Traditional markets in Asia are one of my favorite photographic subjects as a travel photographer. The color, the exotic food, the hustle, the smells and sounds. While a photograph can’t really convey smell, it can show the other factors, although sounds needs a little dive into the world of multimedia to pull off. A couple of days ago I found myself with a spare hour or so as I traveled about town to meet with some private photography students and decided to duck into one of Taipei’s oldest markets, Nanmen Market. Generally you need to get to these traditional wet markets early. The best meat and freshest vegetables go quick so if you’re much later than 8am or so, you’ll miss all the excitement. Get down there at dawn if you’re really serious about markets. For me this week, I didn’t specifically set out to photograph the market and when I arrived close to noon, things were very quiet. Which makes it easy to move around but with almost no customers and most of the vendors eating lunch, there wasn’t a lot of people photography to be done. Still, photographing market food is always fun so here’s a little sampling of some of the things you could expect to see.
As we come to the end of a very busy and exciting year, it’s time to look back over some favorite photos and photography moments from the past twelve months. Throughout 2011 I shot somewhere around 25 000 images, logged 8 flights, 3 magazine covers, a couple of award mentions, fulfilled a dream or two and met a bunch of great people. All in all, I can say that it was a great year.
Before I get into things, I’ll quickly take this opportunity to remind you about the recently announced China workshop I’ll be leading with John Batdorff, in Guiln next May.
The year kicked off with a visit to the Greenpeace flagship boat, Rainbow Warrior. I had had a couple of meetings with Greenpeace, Taiwan in late 2010 to discuss doing some work for them and the first opportunity proved to be the arrival of the boat. We headed down to Keelung Harbor to see it arrive, then were invited on board for a tour by the captain. I also had the opportunity to make a short video interview with him.
If you’re flying on Cebu Pacific Air this month be sure to check out a recent feature they commissioned from me for their inflight magazine, Smile. It’s on a favorite Taiwan location of mine, the historic town of Lugang. In it, I explore the alleys, markets and temples of this quaint town in a 5 page long article that features text written by me as well as 12 photographs.
Heading off to Nepal tomorrow for an assignment for an NGO mixed with some vacation time for my wife and I as well as some personal shooting. This will be my 3rd trip to Nepal but my first time since I started shooting digital. I was last there exactly 10 years ago on either side of a Tibet trip, and I’m really looking forward to being able to shoot without the constraints of a film budget. I will have at least one post that I’ll schedule in advance here next week, and possibly a few preview photos or things shot on my Android phone while in Nepal, so there should still be a bit of action here..
Below you can see the gear list of all the stuff I’m taking. There are a couple of possibly unusual inclusions in it that are for an experimental idea I have. After I return, I’ll blog on what worked and what didn’t.
Today marks the official launch of my fine art photography book, Dreams of Future Past, that explores some abandoned structures throughout Taiwan. In many ways, Taiwan is any urban explorers dream destination and I focus on three specific sites. Included within are images from the San-zhr pod village, the Taiwan futuro village and the Katoli’s World Amusement park. Of the three sites, only the futuro village is still standing so there will be no more opportunities to see work from San-zhr or Katoli’s World.