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Kinmen (金門)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by TDP, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Occasionally I find myself on Kinmen R.O.C., a small group of islands off the coast of the People's Republic of China. Even though it is located 2km from Xaimen (a modern city), Kinmen is still very rustic and old fashioned. Once tourism was opened up to the island it became a visitation spot for those interested in Chinese history. You can read more about the island on Wikipedia Kinmen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    My latest trip to the island I carried along my OM-D E-M5, Voigtlander 25mm and Panasonic 7-14mm lenses, as well as a spare battery, iPad and SD card reader (for the iPad). All of these items easily fit into my carryon; a Billingham Hadley small camera bag.

    While normally Kinmen's weather is overcast and a bit gray, this time a typhoon in the area was just far enough away to push out all the gray skies and give way to blue skies with nice fluffy white clouds. Sweet! I wasn't there to take photos, so I didn't have a photo shoot plan but instead I grabbed photos where I could when I could. Here are some of my favorites from that trip.

    - tdp

    Tropical flower with a traditional building in the background. All over the island you see both recreations and actual buildings in the old style. Some are even still in use.
    Kinmen Smile by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Kinmen was a battleground between ROC and PRC, for the longest time the island was only inhabited by military and locals. This is part of the war memorial monument.
    Kinmen Memorial by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    I'm not sure if this bike is left for dead or still in use. Regardless, the sun and sea salt air is taking its toll on it.
    View attachment 221305
    Lonely Ride by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    A small castle built by a rich man who was worried about people stealing his money is now a tourist attraction frequented by school children on educational trips.
    View attachment 221306
    Untitled by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    One of the many Kaoliang (sorghum liquor) factories on the island. Both Kinmen and another series of islands north of there called Matsu are famous for their Kaoliang. For me, it is quite difficult to drink.
    View attachment 221307
    KKL by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    During a morning walk through the backroads of the main town I spotted a man walking his doggie by way of scooter. The dog seemed to love it.
    View attachment 221308
    Try to keep up by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Motorcycles like this are a transportation mainstay by the older, traditional crowd, like the man in the background. Usually 125cc and modified with racks, straps and storage containers, these bikes are an artistic expression in themselves.
    Waiting for work by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    A local small farmer sells a few items at the morning market.
    View attachment 221310
    Morning market by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Roof area of one of the traditional homes. The star reminded me of what you see on older homes in Pennsylvania.
    View attachment 221311
    Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    A schoolboy exits the main building at the war memorial.
    View attachment 221312
    Kinmen War Memorial by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Perhaps one of my favorite images from this trip, a traditional home in Kinmen.
    Old Houses Of Kinmen Island by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    A traditional styled door of what was once a home.
    View attachment 221314
    Old Houses Of Kinmen Island by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    An elementary school that is now a museum.
    View attachment 221315
    Images of Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Rigged up as a cargo transport, this motorcycle is pulling vegetable delivery duty today.
    Fresh Fruit Delivery by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    One of the many classic doors seen all around Kinmen
    View attachment 221317
    Images Of Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Chinese temple along the beach.
    View attachment 221318
    Kinmen Beach Temple by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Kinmen beach, probably has never seen suntan oil or a beach ball. Across the water you can see Xaimen.
    View attachment 221319
    Kinmen Beach by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Larger versions of these images and more can be seen in a set I arranged on Flickr. During past trips (with my 5D2 and iPhone) I grabbed some shots of the famous tunnels, the national park in the mountain and Maestro Wu's bullet shell knives. They can all be seen here, if you care to visit: Kinmen Island - a set on Flickr
  2. bob madison

    bob madison Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Nice Series. I always like to see areas where I most likely will never get a chance to visit.
  3. Firedogg

    Firedogg Have cash, will spend

    Wow. Fantastic series of photos.
    Looks like some of them were taken with the 7-14, which I'm guessing wouldn't be possible without a super-wide angle lens. You've done them justice.

    I'm with you Bob, I too love seeing photos from these places that might not get to see otherwise.

    Thanks again TDP
  4. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Thanks to you both, and yes some were taken with the 7-14.

    In broad daylight the 7-14 is apt to flare. I found it possible sometimes to block the flare with my left hand while holding the camera with the right. Of course a tripod and a portable reflector with a matte black side would be the best solution, but these photos were more of the drive-by-shooting situation vs the plan/prep/shoot style. I think the m43 format is suited so well for the small kit shoot and go it makes me leave more gear behind and do what I can with minimum carry-around kit. I realize some folks think the 7-14 and both Voigtlander lenses are too large and heavy, but my past trips to this island I took the 5DII, Zeiss 35 and 16-35mm lenses. The m43, even with it's larger and heavier lenses, is a true featherweight powerhouse compared to my previous kits.

    Also while I bring two lenses, 99% of the time I leave one behind at the hotel and walk around with one of the two. I switch back and for the throughout a trip to get the most use out of what I brought along. A long time ago I went on a photo walk with a friend and he carried a full-sized LowePro backpack full of gear and spent more time changing out lenses than taking photos. He was miserable. It taught me to minimize my walk and shoot setup. The m43 format makes it easier to take that one step farther.
  5. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Some of my favorites that aren't from the EM5 but some of you might find interesting:

    Rush hour traffic
    Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Wax Apples
    Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Meat/fish market after it closed for the day
    Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Classy transport
    View attachment 221342
    Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Former tunnel for rearming ships
    Kinmen by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    Spent propaganda shells waiting to be turned into knives
    Maestro Wu Revisit by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

    And from an iPhone, a side alley in the market
    Untitled by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr
  6. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Lovely shots of a very intriguing (and beautiful) place!
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