In its heyday Instagram made photography a passion for the masses. Taipei has no shortage of spots that went viral around the world. Here are a few of those spots along with some of my personal favorites.
DATONG DISTRICT — The stores here are full of LED lights, Chinese lanterns, and other decorations that make for great backdrops. The photos in this post are all from one store because my photos from the others didn't turn out that well, but trust me when I say you'll have a good time shooting on this street.
Stores like this are dying out quickly to online shopping, so who knows how long this street will be around, but I highly recommend doing some portraits here while you still have the chance.
SHILIN DISTRICT — Imagine copy/pasting 1950s South Carolina onto Taiwan... The US provided Taiwan with extensive military assistance during the 1950s and 60s. Housing areas such as this one were developed for officers and advisers working with the ROC military.
Most of these spots have been abandoned, but this one still resembles a traditional American suburb.
I would have liked to see some museums and information about this era, but in pursuit of a quick dollar most of these houses have been turned into ice cream shops and overpriced restaurants.
But on the other hand, I can't think of a better homage to the American way... Screw history, let's sell some shit.
SHILIN DISTRICT — This underpass near Shilin Night Market is a true piece of art. It has been posted all over Instagram a million times by now, but it's still fun to watch people capture it in different ways. This place has endless creative potential.
In person these lights look completely white. But for some reason on the lens the lights turn blue and yellow. I wish I could explain why but I was educated in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. So please forgive me.
Ximen Street Art
WANHUA DISTRICT — The graffiti scene in Taipei here has almost nothing to do with gangs, but everything to do with vibrancy and creativity. Local businesses and even the movie theater hire street artists to color up the area.
I really appreciate the art here. I think the city in general should encourage more of it and open up areas to let these artists shine. The buildings in Taipei are so ugly. Factor in the frequent rain with other problems in the city and you have the makings of a real misery pit, but art can change that.
DATONG DISTRICT — This place is insane. Can you believe this happens every day? The best time to come here is before 9:00 a.m. on a weekday if you want to capture scenes like this. Scooter waterfall is a dramatic representation of a real problem in Taipei. This place is choking to death in scooters. Imagine if they all had to drive cars though.
Traditional Theater Center
SHILIN DISTRICT — Within a short walk of ZhiShan station is this unique building that provides a great backdrop for creative portraiture. I'm not really a portrait guy, hence the lack of portraits here. I've tried to take a few but they just didn't turn out that well. However I've seen a lot of other photographers create awesome ones here. So I'm confident that you can as well!