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Growing up, I took only a mild interest in my family’s history. As second-generation Chinese-Americans, my brothers and I knew the basics of how our parents’ parents had carved out their space in the U.S., but we weren’t pressured too hard to go into engineering, finance or law. (There was some pressure, but I did become a journalist and my parents still love me.) We didn’t speak Chinese at home, but my mom passed on the important lessons — remove your shoes when you enter a home, top off others’ teacups before refilling your own, education comes first — and we still got red envelopes on Lunar New Year.

But over the past couple of years, I’ve begun asserting my identity as a Chinese-American. Maybe it’s because I see my young niece and nephew and I wonder how I’ll pass on my heritage to my rhetorical children. Maybe it’s because I regret the error of my flippant childhood/adolescent/young adult attempts at pretending — or hoping — I wasn’t any different than the people I went to school with. Maybe it’s because I know my parents, uncles and one remaining grandparent aren’t getting any younger and there remain untold stories that I want to hear, but I don’t know enough to ask.

Perhaps it’s because I have a belatedly newfound appreciation for the challenges and struggles immigrants face, no matter when they came to the U.S., and I am proud of what my family has accomplished in spite of the obstacles that were strewn across their paths.

So, lately, I’ve taken a greater interest in my family’s history. A couple months ago, I got to join my grandmother on the most personal, once-in-a-lifetime trip I can imagine taking. When I haven’t been working on my print shop or moving across town or traveling once again, I’ve been culling and editing the film I shot in China with my grandmother. I finally finished going through it last night. And I apologize if this just makes me a massive jerk, but there are a few more things I need to do before I can share the film here or anywhere.

But I’m really excited.

So, in the meantime, I’m just going to share a couple photos I took in May of my dad’s home in San Francisco Chinatown, where he and my grandparents and uncle lived when they first came to the States in the 1960s.

© 2016. Near San Francisco Chinatown. Saturday, May 6, 2017. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

I’m sorry I’m a jerk.

The film will come.

© 2016. Near San Francisco Chinatown. Saturday, May 6, 2017. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

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When we travel abroad, we’re fascinated by the familiar. For Jeff, this often means fast food chains with a “local” twist; for me, plant life that I didn’t expect to encounter on another continent.

Such as California redwood trees.

© 2016. Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

If you drive about 5-10 minutes out of the city of Rotorua in New Zealand’s South Island, past some homes and warehouses and auto shops, you’ll come to Whakarewarewa Forest. There’s a visitors center, an extensive web of trails in constant use by runners, walkers, cyclists and horseback riders… and a stand of California redwoods.

Among other native and exotic plant life, as well.

We visited Whakarewarewa in the late afternoon, as the trails swelled with after-work users. But no matter how long we had to wait, on occasion, for the trails to clear enough for us to get people-less photos, the forest never felt crowded.

What a beautiful, and priceless, resource.

© 2016. Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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We live in a very strange, very beautiful world. Take, for instance, Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley.

© 2016. Frying Pan Lake in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

The valley, formed in 1886 after a volcanic eruption outside of Rotorua, is now a tourist attraction that markets itself as the world’s youngest geothermal system. Frying Pan Lake, one of the more famous features, averages a temperature of 131° Fahrenheit, resulting in a steaming surface, and has a pH of 3.5. But amid the geysers and hot springs and extremely acidic waters is an abundance of vegetation and microorganisms that repopulated the valley after the eruption.

© 2016. Frying Pan Lake in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Frying Pan Lake in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Hot Water Creek and Springs in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Cathedral Rocks and Frying Pan Lake in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Hot Water Creek and Springs in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Hot Water Creek and Springs in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Bird’s Nest Spring in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Inferno Crater Lake in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Mt Haszard hiking trail in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Warbrick Terrace in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Warbrick Terrace in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Warbrick Terrace in Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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Our first morning in New Zealand, we got to be the early bird who were handed lemons and made lemonade.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

Our first day in New Zealand gave us a good preview in the temperamental weather patterns we’d experience for the rest of the trip: Widespread cloud cover would give way to brilliant sunshine, only for a quick and cold rain shower to emerge out of nowhere, and vice-versa.

