About Taiwan, FotoZon and lots of other stuff

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sweet September

As September draws to a close, I'm reminded of the many good times and big events that have happened during the month of September. In Taiwan, we celebrated the Moon Festival, and also remember with sadness the victims of 9.11 Terrorist Strike and also the 9.21 JiJi Earthquake. To me, September is always bittersweet, as the weather turns a little cooler and we're reminded of the sweet days of summer.

Moon Festival Barbecue
Moon Festival Party on the Street
I love this Taiwanese style of extending the living right out into the street. A lot of fun for relatives and friends alike. More Pictures of Moon Festival Barbecue

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random Image JavaScript Completed

Perhaps you noticed the random image to the Right - with its newly improved title and link that brings you to the picture so you can find it again? This is my latest and greatest invention. The "Random Image Wizard" can be used to create a specialized custom size and code for your web site or blog to display a random image from the FotoZon archives. Thanks to some javascript programming, there is now a link and title on the image, so instead of just seeing it once and wondering what the image is about, or where you can find it again, there's now a link and a title. I have more plans to roll out this new technology for FotoZon member's photo collections and also the Taiwan Picture.

Photo Generated by FotoZon Random Image Wizard

Friday, September 21, 2007

Feature Articles, Links and Reviews

I got Featured!

I'm a featured photographer on the Taiwan Photographer's Blog! If you haven't visited the site yet, go check it out and you will also see some other great photographers living in Taiwan - some of whom even take better pictures than I do ..

I've also published an article on the English in Taiwan Web Site about Shopping in Taiwan. If you haven't read this one either, go check it out too. It was sort of like a college term paper in which I actually did real research and took a bunch of pictures just for the article. I made a special black and white faded header for the story that did not get used, so I'm currently sporting it here on the FotoZon Blog. A special note of thanks to this web site for their early inclusion of my site on their Taiwan Business Partner Links page.

Another article is to be published soon on taiwan.com.au - Australia and Taiwan Web Site about the Taiwan Photo of the Day. The editor of the web site sent a wonderful list of questions about my web site and future plans that made me dig deep for the answers and think about the long range goals of my web site and what it stands for. As soon as I have the link of the published story, I'll publish it here.

All For Now,


Thursday, September 20, 2007

We Got Frames

I've noticed a lot of photographers like to use frames to show off their images and enhance them somewhat. They can be added to the image inside photo-shop or other image editing software.

In order to make FotoZon photo viewing pages even better, I added the option to add frames to all the pictures in the photo albums. There are three layers of frames, inner, middle and outer for those special effects. Eventually I'll use images for frames too. I also finished a cool little JavaScript control page to set up the frame options and see the results right away.. So if you want to use pink or whatever other color you like, you're all set!

Check it out on the Fotozon Members Foto View Configuration Page or if you haven't joined to create your own customized photo albums, now's a better time than ever. Recently I was re-organizing some of my family pictures because I discovered more on another camera and I found out what a lot of work it is with the little arrows so I finished an organization script that lets you move the pictures around in the arrangement you want, so there's no more messing around with the arrows.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fan Cleaning Day

Fan Cleaning Day!

It's fan cleaning day... Just as an example of how dirty the air can be over here in Taiwan, check out our fan! The dust and junk collects during the hot months due to the constant blowing of the fan during the hot months...

This has got to be the most boring post ever, so I will keep it short... notice the picture to the left with my reflection in the fan..

Every 2 or 3 months, I gather up all the fans in the house and unscrew them apart in order to clean all the inside parts and the grill to remove the dust. My wife has to sweep and mop the floor every few days. It's just the price you pay living in Taiwan.

End of most boring post ever... Next, I will post some exciting new developments in the Foto Zone web site for further customization of the photo viewing pages

The Fan in all its glorious filth.

After the fan was clean, I put it on a black T-shirt and snapped this picture.

All for now! End of most boring post ever...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Trip to National Aquarium

Aquarium Discovery ZoneAfter being scorched in the hot southern sun in Kenting, it was a welcome respite to go under water for a while at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium on the way out of town. It is one of the best aquariums I've been to, and the large fish tank is very impressive. There are several tubes to walk under the water and look out at the fish.

Besides the photos already on my web site:
Big Fish in the Tank Tubes Aquarium Whale Fountain

Here are a few others that are view worthy as well.
Inside the one of the tubes. I did not see any leaks.

The tubes from viewing window above. Note the people inside.

I thought these worms were impressive sticking their heads out
of the sand and looking like so many blades of sea-grass.

Taking Pictures and watching the fish

More people and fish.. I like the dark outlines...

On the way out of the main hall, there's a nice whale fountain
where the kids can splash around and also lots of over-priced
snacks and drinks.. It was soooo hot in the afternoon, I had to
buy a Mango Shave Ice. It was sure good...

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Beach

It's so wonderful to go visit the beach. It was so nice, we decided to stay one extra night, and I'm glad we did because the next day was superb for taking photos.
Sunset at the Beach

For this shot, I believe it was under-exposed by about -0.7 to darken up the foreground and bring out the subtle colors in the setting sun. The sun hadn't actually set yet, it was hiding behind some dark clouds. It seems rare in Taiwan to get those spectacular "Sky on Fire" shots after the sun dips below the horizon. So, these shots are equally as good and you get the nice silohuete of the people in front of the water. I've got one more to post from the same location with a row of umbrellas. I'll probably do some photo-shop work on it later this afternoon.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Owie Mommy!


It sure is tough getting old! Ok, I'm only in the mid-thirties, but I found out the hard way I should be more careful running around with the teenagers and 20 somethings playing basketball... Going for the ball almost at the curb, I stopped short and the ankle bent as the basketball shoes sucked themselves to the pavement. Unfortunately it bent much farther over than every before. Usually I can just walk off the sprains within a few minutes and maybe just quit for the day. But this one was different. The pain was intense, I laid sprawled out on the grass while one of the other players ran to the convenience store to buy a bag of ice.. Thanks very much to him, he also gave me a ride home later.

Laid Up
One thing about the health-care in Taiwan. While it can be a little dis-organized at times, it will not cost you an arm an a leg. The co-payment for x-rays, a hard formed splint, re-treatment, and anti-swelling pills alternates from 50NT to 100NT ( about $1.50 to $3.00 USD ) Noting this, I'm not afraid to go visit the doctor, and I think in this case it was definitely worth it. I usually shun doctors because of their ultra-high costs in US. It would be tough to swallow the cost of insurance as an independent contractor over there. Usually for a family of 4, it can be about $1,000 USD per month!

Well, having said all this, I think I will investigate another sport... Golf, Tennis, Swimming, Walking, you know, stuff for older people.. like myself. I will end on a positive note with a picture from our recent trip to Kenting in Southern Taiwan:

Boat Trip

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Ghost Month in Taichung

Burning Money
I had quite a wonderful time in Taichung taking some pictures of the Ghost Money burning during the ghost month of August~September. This particular shot is outside a KTV in Taichung, very near the Mitsukoshi Department store. If you notice a trend of a lot of pictures near the department store, it is no coincidence -- My Wife loves shopping!! Still, I had a great time with these guys and gals outside the KTV. There was even Ice Cream Served!

It always feels funny to me that the weather outside is sweltering hot, yet there are rows of burning ghost money all over the place. It makes the air even hotter and that much more unbearable. Check out this nice shot of the folks outside the KTV while they were packing up the Ghost Money:

Preparing Ghost Money Yeah
Ghost Money Burners