Visual Adventure: The Great Wall of China

Attit Patel November 29, 2013 1

This post may not be as much about the Great Wall of China as it is about looking at things differently. When shooting a massive landmark such as the Great Wall, at 8,851.8km (5,500 mi) in length, it can be very easy to just photograph the hell out of it. Any of these tips could essentially be used to shoot any major landmark. Remember, try to see things differently and your photographs will be much more memorable and unique.

Shoot your postcard photo. (Everyone gets one.)

The postcard shot of the Great Wall of China, photo by Attit P.

The postcard shot of the Great Wall of China, photo by Attit P.

Yep, make sure you do get that one postcard photo before you get anything else. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

Perspective can change everything.

A higher perspective of the Great Wall of China, photo by Attit P.

A higher perspective of the Great Wall of China, photo by Attit P.

In this shot, I was able to climb up onto one of the watchtowers and get a great perspective of a very steep part of the Wall.

Don’t always shoot level.

Get low and shoot up, photo by Attit P.

Get low and shoot up, photo by Attit P.

This time, I basically was laying on my back and shooting right up the steps before our models got there. As my Creative Director says, “Dutch that shit, yo!” Dutch tile or angle is essentially turing your camera so the shot is angled.

Even small parts can be interesting.

The edge of the Great Wall of China, photo by Attit P.

The edge of the Great Wall of China, photo by Attit P.

A lot of people make the mistake of filling every pixel of the frame with the full Wall, all the time. Look for small details and repetitive patterns for a bit of variety.

Shoot some frames in portrait. You could get some amazing skies.

Use the sky to add more drama to your shot, photo by Attit P.

Use the sky to add more drama to your shot, photo by Attit P.

I basically got really lucky here with the rain clouds coming in. The sky can be the best complement to any photograph. It helps create more of a feeling of grandeur.

Use it as a backdrop.

The Great Wall of China as a backdrop, photo by Attit P.

The Great Wall of China as a backdrop, photo by Attit P.

You’re probably thinking, “The Great Wall as a backdrop? Is this guy insane?” Many people save up for years in order to get an opportunity to cross something like the Great Wall off their bucket list. But, if you’re travelling with someone, this is a great way to put your own personal spin on the landmark. Do avoid the cheesy tourist shot.

One Comment »

  1. Kim April 12, 2014 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Thank you for these amazing pic Attit.! I am leaving this week to walk this amazing wall for 6 days with my 16yr son for his birthday. You certainly bring out the beauty of the wall and I am now even more excited about seeing it..
    Looking forward to using some of your techniques.
    Cheers
    Kim

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