Our second day was much of the same. We left Auckland early enough to laugh at the morning radio hosts fretting over why Angelina didn’t invite Brad for Thanksgiving and arrived at Hahei Beach for an 8:45 a.m. sea kayak tour to Cathedral Cove. The sky was blue, the water was clear and we were ready to go.

But the winds were unusually strong, so the tour guide canceled the tour for safety. Undeterred, we drove to a half-full public access lot and hiked to Cathedral Cove instead.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

When we arrived, there were maybe a dozen other people on the entire beach, and it almost felt like we had the place to ourselves. We left our sandals on a tree trunk near the trail and began exploring. It was a gorgeous morning, and life was good.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

By the time we left, an hour later, the beach was fuller and we encountered more people on the trail that took us back to the now-full parking lot. I’m not sure when we would have arrived at the beach had we kayaked from Hahei, but as disappointing as it was to have that tour canceled, I’m pretty okay with the way things worked out.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cathedral Cove Marine Preserve in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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“I have crossed many mountains and many rivers, and trodden many plains, even into the far countries of Rhûn and Harad where the stars are strange.”
— Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

For our much-belated honeymoon, Jeff and I crossed the equator for the first time and spent two weeks in New Zealand, where we hiked a glacier, walked through a redwood forest, explored the world’s youngest geothermal system, cruised a fiord Rudyard Kipling called the eighth Wonder of the World and, of course visited the Hobbiton Movie Set.

It was all Jeff’s fault.

When we were floating ideas for a honeymoon, I wasn’t sure how big we could or should go. There are plenty of places in the U.S. I’d love to see for the first time or revisit. But when he suggested Middle-earth, there was no looking back.

So, a year and a half after our wedding, we found ourselves in Auckland, jet-lagged but high on adrenaline, as we navigated highways, roundabouts and Christmas parade road closures while driving on the “wrong” side of the road. Once we unloaded bags and took a quick shower at the hotel, we immediately went out again, eager to explore and not waste a minute of our long-expected journey.

© 2016. St Kevin’s Arcade, at the start of a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. St Kevin’s Arcade, at the start of a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. St Kevin’s Arcade, at the start of a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The walk to Myers Park from St Kevin’s Arcade, part of a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The walk to Myers Park from St Kevin’s Arcade, part of a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Edwardian-era Queen Street Shops, dating to 1909, part of a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Women’s Suffrage Memorial mural, depicting Amey Daldy, Anne Ward, Lizzie Frost, Matilda Allsopp, Elisabeth Yates, Annie Jane Schnackenberg, Fanny Brown and Ida B. Wells, in Te Hā o Hine / Khartoum Place, as seen on a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Vulcan Lane, as seen on a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Auckland harbor, as seen on a self-guided walking tour through Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Sheep and the Auckland cityscape, as seen from One Tree Hill Domain in Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Cornwall Park in Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Sheep graze in Cornwall Park in Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Cornwall Park, as seen from One Tree Hill Domain in Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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I’m pleased to announce I have opened an online storefront for my travel film photography!

I work full-time as a newspaper photographer, but keep things fresh by shooting film. Film isn’t “just” a novelty — thanks to a beloved mentor and friend, it’s how I fell in love with photography and why I switched my journalism school emphasis from reporting to photojournalism. It’s what I shoot when I travel, stateside or abroad. It forces me to slow down, makes me consider everything that goes into a single frame, gives me a physical, tangible thing. It brings me joy.

Over the past two years, in large part thanks to an online workshop I joined, I’ve been shooting more film that I’ve shared here and on Instagram. Friends and strangers have asked how they can purchase prints. For a long time, I had no good answer.

Now, I’m excited to have an answer and to share my joy. A selection of the film photography I’ve shared on my blog is available for purchase at http://prints.christhedunn.com. More photos from more adventures will be made available as they are ready.

