Tag Archives: GreatWallOfChina

It Was A Dark And Stormy Day

Well, it sprinkled a bit a couple of times.

My expectations were raised slightly when I viewed this world heritage site out of the airplane window on our approach to Beijing. The day of our visit produced mixed weather from warm and sunny to dull grey skies that occasionally spit a few tiny drops on us. Somebody approaching Beijing that day would not have seen the wall from the air. Pity.

The amount of time that a typical tour group spends at the Great Wall is somewhere between two and three hours. That's long enough to gain some understanding of the immensity of the project, especially given the era of its construction.

Walking the wall and climbing the stairs left me with an idea of how fit a Chinese soldier would have to be in those days- not to mention how unfit I seemed to be. The frustrating thing was watching folks in their 70s and 80s striding past and making their way all the way to the top of the ridge. I didn't even make it halfway.

Still, it is a privilege to be able to say that I've stood on the Great Wall of China. I know a few other people who have done so, but the vast majority of people will never go there in person. It's a shame we are not more travel and history oriented. If I had the resources, I'd be almost permanently out of town!

#Travel #China #Beijing #GreatWallOfChina #GreatWall



A Long And Winding Wall

Built to keep out invaders, it has been invaded by tourists.

I've been digging in the archives again. This is one of those photos that was rather dark and grainy with a washed out grey sky. I've fiddled around with it several times over the four and a half years since it was taken, but could never come up with anything satisfying. I'm not sure I will ever be really satisfied until I go back and do a better job at the scene of the original crime.

Most of the work consists of Lightroom 5 adjustments, with some content aware cloning and healing in PS CC to clean up some telephone poles and other distractions. Dodging and burning was accomplished by painting black and white onto a 50% grey layer set to soft light blend mode. There was also a final levels adjustment layer to make the mid-tone contrast pop a bit. The sky was replaced with one from Suffolk, UK.

I think I'm done with this photo until I can go back to China and do it right!

#Travel #China #GreatWallOfChina #GreatWall



Across The Valley From The Great Wall

I was told that it is a monastery.

Here is a shot that I've never posted on G+ before. It is one of many from my visit to The Great Wall that turned out something less than spectacular. I was shooting most of the day with my Panasonic FZ30 set at ISO 200, and forgetting that I had a polarizer on the lens. The zoom range on this camera is great, 36mm to 435mm equivalent, but the sensor is the same size as found in a lot of point and shoot cameras. I could have, if I'd been less scatterbrained, set the ISO to 80, and a smarter person would have realized that the diffused haze of this particular day made the polarizer pointless. So, grain and chroma noise. At least this camera captures raw files!

You process what you get, because that's all you've got. I've achieved a certain amount of skill at dragging something out of some pretty dumb mistakes. Some results are visually pleasing, if not top photographic quality. As with other mistakes in life, you learn to live with the consequences and move on.

#China #Travel #GreatWallOfChina



One Does Not Just Walk Into China

Peering up at the Great Wall

April 2009 – The day was occasionally drizzly, but not unpleasant otherwise, and the clouds . . . well, these clouds weren't there. The sky appeared a uniform 80% gray. And I screwed up on the camera settings, and I left the polarizer on (thus losing a couple stops of light). You know the drill. Dark and noisy. So what else is new in my skill set?

I've tried several ways of rescuing processing this particular frame, as it has a lot of merit on levels other than exposure as such. I think this is The One. The sky is imported and colorized. The details appear (perhaps) kind of painterly because of the heavy amounts of noise reduction, re-sharpening and etc. Nevertheless, I do think I like this result.

#China #GreatWall #GreatWallOfChina #Travel #TopazAdjust