Moving in one of the biggest region in China in both term: surface covered and population, Sichuan, famous also for the spicy food such as hot pot and many others. The region is the natural habitat for the most Chinese iconic animal, the giant panda, there is the biggest natural reserve (Wolong natural reserve) where to admire this unique animal.
Jiuzhaigou Valley (九寨沟) literally "Valley of Nine Villages", it is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of Sichuan, China. It is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colourful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. Its elevation ranges from 2,000 to 4,500 metres (6,600 to 14,800 ft.).
The valley runs in the general north-south direction through northern Sichuan (the eastern part of the Ngawa Tibetan, Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and adjacent areas of Mianyang Prefecture) and southernmost borderlands of Gansu. It is a wonderland of nature environment combined by blue lakes, waterfalls, verdant forests and snow covered mountains.
Most important it is kept at its natural beauty and free of human contamination, it is a close environment where tourist are allowed to move inside only by local transportation.
Walking down from the top lake, it is a continuous surprise of breath taking scenery: water flowing at high speed in small creek and calm lake with a deep blue water.
Transportation to reach the valley are not very convenient and it requires more than half day to go there from Chengdu, first with a flight to Jiuhuang Airport and after a couple of hours by bus or car to the foot of the valley. It is anyway highly recommended and worth to spend a couple of day there.
Continuing on the sharing, today place can be part of the same trip to Longji. The best is to stop first in Yangshuo (阳朔) and after travel North to Guilin and Longji later on, if not interested to cruise the Li river.
Yangshuo is the arrival point of the cruise along the Li river, departure port is in Guilin. The cruise is a good chance to see most of karsts along the way, that makes this area famous.
The area is well known for the environmental small hills along the river and in some internal area.
A must see is the night show along the river is Impression of Sanjie Liu, it is representing a love legend from a local minority. What is more impressive is most of the actors are all locals fisherman very skillful on maneuvering the small boats, the director is the famous Zhang Yimou, who directed open and closing ceremonies in 2008 Olympic Games. The show is performed in a beautiful natural amphitheater along the river close to Yangshuo.
There are many spots along the river and some of the hills can be climbed to have a top view of the natural area, renting a small boat with a local fisherman it gives an interesting experience about the area.
As part of my sharing experience, I am planning to write post about my past travels. There will be a new post about every month, with a new location and not more than 10 photos to share. The location will be described with some details, the purpose is not have a travel guide. There are always some links about the location visited and to have more information you can contact me via email.
I can assure, you will get all information on my hand without any second purpose such as workshop or travel proposal, I have a daily job and this is here just to share my passion and give you the best chance to visit those places.
The firs location I'd like to introduce is base in south of China. Longji (龙脊梯田) is locate in north eastern part of Guangxi province, the easy way to go there is take a train or flight to Guilin and a bus or private car to the area. The name in Chinese means dragon's backbone due to the terrace shape.
The rice grows in narrow terrace along the hills side, this is where the name is coming from. In the past it was a way of surviving for the local community, now even do is planted every year it work as a tourist attraction.
All over the year there are three important time when to visit the area. In autumn, around 1st week of October, when the rice is ready to pick and it turn to a beautiful yellow color. In winter, January and February, if lucky enough the terrace are covered by a layer of fresh snow and finally in spring, May - June, when the terrace are flooded.
The photos above are taken during a 3 days stay in the area at early of October, the next plan is to be there in June for the next round of photos.
I am working to revise all my photos and post process all of them again to black and white. The portfolio is online here and more albums are on their way to the www soon.
The idea started to come into my mind more than one year ago, when the journey around the street photography had it begin. I immediately processed in a B&W conversion from the first photo. In my mind was and is still the best way for it.
I would like the viewer to focus mainly on the scene, the message more than into the color. I was coming from landscape colorful photo shared in different social network and the most attractive photo are those with stunning color, the scene is coming after. I am trying to build something different where my taste feels more comfortable with. I would like to get feedback for the composition, the message and not for my skill to pop up very saturated color.
The B&W conversion is allowing a completely different approach in the light room, where subject, composition and light are the only things that matter. I know the world is full of color, but everything can be reduced to a multiple level of greys, and so I am pursuing in this direction. Do I miss it? not really so much, my photography mindset is in the journey to switch completely to the black and white view. When I look to a new photo in color, one of the first questions, if not the first, is "how will it look in B&W?"' From there my view - brain start to figure out how it could be in multi tonal grey. For the majority of them the final conclusion is that it will look much better in black and white than color.
The BW is giving me a completely different feeling, it looks much more comprehensive and it force to focus on detail both when I take the picture and when I make it in the post process. it is better? I do not know, for sure I like it more and I am very pleased with what I get so far. I am growing and improving every day my skills are changing and my taste too.
I am getting more comfortable with the post process, the background is enough to support my idea and for the first time i can say I developed my own post process flow.
Here is where the journey into photography has taken me now, tomorrow it is unknown. There is a ton of work waiting, thousands and thousands of photos to view again, select, make them as I like and share. It is not a new start, it is in the middle of the journey and I am eager to see where it will take me next.
Today before start this post, I was reading the portfolio introduction post made about 16 months ago. I feel strange to see how prophetic some of the words was at that time, writing about the possibility to change the photo into the portfolio as my personal taste will shift. What a change is moving from color to black and white, the journey around it took me 12 months to get there and it is not done yet.
I feel it is the right time to share the shift, my passion and result again.
Here you can find how it looks now.
I do not want to say it is better, it is different for sure and it is matching my actual view about photography. Could it change again? why not. Person feeling arrived at the top will never grow more and will start to decline.
It could be change in the photo, in the technique, in the way to post process them, because the need to share a new journey around the photography or to some place recently discovered. I like to think it as a dynamic album when new things are coming in and old things are moving out, not because new is better than old but because I like it more or is matching my view / style at that time.
The only thing will not change is the number of photo, it is up to 15 and it will stay there. Selection process is not an easy one but it is part of the photographer skill to be developed.
The portfolio is the main outcome from the journey in the photography and travelling in different places. It is far to be a single project, it is more a summary about what I have the pleasure and the luckiness to see in these years and in what will come.
Born in Italy and photographer for passion. My father gave me the first camera. After many years taking film picture, I stopped doing it for almost 15 years. Since I move to China for work and having chance to visiting beautiful places I bought a digital camera and restart from zero. Here you can see my result. Hope you like it and thanks in advance for your comments.