Photographs are meant to be seen and shared. They were never meant to sit in a hard drive, on a smartphone or even in a binder, seen only if someone knows they’re already there or stumbles upon them by accident. When displayed, photographs instantly bring walls to life, brighten up shelves and tell viewers a story. When printed and treated with care, photographs can last more than a lifetime.

Please take a few moments to browse my print shop, and don’t forget to check back every now and again! I have so much more film, and so much more joy, to share in the months to come.

I am proud to partner with Musea Lab, a Tennessee small business dedicated to ensuring the highest-quality photographic prints possible.

I’d like to thank my friends and family who’ve encouraged and advised me through the months of getting everything ready, as well as my FIND in a Box family for cheering me on the entire time. Special thanks to Jeff, who of course has been there every step of the way.

© 2016 by Jeff Lautenberger.

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When we visited California earlier this spring, I was fascinated by the trees.

“I like that tree,” I’d tell Jeff. A minute later, I’d see another: “Oh, that one’s nice.”

It wasn’t just trees, though. I loved the flowers, the succulents, the plants that flourished in tidily maintained spaces and those that found life on bare rock faces and in the sand.

When we returned to California this fall, that same fascination arose, as well as the same, often one-sided conversations.

“That succulent is really nice. Did you see that tree, and its bark?”

We spent our last full afternoon in California in Carmel-by-the-Sea, a seaside town known for its fairytale-like cottages and storybook-like village center. It was utterly charming, but it just so happens the only pictures I made there were at two very different churches — and their respective gardens.

First up, San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission, otherwise known as the Carmel Mission.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

Then, we happened to pass by a smaller church whose garden — open to the public — was pure joy.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

That’s it for my fall California film — but rest assured, there’s a boatload of New Zealand film at the lab this very minute!

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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When Jeff and I spent an all-too-brief weekend in Monterey, Calif., with my brother Matt and his family, touring the Monterey Peninsula’s 17-Mile Drive was a very last-minute decision. I’d previously read briefly about the drive, which navigates private neighborhoods, upscale golf courses and the Pacific coastline, but wasn’t quite sold on the idea until about 30 minutes into it. To everybody’s surprise, driving the 17 miles ended up taking several hours because there were so many beautiful stops along the way, and turned out to be a magnificent way to spend almost the entirety of a beautiful, late October morning.

We started our drive at the Highway 1 gate, where the toll guard handed us a brochure with descriptions of 21 designated points of interest. First up were Shepherd’s Knoll and Huckleberry Hill in the Del Monte Forest:

© 2016. Morning fog in the Del Monte Forest on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morning fog in the Del Monte Forest on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Del Monte Forest, as seen from the Shepherd's Knoll vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Del Monte Forest, as seen from the Shepherd’s Knoll vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Huckleberry bushes on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Huckleberry bushes on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

After we meandered back down toward sea level, the views suddenly changed:

© 2016. The Restless Sea vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

After you pass the Inn & Links at Spanish Bay, the drive follows the Pacific coast through to the end. While much of the actual coastline is rocky and off-limits to visitors, Spanish Bay was a beautiful beach with picnic tables and wooden boardwalks.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

After Spanish Bay, many of the points of interest began to blend in together, as the coastline became rockier.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Golfers tee off at the 14th hole of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Dune Course near Point Joe alongside 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Golfers tee off at the 14th hole of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Dune Course near Point Joe alongside 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. A flock of birds over the Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. A flock of birds over the Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Pescadero Point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Pescadero Point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

So many views on 17-Mile Drive were breathtaking, and well worth the $10-per-vehicle toll. We took our time going through it on a Monday morning, and never felt crowded at the stopping points except at Bird Rock. Golf enthusiasts may enjoy getting the chance to pass through at least six different golf courses on the drive, while bird watchers have several points at which they can observe various shorebirds.

© 2016. The Lone Cypress on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Lone Cypress on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

And for two photographers and the parents of two young, walking children? The drive was a great way to kill a few hours and burn through a couple of rolls of film.

More California/Carmel-by-the-Sea film coming up, soon!

