of the churches of Malaysia. This was the only Hindu temple we had a chance to visit, and they were carrying out a puja (poooja) or prayer ceremony while I was photographing inside. It’s not a particularly big temple nor was it overly crowded. It was however very welcoming and friendly to traveling photographers. Here are a few of the photographs I created during my time there.
Malaysia is a predominately Muslim country, with Islam being the official state religion, albeit with a secular constitution. Approximately 60% of the population are Muslim which still leaves room for healthy minority religions. Christianity and Catholicism accounts for almost 10% of the population and there are some beautiful and historic churches and cathedrals scattered throughout the country. Although I was only there for a few days, my wife and I managed to visit a number of churches and cathedrals, as well as some mosques and Hindu temples. I’ll post the latter two in a future blog, but for today, here’s a selection of Christian houses of worship. The oldest we saw was the Christ Church Malacca which was completed in 1753, and the youngest was St Andrew’s Presbyterian church in Kuala Lumpur which dates back to 1917.