Tag Archives: Xian


A nice place to sit and contemplate.

It was Easter Sunday, 2009. We'd flown from Beijing to Xian where our first sightseeing stop was the Giant Goose Pagoda. There are peonies growing everywhere on the grounds surrounding, creating a very nice setting for the shrines, monuments and other sights encountered.

This pagoda is not the Giant Goose Pagoda, but is within the grounds. When I first saw it there were probably a dozen or so people lounging around and having a good time chatting inside. No one could blame them- it's a beautiful, restful place to sit for a while and talk with your companions.

The pagoda sits on a little rise, no more than six or eight feet high, overlooking the rest of the grounds. So when I went down below, I was able to shoot upwards through the peonies eliminating any people that might be inside the structure.

As throughout most of my China visit, the sky was a dull grey that occasionally would throw down some mist or spit a drop or two, and the air was quite hazy. Many things were slightly obscured, even at a close distance. And, you know, I can't leave a dull sky alone. If I remember correctly, the sky in the final product was from Oakland, California.

Anyway, here is my photo of "not-the_Giant-Goose-Pagoda-but-the-little-wooden-one-next-to-it." Enjoy!

#Travel #China #Xian #GianGoosePagoda #flowers #peonies #Photoshop #Lightroom


A Setting Near Xian, China

The Terracotta Warriors Live Here!

After spending a couple of hours touring the excavations and viewing the Terracotta Army in their natural, if somewhat ruined habitat, I emerged back into the sunlight to observe this area on the grounds.

I have to tell you, the sky didn't look like this. And the mountains were barely visible through the haze. If you're a pixel peeper type, I urge you not to look too closely- unless you enjoy that kind of up-close visual torture. This photo has been processed into a kind of submission. There are many serious flaws to be seen. Just take in the scene and move along. Please!

OK. First came several layers of de-hazing in LightroomCC, followed by replacement of the dull blue-brown cloudless sky with this one from California. There was also some cloning out of people in the foreground. All in all, there are maybe two hours of labor invested in getting to this state.

#Travel #China #Xian #TerracottaWarriors #Landscape


*Giant Marionettes – *

Friendly giants, though!

I've reworked this photo– again. It's a "vertomrama" made from two horizontal aspect frames, handheld. I posted this a couple of days ago, but after seeing it online, I thought it was a bit dark. Also, the noise on the little "girl's" face and dress was annoying, so I ran it back into Photoshop and did a little more filtering. A version of this from a few years ago is also in my G+ China album (https://goo.gl/aHLnd4 ) done in an earlier version of Photoshop and its Photomerge function.

These characters were apparently part of the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It must have been quite a sight. They now reside in the museum attached to the Terracotta Warriors excavation site, Lintong District, Xian, Shiaanxi Province, China. The site is well worth the day-long trip to see.

Used almost exclusively in this reworking effort was #LightroomCC2015 , except for a minor bit of clone-stamping that required a trip into #PhotoshopCC2015 . I may yet try more plugins to further reduce noise and such, but at web sizes, this will do!

#Travel #China #TerracottaWarriors #Xian


First Collection: China

Gotta start somewhere!

The photos in this collection are from my one and only visit in 2009. Along with three friends, I was part of a group sponsored by the Oakland, California Chamber of Commerce.

The trip was a week long, consisting of three days in Beijing, two days in Xian and two days in Shanghai. The book-end days were all travel.

Since items appear in the order of posting, rather than album order, the chronology is a bit lost. That’s OK, I guess. It’s about the photos, but it would be nice if the story could be told more logically without re-posting every picture.

One feature I’m already liking about a collection is that a photo can be replaced or updated by deleting a post and creating a new one to be shared to the collection. I have a bad habit of re-working my pictures every time the technologies of Photoshop, Lightroom and plugins get updated. I like to see if I can drag something viewable out of some otherwise questionable photographs.

The China collection


#Travel #China #Beijing #Xian #Shanghai


Not sure to whom, though.

I've posted a version of this before. When on a tour bus, one does not always get the choice of angles and composition that might be preferred. This is one of those shots- somewhere between Xian, China, and the Terracotta Soldiers excavation site and museum the bus drove around this under-construction monument. Just before turning right and away, I managed to fire off one shot.

This particular version is a composite. The original sky was empty and sort of a blue-grey-brown. The previous upload of this (http://goo.gl/WDOaAs) used a texture to disguise the plainness of the sky, but this time I thought I'd give it something more interesting from my growing collection of sky shots.

Used in this production were #Lightroom5 , #PhotoshopCC2014 , #TopazDenoise , #TopazDetail and #TopazRestyle .

#Travel #China #Xian #TerracottaWarriors



Giant Goose Pagoda

Xian, China – April 2009

The day we visited the #GiantGoosePagoda in #Xian , the skies were a uniform grey. Most everything was dulled in the shadowless light. I had an idea that I would take a series of hand-held shots to make into a vertorama later, but . . . well, I missed a bit here and there and it didn't work out the way I envisioned. Here, then, is the "central" photo of the series.

This photo was processed in #Lightroom5 and #Nik #SilverEfexPro

#Travel #China



Giant Goose Pagoda

Hazy day in Xian.

I posted a photo of a garden gazebo/pagoda the other day that is located in the grounds of this structure. This is probably by far my best shot of it, but that ain't saying much, I'm sure.

This photo was captured on Easter Sunday 2009, after after brief unscheduled visit to a Catholic church (http://goo.gl/TmHzVa), and I think before lunch. It might have been after lunch.

There's some #TopazDenoise3 , #TopazDetail5 and a bit of other adjustments in this, all required to rescue a noisy photo from oblivion.

#Travel #China #Xian #GiantGoosePagoda



Memories of China

An all-too-brief tour adventure.

A few days ago I posted a version of this photo, that when I saw it online, something just didn't seem right about it. After staring at it a bit I realized that I hadn't straightened it up. The pagoda was leaning just enough to be off-putting. So I deleted that post and now present a slightly altered version. Straight, at least, if not otherwise better!

I was inspired to dive into my #China catalogue from 2009 after seeing a post by +Hervé BRY featuring photos from two trips to China that he had taken.

I participated with a tour group sponsored by the Oakland (California) Chamber of Commerce that spent a week or so in China in April 2009. I came home calling it The Tourist Death March because of the daily pace we kept. Actually it wasn't as bad as that sounds, but I would have liked to spend more time at most of the places we visited. Next time, eh?

This is in the grounds of the #GiantGoosePagoda in #Xian , but it is not the Giant Goose Pagoda itself. I'm not sure if I can come up with a decent photo of the Giant Goose Pagoda. The time constraints of being part of a bus tour means that you have limited time to come up with interesting compositions, so you get what you get and work with it.

#Travel #China #Xian #GiantGoosePagoda




The unofficial national flower of China.

Continuing my #China catalogue diving. I don't think this photo has ever been posted anywhere, so I thought I'd give it a run through the processing wringer and see what came out. Used to achieve this result were #TopazDenoise3 , #TopazDetail5 and #TopazAdjust5 .

Peonies are grown in different ways from small shrubs to large tree-like plants. Blooms range from a couple of inches in diameter to six or eight inches, depending on how they are cultivated. This was probably in the four or five inch range.

The gardens surrounding the Giant Goose Pagoda in #Xian , China would be a peony lover's delight. They seemed to be everywhere, and April is apparently a great month to catch peonies in bloom.

#GiantGoosePagoda #Peony #Traval