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Finishing Off This 2 Part Series

Part 1 is here.

The 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition (2010 Flora Expo) (臺北國際花卉博覽會) opened on November 6, 2010 and ran until April 25, 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. It is garden festival recognized by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH / IAHP) and is categorized as an A2B1 horticulture exposition. It was the first such internationally recognized exposition to take place in Taiwan, and the seventh of its kind to take place in Asia. It is located near Yuanshan Station. The Yuanshan site will re-open to the public following renovations (Estimated date- September 2011).

All photos: Canon EOS 7D+EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. Originally captured in RAW, converted and processed to Tif file in DXO Labs and saved to Jpeg in Photoshop CS5 for upload.

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Week-Ender 82

The 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition (2010 Flora Expo)(臺北國際花卉博覽會) opened on November 6, 2010 and ran until April 25, 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. It is garden festival recognized by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH / IAHP) and is categorized as an A2B1 horticulture exposition. It was the first such internationally recognized exposition to take place in Taiwan, and the seventh of its kind to take place in Asia. It is located near Yuanshan Station. The Yuanshan site will re-open to the public following renovations (Estimated date- September 2011).

Although there had been worries about attendance at the expo, the Taipei mayor noted that with the steady increase in attendance since opening, he was no longer worried. On December 15, 2010, the Expo welcomed its 2 millionth visitor, and on January 5, 2011, it welcomed its 3 millionth visitor. By February 5, 2011, total visitors had reached 4.18 million, with a single day record of 91,676. The popularity of the festival has affected tourist numbers at other popular tourist locations in Taiwan. The expo passed 5 million visitors on February 25, 2011, and reached another single day record of 150,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.[10] By the time the Expo closed on April 25, 2011, over 8.9 million visitors had entered the park, surpassing the original 8 million visitor target. Thank you, Wikipedia

All photos: Canon EOS 7D+EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. Originally captured in RAW, converted and processed to Tif file in DXO Labs and saved to Jpeg in Photoshop CS5 for upload.

Watch out for Part 2 of this post- coming soonest.

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Lens Sharpness: Real World Test

This lens sharpness test was never in the plans. But curiosity got the better of me and here it is. This test is by no means a technical one but based on real world shooting scenario.

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The top and bottom sections of Taipei 101 were captured only minutes of each other. The Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM was mounted on an EOS 7D and racked out from 160mm (top part) to 200mm (bottom part). The EOS 7D was then attached to a ball head tripod with the lens IS turned off. No remote shutter was used as it was left in the bag for absent minded reasons and the DSLR’s timer was utilized at 10 seconds for optimum stillness. Pushing the shutter by hand at this point would have spelled disaster in the form of blurred images. The images were, as usual, captured RAW, converted in DXO Labs software to tif file and further processed in Photoshop CS5 to upload quality.

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Tight crop of the top photo. Click to view large.

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Both close up images were cropped from the 2 original images in CS5 to show the sharpness in detail. The original images were at full 18 megapix@300 dpi. As you can see, the cropped images were a small part of the big picture (pun intended). Sharpness is no doubt a strong suit in the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM. Of course, the EOS 7D’s advanced focusing system made this happen in part.

Colors were saturated in Photoshop CS5 using the curves tool and to even out the contrast.

The biggest con of the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM is it’s weight and price tag. Lugging this thing around is no joke and having the tripod ring on this lens is definitely a must for tripod use. Purchase? Definitely but at the cost of US$2,500 it is perhaps better to take a look at the Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM or the Sigma equivalent. Unless of course you are a pro photographer that can make the return in 3 projects.

Taipei, Taiwan ROC

Taipei 101 (台北101 / 臺北101) is a landmark skyscraper located in the Xinyi District, a business and shopping area in Taipei, Taiwan. It was officially the world’s tallest building in 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.

Bad weather prevailed except for one particular day. Really wanted to do a shot during sunset but clouds were still covering the top portion of 101. When the clouds finally cleared I grabbed the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II (Thanks, Edward) mounted it on the EOS 7D. Attached the camera to a ball head tripod and turned off Image Stabilizer (IS). Took 4 frames to make sure everything was sharp. The image below is 1 of them.

Exif: f/8, 13 secs, ISO 100, 70mm and RAW file. RAW file to converted to tif file in Canon’s DPP and further processed in Photoshop CS5. Here is a street view of Taipei 101 from last year.

Click image to view large

Free wallpaper for iPhone 3Gs/4 or iPod touch: touch on the photo to enlarge. Touch the Taipei 101 At Night photo for a few seconds and pop up menu will appear. Select wallpaper and re-size to your liking. Voilá-instant background on your iPhone 3Gs/4 or iPod touch. Hopefully you will re-size to include my watermark on the top right 😉

Week-Ender #80

One of the best coffee shops I’ve been to in Taipei. Cappuccino is always consistent and beans are always fresh. The interior is very warm and homey with 50’s/60’s vintage furniture and decor. The owners are very friendly and internet connection is free making Wooden Drawer an easy place to relax. Highly recommended.

