大家好！Welcome to 台北 (Taipei). Here is a collage of some pictures from my iPhone. As you will see, the pictures from my film camera didn’t come out very clearly, so I am including these as a more detailed compilation of the past two week’s sights! You can see various night markets, colorfully lit streets, a jade shop, views from the top and bottom of 101, and our friend from the 猴硐 (Houtong) cat village. I left my fancy 35mm film camera at home in order to challenge myself to find a cooler one in Taiwan. Although, I still haven’t found a nice one yet, the one I was able to pick up randomly off the street for 1000元 ($32 USD) produced some interesting results.
The art of lo-fi photography, coined as Lomography, uses cheaper mass-produced analog film cameras in creative ways to produce images that go against the perfectionist style of modern photography. Instead of emphasizing realism and minimization of flaws, Lomography lies in the spur of the moment shot where “happy little accidents” happen. In the above pictures you can barely make out the sand sculpture of a hand with the backdrop of coastal mountains due to light leaks and spots. I included the negative version of this picture as well because I like the contrast.
The next photo is perhaps the clearest of the bunch, which is great because I wanted at least one good shot with my friends. The location of these first four film pictures is in 福隆 (Fulong), which is a popular public beach about an hour from Taipei by train where people surf and build giant sand sculptures. This was the first stop on a long weekend adventure along the north-eastern coast with the fine gentlemen in my apartment building. Shoutout to Nelson, Daniel, Min, John, and Will, who graciously took this photo of us.
Our next stop was at the coastal town of 九份 (Jiufen), a popular tourist destination perched in the mountains which inspired the Japanese film Spirited Away. Here we got a great view of the sunset over the ocean. The town also features an old street market, famous tea house, and beautiful temples. The inside of the 霞海 (Xiahai) temple is pictured above. Just use your imagination to fill in the rest of the image!
We had planned to go on a hike the next morning but were quite groggy after staying up late at a BBQ that we had walked by. It was a birthday party and we somehow got invited! Always a treat to speak with locals in Chinese and learn about their lives while sharing good food and drinks. That night was also the start of 中秋節 (Mid-Autumn Festival), where friends and family gather to cook food under the full moon. What an amazing place to start our festivities.
After waking up in 九份 (Jiufen), we made our way to the famous tea house where we sipped away with an amazing view of the ocean! You can see the ocean in the bottom right corner of the very first iPhone picture. The top picture directly above is the view to the right of the tea house, featuring 基隆山 (Keelung Mountain) which we sadly did not have the energy to climb this go around. After tea we made our final stop at 黃金瀑布 (Huangjin Waterfall) whose golden-brown color was a beautiful sight to behold. From there we made our departure back to our apartment in the city. Hopefully I can make a trip back that way soon! After this weekend, I am so excited to explore the beauty that the coast and mountains have to offer. Perhaps I will have a higher quality film camera for the next trip, although I enjoyed this experiment in Lomography. And as the lowly Lomographer says: “別想, 只拍” (Don’t think, just shoot).