Looking out from my window

What am I seeing,hearing thinking right now? Well kind of excited to be involved in Worldwide Photo Walk project. Leading the walk here in Taichung, Taiwan. First time event is being represented in Taichung or Taiwan. There is another walk in Taipei being hosted by Craig of CF Images. Please contact either one of us if our location and event offer interest to you. Listening to some incredibly vital and inspiring music while I type this: David Murray-Gwotet. If you like music that makes you want to bounce and fall down and roll around all at the same time with waves of hot saxophones and Afro-beat rhythms-this is what the doctor ordered!

Praying hands When I see this image it hits me on 2 levels-the spiritual and lofty and the more mundane humorous-Praying Hands is  the title I chose for obvious reasons but the moment I did my mind went to Devo's zany "Praying Hands" song. Lord help me/us! In any case I think a person communing with their faith and deity is a precious thing and force.

Sandman seen Sleeping it off. We've all had moments where we were overwhelmed by circumstances or substances. This fellow chose the safety of this park bench to deal with his situation. All around him the sun was rising, people were exercising, doing TaiChi, selling vegetables, but he just "slept." May we all have the sleep of this man when it is needed.

Lily pond dreams I've walked by this spot in the nearby JiuShe Park a zillion times. This morning this spot cried out to me. The magic of the moment-I saw this spot like never before, especially the lovely bend to the manmade creek with all the pretty flowers gathering to greet me.

Dance water dance! All this red goodness is the gravy on this cute little girl's casual abandon surrendering to the joy of playing with founts of cool,wet water on a  hot early Summer day. Is there anything better? Where are your founts of cool water to refresh? Find them soon and relax for a minute. Listen to some nice music and take a journey-you'll appreciate the exercise. :D

Burnt Sugar

Burnt Sugar is an evocative name. I live near a coffee roaster and can tell you with the limited sugar content of the coffee beans it is already quite intoxicating when they're being roasted. The Burnt Sugar in question here is a different kind all together. It is the musical collective organized by Greg Tate-Village Voice journalist(that paper was the musical gold standard for what was cool and worth checking out in NYC when I was a young hipster in training there) and founding member of the Black Rock Coalition, which boasts members like Living Colour and Yohimbe Brothers guitarist-Vernon Reid.

Burnt Sugar's site describes themselves thusly:

 

BURNT SUGAR is a territory band, a neo-tribal thang, a community hang, a society music guild aspiring to the condition of all that is molten, glacial, racial, spacial, oceanic, mythic, antiphonal and telepathic.

Some of us play with Steve Coleman, some of us play in Rolling Stone cover bands, some have stints with Jeff Buckley, Gary Lucas and The The on their resumes, others can list James Blood Ulmer, The Holmes Brothers, Carl Hancock- Rux, Norah Jones, P-Funk, Sheryl Crow and Earthdriver. At least one of us is a graduate of The Actors Studio. Most are amazingly proficient and prolific composers and bandleaders in their own right. Post-Grunge to Post-Philly International to Post-Subotnick the flavors run. All take hats off to Miles Davis, Eddy Hazel, A.R. Kane, Sun Ra, Jimi Hendrix and the like for opening the gates and pushing us through.

If you like your music in eclectic forms where it touches you deeply and challenges you  simultaneously, and can accept rich cross genre styles morphing from jazz to soul to funk and back again then Burnt Sugar's Making Love to the Dark Ages is probably your cup of tea. It is hip, moody and brooding and has many fine musical elements that work well together -not just random bits crammed into the stew for effect. This is my first exposure to their music and they have several other albums which I'll definitely be checking out in the near future.

Romance…

Well Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian are called the Romance languages (Romantic languages or Neo-Latin languages)and the first non-English language I studied was Spanish. That was for practical reasons due to the large Hispanic population of my native New York City and later when living in Tucson 40 miles from the border of Mexico. I'd be remiss if I didn't confess a love and fascination for Latin America and the Latin countries of Europe as well. Maybe it's the big dark eyes or the heat,  or the wonderful food art and music,or the passion that people have for life: "Joie de vivre" or to coin an Iggy Pop song title-Lust For Life!

I've been both encouraged and inspired by viewing the images of some photo friends from these places and from their encouraging feedback  on my work. So let's just say we have good chemistry or a kindred spirit that is intuited through our art. Quite flattering to me when you consider the uber-rich artistic community that they grew up in and their many museums and iconic architecture; that they'd find my humble images interesting. I long to visit these places and believe one day I will. Would love to meet some of them and see some of what they've seen firsthand as I'm sure many of them would like to visit places from my life: NYC, Tucson and Taiwan.Quite incensed! Here is an image that I frequently see in countless temples throughout Taiwan. This temple is one of the biggest and wealthiest (temples have an association that does fund-raising but are not part of larger organized religion,  hyper-local to a given neighborhood) in the central Taiwan city of Taichung. My reason for liking this one is they have some of the less common golden-yellow lanterns throughout their space.

Reflecting on lenses What do you see when you see something? redundant, but not a trick question. So, what do you see? I knew I'd shoot this shot before leaving my house that day. Didn't know it'd turn out this well. Very meta but I'm far more in love with what was in the reflection than what was in the main image. Wait I love the images inside the images and... OK what do you see?

A bite better than a nibble So many people that visit Taiwan will rave about the food-how good and fresh it is. I'd have to agree overall even though we eat at homemuch more than outside. Taiwan's selection of fresh fruits and vegetables is abundant and markets are everyewhere. Shopping daily is convenient and colorful. This food stand is in one of Taichung's oldest markets:#2 Market. Nice looking Japanese food shop-will have to try sometime.

Thinking beauty... Sometimes you spot a face in the crowd ever so slightly. You take the shot and when you open to edit you discover like a present on Christmas day what you really have and feel the great joy and wonderment.

