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Ancient Village

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 2 April 2019 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


A return to the fishing village of the Three Gorges Tribe in China. My previous photo from the recreated village along the stream in Xiling Gorge was a monochrome take on the fishing nets. This time a scene from a little further up the stream and in full lushness of the green tones that had such a presence in this spot.

The sky was overcast but the clouds were very thin and at times there was a lovely glow shining through the gorge that cast some beautiful soft light on the foliage and the stream. The opposite bank had some darker shadows that I also liked as they helped to isolate the main elements of this scene - the boats and the waterwheels. The wind was minimal and that enhanced the feeling of tranquillity and calmness.

Tranquillity and calmness... It is incredible that a photo can tell such a different story to what was actually happening. I write of these peaceful qualities but the reality of guided tours is often very different. The bank which we were on, was full of people running around pushing to get the best view, tour guides screaming their information out to groups that were too spread out to hear it all, people snapping selfies left right and centre. I am not criticising them. They all are free to enjoy travel in their own unique way. It was just the reality of what was happening in contrast to the photo that I am presenting here.

One of the most important things I have learned over my photographic life and our travels is to find a place of calmness within myself when dealing with larger crowds. Sometimes I think having photographic vision is actually a benefit. In this instance, I was just able to focus on the scene through my viewfinder and eliminate all the noise and distractions around me. Taking the time to scan the stream with my camera, thinking about the composition and lgiht allowed me to find the tranquillity and calmness that I mentioned. From the moment I pressed the shutter for this photo until the final result after processing, this is exactly how the scene felt for me and how I remember it (or how I would like to remember it).

There was no chance to set up a tripod so I went for higher ISO to allow a faster shutter speed. It was also required, because I kept the polariser on to enhance the green tones and reduce any glare on the foliage and water. It was one of the photos that I spent the most time in post processing. I had that slightly darker but soothing mood in my mind that I wanted to bring out. I wanted to accentuate that soft glow that I mentioned in the beginning and it took a lot of gentle dodging and burning, as well as subtle colour tweaking to imbue my vision into the final image.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 1/60 second F/8.0 ISO 800 41 mm

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