Posts Tagged With: Asia

Indonesia – Part One

In all my time living and traveling in Asia, I never had the desire to travel to Indonesia. I don’t know why, but it just didn’t have the appeal to me as much as places like Myanmar, Tibet, Laos, or even Thailand. But, in the summer of 2012, I was assigned to go to Jakarta to photograph an article, and my mind was opened up to Indonesia.

Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world with 238 million people. It’s a string of over 17,000 islands that straddle the equator between Southeast Asia and Australia. The people are quite diverse: 87% are Muslim, 9% are Christian, 3% are Hindu, and the rest have too many religions and cultures to count. 742 different languages are spoken throughout the archipelago, but Bahasa Indonesian is a common language understood by all.

My destination this time, was the “main” island of Java, along with a few days of R&R on the famous island of Bali.

Borobudur

Sunrise a the ancient Buddhist temple, Borobudur.

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Categories: Indonesia, PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Travel Image from the Archives

Here’s number two in this series.  This one is from a hill village near Kalaw, Myanmar (Burma).  The caption explains it all.

Myanmar Burma Buddhist Stupa

These kids are playing a game of tag on a stupa in a hill village near the town of Kalaw, Myanmar. These religious monuments are very common in Burma and can be found in every village.

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL, Travel Images from the Archive | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Four Beast Mountains – Yongchun

My series of blog posts on hiking The Four Beast Mountains has become one of my most popular series since I’ve started blogging.  Now that spring is back upon us, I’ve noticed that those posts are getting more and more hits.  I can only guess that everyone is looking to get get some exercise!

So here’s a new post.  It’s going to be mostly just pictures, but they are all from an area that I glossed over in the last three posts.

The general Yongchun area consists of two high schools, a small military base, several temples, and a few apartment building neighborhoods.  The entire basin of this area (roughly 600m x 100m) was a shallow lake just a hundred years ago or so.

Promise King

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Multimedia – Forgotten Tibet

The Tibetan provinces of Amdo and Kham are the subject of my first multimedia project in a long while.  Amdo and Kham are beautiful regions of the world that I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice recently…

Most westerners think of Tibet as being only what is today called the Tibet Autonomous Region (Xizang) in modern China.  But what they don’t know is that this is only one third of the historical Tibetan Kingdom.  Split off from modern day “Tibet” are the Tibetan Kham and Amdo provinces, now found in the Chinese Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces.

What is surprising though, is that these areas have become much better places to see Tibetan culture than Lhasa or many other places in Xizang.  With both Chinese and Westerners’ attention focused on Lhasa, these areas are much less traveled and have far fewer travel restrictions than Xizang.  That gives the Tibetans found there an sense of ease in their day to day lives and makes it a great place to explore.

If you’re interested in learning more or even visiting the region, have a look at my more in depth series of blog posts on the Kham and Amdo Provinces.

Cheers,
-Neil

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Must See Taiwan – Shiding and Shenkeng

Shiding (石碇) and Shenkeng (深坑) are two small towns found just to the east of Taipei, Taiwan.  They’re both withing 3o minutes of Taipei’s  convenient MRT system and together, they make for a great day trip out of the city.

Shiding (石碇)

Shiding is a simple mountain village located at the convergence of two small mountain streams.  It’s got an old-time Taiwan feel to it, and in fact has many stores that are over a century old.  It also has two very clean, fish-filled streams that come from virgin forests high above, in the nearby mountains.

Tree roots overgrowing an old doorway in Taiwan

Doorways don't get much cooler than this.

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Categories: Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Hiking Xiaozi Shan in Pingxi (孝子山平溪)

I went on another weekend hike with Stu recently, this one to Xiaozi Shan (孝子山) and its nearby mountains located just to the south of Pingxi (平溪), Taiwan.  We had a good time as usual, enjoying the first rain-free Sunday that Taipei has seen in months.

XiaoZi Shan and it neighboring mountains, Cimushan (慈母山) and Cimufeng (慈母) are all just a few minute’s hike from the 106 highway and downtown Pingxi.  They all feature sheer-rock faced peaks with awesome views of the surrounding mountains and the Pingxi valley. What’s unbelievable about this area, is that all of the peaks are accessed by a trail “intersection” that has 4 different trail heads withing 40 meters of each other, and the peaks are all within a 30 minute hike from there!

Stu and I spent a few hours hiking up and down all the different peaks, then wandered home on a back trail and still got home for a late lunch, which has to make this area THE most accessible and best bang-for-you-buck hikes in all of Taiwan…

Hiking near Pingxi, Taiwan

A couple of men descend from the peak of Xiaozi Shan (孝子山) on a aluminum ladder in Pingxi (平溪), Taiwan.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Lhasa, Tibet – The Jokhang and Barkor

The Jokhang Monastery (ཇོ་ཁང་) is the most holy of Tibetan Buddhism’s holy places.  Unassuming from the outside, one needs to connect with the enthusiasm of the throngs of pilgrims walking around it to feel its allure.  As it probably will be for you, visiting the Jokhang is a once in a lifetime experience for many of the pilgrims.  Unlike you, many of these pilgrims walked to be there… and some of them even walked in a special way to show their devotion: They take three steps, say a prayer, and lie face-down on the ground.  Then they stand up, take three more steps and repeat the process.  The act of taking a prostrating pilgrimage can take the devotee years to reach the Jokhang from their home towns.  But many do it, as a sign of devotion and a way to help improve their karma in this life and the next.

