I’ve spent the last few days looking over my photos from the last 12 months and picking out my favourites. I changed a lot as a photographer this year and photography in general has changed me as a person – I’ve seen a lot of things that I might not have seen without the motivation of capturing images with my camera.
The aim of selecting these photos was to both give me motivation for next year, and to help me develop more by understanding what I have enjoyed capturing, and what has resulted in the best pictures.
The first photograph (above) is of the Kaohsiung City skyline, the city that has been my home for the last eight years, and where most of my photos are taken.
Kaohsiung has been developing quickly over the last decade, but as with all of Taiwan there is a solid foundation in tradition. When I got back to Taiwan after my summer trip back to the UK there was huge event at the temple around the corner. I’ve never seen to many firecrackers set off at once and there were huge plumes of smoke rising into the sky.
On the outskirts of the city, and one of my favourite places to visit, is FoGuang Shan Monestry. It’s a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, and while it is a tourist attraction it’s never usually over crowded. While taking photos around the main hall I saw this monk. He was also snapping photos with his iPhone and asked us to help him take a photo, he then made his way toward the main hall providing me with this great photo opportunity.
Back in the city, a huge block of flats on YiXin Road caught my attention. The scale of the building and density of the housing reminded me of buildings in Hong Kong. I think these might be, or once were, government housing.
Summer is hot and humid in Kaohsiung, and can be unbearable sometimes. Luckily you can get some respite with a bowl of mango shaved-ice near the ferry terminal not from from Xiziwan station.
If Kaohsiung is famous for being sunny and humid, Taipei is famous for being rainy and humid. True to form when I visited early in the summer it was raining. We saw a group of tourists wearing yellow rain ponchos determined to make the most of it. This scene really stood out to me as it looks like some kind of ceremonious gathering of wise elders, when in reality they are discussing what fruit to buy.
In August, there was a massive gas pipeline explosion in Kaohsiung. Complete sections of road were destroyed for kilometres leaving large areas cut off. The explosion threw cars into buildings and caved in roads. The morning after the explosions I visited the site and posted photos of what I saw to Google+. This was my first effort into photojournalism.
Earlier in the year I visited the Beigang Chao-Tian Temple during celebrations. The temple and its surrounding area is perfect for photography. As I was making my way toward the temple a street vendor was making her way to middle of the old-street to set up her stall (which consisted of a few boxes tied to the back of her bike). She paused for a second and luckily a gap opened up in the crowd allowing me to take this photo.
It’s not always easy finding the motivation to go out and take photos, so I was happy when Kristopher Matheson invited me to take part in the 5 Day Photography challenge on Google+.
The photo below was my first submission for the challenge. I love cats so always try to photograph them. This particular cat didn’t run away when I approached, but just turned to look at me before continuing on. The photo was taken at an indoor market close to my flat, the same market where the recent street portrait I posted was taken.
Lastly, here’s a fun photo from the Pier 2 Art District. In the last year or so the abandoned warehouses close to Banana Pier have been turned into art galleries and art installations. It’s now one of my favourite places to visit in Kaohsiung.
Thanks to everyone for the support and discussion on Google+ and elsewhere. I wish you all the best in the new year and some great photos in 2015.