China September 1-14, 2012 Day 1

As you know we visit China every year in September.  This year was no different.  We took a nice group of photographers to China and enjoyed some excellent photography and we were blessed with AWESOME weather for the entire trip.  We had blue skies in Beijing, on The Great Wall and all of the trip.

Our guest pro again this trip was Ron Wyatt.  Ron loves China and always comes away with awesome images and more friends.  Check out Ron’s work at www.ronwyattphotos.com.

As you know Facebook (FB), Twitter, and even WordPress are all blocked in China so we were not able to post like we normally do.  Because Mike G uses a BlackBerry he was able to make mobile posts to FB and Twitter.  Even the guides were surprised that we were able to access them via Mike’s BlackBerry as their iPhones and the iPhones of the M&M guests were not able to access them.

OK – enough about phones.  Day 1 was spent at The Forbidden City in Beijing.  A little history about The Forbidden City – it lies at the center of Beijing and is called Gu Gong in Chinese.  It was the imperial palace for twenty-four emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties.  It was first built during the reign of Emperor Chengzu  in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).  Ancient Chinese Astronomers believed that the Purple Star (Polaris) was in the center of heaven and the Heavenly Emperor lived in the Purple Palace.  The Palace for the emperor on earth was called the Purple City.  It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the emperor.  Hence the name ‘The Purple Forbidden City,’ known in the West as “The Forbidden City.”

Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tianamen Square.  Rectangular in shape, it is the world’s largest palace complex and covers 183 acres and more than 8,700 rooms.  There is a gate on each side.  Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park.  The distance between these two gates is 3150 feet while the distance between the east and west gates is 2460 feet.

Here is a shot of a major portion of The Forbidden City taken from the elevated position of Jingshan Park.

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @92mm, 1/200, f/10, ISO 640, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

Our assignment to the group for the day was shapes, lines, colors and other things that caught our eyes.  Here are a few of the images that Mike G captured:

This first shot is from Tiananmen Square and depicts Chairman Mao surrounded by his working people.

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @55mm, 1/125, f/8, ISO 100, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

The first thing Mike G noticed was this massive mesh of color, shapes, lines and detail as he entered one of the gates of The Forbidden City.

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @105mm, 1/250, f/5, ISO 200, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

Not too often you get to see any part of The Forbidden City with few people.  The lines and colors here portray the classic Chinese style the Palace was built in.

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @67mm, 1/250, f/10, ISO 320, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

More lines and colors – we were informed that China was repainting The Forbidden City getting it ready for the National Holiday at the end of September.  Gold, Red, Blue, lines, shapes and classic architecture…

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @58mm, 1/125, f/8, ISO 200, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

The year of The Dragon welcomed us to China this year so Mike G was on the lookout for Dragons at The Forbidden City.  There were many that stood out but Mike G liked this one the most:

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @32mm, 1/160, f/10, ISO 200, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

You always need to remember to look high, look low, look behind you – Mike G found this shot by looking high on one of the buildings while coming out of an inner courtyard.  More Dragons and vivid red and yellow colors against the deep blue Beijing sky that one almost NEVER sees.

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @105mm, 1/80, f/10, ISO 200, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

As we finished our venture through The Forbidden City we got back onto the streets of Beijing and walked to our bus.  As we boarded our bus and traveled a few blocks Mike G saw the following scene – is an after school taxi thrown together with whatever the owner could find.

Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @85mm, 1/200, f/5, ISO 400, Tiffen Circular Polarizer, Lexar Digital Film, Clik Elite Pro Express Backpack, BlackRapid Sport Strap

Day 1 of the trip was great.  China and Beijing have so much to offer and we were only getting started.  Look for more posts about our day-by-day adventures this trip and expect it to only get better as we go!

Get out and shoot and have some fun with your photography!

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One Response to “China September 1-14, 2012 Day 1”

  1. […] you know we visit China every year in September.  This year was no different.  We took a nice grosource This entry was posted in asia by poster. Bookmark the […]

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