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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Jeff and I won’t see my family for Christmas this year, so when we found super-cheap roundtrip flights to Los Angeles, we immediately arranged a somewhat impromptu trip to meet my brother Matt and his family in Monterey at the end of October.

On our way from LAX to Monterey, Jeff and I stopped at Morro Bay just as the sun was sinking into the clouds over the horizon.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

We met up with Matt, Emily, Layla and Henry in Monterey, where we shared a big hotel suite for the weekend, and the next morning we all piled into a minivan to Big Sur. From there, we’d work our way back up north on Highway 1.

© 2016. Layla at Lucia Lodge off Highway 1 on Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Layla at Lucia Lodge off Highway 1 on Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Big Sur in Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Big Sur in Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

On the drive down to our southernmost point of the trip, the weather was gnarly — once, we pulled over so I could look at a vista, and my hair blew out sideways in the pelting rain as soon as I opened the car door. So we took a long, leisurely lunch in Lucia before heading back north. Fortunately, this tactic paid off at the very, very end.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Layla and the bubbles at Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Layla and the bubbles at Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. View from McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. View from McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

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Last month, Jeff and I took a two-day trip north to Corning, N.Y. After we made our own glass at the Corning Museum of Glass, Jeff surprised me with an afternoon excursion Watkins Glen State Park, which is famous for its sheer river gorge that features 19 different waterfalls. Had I known we’d be exploring the gorge, I wouldn’t have brought my Mamiya C220, which shoots square frames, but here are some of the pictures I made:

© 2016. The Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. The Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Portra 400+1, Mamiya C220.

The next afternoon on our way back to York, we took a detour to visit Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Jeff had been billing it as “the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” (to be fair, many others refer to it as such), but when we arrived just before sunset, I felt a little let down. The fall foliage couldn’t be beat…

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

…but after exploring the Watkins Glen gorge and having visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona as well as Palo Duro Canyon in northern Texas, I couldn’t see anything canyon-esque about Pine Creek Gorge.

It’s a very nice river valley, though.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

© 2016. Pine Creek Gorge in northern Pennsylvania. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Portra 400, Mamiya C220.

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As I wrote in my first Taiwan blog post, the point of the trip was to surprise my grandma for her birthday. When we weren’t exploring different parts of Taipei, we spent time with my grandma, which often involved meals, which frequently included her circle of friends.

The biggest meal was a birthday lunch hosted at a Neihu District restaurant by three of my grandma’s oldest friends whose husbands had all served in the Republic of China’s Navy with my grandpa in World War II. The husbands have died after enjoying decades of friendship, but their widows are still close friends. It was certainly the most lively meal we had in Taiwan, with a lot of delightful banter that I couldn’t understand but still enjoyed.

After the meal, I took portraits of each of the women, as well as my grandma, outside the restaurant:

© 2016. After Grandma's birthday lunch with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. After Grandma’s birthday lunch with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. After Grandma's birthday lunch in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. After Grandma’s birthday lunch with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. After Grandma's birthday lunch with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. After Grandma’s birthday lunch with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Grandma, after her birthday lunch with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Grandma, after her birthday lunch with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Grandma (far left) with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Grandma (far left) with friends in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

Then, the women parted ways, either by taxi or subway:

© 2016. Grandma says farewell to a departing friend who boarded her taxi, in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Grandma says farewell to a departing friend who boarded her taxi, in Neihu District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Grandma on the subway out of Neihu Station. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Grandma on the subway out of Neihu Station. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

Growing up, my brothers and I would see our grandparents every Sunday for dinner, but I’d never spent much time with my grandma until this trip to see her in Taiwan. It was really lovely getting to learn more about her life and character as we sat together for breakfast every morning, and to meet so many of her friends throughout the week. It was also very special to me, as a photographer, to get to photograph my grandma in her own country, on film. I only wish we’d been able to do this sooner, and that we might be able to do it again in the near future.

