Hands Full, Bowl: Not so Much

Confession-I'm a bit of a Buddhist monk/nun junkie when it comes to photography subjects. Even though I've been here for over 20 something years there is still something about their silhouette that appeals to my eye. Yes the robe colors can be very attractive but it goes way beyond that for me. Perhaps, it is a very visibly Asian signature in a modern Asia where traditional Asian clothing is less and less common. I think nowadays, they need to wear government approved ID card for public alms collecting(you can see hanging on neck).

A magical piece of music that always sounds fresh to me: Terry Riley:Rainbow in Curved Air


Looking at this photo from Taipei MRT it reminds me that my mom had to endure daily commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the subway system often packed to the rafters and un-air conditioned. Me not so much. I know she doesn't miss that aspect of former NYC life at all. Taipei MRT lines are air conditioned and have really added to the quality of commuting in and around Taipei. I was just commenting to a friend the other day that we truly live in the future-my point of reflection was how common it is for me to see people with led glow face at night because they are glued to their smart phones or tablets while walking. Like something out of Blade Runner.

Vangelis-Blade Runner(Esper Edition)


Tamshui is probably my 2nd favorite spot in the Taipei area. It reminds me a little bit of Greenwhich Village or Sausalito in terms of the vibe. Each of those 3 places is completely different and GV and Sausalito probably closer to each other but the three all have a sense of independence or detachment from the immediate surrounding area. Kind of lighter than air and warm for lack of better tangible words.

The shot was taken on a nice family trip weekend. The family was still sleeping while I was up clicking at the crack of dawn...what else is new. If it ain't broke don't fix it , right? :D

Colored Discs

This was shot on recent day trip to Taipei to meet a visiting friend. The outer ring of the LungShan Temple is always bustling with a lot of middle-aged and older men playing Chinese chess. Others are sleeping or panhandling. This area seems to have almost a Lourdes-like attraction for the Taiwanese especially those less fortunate. This is also part of my Hands Speak series on G+.

Smoke and Fire From Desire

This day at the Taipei LungShan Temple was so busy and filled with colors, sounds(from chanting and little cymbals and gongs), smells: the incense and the city itself, and fire from the blood red candles. Should have complete info up for first photo tour early next month. If you have any family or friends that would like to join, or colleagues at your company let us know. We can always customize. Giving that special hands on service is what we're all about and one of the many things that set us apart from an ordinary packaged tour. If you come to Taiwan you can experience scenes like this along with many others first hand and take some great pictures. Taiwan offers alpine mountain range to sea shore in less than three hours. Southern Taiwan is in the sub-tropical zone and eastern Taiwan often called the Hawaii of Taiwan. That topped with Polynesian aboriginal to Han Chinese culture and it's compact size make for a great destination!

Virtual Becomes Real

Yesterday finally got to to meet an old online friend: @aronski in real time meat space. I rode the bus up from Taichung to Taipei (about 2 hours), walked from the bus station to the Taipei Train Station and fed myself through the tunnels into the MRT-a really posative addition to the Taipei life experience. It kind of makes up for some of the agony of when I was living there during it's construction and resulting epic traffic jams. I took Aron on a mini tour of Wanhua and Lung Shan Temple. Here is what he tweeted:

Good warm up for upcoming Shogun of Taiwan Photo Tours :) Will meet Aron again tomorrow with my son. We'll join him at the Taipei International Convention Center to experience Paul Simon and his band. I was thrilled to find out from Aron that some of my favorite South African artists like Bakihti Kumalo will be with him-high times!!!

This shot was taken from a wonderful afternoon of activity at Lung Shan Temple where many people were chanting along with a host of nuns, burning incense, and throwing fortune sticks and blocks.




Shogun of Taiwan Tour

Some exciting news-we'll be adding Photography Tours of Taiwan to the scope of our business services. They'll be hosted by myself-Mark Forman: Shogun of Taiwan(my old podcasting handle) expatriate resident of Taiwan for over 25 years and internationally noted portrait and cultural photographer and other expert bi-lingual (English and Mandarin) hosts. We'll offer several different packages including some outer island ones: Green Island, Orchid Island, The Pescadores, JinMen. The tours will offer some of the best spots for Chinese cultural photos-temples from 17th century to present, markets: traditional and street food fantasy night markets. Indigenous aboriginal culture sites and performances will also be included. Learn traditional weaving and dancing. Taiwan is the ancestral home of many Polynesian tribes. In between there will also be some landscapes , cityscapes and street photography opportunities since Taiwanese are people much more casual and friendly about being photographed than in the US and Europe.These tour is suitable for beginners on up. Stay tuned for details on pricing, dates, etc. Of course custom and specialty tours are available  Come rock the beautiful Isla Formosa with us and take magical photo memories back home to share.

