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Kaohsiung at Night

There are small lanes and alleys all over Kaohsiung. They run like veins between the main streets, and often you won’t even notice they are there. Traditional indoor markets are hidden from view, embedded in the middle of city blocks.

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In this narrow lane between two streets stands a lone butcher’s stall

A few months ago when I bought a second hand bicycle my aim was to get more exercise, but the the bike also allowed me to get closer to the city. On the bike I can ride along the small alleyways without the clattering of the scooter engine disturbing the environment. Except for the noise of the bicycle chain I am invisible.

On the scooter I would have scared these cats away, and on foot I may not have been able to get close in time

On the scooter I would have scared these cats away, on foot I may not have been able to get close in time

A woman rides her bike out of the darkness and into the shop light. Maybe I looked the same coming the other way.

A woman rides her bike out of the darkness and into the shop light. Maybe I looked the same coming the other way.

A neon shop sign guides the way out

A neon shop sign guides the way out

In the night, away from the street lamps, the only light is that from neon lights, or shop signs.

A fortune teller's shop

A fortune teller’s shop

Light leaks out into an otherwise dark alley

Light leaks out into an otherwise dark alley

You’re never very far from a temple in Kaohsiung, and it’s even more obvious in the night due to the huge displays of red lanterns.

An impressive three-storey temple lodged in the middle of two buildings

A three-storey temple lodged in the middle of two buildings

Not all temples are big, though. Some are small, but they’re never shy to let you know they are there.

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Depending on the day, if you’re lucky, you might also see some activities around the temples.

He clears the way for a god to safely follow him into the temple

He clears the way for a god to safely follow him into the temple.]

Churches aren’t shy of using neon lights, either.

A neon cross in the distance above a wood salvager

A neon cross in the distance above a wood salvager

The snap-focus feature of the Ricoh GR makes night photography a lot easier, and fun. First I set the snap focal distance, then manually set the aperture and shutter speed. It really helps to emphasise the light, and how dark it otherwise really is.

About the author dave

I'm a web developer and photographer from the UK living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I shoot with a Canon 650D and a Ricoh GR.

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