That’s the last of my Taiwan blog posts (until I visit again?!). Here’s a quick rundown of the previous ones, if you happened to miss any:

  1. Welcome back, Grandma
  2. Da’an District
  3. Xinyi District
  4. Guandu Temple and Beitou District
  5. Huiji Temple on Zhishan
  6. Taipei by night
  7. Spirited away in Jiufen
  8. Jiufen by night
  9. Lungshan Temple of Manka
  10. Bopiliao Old Street
  11. Maokong Gondola
  12. National Palace Museum
  13. Day market
  14. Night markets

 

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As I wrote before, the first thing you’ll hear about when planning a trip to Taipei is the night markets — and for good reason.

© 2016. Lin Jiang Street Night Market in Da'an District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Lin Jiang Street Night Market in Da’an District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market, in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market, in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

Night markets are street markets that begin operating just before sundown and close late at night. Many began as a collection of goods and food vendors clustered around temples, and now tourists and locals alike can choose from the larger, destination night markets as well as the more suburban, lesser-known, localized night markets. We visited both large and small night markets. Regardless of size, you’ll usually find that stores facing the street will fling their doors open to sell household goods or clothes, while food vendors will crowd the sidewalks and the middle of the street to hawk their xiaochi, the snacky foods at which Taiwan excels.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market, in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market, in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

Shilin Night Market is one of the largest in Taiwan, and even featured carnival-like games on one edge of its expanse. There’s also an underground food court area that’s almost as crowded as the street level. At one point, I asked my uncle Doug whether Taiwanese locals go to night markets, or if we were just surrounded by fellow tourists. He said night markets attract both — it’s a social thing to do, and the food is so cheap and easy to share.

Unfortunately for me, by the time we arrived at night markets at the end of the day, Taiwan’s oppressive humidity had sapped much of my hunger and appetite. The snacks I did try were delicious, though, and there was no shortage of food options. Night markets, especially the larger ones, can be overwhelming due to the sheer number of vendors, pedestrians and bright lights, but I think we succeeded in trying the foods we’d wanted to, and in immersing ourselves a bit in Taiwanese culture.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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One of my favorite things about my grandma’s apartment in the Da’an District of Taipei is that it’s only a short walk away from a market (specifically, the market shown in the second photo of this blog post). Like older market houses in the U.S., this one features licensed vendors selling a variety of items from their stalls, ranging from fresh produce to raw meat to prepared foods to household goods. I can’t imagine many of the stalls would pass USDA regulations for food safety, but everything looked and smelled so good. Here are just a few photos, taken on a morning when my grandma and uncle Doug walked over to pick up some items for breakfast.

© 2016. A butcher in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da'an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. A butcher in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da’an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Fresh-made dumplings in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da'an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Fresh-made dumplings in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da’an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Fresh squids in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da'an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Fresh squids in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da’an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. A vendor greeting my grandma and uncle Doug in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da'an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. A vendor greeting my grandma and uncle Doug in 台北市公有成功市場 in Da’an District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

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For the first half of our week in Taipei, we debated whether to visit the National Palace Museum. The cons: It’s like the Met of Taipei, except more epic, so it teems with tourists. The pros: It’s like the Met of Taipei, except more epic, so you kinda need to go.

© 2016. National Palace Museum in Shilin District. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. National Palace Museum in Shilin District. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

Located in the Shilin District, the museum’s collection of almost 700,000 Chinese imperial art and artifacts spanning about 10,000 years of Chinese history. It’s not without its own controversy: The collection was originally housed and displayed in Beijing, until the 1930s when Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek ordered that the most valuable pieces be evacuated ahead of the advancement of the Japanese Imperial Army. The collection continued to be moved around until the surrender of Japan in 1945. Three years later, the museum again evacuated the most valuable pieces, this time to Taiwan, before the Communist army seized control of the museum.

The People’s Republic of China claims the collection currently in Taiwan was stolen and actually belongs in China, but the Republic of China (Taiwan) has used the art and artifacts to bolster its claim to legitimacy because those items would likely have been destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in the mainland.

In the end, Jeff and I visited the museum by ourselves, going through almost every exhibit, relishing the air conditioning and trying to stay ahead of the traffic clogs that were the official tour groups of Japanese and Chinese tourists. We also visited the Zhishan Garden that’s outside the museum, but it was raining pretty hard, so I didn’t take any photos.

