Tag Archives: Taiwan

Two Weeks with the Nifty Fifty; or, Temple Life in Taipei

I recently spent two weeks in Taipei, Taiwan. For this particular trip, I decided to leave my trusty 24-70 mm lens at home and just bring the tiny 50 mm f:1.8 fixed focal length lens. My reasons for doing this were twofold: I wanted to go lighter. The Canon 24-70 is a tank, both in terms of actual weight as well as visual weight, especially when combined with the 6D body. My shoulder is weary of carrying it all and the size of it makes me feel very conspicuous in public places. Secondly, I wanted to challenge myself with a single focal length lens. Part of the purpose for this challenge will be revealed in an upcoming post (I know you’re all holding your breath in anticipation).

Upon returning, someone asked if I had felt limited in having only the one focal length. Generally I would have to say no. Sure, there were occasional moments where I might have wished for something a bit longer or shorter, but us humans are really quite flexible creatures and we tend to adapt to whatever constraints we are given. Forced to use one lens, you adapt and soon begin to ‘see’ in that focal length. Although, aside from a 100 mm macro lens, my experience with fixed focal length lenses is limited, those-who-know-better-than-me often suggest that using fixed lenses can help you learn to see creatively because of those constraints. You can’t just stand it one spot and zoom until you get something interesting, you have to actually think within that fixed frame.

As far as the Canon 50 mm f:1.8 (often referred to at the Nifty Fifty) is concerned, well, it’s a cheap lens. On the plus side, it’s inexpensive, reasonably sharp, and light-weight. On the downside, it’s cheap, as in plastic construction, slow focusing, and, at least to my eye, seemed to struggle with high-contrast situations in which a higher quality lens might have handled with ease. That said, for the price you can’t beat this lens and every Canon shooter should have it in their bag. Or rather, on their camera.

The pictures below were all shot with the 50 mm on a 6D (full frame) body and are a series of images from various temples around the Taipei area. Taipei has numerous temples around, primarily of various Buddhist and Confucius varieties. I won’t pretend to know the differences between them and they all seemed to follow a similar layout, although the Confucius temple was more spare and much less ostentatious than the Buddhist temples.

Enjoy!

Lighting incense, Guandu Temple, Taipei

Lighting incense, Guandu Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 100

Lighting candles at Longshan Temple, Taipei

Lighting candles at Longshan Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 800

Longshan Temple, Taipei

Longshan Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 800

Longshan Temple, Taipei

Longshan Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 2000

Looking at something interesting at Longshan Temple, Taipei

Looking at something interesting at Longshan Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 800

Longshan Temple, Taipei

Longshan Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/50s, ISO 320

Red wall at Hui Chi Temple, Taipei

Red wall at Hui Chi Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 100

Hui Chi Temple, Taipei

Hui Chi Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/50s, ISO 400

Prayers at Hui-Chi Temple, Taipei

Prayers at Hui-Chi Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/30s, ISO 400

Confucius Temple, Taipei

Confucius Temple, Taipei
Canon 6D, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 100

Posted in Camera Tech, Cultural, Taiwan, Travel Also tagged , , |

Free Yourself

Today’s Photo

Some black and white good-ness for your Sunday morning (or whenever you read this). A busy intersection in Taipei, this is another one where I posted a similar one in color (<-- notice the link) and which I think I prefer this one in black and white. Your milage may vary. [caption id="attachment_5832" align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Free Yourself - Taipei City, Taiwan"]Free Yourself[/caption]

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Posted in Black and White, HDR, Photography, Taiwan Also tagged , , |

The Towers in Tainan

Today’s Photo

I’m starting a short series of black and white images. I posted one similar to this one about a year ago, of the Chihkan Towers in Tainan, Taiwan. Looking back, I think I prefer this one in black and white as it seems to simplify the image, whereas the color seems to overwhelm the first on. What do you think?

The Towers in Tainan

The Towers in Tainan - Tainan, Taiwan

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Posted in Black and White, Taiwan, Travel Also tagged |

Taipei Main Station

I’ll be taking off to Mexico for four weeks this coming Friday. This is somewhat of a spur-of-the-moment trip so I haven’t done a lot of planning about where to go. I know I’ll fly into (and out of) Mexico City and will spend a few days there. After that, I’m not sure yet. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear about them.

Today’s Photo

Taipei Main Station is a major transfer point for several of the city’s subway lines, as well as the central terminal for many of the country’s regional and high-speed rail lines. The station also has a large food court that basically takes up the entire floor that this photo was taken from.

Taipei Main Station

Taipei Main Station - Taipei

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Posted in HDR, Photography, Taiwan, Travel Also tagged , , |

Blue Rocks, Brown River

Today’s Photo

Blue rocks, brown river. Usually it’s the other way around. However, Taroko Gorge in eastern Taiwan is famous for its multi-colored, marble-walled canyon which often has a blueish hue. The beauty of the colors and patterns created by the marble are one of the reasons this area has become one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist attractions. The brown waters are apparently normal for this region.

Blue Rocks, Brown River II

Blue Rocks, Brown River - Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

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Posted in Landscape, Taiwan, Travel Also tagged , , |