During our China tour we enjoyed a short cruise on Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo. The cruise took us through one of the most picturesque regions of China, littered with rolling hills peeking over the horizon in every direction. As you can see in the photo, the weather was unfortunately rather bleak. There were thick low level clouds and there was a bit of rain about as well. I cannot complain too much though, these hills still had something magical about them even in the conditions that we encountered.
In this photo I wanted to portray the mysterious atmosphere that gloomy conditions and clouds imparted on the hills and the river. We could see clouds swirling around the peaks, weaving their way through and engulfing the peaks. It seemed like being on some lost world, something equivalent to Jurassic Park almost in nature and atmosphere. That is of course, if you are willing to remove from your mind fifty other boats in the procession that we were part of (which I was able to do after the initial shock of seeing all of the boats lined up in our departure dock).
While taking in all the scenery, my main focus in terms of photography was looking for compositions that could later work well in monochrome and tweaking camera settings to ensure that photos came out sharp in low overcast light. The boat was moving slowly but it was still sufficient enough to introduce motion blur, especially in objects located closest to us. Luckily, these days the cameras are much more capable in terms of dynamic range and it was possible to keep the ISO down to 200/400 and shutter speed to around 1/100 sec, knowing that you can recover a lot of dark areas later post processing.
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