Posts Tagged With: natural

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Hiking Taiwan – Jialou Hu 加羅湖

JiaLou Hu 加羅湖 is a mountain lake tucked high in one of Taiwan’s beautiful clouded forests.  If you can get to the trail head, it’s a moderate three hour hike to the lake.  On the way, you pass through some spectacular forests scattered with luscious green ferns, mossy vines, and a few 1,000 year old trees.

Three friends and I went there during the four day “Dragon Boat” holiday in late May.  We did it in two days, but there is plenty more to explore in the area, and most of the people we met there were staying for the whole weekend.

I took this opportunity to give my first shot at a multi-media presentation.  I would really, really like to get some critiques and feedback on what you think of it, so please feel free to comment below.

The multi-media presentation is above, but there are some still photographs and more information after the jump…

Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Motorcycling, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – Elephant Mountain (象山)

Elephant Mountain (象山) is the most famous of the “Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山)” of Taipei, Taiwan and the most easily accessible.  It’s the third and last article in my series about hiking the Four Beasts MountainsPart one is on 9-5 Peak (Jiuwufeng – 九五峯), and part two is on Tiger Mountain (虎山).

Elephant Mountain is the most popular of the mountains for a good reason.  Being the closest to the city not only means easy access, but it means stunning views of Taipei, especially Taipei 101.

Taipei City and Taipei 101 as seen from Elephant Mountain

Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – Tiger Mountain (虎山)

Tiger Mountain(虎山) is the second subject of three in this series of articles on hiking Taipei, Taiwan’s Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山).

Tiger Mountain is the most northern of the Four Beasts Mountains and the easiest to get to.  It’s not the easiest to find (that would be Elephant Mountain) but if you have transportation, it’s an easy walk along a well kept, level trail.

All along the trail are stunning views of Taipei 101, Taipei City, and Nangang.

Taiwans Tower of Babel   Viewed from Tiger Mountain.

"Taiwan's Tower of Babel" Viewed from Tiger Mountain.

Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – 9-5 Peak (九五峯)

One of my all time favorite hikes/photography locations in Taiwan is The Four Beast Mountains (四獸山) area.  Located within Taipei City limits, these trails are an easy escape from busy city life and have amazing panoramic views of Taipei City and Taipei 101.

The trail system includes Tiger (虎山), Elephant (象山), Leopard (豹山) and Lion (獅山) Mountains and is very easily reached from the Taipei MRT system.  In fact, the base of Taipei 101 is only a 15 minute walk from the Elephant Mountain trail head.

If that’s not enough, many of the trails are lighted, 24 hours a day!

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Siling Hot Springs 四稜温泉

Taiwan is covered in hot springs.  There are famous ones like Beitou, Jinshan and Wulai, but there are also many “wild” ones.  Generally the wild ones are a bit more off the beaten track, and are almost always quite difficult to get to.  The biggest problem getting to them isn’t the drive or the hike, it’s finding good directions (in English or Chinese).  But then again, I guess if they were easy to get to or had good directions, there would be more people there and they wouldn’t be as interesting.

I recently went on a ride down the Northern Cross Island Highway 北橫  with some friends.  The main goal of this particular trip was to find a remote, wild hot spring called the Siling Hot Springs 四稜温泉.

Crystal clear water under a hot spring waterfall...  What could be better?

Crystal clear water under a hot spring waterfall... What could be better?

Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Motorcycling, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Techniques #4 – Natural Light for Portraits

Getting good natural light for portraits is an easy concept to understand.  It can often be difficult to find the perfect location, but once you know what to look for, it becomes easier.   This post is dedicated to helping you take good portraits and learn how to see and use good natural light.

I recently posted a series of portraits on Flickr. I got a great response, so I though I’d explore why these portraits were successful.  I was just playing around with a new camera and decided to shoot some quick pictures of a bunch of kids that I teach English to here in Taipei, Taiwan.

I use the term “quick pictures” very deliberately.  All of the portraits were taken on a playground at playtime and I’m sure you know that 5 year-olds don’t stay still for very long.

What’s nice about this playground is that it’s got great light that is fairly even all over it.  Before we talk about the light specifically, let’s look at some other things you need to remember to get a good portrait.

First, of course, you want an interesting subject.  Cute kids, old wrinkly people, skateboarders, and monks are among my favorite subjects.

Learn more about natural light portraiture after the jump…

Continue reading

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Techniques #2 Patience

There’s nothing more important to photography that patience.  Whether you’re working with a nervous model or waiting for that perfect moment, you need to be patient. I’m going to talk about patients in regards to travel photography.

I can say for certain that 90% of my photographs are well planned out.  Often they’re planned out days or months before I get to where I’m going.  And yes, I’m even talking about travel destinations that I’ve never been to.  Go online.  Do a google image search for the place you’re going.  Check stock agencies like Magnum, Corbis, Getty, and PhotoShelter to see what the place looks like.  Try Flickr, TrekEarth, and National Geographic.  If you do some research on the place you’re going, you’ll be more ready for it when you get there.  You’ll know that sunrise is the time to be at Angkor Wat… sunset is a great time to be at India’s Golden Temple…

Learn more about patience after the jump…

Continue reading

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: