Travel Collection – 1 in Beijing

Travel Collection is a group of photos from various travel trip i did in Asia countries.  I decided to select my favourite pictures, open up another folder in my website and put my favourite all together. Photoshelter function allows me to seamlessly handle large number of images in a breeze. The purpose for this blog is to share why do i make this particular image and how do i approach towards the subject during travel in other countries.

Portrait of an old lady 

I was exhausted after squeezing and exploring around the Temple of Heaven, Beijing. I headed to the park within the premises. Taking my time to rest and enjoy the lush of lighted greenery that embraced me. This old lady sat beside me, one bench away. Somehow we started chatting a bit through my mandarin language and their own Chinese dialect, i always love to have a conversation with a kind and good stranger. She was all smiling and laughing, you know the sunshine personality. I thought she would make a good portrait picture for my travel documentation,

She was already unreserve and relax, i asked her permission whether can i take her photograph? She agreed, wooohoooo! I took out my trusty long lens and started shooting. While am still making minor conversation to make it even more natural. I only asked her to look at the camera, and she was smiling all the way.

There was a generous depth in the background behind her. Technically is easier to isolate the background in order for the subject to stand out in it best. When people look at the picture, the focus is immediately on her, the greenery background became an aid to the overall composition.

I thought surrounded by greenery is a natural luxury.

‘Snap, Snap, Snap’

Check my LCD and was content with the outcome.

I really love that smile reflected on her facial expression, being positive and cheerful at her age. Is like an indication that her life is much peaceful. I showed her the picture and asked whether she likes it? We continued chatting a bit more before i headed for my next destination.

Camera setting
Focal length: 94mm
ISO: 800
Aperture: F/5
Shutter Speed: 1/250

Let me know if this is helpful, as i intend to write more (to improve my writing) of my experience to share with like minded photographers so that your can gain something as well.

Temple of Heaven – Beijing – China – Asia

The Temple of Heaven is a famously known UNESCO World Heritage Site, also know as Tian Tan. One of China’s best examples of religious architecture in history. Construction began in 1406 during the reign of Yongle, taking 14 years to complete. Emperor Qianlong later carried out an extensive renovation of the complex.

Map of Temple of Heaven Park

Why is it called Temple of Heaven? During the Ming and Qing dynasty, more than 20 emperors visited the Temple of Heaven every winter solstice. In their capacity as the Son of Heaven, to offer prayers, make sacrifices for a good harvest. Not only does it reflect the aesthetic ideology of the ancient Chinese people, it also shows their reverence and respect towards Heaven.

3 days before the rituals began, the emperor would not drink wine, feast on meat or pungent vegetables such as garlic and scallions. He only ate simple vegetables dishes and abstained from sex.

The Hall of Prayer for a Good Harvest is the largest wooden structure in Beijing. It’s elegant shape, traditional design and evocative style make it a cultural icon. The most redolent symbols of Chinese civilization.

Descriptions

Today Temple of Heaven is situated as a large and pleasant park that attracts thousands of visitors daily. Be there either in the early morning or evening to catch the old folks doing their exercise such as Tai Ji Quan or dancing regime. Sometimes busker performing their trade in the park to attract the visitors. Below is one busker i encountered entering from North Gate.

First he do this..

Then follow by this….

And finally WHISH!!!!

After exploring and understand the rich history culture, visitors can proceed to the park for a leisure walk if you going to exit by north gate and west gate. The park is clean and serenity, is a good place to take sit down and relax your tired feet after endless walking inside. :p

There are 250,000 square meters of ancient pine woods within the Temple of Heaven complex. About 60,000 trees growing in the site. There are 1150 of ancient pines and Chinese locust trees that are more than 300 years old, am totally amazed by such structure.

Temple of Heaven Park I

Temple of Heaven Park II

Or head west to the Flowers Garden to view the beautiful flowers planted.

Do take note visiting Imperial Vault of Heaven and Altar of Heaven requires to purchase separate ticket. The entrance fee to Hall of Prayer and park is 35 Yuan during peak season.

After viewing Temple of Heaven, walk down south along the Danbi bridge. I recalled during the autumn season the gardeners would put many pots of flowers to beautify the crowded walkway, plenty of local tourist would be standing around it taking pictures happily.

Imperial Vault of Heaven might need to queue to view the interior as it is only a one way path. The building is use for storing ceremonial equipment. Is difficult to take picture as insufficient light available. Is ok to check out the round altar that dominates the southern part of the site if you want.

Temple of Heaven must visit known for it’s five centuries of imperial ceremony and symbolism. A place where modern visitors get to admire it’s architecture unity and beauty.

My favorite image

A good destination to visit for tourist and travel photographer who first time travel in Beijing.

798 art zone in Beijing

The first artist set up Dashanzhi Art District, a newly vacated 798 factory in year 2000, soon it was followed by a number of Beijing’s best artist. The large spaces, affordable rents and ample natural light pouring through the huge ceiling windows. It has become a world-famous center of contemporary chinese art.

The East German built industrial complex was built in 1953. The 640,000-square-meter was rumored to be a secret weapon factory. In the 60s was split into more manageable sub-factories. Business however starts to decline in 1980s. Hence business started pulling out to the late 90s. Ended up many huge empty edifices.

In recent years, 798 art district has come under threat as developers Seven Stars group realize the area’s potential value. The lobbyist persuaded the Beijing government to make 798 a cultural showcase till the 2008 Olympics. Sadly with rising rental bills, ample artists have been forced to move further out of town. Many worry that the utopian ideal of an artists’ village may be coming to an end.

Strolling in the premise relax for my mind, peaceful and serenity i remember, the sight of early sunlight punch through the row of skinny trees.

Sun flair

There’s endless choice of pictures opportunity in 798 art district. Sharing some travel photos taken.

Graffti on the vacant factory.

Art display of singing dragons (my own interpretation)

Retired black 0751 locomotive at 751 train station exhibit in Beijing 798 art zone.

Art display – I interpret it as Marching Forward. The big leader took the lead for a new change, while the people behind follow to support.

One of my favorite picture. Showing the scale between human and industrial.

If you only have limited time, but passion for art. 798 art district is surely a travel destination must not be miss out in Beijing.

How to get there?
No.4 Jiuxianqiao Road
Chaoyang, Beijing, China, 100015
010-84562421
Fastest way is by taxi