I feel mysterious today

Sometimes when I'm shooting photographs I feel elated by the element of discovery some magic bright moment captured on film memory chip for digital posterity's sake. However, when in the edit mode where everything is within the computer, a little tiny world primarily under my control I feel a sense of mystery in the editing process. There are many more choices here. This isn't like driving a car-straight, left, right. The levels and sliders of the software controls allow a much deeper range of micro-adjustment. Sometimes the results are great sometimes less so. Musical inspiration for this post is Wire-I Feel Mysterious Today.ZZZzzzing...ouT! When this old woman was observed in this position I knew I had a great shot. The response on flickr was great right off. I knew my only task in post-edit was to portray her essence. A moment of fatigue in the course of her day as early-rising vegetable vendor. Some people ask me if I feel funny or wrong about taking people's pictures. My response is no because I know I'll try to present them in a way that their beauty can be observed. Everyone has that beauty, an artist should try to present that.

7th Inning already? The wonder and magic of people. A gesture a look a reflex captured at just the right time or hopefully in right way. The animus of people is quite fascinating. Movement provided by the breath of God...

Time to eat... Making the mundane things like taking a lunch break at a noodle stand into an image that is archived and shared electronically over the digital grid for some to smile, gasp, shake their heads, nod in approval, deride....

Another Red World People from the Red World should never be taken lightly! It seems like one of my missions living in Taiwan with camera in hand is to capture all the red energy emitted here. Random thought-my name Mark is derived from Mars the god of war, the namesake of the planet. Anyway, red doesn't scare me...

Aphorism

noun
aphorism, a statement of some general principle, expressed memorably by condensing much wisdom into few words: ‘Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth’ (Wilde); ‘The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom’ (Blake). Aphorisms often take the form of a definition: ‘Hypocrisy is a homage paid by vice to virtue’ (La Rochefoucauld). An author who composes aphorisms is an aphorist.

A usually pithy and familiar statement expressing an observation or principle generally accepted as wise or true: adage, byword, maxim, motto, proverb, saw, saying.

Is Twitter the coliseum of days past where aphoristic gladiators train and do battle?

...put all your eggs in... Sometimes you have to break eggs to make omelettes. Are your eggss scrambled, sunny-side up, runny, hard-boiled, rotten?

An apple a day ... An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Is your mind healthy and polished or is it more like  apple sauce? What is at the core?

Standing out while scooting... If wishes were horses we'd all ride. What is holding you back from riding instead of trudging? Need a horse, better saddle, riding lessons, more hay?

Outside looking in... Birds of a feather flock together. So what's up with him then? Do you do better at flying solo or in a flock? Your ducks in a row?

Today I'm the guy with the answers masked as questions, someday I'll be the guy with answers marked down ready for a sidewalk sale.

Prescience

Definition:

Knowledge of actions or events before they occur; foresight.
Unusual or creative discernment or perception: farsightedness, foresight,vision.

Related (or random) thread: Brian Eno's Before and After Science one of my favorite musical works (dare I say album?).  He was a great musical visionary having a major hand in shaping the foundations for world , ambient  and electronica music forms.

Such a clown! I am both a  genius full of prescience and sensitivity and a clown waiting to trip over it's over-sized feat feet. I can accept that. Just don't ever want to be a bore! Dullness is death for me.

What waits behind the door? I allow people glimpses into my life even though I am an open book. Do I have any control over what they see and for how long they look?

Bus stop chopped We are all waiting for something. The question is, "What are we waiting for?" Was it worth the wait? Was it more than you bargained for? Can you get a refund if you're not happy?

Dragon on my balcony Do you have dragons or other mythical/virtual/actual creatures as your muse or to support your ideas? What is your muse? What do you rely on to inspire the creative impulse? Is it formulaic or spontaneous?

Sharing some link love…

Incensed...

In photography the higher you move up the food chain the more you'll encounter snobbery and camera/lens nazis... However you also encounter some really cool talented photographers that have a sense of community. Damien Franco of Your Photo Tips is just such an individual. The post where I was mentioned included the work of 69 other photographers (add pun in the background if you must) and I will spend time checking them out too. Damian's work is quite good and he is quite frequently hanging out on Twitter conversing too. Just returning some love to a guy that is trying to do some good things because that's the way I roll!

Resonate

Resonate

v.-nat·ed-nat·ing-nates.

v.intr.

  1. To exhibit or produce resonance or resonant effects.
  2. To evoke a feeling of shared emotion or belief: “It is a demonology [that] seems to resonate among secular and religious voters alike” (Tamar Jacoby).
  3. To correspond closely or harmoniously: “Symbolism matters, especially if the symbols resonate with the larger message” (William Greider).

v.tr.

To cause to resound.

You gonna catch up?After a lead in  like that I should go with something strong. This was from a trip down to ChienKuo Market, the main market area in Taichung close by the main train and bus stations, at the heart of the old city. Got lucky with the way the editing came together. This image resonates with me as does my good friend in it.

Strolling in the arcadeNot far from there is the old Computer/Electronics Alley which I still prefer over the newer,shinier Nova indoor mall. Maybe because I prefer outdoor shops to indoor ones or maybe just like the old school free wheelingness of this place it resonates! Driving scooter up to door of most shops is cool too. 

Man in the shadowsNot far from the train station I spotted this fellow going into this dark space. Something resonated with me like from an old movie or a detective novel. Here is how I interpreted that impression with the image captured.

Taichung ViceRecently I was driving around looking for good night shots. This row of new luxury apartments/condos just had that special feeling. Kind of like Miami Vice in Taichung slick modern kind of feeling. I like the bunch of glowing eyes in the darkness flavor too.