Photo of the week

The Taipei Writers Group (FB) is a collection of independent writers that meet regularly with different personal goals.  Some are published authors, some want to improve their writing and others simply enjoy writing.  The group was started in 2010 and recently they have collaborated on two print anthologies.  Each anthology is a collection of 8-10 short stories with a unique view of Taiwan.

This weekend (11/21 and 11/22) four authors co-hosted an indoor market event at InBetween in Kaohsiung.  There were 10-15 vendors of various personally created items and a few of the authors themselves.

J.J. Green (left) writes science fiction and in addition to writing a short story for both anthologies she also had three other books available at the event.  The cover of There Comes a Time was really cool and it is featured on one of the group’s bookmarks.

Patrick Wayland (middle left) writes crime/mystery novels and in the anthology wrote a story about a washed up American baseball player that is given a last chance in Taiwan.  He has also published several books and the Jade Lady could be particularly interesting for those in Taiwan or wanting to learn more about Taiwan.

Katannya Jantzen (middle left) told some hilarious stories of her early life and then a powerful story of her recovery from breast cancer at the event.  In the anthology she wrote about the Chinese civil war and the KMT’s retreat to Taiwan from the perspective of a young girl living on Kinmen.  I have only skimmed the story so far but I have liked what I read.

Hugo (right) was the star of the event and even though he spoke mostly in Chinese I still listened.  I can’t understand anything in Chinese (except pa Yushan – climb Jade Mt) but it was fun to watch him handle the audience.

For those in Kaohsiung there is still time to visit the Taipei Writers Group this evening (11/22).  The event will run from 5-9:30 tonight with a reading from 5-6pm.  There is a cover charge for tonight (discounted if you buy an anthology).  InBetween is located at 176-1 3F Siwei 4th Rd.  This is in between (ha ha!) Old Hanshin Mall and the 85 Building.  If you are interested in buying the books you can buy ebook versions on Amazon or contact The Taipei Writers Group through their blog or FB page.

One of the vendors Shuoyi is an artist and a sea turtle conservationist.  He illustrated a beautiful book telling about the life of sea turtles and hand painted several beautiful see turtles on wood.

I have already been in Taiwan twice as long as I planned and I will probably stay here at least twice as long as I already have been.  Taiwan might not be perfect but it is an easy life and there are a lot of great places to explore.  This photo was taken on Banpingshan (click for directions).

I have a lot of exciting plans in the works for the next couple of years.  Some things will change while others will merely be tweaked but there will be more waterfalls, more hikes, more summits and more countries.

I wish we had these beautiful blue skies every day in Kaohsiung but starting in October the winds shift (or die down) and the city is covered in smog.  I have been nervous since they started prepping a new building site across the river from my apartment.  I rented this apartment because of this view and my concern has always been that multiple 15-20 story apartment buildings would be built across from my apartment.  The good news is that at least the first building will be something small since they didn’t excavate a two story basement.

This photo was shot using a Cokin P121S rectangular graduated neutral density filter.  Filters have become mostly obsolete with the shift to digital cameras but there are still a few that are very useful.  I always carry a polarizer (to reduce reflections), a 3 stop neutral density filter (to lengthen the exposure on waterfall photos) and sometimes I bring along my graduated ND filter.  A graduated ND filter is 1/2 darkened (like sunglasses) and 1/2 clear.  Typically clouds are much brighter than the land and it is difficult to expose the photo correctly for both.  Either the land will be too dark or the sky will be too bright and the clouds will be blown out (actual photography term).  This particular photo might not have needed the graduated ND filter since the land is quite bright but I like to think that it gives the clouds a little extra pop.

I will also be taking time lapse photos (3-4/wk) of the construction and the changing skies.  I have no idea what I am doing but it will be an interesting and likely frustrating project.

One of the many rice fields that you pass in Bali.  Bali is at a crossroads in a way as the massive tourist service industry competes with the more traditional Balinese life.  So far things remain in balance with an endless number of small villages living a traditional lifestyle but how long will that last?  Will the younger generation(s) continue to pursue work in the more profitable tourist industry?

I have now completed 6 of the 14 waterfall guide entries.  You can view them at Taiwan’s Waterfalls – Bali.  I will be taking advantage of Taiwan’s rainy weather this week to finish up several more and hopefully start working on an article about all of Bali’s waterfalls since I visited all of the major ones.