© 2016. Gateway to the National Palace Museum, facing the street and apartment buildings, in Shilin District. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Gateway to the National Palace Museum, facing the street and apartment buildings, in Shilin District. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

I’m glad we made the decision to go, as disappointing as it was to learn that the museum’s most beloved pieces — the jadeite cabbage and the meat-shaped stone (literally, a piece of jadeite carved to resemble a head of cabbage and a piece of jasper carved and colored to resemble braised pork belly) — were temporarily being displayed elsewhere. I’m much more familiar with European and American art, so it was refreshing to learn more about Chinese art and history.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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Probably the most touristy thing we did during our week in Taipei was the Maokong Gondola.

© 2016. Maokong Gondola in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Maokong Gondola in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

The gondola lift system is actually part of Taipei’s MRT subway system. The line runs between the Taipei Zoo and the Maokong stations, with a total of four gondola stations on the line. Maokong itself is in area in Wenshan District, the southernmost of Taipei’s twelve districts, and is known for its tea plantations and mountainside views. The gondola itself is also much of the attraction.

© 2016. Maokong Gondola in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Maokong Gondola in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

We did take a trail to a temple that offered gorgeous views of Taipei — but by then, it was dusk and I didn’t have a tripod for my heavy Pentax 6×7. So, here’s my Instagram from that temple…

© 2016. View from Zhangsan Temple (樟山寺) in Wenshan District. Phone photo.

© 2016. View from Zhangsan Temple (樟山寺) in Wenshan District. Phone photo.

…and here’s a view of Taipei from another road earlier in the day:

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Maokong in Wenshan District. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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Taipei isn’t all gleaming new buildings and cosmopolitan districts. Just a short walk from Lungshan Temple of Manka in Wanhua District is Bopiliao Old Street, a historical street and adjacent buildings that date back to the late 18th century.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

Bopiliao is one of the oldest and most well-preserved historical areas in Taipei. While many rooms are empty, some serve as art gallery spaces and others are dedicated to an interactive museum that compares facets of modern and “ancient” Taiwan culture.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

The abundance of brick and natural growth — as well as the absence of bright signs, fluorescent lights, street vendors and vehicle traffic — make Bopiliao a popular spot for photo shoots, as you can see in the final photo in this post.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Bopiliao Old Street in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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Of the three temples we visited in Taipei, Lungshan Temple of Manka (also spelled “Longshan”) was by far the most popular. Built in 1738, it’s been partially destroyed by earthquakes, fires and WWII American bombers over the years, but was always rebuilt and renovated. The temple is located in Wanhua District, a fairly historic part of the city, and is right across the street from its own MRT station, which I’m sure contributes to its popularity among locals and tourists.

© 2016. Lunghsan Temple of Manka, right up against a more modern glass-paneled building. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Lunghsan Temple of Manka, right up against a more modern glass-paneled building. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

The other two temples we’d visited (Guandu and Huiji) are lesser-known and less-traveled, perhaps because they’re located so far from central Taipei and are a longer walk from MRT stations. I felt like I needed to tread carefully there, since we were the only obvious tourists at those temples.

Lungshan Temple was the complete opposite. While there were many worshippers and faithful paying their respects, it seemed like their numbers were almost matched by Western tourists. We saw a few sultry photo shoots, as well as a guy operating a Steadicam-esque setup. To top it off, we recently watched the season premiere of Fresh Off the Boat, in which the Huang family visited Taiwan for a wedding — and the bride was a model working a shoot at Lungshan Temple.

I’m glad Lungshan wasn’t the only temple we visited, but that doesn’t take away from the experience of visiting it.

© 2016. Fruit and flowers on the tables at Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Fruit and flowers on the tables at Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Lungshan Temple of Manka. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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Jiufen is magical.

© 2016. In the courtyard at very bottom of the famous Jiufen stairs. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. In the courtyard at the bottom of the famous Jiufen stairs. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

So is CineStill 800T.

© 2016. Inside the upper tea room of Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Inside the upper tea room of Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. A collection of pottery, teapots and other items at Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. A collection of pottery, teapots and other items at Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Looking up the famous Jiufen steps. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Looking up the famous Jiufen steps. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Jiufen Old Street, after the vendors closed for the night. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Jiufen Old Street, after the vendors closed for the night. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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If you take the 1062 bus out of Taipei and are lulled to sleep by the the winding, hour-long ride, you’ll wake up in the charming mining town of Jiufen.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Jiufen Old Street in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Jiufen Old Street in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

Located on the northeastern shoulder of Taiwan, Jiufen was a mining town whose gold rush began in the 1890s and declined after World War II. After a 1989 movie, City of Sadness, was filmed in Jiufen, interest in the town was renewed, and it’s since been a popular tourist attraction. Rumors that its architecture was the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away make Jiufen particularly appealing to Japanese tourists.

Famous for its narrow, winding streets lined with shops, its wide array of tea houses and food stalls and its vast views of both Taiwan and the ocean, Jiufen was a great day trip out of Taipei, even if it was a little more touristy and less historical than I’d hoped.

© 2016. A restaurant in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. A restaurant in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. A Mei Tea House in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. A Mei Tea House in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

It was extremely overcast, even foggy, the entire day. We hoped the skies would clear for us to get the iconic shot of the A Mei Tea House (above) with all the paper lanterns lit up at dusk. But some strange combination of the higher elevation, the ocean gusts and the mountain terrain kept the clouds lingering directly over Jiufen, even as the sun was shining on the bay several miles away. It was pretty disappointing, especially since I’d been looking forward to making that photo.

For the rest of the week in Taipei, whenever it was overcast or drizzly (which was every day), we’d sigh, “It’s probably sunny in Jiufen.”

© 2016. A Mei Tea House in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. A Mei Tea House in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. A small temple in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. A small temple in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Jiufen in Ruifang District. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. One of the many, many cats we saw roaming the streets of Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. One of the many, many cats we saw roaming the streets of Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

After wandering the outskirts of Jiufen, we returned to the main stretch, where again the weather disappointed us. Unfazed, my uncle Doug led us down the famous Jiufen stone steps, through a short, narrow tunnel and to Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯), where he educated Jeff and me a bit on Chinese tea culture.

© 2016. Menu board at Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Menu board at Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

We also had a killer view from our window seat:

© 2016. View from Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. View from Yu Zai Fan Shu Tea Stall (九份芋頭蕃薯) in Jiufen. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Portra 400+2, Pentax 6×7.

After drinking so much high mountain tea that the insides of my mouth turned dry and puckery, we left to roam the streets of Jiufen once more. I’ll have CineStill photos from Jiufen in my next blog post.

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Analog: Taipei by night

When you’re planning to visit Taiwan, the first thing anyone talks about is night markets. I’ll have an entire blog post dedicated to night markets later, but suffice it to say that Taipei has a pretty active night life, and I knew early on that I’d want to capture that on film.

Some quick research introduced me to CineStill, which reworks ECN-2 motion picture film so it can be shot and processed for C-41. They’re working on production of medium-format film, but for now, only 35mm is available. It’s not a perfect film — it’s particularly known for halation — but I loved the examples of urban night photography I’d seen, and wanted to give it a try. Thanks to a Canon EOS A2 loan from Tyler Rippel, via FIND in a BOX, I was able to shoot CineStill in Taiwan.

Honestly, it was nerve-wracking for me to use new-to-me film with a new-to-me camera at night in a country I may never be able to visit again. But I trusted my light meter and went for it. The results certainly aren’t perfect — they’re gritty, grainy and grungy — but that’s exactly what I wanted. Here are a few photos from our nocturnal wanderings, with more to come:

© 2016. Xinyi District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Xinyi District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Xinyi District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Xinyi District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Xinyi District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Xinyi District. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. CineStill 800T +2, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

© 2016. Ximending in Wanhua District. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. CineStill 800T +1, Canon EOS A2.

 


A selection of these photos can be purchased as prints at prints.christhedunn.com.

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