Malaysian photographer Phong Yap Hui (馮業輝) unveiled his latest time-lapse work, titled Taiwan II, on August 12, featuring striking landscapes from across the country.
He said the video was his way of thanking his Taiwanese fans and the nation where he studied.
This is the fifth time-lapse video on Taiwan that Phong has uploaded to his YouTube channel (https://rb.gy/zmsq48).
Photo courtesy of Phong Yap Hui via CNA
The high-resolution videos document the 25-year-old’s travels across Taiwan since arriving in 2015, when he enrolled at National Chin-Yi University of Technology to study electrical engineering.
Phong’s first foray into the hobby came after he was tasked with taking photos at a social event organized by the school’s electrical engineering department, he said.
Since immersing himself in photography, he found himself deeply engrossed in the art form and began researching styles and methods, while taking odd jobs to save money in order to improve his equipment, said Phong.
Photo courtesy of Phong Yap Hui via CNA
He said he was inspired to record the time-lapse videos after watching Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above (看見台灣) by documentary filmmaker Chi Po-lin (齊柏林) as well as the works of Taiwanese photographer Louis Chen (陳志通).
“I didn’t just want to come to Taiwan to study and end the experience in a mundane way,” Phong said. “I wanted to leave behind something different.”
During his four years of study, Phong visited various cities and counties and carried more than 20 kg of photographic equipment to mountains and distant coasts.
He uploaded his first Timelapse Taiwan video to YouTube in 2018 and followed two more in 2019, all shot in 4K ultra-high definition.
The videos feature famous landscapes, such as the “sea of clouds” seen from the peak of Hehuanshan (合歡山), as well as the sunrise filmed from Longpan Park in Kenting of Pingtung County (墾丁) and from the Sun Moon Lake of Nantou County (日月潭).
The creation of the videos happened by accident, Phong said.
He broke three teeth in a traffic accident during summer vacation between his second and first year.
He had to rest in bed for three weeks as his family in Malaysia pressured him to sell his equipment and give up photography, he said.
Upset and with plenty of free time, Phong compiled the materials he had collected for more than a year into a video and uploaded it to YouTube.
To his surprise, the videos went viral on Facebook travel pages, and he quickly caught the attention of Taiwanese and Malaysian media, which put his family members at ease and convinced them to support him. in its activities.
Following the success, he re-edited the material and re-released it in a higher resolution, Phong said.
In 2020, before moving to New Zealand to continue his studies, Phong uploaded the Taiwan video to YouTube, attracting 2.61 million views.
Phong said he promised to return to Taiwan last year following the praise he received from Taiwanese.
After spending the past year and a half traveling across Taiwan and taking photos, Phong uploaded Taiwan II on August 12.
While a few of the scenes are from older material, the majority of the video features new footage from around the country, such as fireflies and fireworks.
Phong said he probably circled Taiwan 100 times and traveled more than 100,000 km to capture the footage for his four videos.
He said he had climbed Hehuanshan at least 200 times because it is his favorite place to shoot.
As the city and county governments recognized his work, he was able to access areas requiring special permission, such as Heping Island Park (和平島公園) in Keelung.
However, while his alma mater in Taiwan helped him obtain a visa during the COVID-19 pandemic, the short duration of the visa forced him to extend it seven times, which at one point left him on the verge of expulsion.
Phong said he was granted a work visa in February to allow him to work in Taiwan for an extended period, adding that he wanted to capture as much of the country’s beauty as possible.
“Loving Taiwan is not a slogan, but an action to take,” he said.
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