Wooden Drawer Café 木抽屜: An Ho Road, Section 1, Lane 141, No. 15, Taipei, Taiwan 台北市安和路一段141巷15號 02-27000588

The images were captured with a Canon EOS 7D, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L. I didn’t have a flash that night so it’s all ambient lighting. Captured in RAW, converted to tiff file in Canon’s DPP and finally processes to Internet friendly size in Photoshop CS 5.

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Lomography Embassy

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The Lomography Embassy is located near one of Taipei’s premier shopping and business district. An interesting sight to behold-even if you are not a fan of the Lomo world. If you are a fan then make sure a lot of cash is on hand. Every conceivable merchandise related to is inside.

Unlike our Manila stores, cameras are available for your dirty paws to hold and caress, scan the books and take in the Lomography wall that spans 2 floors. Even take a seat at the bar to ask questions about the merchandise which the excellent reps will gladly answer.

My analogue journey was captured on a digital point & shoot-my trusty old Canon G7. All images shot on jpeg, refined the jpg files and processed in Canon’s DPP for upload quality.

The Lomography Embassy is located at No.35, Ln. 187, Sec.1, Dunhua S. Rd., Da`an Dist. Taipei City 106, Taiwan, tel: +886 2 2773 6111. Opening hours: Monday – Friday 2:00pm – 10:00pm / Saturday – Sunday 12:00pm – 10:00pm

Week-Ender #79

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Ramen (ラーメン, rāmen?, IPA [ɽa̠ː.me̞ɴ]) is a Japanese noodle dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork (チャーシュー, chāshū?), dried seaweed (海苔, nori?), kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn. Almost every locality in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido.

Macdy_RmnTpe_007Ramen is of Chinese origin, however it is unclear when ramen was introduced to Japan. Even the etymology of the word ramen is a topic of debate. One theory is that ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese 拉麺 (la mian), meaning “hand-pulled noodles.” A second theory proposes 老麺 (laomian, “old noodles”) as the original form, while another states that ramen was initially 鹵麺 (lǔmiàn), noodles cooked in a thick, starchy sauce. A fourth theory is that the word derives from 撈麵 (lāomiàn, “lo mein”), which in Cantonese 撈 means to “stir”, and the name refers to the method of preparation by stirring the noodles with a sauce.

Tonkotsu (豚骨, “pork bone”; not to be confused with tonkatsu) ramen usually has a cloudy white colored broth. It is similar to the Chinese baitang (白湯) and has a thick broth made from boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for many hours, which suffuses the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy (depending on the shop). Most shops, but not all, blend this pork broth with a small amount of chicken and vegetable stock and/or soy sauce. The noodles are thin and straight, and it is often served with beni shoga (pickled ginger). Currently the latest trend in tonkotsu toppings is māyu (マー油/麻油), a blackish, aromatic oil made from either charred crushed garlic or Sesame seeds. It is a specialty of Kyūshū, particularly Hakata-ku, Fukuoka (hence sometimes called “Hakata ramen”).

Source- Thank you Wikipedia!

This bowl of ramen was devoured at The Mall in Taipei at the basement food court but don’t let food court turn you off this chasyu ramen was NTD250 (approx. PHP375 or USD8.50) The Mall is at the Shangri-La Hotel on Dun Hua South Road, Section 1, Lane 236, #26 (106台北市大安區敦化南路一段236巷26號).

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April 8-10, 2011 Taipei, Taiwan ROC

In a big white tent beside Taipei 101 sits Canon’s ImageFest 2011 in celebration of 10 years of Canon Taipei. All guest entering are required to get a free lanyard and booklet to collect 6 stamps at the different sections for a free gift (a Canon Imagefest magnet clip).

Upon entering the tent, guest are treated to displays of Canon’s fine past. Most of the displays are cameras and calculators. There were a Kwanon, Cannonet, AE, etc. on display. The main tent held six sections of Canon products. Each for the Ixus and point and shoot lines, printers, advance copiers, EOS line-photography and video gear and EF/EFS lens line up. Nothing new but lenses and bodies could be tested except there were long lines. Just like a circus there’s a center stage for shows throughout the day. A violinist and dancers in costume and stilts were performing on April 8.

Canon Imagefest Taipei was more for the uninitiated consumer than the photographer. It was interesting to see all the products in one place though. Enjoy the photos-captured with EOS 7D+EF 24-70 f/2.8. Shot RAW and converted in DPP to jpg. All the images are out of camera shots-no time for Photoshop.

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