The Forbidden City

posted by tucker

Well the photos are getting few and far between but that just means everyone’s a little busier than they realize. Which can definitely be a good thing but it also means getting fresh content on T.A.G. is a little trickier. We’ve said before that we could always just line up a bunch of “meh” material and have it set to auto-post one a day for the next month but we decided a while back we’d rather work for longer periods of time on individual posts and try and keep the quality of work higher, even if it means long stretches of inactivity. SO… that being said, here’s the next image to come out of China. Ta-da, the Forbidden City.

Having visited the Forbidden City earlier in the week, we were on the fence over whether to go back… the weather was kind of clearing up but could we risk sneaking all of our documentary equipment past security again? We took a go-big-or-go-home stance and stripped down the camera package again to what felt like less than the bare minimum and made for the security checkpoint. Our efforts paid off and as we watched them roll our bag down the X-ray belt we knew we’d avoided complete disaster for the second time that week.

As you can see, this is a “clear” day…

I’m not sure what the awareness level is out there, but I for one had no appreciation for the horrible air quality in Beijing until we got off the plane had noticed we had a visibility of about 300 yards in the city. The pollution turns the air to absolute muck and poses a very obvious challenge for photography — how to take pictures of the place without making it look so nasty. HDR can only do so much, but on this particular occasion, I was so thankful to have legitimately good (good by Beijing standards) weather with discernible clouds instead of the omnipresent gray haze.

Amazing place, I really didn’t realize how big the compound is until I walked across it. There’s this famous courtyard of course but tons of gardens and surrounding courtyards to this one that lead to it… it’s a huge place and after sweating our way through it, we couldn’t say no to watermelon on a stick for about $0.14: Beijing, China.

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