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Pagoda
A nice place to sit and contemplate.

It was Easter Sunday, 2009. We'd flown from Beijing to Xian where our first sightseeing stop was the Giant Goose Pagoda. There are peonies growing everywhere on the grounds surrounding, creating a very nice setting for the shrines, monuments and other sights encountered.

This pagoda is not the Giant Goose Pagoda, but is within the grounds. When I first saw it there were probably a dozen or so people lounging around and having a good time chatting inside. No one could blame them- it's a beautiful, restful place to sit for a while and talk with your companions.

The pagoda sits on a little rise, no more than six or eight feet high, overlooking the rest of the grounds. So when I went down below, I was able to shoot upwards through the peonies eliminating any people that might be inside the structure.

As throughout most of my China visit, the sky was a dull grey that occasionally would throw down some mist or spit a drop or two, and the air was quite hazy. Many things were slightly obscured, even at a close distance. And, you know, I can't leave a dull sky alone. If I remember correctly, the sky in the final product was from Oakland, California.

Anyway, here is my photo of "not-the_Giant-Goose-Pagoda-but-the-little-wooden-one-next-to-it." Enjoy!

#Travel   #China   #Xian   #GianGoosePagoda   #flowers   #peonies   #Photoshop   #Lightroom  
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A Turtle
A big one, too!

Inside the Forbidden City, April 2009.

The back lighting made this difficult. And my tour group was moving on, so . . . Maybe a return visit some day in better light?

#LightroomCC  and #PhotoshopCC  were utilized to create virtual copies that were adjusted to +1, normal and -1 exposures that were then taken into NIK HDR Effects Pro. I may still fiddle around with this some more, but for right now, my forehead is sore.

#Travel   #China   #Beijing   #ForbiddenCity   #Turtle  
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A Setting Near Xian, China
The Terracotta Warriors Live Here!

After spending a couple of hours touring the excavations and viewing the Terracotta Army in their natural, if somewhat ruined habitat, I emerged back into the sunlight to observe this area on the grounds.

I have to tell you, the sky didn't look like this. And the mountains were barely visible through the haze. If you're a pixel peeper type, I urge you not to look too closely- unless you enjoy that kind of up-close visual torture. This photo has been processed into a kind of submission. There are many serious flaws to be seen. Just take in the scene and move along. Please!

OK. First came several layers of de-hazing in LightroomCC, followed by replacement of the dull blue-brown cloudless sky with this one from California. There was also some cloning out of people in the foreground. All in all, there are maybe two hours of labor invested in getting to this state.

#Travel   #China   #Xian   #TerracottaWarriors   #Landscape  
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Shanghai, China
Looking across the river from The  Bund
-April 2009
 
#Travel   #China   #Shanghai  
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Beijing Temple

A temple sits on a hill as you exit the Forbidden City on the opposite side from the Tien An Men Square entrance - Beijing - April 2009.

#Travel   #China   #Beijing   #ForbiddenCity   #Temple  
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*Giant Marionettes - *
Friendly giants, though!
 
I've reworked this photo-- again. It's a "vertomrama" made from two horizontal aspect frames, handheld. I posted this a couple of days ago, but after seeing it online, I thought it was a bit dark. Also, the noise on the little "girl's" face and dress was annoying, so I ran it back into Photoshop and did a little more filtering. A version of this from a few years ago is also in my G+ China album (https://goo.gl/aHLnd4 ) done in an earlier version of Photoshop and its Photomerge function.

These characters were apparently part of the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It must have been quite a sight. They now reside in the museum attached to the Terracotta Warriors excavation site, Lintong District, Xian, Shiaanxi Province,  China. The site is well worth the day-long trip to see.

Used almost exclusively in this reworking effort was   #LightroomCC2015  , except for a minor bit of clone-stamping that required a trip into   #PhotoshopCC2015  . I may yet try more plugins to further reduce noise and such, but at web sizes, this will do!
 
#Travel   #China   #TerracottaWarriors   #Xian  
 
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Monument
Not sure to whom, though.
 
I've posted a version of this before. When on a tour bus, one does not always get the choice of angles and composition that might be preferred. This is one of those shots- somewhere between Xian, China, and the Terracotta Soldiers excavation site and museum the bus drove around this under-construction monument. Just before turning right and away, I managed to fire off one shot. 
 
This particular version is a composite. The original sky was empty and sort of a blue-grey-brown. The previous upload of this (http://goo.gl/WDOaAs) used a texture to disguise the plainness of the sky, but this time I thought I'd give it something more interesting from my growing collection of sky shots. 
 
Used in this production were #Lightroom5 #PhotoshopCC2014 #TopazDenoise #TopazDetail and TopazRestyle  
 
#Travel #China #Xian #TerracottaWarriors
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Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Xian, China - April 2009
 
On the day we visited the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian, the skies were a uniformly muted grey. Most everything was dulled in the shadowless light.

I had the idea that I would take a series of hand-held shots to make into a vertorama later, but . . . well, I missed a bit here and there and it didn't work out the way I envisioned. Here, then, is the "central" photo of the series.
 
This photo was processed in #Lightroom5  and #Nik   #SilverEfexPro
 
#Travel #China #Xian #GiantWildGoosePagoda
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The Castle
The Summer Palace, Beijing - April 2009
 
On our first day in Beijing we were taken by bus to the Imperial Summer Palace. This is a large complex, bigger- I think- than the Forbidden City. It is situated beside a lake, and the surroundings are quite beautiful.
 
One interesting thing about this place: the lake is man-made- and the mountain upon which the castle sits was created from the soil and rocks that were dug out of the ground to create the lake. Now that's a landscape project!
 
There's another version of this photo in the China album, but I decided to take another run at it, since both Photoshop(CC) and its plugins are much improved in helpful technology since I did the previous one. 
 
There were problems with the original raw file stemming primarily from the tiny sensor in the camera. That, and my marginal skills. D'Oh! Good thing I know a bit about #PhotoshopCC !
 
Used in this production were #TopazDenoise3 #Nik #Viveza and #TopazAdjust5 .  
  
#Travel #China #Beijing #SummerPalace
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An Interesting Building In Beijing
April 2009
 
Our tour bus had taken us to a pedestrian overpass near the Beijing Olympic area so that we could get our tourist snapshots of the Birdnest Stadium and other venues. Nearby was this interesting building. 
 
#Travel #China #Beijing
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