The very small amount of knowledge that I had of Taichung before the trip was of the wedding photographers who shoot some pre-wedding photos with some of the Taichung landscapes as a background. Taichung includes a large area around the city - Taichung city and Taichung county merged in 2010 to form one special municipality, which means that as well as the urban areas, there are some brilliant sights to be seen outside of the city.
The best way to get to some of these places are: drive; get a taxi; get a driver for a day. We chose to let someone drive us to these places. On the day we went to the wetlands, it was a crazy race between us and the sun, with us trying to get to the location before the sun sets. Well, I say “crazy race” but we weren’t going that fast even though we were in a taxi and despite all those cliches about the way taxi drivers drive. One thing that you really have to consider is the time that it takes to get to the location and then add a bit more time just in case there’s trafﬁc. It was a bit of a manic rush for us unfortunately, and the tide was coming in fast by the time we set up the tripod and camera. There were lots of people still playing around by the time we left, so I guess it’s not that dangerous, but it’s probably best to do these things in good light and be clued-up on these things so that you can get back in one piece.
We also had a local friend who took us around some places too. We got to see Sun Moon Lake, which is one of the places that people come to visit when going to Taichung. There were quite a number of tourists here and there, but the scenery is quite stunning. It was a shame the weather was not on our side that day, which mean that the mountains were cloaked in this horribly dull white mist with clouds that covered a huge part of the sky. It’s not great for the photos because you get a boring diffuse light with just a huge block of whiteness in place of the sky. Still, it didn’t make it any less of a memorable day, which started off with us visiting some aboriginal villages in the mountains.
I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a variety of wide-angle zooms (17-40mm f/4 was my fave) and this setup worked a treat. I took along a Mafrotto tripod also, but you know, carrying this stuff around all day is tiring. It doesn’t feel heavy when you hold it for a short while, but walking round and taking four Canon L lenses, a DSLR and a tripod around for a whole day is not fun. You can get away with just taking one lens with you, and I think that is all you need. Photography should be fun, especially when you’re traveling. The Canon 5D Mark III and 17-40mm are enough. Even smaller and lighter would be better.
Still, we didn’t have all the time in the world, so luckily I didn’t have to carry it for so many days. However, I have to say: the landscapes in Taichung are worth visiting if you like that kind of thing, it’s just a shame we didn’t have the time to go see some other places. Spend a bit more time to explore the surrounding areas of Taichung, as well as the city, and you’ll surely be rewarded with a thoroughly rewarding photographic experience. Big thanks to Cathay Holidays for making this happen!
If you want to visit what Kai and his team did, please click here for more detail.
All About Kai
Kaiman Wong — known as Kai W — is the main presenter for DigitalRrev TV. He is also an avid blogger, camera enthusiast, photography addict, painter of things in shades of pink and magenta … and much more!