I love Taipei. It’s a short hop from Shanghai yet so different. There are mountains, palm tree, fresh air and an intangible but evident feeling of freedom - especially now considering the intensifying security restrictions that are creeping into Shanghai daily life. It has it’s own flavour but there’s no denying there are traces of other SEA nations, a little bit of Japan here and a sprinkling of Singapore there.
It was a family trip with Ling Li, my eldest daughter, back home for Easter so I had many commitments leaving very little time for photography. Ling Li’s childhood was a global multicultural experience so different from mine, so every time we go abroad she has to catch up with one of her friends. We arranged to meet up at the famous Taipei 101 where there was a large artificial colourful flower garden display. The kind I would probably dismiss out of hand had I been on my own.
My youngest, Pandora, (only for a few more months as you can see from the snap above) veers between demanding a snapshot or insisting ‘that’s enough photos daddy!” when I get a bit snap happy. So I have to be creative in how and when I get the photos I want.
She loved the giant flowers so much that she asked me to play with here for ‘a little while’. If you have kids you are aware of how torturously long a little while can last. She wandered into the middle of the display (and I noted the absence of a descending swarm of security guards) and told me that she was a flower fairy and that I was to be a bumble bee. We enacted a very interesting conversation - well at least it was the first ten times or so. What’s a dad to do? Of course I had my camera in my hand now that she was no longer posing I could catch the kind of photo that I love to take of my daughters being themselves. I only had one lens with me the whole holiday, my 50mm f1.8, which is a wonderful portrait lens, small, light and so easy to carry around. I’ll write a full blog entry on the ubiquitous 50mm lens which everyone should have.
I was able to frame tightly enough to cut out all the shopping mall background and capture a sense of the fantasy world that she was playing in - a tiny flower fairy hiding from a hungry bumble bee - but wide enough to include the immediate surrounding environment to create the sense of wonder she was feeling. So though I didn’t get out of the city that day I could create a wonderful fantasy moment in a mundane location using my daughter’s imagination and waiting for the right moment to get the shot.
I have more photos from a brief second chance I had on that vacation which will be coming soon.