Now Playing at BIOS Monthly

Now playing at Fuhe Theater

Recently my work on this blog was featured in an article by Nien Ping Yu 于念平 for the Chinese language web magazine BIOS Monthly. The article, loosely translated as Canadian Cultural Blogger: Even Unremarkable Places Have History (加拿大文化部落客: 再平凡的地方都有歷史), was based on a sprawling conversation we had in person rather than an email questionnaire. Mostly we spoke about themes and practices commonly seen on this blog: discovering history through the exploration of lost and neglected places, revealing intriguing connections through observations of synchronicity, and using photography as a documentarian medium rather than focusing solely on aesthetic appeal.

Several of my original photographs are featured in the article, some of which have already appeared on this blog (for example Fugang Old Street 富岡老街 and Changhua Roundhouse 彰化扇形車庫) along with others yet to be published (mostly from the infamous Fuhe Grand Theater 福和大戲院 in Yonghe 永和). Other adventures referenced in the text include Dadong Theater 大東戲院 in Zhongli 中壢 and the Liuzhangli Muslim Cemetery 六張犁的回教公墓 here in Taipei 台北.

Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel in a LIFE Books Special

A haunted hotel in Okinawa in LIFE Books

Last year one of my photos from Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel 中城高原ホテル was picked up by LIFE Books for the publication of The World’s Most Haunted Places. I have yet to complete my own write-up of this fantastical and awe-inspiring ruin in Okinawa 沖縄 but I will certainly get around to it sooner or later. Appearing in a LIFE publication of any kind is also pretty cool even if it isn’t the original magazine, which my mother used to collect and keep around the house while I was growing up. She proudly bought a couple copies when she heard the news and the special hit the supermarket stands back home in Canada.

Camera Gear List: 2016 Edition

All taped up and ready to go

People often ask me what camera I use, presumably because they like my photography and figure I must have a bunch of high-end equipment. Usually I laugh, somewhat awkwardly, as nothing could be further from the truth, and provide a sheepish answer. My gear isn’t anything special—in fact, it’s about as shabby as can be.

Most of the photos I’ve posted on this site from around 2011 until now were shot on a Nikon D3100 with the same 18–55mm lens it came with (pictured here). Over the years this camera has seen a great deal of use and is now bruised and battered, missing a few pieces, and completely without labels on any of the controls (as they’ve all worn off long ago). The lens is in even worse shape—not only is it held together with electrical tape that doesn’t entirely prevent light seeping in from seeping the bottom edge (spoiling most low-light and night-time shots) it also has a loose connection that inhibits auto-focus from working as it should most of the time.

A Brief Interview About This Blog, 2015

Synapticism as featured on InterNations

My blog was recently featured on InterNations, an expat social network and resource. In the interview I outline why I chose Taiwan, why I started blogging, how life is different, and similar topics of general interest to would-be expats. Continue reading for the full text of the interview (but please keep in mind this is not an endorsement of InterNations, where I am not even an active member)…

GeoGuessr Sighting

My work in Geoguessr

GeoGuessr is a web game based on Google Maps. Each round deposits you into some random location leaving you to puzzle out where you are by clicking around and examining what you find in the area. When it’s time to make a guess you pick a point on a map and you’re scored for distance. It’s a lot of fun for geography geeks like myself.

One of their games is Taiwan, which is how I initially found out about it. After playing a round I glanced at the thumbnail and thought, hmm, that looks awfully familiar. Sure enough, it’s one of my photos from Tainan 台南! Not bad, though I can’t help but notice they failed to credit me in any way, which means I have an email to write… after the next game. High score: 23,744!