Abstracts at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

I had some time while waiting for a connecting flight at Newark Liberty International Airport last Saturday and noticed this interesting play of reflections and silhouettes while ‘dining’ in the largest of the Terminal C food courts (the selection is actually pretty good).

Instead of heading over to the Continental lounge I decided to do some photography instead. These were passengers arriving on international flights making the fairly long walk to US customs and immigration. I think it worked fairly well, though I must admit I felt a bit awkward standing in the same spot for about 45 minutes waiting for international flight arrivals and taking seemingly random photos (for those travelers around me who may have been wondering what I was doing).

At one point I thought I was being shadowed, but it turned out the guy was just waiting for a flight to Miami. It pretty much reinforces my past experiences at other US airports that once through security, the chances of being hassled for taking photos in the terminal are fairly low. At least it hasn’t happened to me yet, though I was once briefly asked what I was doing in Toronto’s new Terminal One… but that’s Toronto.

Anyway, what you see in the photos is a corridor just after a 90 degree or more left turn and the reflections of people along the bottom are of those about a minute behind those along the top. Because it’s a reflection, they appear to be traveling in the other direction to the figures above, which is part of what I found interesting. What didn’t work out so well during the time I spent waiting and watching was that about 90% took the moving walkways rather than walk close to the glass. Had more walked closer to the glass I would have gotten what I feel would have been more figures above the reflections, resulting in a more interesting combination of shapes and silhouettes with two levels/layers of figures.

It will be something I keep in mind for future travels through EWR…

Taiwan Preview 7 – Tea Time

I’m just about to leave for the airport, so this will be the last Taiwan preview post, though there were still a couple more topics I’d hoped to cover.

There are teashops all over Taiwan. I’m particular to taro flavoured bubble tea, but a friend took me to a more traditional tea house the last time I was in Taipei. It was interesting to learn about the different tea varieties and proper preparation techniques. Unfortunately such a tea tradition is not part of the culture in which I grew up, and since that visit I’ve forgotten much the finer preparation and serving details. But as my friend mentioned during that visit, there’s more than one right way to prepare tea, and as long as you’re consistent about it and happy with the results, that’s what counts most.

In the first few images we’re receiving instruction by one of the tea house employees:

Taiwan Preview 6 – Kenting sunset

Sunset photos are kind of overdone, but I found this stretch of shoreline in Kenting quite interesting as the sun set into the view. Except for the first photo which was from a previous day, the rest of the images were made over a span of about an hour.

This is also the nicest beach area, in Kenting and kind of reminds me of Hawaii, both the weather and the general geography. But I’m told the beach is only open to locals or people staying at the resort that is located at the beach access point. Other parts of Taiwan have a different look than here, at least to my eyes. The weather was also a huge change from Taipei in March, where it was often in the mid-teens and raining, in Kenting it was hot with a nice wind off the water.

Taiwan Preview 5 – Taichung

OK, it’s not really shots representative of Taichung, but I found some interesting images around the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. I was somewhat surprised to find this kind of architecture and design in Taiwan, being something I would more or less expect to see in Europe or the Americas. But just like this kind of architecture and design in other parts of the world, it really excited my photographic senses. Unfortunately I got to the museum late in the day and didn’t go inside, but spent a couple hours hanging out on the grounds creating my own art.

Taiwan Preview 4 – Longshan Temple

As mentioned in one of the previous posts, the last couple times I’ve been in Taiwan I enjoyed visiting temples. When I was in Taipei for about a week two years ago, I spent most of a day at the famous Longshan Temple (also spelled Lungshan). It rained constantly that day, which made a good excuse not to be out wandering the streets, so I hung out until early evening and observed. Having been to a number of temples now, I’ve noticed that people there are usually quite focused on their prayers and not as easily distracted by a photographer as I expected. Maybe hanging around for several hours and the fact that Longshan is a significant tourist attraction visited by lots of camera-toting visitors also helped here. But I still always get a feeling that I’m distracting the people I’m trying to observe, and being a tall foreigner with a couple big cameras certainly doesn’t help me become inconspicuous, at least not in Taiwan. Over the course of my visit to Longshan, I was approached by a couple people, though they were more interested to find out what interested me about the temple, and by extension, religion, than to lay down any kind of rules. One was even kind enough to give me a small booklet about the temple.

By the end of the day I amassed about 1500 images, 1100 of those just from the temple, which made for a colossal editing session. It’s by no means the definitive Longshan photo essay, but considering I was there for maybe only six hours, I’m pretty happy with the results. BTW, The images are sorted in chronological order rather than in any special manner…