The Way I See It

Posts Tagged ‘云南


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Gyalthang, also known as Zhongdian or Shangri-la, sits in the ancient Kingdaon of Kham, on the Tibetan Plateau. Geographically, it is located in northern Yunnan province, almost on the border with Sichuan. Although under Chinese rule, the region is predominantly Tibetan, with a small population of Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities.

Had things gone according to plan, I would have spent today flying home from a visit to Gyalthang. But the trip was canceled at the last minute and I ended up being able to spend Thanksgiving at home, something that I am extremely thankful for. These images are from September, on a prior trip.



Photog Notes
I made these images under some pretty difficult lighting conditions. Stupa was taken in the afternoon, under a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds and strong directional light. The shot was made in the shadow-strewn square, resulting in a bright sky and dark architectural details. In processing, I applied a generous amount of lightening to bring out the beauty in the colors and decorative details. Pilgrims, on the other hand, was shot under a gray, overcast sky right after an afternoon storm. The dull lighting resulted in a rather flat image. To counter this, I applied a teeny bit of Orton effect to give the tones a kick as well as to add a bit of depth. Overall, both images took a bit of work but I’m pretty pleased with the results. They help reflect the colorfulness and vibrancy of life in Gyalthang.



Written by xinapray

November 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Yunnan to Sichuan

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I shot this at Daxue Shan (Great Snow Mountain, 大雪山) on our drive from Shangri-la (香格里拉) aka Zhongdian (中甸) to Chatreng/Xiangcheng (乡城).
Daxue Shan, Yunnan.

Much of the drive was on rugged, unpaved roads along gorgeous mountain ridges and over breathtaking mountain passes. By this point in the trip, we were routinely above 4000 metres. With the neighboring peaks and billowing weather all at eye level, it felt like we were traveling on top of the world. Truly amazing landscape. Probably the most beautiful of our trip. I shall return with more time on my hands.
Xiao Xue Shan Pass, Yunnan

Written by xinapray

October 23, 2010 at 10:57 am

Images of Shangrila

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We were out in the late afternoon, driving around on the high-country grassland when our lead vehicle pulled to a quick stop. The plain before us was bathed in beautiful muted glow and in the distance, a storm front was coming This is down from the hills.We were out in the late afternoon, driving around on the high-country grassland when our lead vehicle pulled to a quick stop. The plain before us was bathed in beautiful muted glow and in the distance, a storm front was coming down from the hills.
Storm Front and Shangrila Grasslands

The square in old town Shangri-la. We were there right between the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day/Golden Week. It was thus pretty quiet.
The Square in Old Shangrila

Written by xinapray

October 17, 2010 at 12:51 am

On the Road to Shangri-La

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Yi Boy in Traditional Tibetan Coat

While on the road to Shangri-la (formerly called Zhongdian), we came across this young Yi boy, dressed in a traditional embroidered Tibetan coat with fur trim.

Magical Shangrila Landscape

Mist-shrouded peaks, deep, fertile valleys and rich, earthy hillsides. Could this be the place that James Hilton found his Shangri-La?

Written by xinapray

October 15, 2010 at 1:48 am


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Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was the first stop on our road trip through the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

It was sprinkling as we pulled into town but as we finished getting settled in at the inn, things eased up enough so that we could hoof it down to the town square to start exploring. And behold, this is what greeted us.
Lijiang Old Town Square with Rainbow


Narrow cobblestone streets (open to foot traffic only) traverse all of Old Town. Running alongside these footpaths is an amazing network of babbling brooks and waterways. As we wandered around in the cool Fall evening, I was captivated by the fresh alpine air, the rustic architecture, the impeccably clear water and the charming paving-stone walkways.
Old Lijiang Cobblestone Street


Devastated by a 7.0 earthquake in 1996, the town was rebuilt in the original Naxi style, with these amazing classic gray tile roofs that stretch almost as far as the eye can see. I shot this on a crisp morning as the mountain mists rolled through; it was an experience that I will not easily forget.
Old Lijiang Rooftops in the Morning Mist


In the evenings, Old Town springs to life with the gorgeous light cast by these red lanterns (that adorn most of the buildings). I think back on Lijiang most fondly. The word “magical” springs to mind but knowing what I know about myself and my giddiness during those days, I shall leave it as “amazing” for now.
Old Lijiang at Night



Written by xinapray

October 14, 2010 at 1:01 am

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