A photography trip long overdue finally executed
Going on a trip to Keelung City with the sole purpose of doing street photography was that long overdue assignment in my list. Despite being only an hour away from Taipei, everyday responsibilities, bad weather, or pandemic-related restrictions in the last couple of years made this trip hard to arrange. With this endeavor always lingering in my subconscious, a long weekend due to local holidays was the perfect opportunity to pack my camera gear and finally make it happen.
I dedicated a total of two days and one night in Keelung, enjoying cloudy but rain-free weather. The clouds soften the harsh sunlight, which is more suitable for this kind of photography because they provide more even lighting within narrow alleys. Now, this time certainly not enough to set foot on all of the quirky corners of this port city, but it was just enough to get to the places where I had always intended to go and capture the local vibe in images, plus many other points from which it was only a matter of waiting for things to happen and pressing the shutter. It was a joy to portray “life as it happens” in a city that does not have time to be pretty, when it is busy being the international trade motor of northern Taiwan, with ports for tourist and container vessels alike.
The selection and editing process for this photography gallery of Keelung City
The first thing I noticed when choosing the photos of this gallery is the ubiquity of scooters in them. When they are not the part of the subject of my compositions, they are always present as background elements. Riding one of these noisy but utterly convenient vehicles is the main way of transportation of the city, and from a photography perspective, they provide interesting compositions including whole families riding one single scooter and night shots. For the latter, I played with slow shutter speeds and moving the camera at the same time, trying to keep the movement in a straight line with the subject in frame.
For the editing process, I worked on a preset that could help to drive attention to the subjects in the frame under indirect sunlight, and in an outdoor urban scene. I did this by pulling up the dark tones, desaturating the colors of the surroundings slightly, and using vignettes. All of this while remaining faithful to the cloudy, warm atmosphere of a city next to the sea, on a spring day. The resulting effect is a combination of mysterious and urban dystopian vibes.
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