markatbbluesmandotcom @bbluesman

Mr. 10/10

Taiwan,flag,morning,street photo,color,dawn,
I watched the Amanda Palmer Ted talk that Lefsetz was raving about. It was quite good simply because Amanda is quite good. Her music is good albeit not my favorite-but what makes her shine is her ability to first connect deeply with herself-the magic conduit for producing art that can touch people. She is not afraid to be vulnerable but in fact seems to thrive on it. This is what made it and her life as performance inspiring.

Must Read came on my radar via Readability. They are offering a bunch of posts as recommended reading-there seems to be some interesting stuff. Still kind of baffled why Google let Google Reader implode?? I find other sites lie Twitter and these suggested reading sites taking over from it. That being said I do use a Reader substitute that has emulated the early Google Reader quite well-The Old Reader

Mr. 10/10 up top is so named because he's wearing a Republic of China shirt and 10/10 is the National Day for Taiwan/R.O.C.

We All Danced Together

We All Danced Together
Some songs while not necessarily the a favorite or even a regular on your playlist still take on a significance of epic proportion in your life's soundtrack. They can serve as an instant reality check whenever you hear them. One such song is Lee Michaels-Do You Know What I Mean? Lee's song qualifies him for one hit wonder godlike status. There are so many great one hit wonder songs which pre-dated the current single song mp3 or streaming single of our music lives now. Some other one hit wonder favorites of mine are Clarence Carter-PatchesThe Chairmen of the Board-Give Me Just a Little More TimeFreda Payne-Band of Gold and Melanie-Candles in the Rain. There are many more and I will share some from time to time. I must confess I've always been lyrically deaf-meaning that I've always been sensitive to music and melody but always have had a difficult time hearing and absorbing lyrics. I will endeavor to listen to these classics with the intent of absorbing more of the composer's lyrical intention.


Dapper,color,street,portrait,sharply dressed man,taiwan

Let's try something new here. I do enjoy sharing my images. I do also enjoy talking about interesting things I encounter in my life and here on the net-so why don't I do the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup thing and combine these 2 elements? For the record: I do the lion's share of my photo sharing at G+ so if you like my photos follow me here. I've joined in a new fun thing on G+ that is a game lasting for 26 consecutive days. The hashtag for it there is #abccolor. The rules of the game are to post an image (it seems most of the posts are abstracts although doesn't seem that the rules state that) with a color in it from a color that begins with the letter of the day. EG; Day 1: Alizarin, Amaranth, Amethyst, etc. There are many different games, themes and communities on G+ but truthfully the controls and tools for managing them are still not to the level of excellence I'd expect from a powerful and wealthy company like Google.That being said they are what they are and hopefully they'll improve. The people that are there though are quite talented and fairly engaging so it's worth some time over there if you haven't been there or heard that it's a ghost town. I really enjoy the Readability functionality for reading posts on the net. It really organizes the page into a clean and concise format making it much less noisy and easier on the eyes. The Readability folks also organize some selected reading tips which is nice so I find some good reads there. One of the articles I'm reading now is by Louis C. K:


It seems like the better it gets, the more miserable people become. There's never a technological advancement where people think, “Wow, we can finally do this!” … And I think a lot of it has to do with advertising. Americans have it constantly drilled into our heads, every f###ing day, that we deserve everything to be perfect all the time. [Vanity Fair, 2009]

I was negatively impacted in my life particularly as a young impressionable person. Advertisers are experts at manipulating our perceptions and fueling lusts for things we either wouldn't want to begin with or certainly not to the level of compulsion that they generate.

I also started a new China-flavored site: Know Thy Self, Know Thy Enemy, named after a Sun Tzu quote. Here I write and podcast about my background as first a student of Chinese language, history and culture to a veteran of over 20 years of living here in Taiwan and China and running my business here. I put the link in for my business site-which is bigin.asia. I just love that name...

Anyhow let's roll with this format and see how it goes. Comments and feedback  are always welcome: @Bbluesman