Friday, June 29, 2012

On the road with FTV and Michella

What a great week I've had traveling in Jiji in Nantou, Jingguashi and Jiufen, and Wanhua in Taipei this week with Michella Jade Weng and the FTV crew shooting segments for a travel show. I also tried out my new Canon 550D DLSR, but unfortunately I only have the 18-55 kit lens. I took a few nice shots like the dragonfly above but viewed from the bottom, the learning curve sure is looking steep.

Our first stop was the tourist town of Jiji, in Nantou, with its famous Japanese-era railroad station. One of our goals was to try banana-themed food, like this plate of fried rice with bananas (bits of dried banana inside, banana chips on top). This shot also shows the concentration and effort that goes into preparing and presenting the items on the show, something I hadn't really realized until I had the chance to tag along.

This shot at the military equipment park just outside the main town area manages to convey a tithe of Michella's boundless energy, positive attitude, and attractiveness.

As part of the banana theme we visited this vendor near the famous collapsed temple outside town, who had a dozen or so different local varieties of banana on display. Michella checks her mic while Zhi-hong the cameraman checks the shots.

Day 2 saw us riding the famous Green Tunnel on 152 west of Jiji, the old route 16. After that I had to give my impressions in Chinese and English of travel in Jiji. Speaking Chinese on camera makes my mind go blank and my Chinese revert to kindergarten level, but I managed to struggle through it without a nervous breakdown. After doing Jiji we drove to the other side of Taiwan to do the Ruifang/Jiufen/Jinguashi tourist area.

We took in the night views but all my shots were awful, so I won't subject you to them. Here is the town of Jinguashi, where we overnighted. Quaint, and far from any useful services. Like the internet, for example.

Early in the morning we headed over to the famous Old Street in Jinguashi town, which apparently rivaled Jiufen during the period when the copper and gold mines were booming. On a Wednesday morning in this era it's totally dead.

My favorite of the shots from this trip, Michella and Zhi-hong check the light and plan the shot. I was constantly amazed by their energy. I'd be wearing down by the end of the day, and they'd be plotting still more shooting.

Then it was over to the abandoned copper processing and mining facilities. This shot shows an old rail line for moving ore down the mountainside to the processing facility below.

Sections of the world's longest smokestacks. They moved toxic fumes from processing the ore up the mountainside and into the valley on the other side. Well worth a visit, tons of infrastructure is just rotting away in the harsh sun, waiting for you to image it.

And me? Here I am paralyzed by vertigo atop the processing facility, wearing a dorky folding hat someone gave me in Nantou. The show appears in a shorter English version and a longer Chinese one, so we shot introductions and comments in each language, along with plenty of food shots, shots in temples, biking, and similar. It was tons of fun. When the show goes up on Youtube, I'll post the links here.

Great time, great learning experience. Hope I get a chance to do it again!
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


MJ Klein said...

be sure and let us know when this airs! i always thought you would be effective as a show host :)

Taiwan Echo said...

Is there any link to the FTV show on the net ?