Tibetan Buddhist Praying

Pilgrims and merchants walk and pray in the juniper smoke early in the morning on the Barkor at the Jokang Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL, UNCATEGORIZED | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Must See Taipei – The Jade and Flower Markets (建國假日玉花市)

The Taipei Jianguo Jade and Flower Markets (建國假日玉花市) are a must-see for anyone in Taiwan.  Located next to each other on Jianguo South Road, the two markets stretch for nearly a kilometer (1/2 a mile) under the elevated highway.  They are only open on weekends and can make for a wonderful escape from Taipei’s often dreary rain.  But even on a sunny day, the Jade and Flower Markets (along with the adjacent Daan Forest Park) make for a nice afternoon walk for tourists and locals alike.

a giant lily blossom for sale at the Taipei Jianguo Flower Market

A big, beautiful lily for sale at the Taipei Flower Market.

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Categories: Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Random Photos from Taiwan

Here’s the latest batch of photography from Taiwan. Just some random pictures that I’ve come across in my daily adventures.

Check out my new website and archive for more photography from Taiwan.

Taiwan - Camping under the Stars

Our camp, high atop SongLuo Hu (松羅湖)... another mountain lake.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Deaflympics Opening Extavaganza

As a pre-opening event for the Taipei Deaflympics, a company called New Substance put on a fantastic performance with acrobats on cranes, a girl hanging from a helium balloon and colorful dancers in a strange bungee-box.  It was very reminiscent of a Circ-De-Solei performance, but all for free!

I shot it in conjunction with Craig Ferguson who also blogged about it, so I’ll save myself some typing and let you read more details about it over on his site.

A pre-opening event for the Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan, New Substance put on a beautiful, dreamy, circus-like show. This girl is flew on a helium filled balloon high above the audience and would sometimes come down to touch their hands.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Urban Skimboarding

There are currently three typhoons out in the Western Pacific.  Two of them are forecasted to hit Taiwan next week.  This has most people scared, but it has me excited.  During the last typhoon, I went out with my buddy Ed to do some “Urban Skimboarding” and I’m hoping conditions will be good this week for some more photos and fun.

Skimboarding at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, TAIWAN, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Daan Model Shoot

Photographing models is probably a lot of men’s dream.  What most people don’t realize, is all the work that goes into those pretty pictures.

I recently had a shoot in with a model in Daan Park 大安公圓 in Taipei, Taiwan and would love to share them with you.  Usually for big shoots like this, I like to try to tell you how we did the photos and all the technical information.  But… I’m on vacation right now and just can’t wrap my head around it!

Like my last post, I’ll just tell you the basic-basics, and let you have a look at a pretty model from a fun afternoon of shooting.

Taiwan Model Photography

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, TAIWAN, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Dawu and Tagong, Tibet (China)

Tagong

From Litang, I caught a bus (again, through some stunning scenery) to Xinduxiao where I had to transfer to a share cab going towards Tagong.

The Tibetan Monastery in Datong, Tibet (China).

The Tibetan Monastery in Datong, Tibet (China).

Tagong is known mostly for its beautiful grasslands.

It’s a town that has become very popular with both foreign and Chinese tourists because of it’s relative proximity to Kanding, a small city that’s a day’s drive to the southeast.  One can easily arrive in town and set up a tour and home-stay with some of the nomads that live in the nearby grasslands.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random Photos from Taiwan

It’s time for another edition of “Random Photographs from Taiwan.”

Whenever I have a handful of photos and no ideas for a specific post about them, they go into this category.

I guess it’s sort-of a weekly or bi-weekly gallery…

anywho

This first one was taken on my recent four day trip to promote tourism in Taiwan.  Most of the trip I was worried about getting video footage and not photos, but when whenever we had a few minutes to take some goofy pictures, we did.

Here, Phil from 老外的臺灣旅遊日記 (A travel blog in Chinese) jumps over me and my camera.  It’s definitely a quick and dirty shot, and I hope to take more with more proper lighting in the future…  On camera SB-800 shot TTL… 1/250 sec at f/22.  14-24mm at 14mm…  And the lens was real dirty from the previous four-wheeling shoot.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Taipei Photo Walk

This past weekend I joined the Taipei chapter of Scott Kelby’s Photo Walk.

It’s a annual social gathering of photographers in cities all over the world.  Basically, photographers get together, go for a walk, then all meet up for dinner.  Afterwards, you can upload your two best pictures for a chance to win some great prizes, but I think the main idea was just to go out and have some fun.

Craig Ferguson set it all up for us and I think it’s safe to say that we all had a great time.

Here’s a link to a Flickr page with some of the photos from the day and a handful of the photos that I shot:

Taipei Photo Walk 2009

Taipei Photo Walk 2009

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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