It’s a bit difficult for outsiders to understand why Taiwanese people tend to block up their windows, regardless of the view outside. Waterfront property is cheap here, and often is given over to factories. You can even spot luxury buildings, where people have deliberately spend truckloads of money for a nice apartment with a view, only to stack boxes and other detritus in front of the window, barely letting our the stark glow of white fluorescent lights inside.
This place, no luxury apartment, of course, looks out over the Xindian River, not far from the scenic Bitan. It’s on the second story so there’s little danger of someone peeking inside. It’s a tin structure, and quite hot in summer, so there’s that, but the only redeeming feature of such a place, I’d think, would be the view and the sound of the babbling river outside. Still, when you look at traditional Chinese structures, all looking inward towards the courtyard, with only small, mostly bricked-up windows on the outside if at all, you can see where people are coming from. And, for most people, the only view is of their neighbor’s equally unadorned wall. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of ugliness avoidance, though it’s getting better with newer buildings with codes restricting residents from covering their windows with bars to keep them from escaping fires.
I took this with the very Sigma DP1 I maligned in the last post. In good light, with stationary objects, it shined. I was riding up the river one fine day on my crazy bike, and the deep blue of the sky, the pale green of the tin walls, and the newspapers over the windows just begged to be photographed, and the DP1 probably did a better job of rendering it than any other camera I could have chosen, even had I taken a big, heavy full-frame Canon with me…not likely on a long bike trip.
No, the little Sigma was in its element at that moment. Nothing else has been able to touch it…not yet anyway.