The Great Wall

Grey mists and a stiff breeze usher in a welcome morning, eye-lids rocking open to swirling cloud overhead, a rolling, tumbling viscous soup caressing the wooded landscape. The dense valley tree line acts as a natural filter, slowing the smothering onslaught, siphoning thick grey whisps around dark trunks, up to the steep stone wall, weaving through crenellated capping like dancing snakes. My legs cramp as I unwind them from a jet black Nikon nestled deep in my sleeping bag, a bedding choice that was less than adequate for the late autumn night air. Yes, I sleep with my gear. No, it’s not comfortable. Picking up a sleepy D700, I triumphantly pull out the right lens and roll down the cold stone steps of the empty guard tower to take stock of our situation. Jozsef calls out from the roof above, the mist is clearing on the horizon, it’s time to move…

The Winter Wall

D700 / 50 f1.4 / Tianjin

Strapped and stapled to the hillside like a giant stone zip, the ancient processional way hugs valleys and cuts peaks with an architectural finesse unseen in modern cement-made China, ensuring safe passage to all those on the right side of The Wall.

The Summer Wall

D700 / 50 f1.4 / Tianjin

Sitting on top of an unused guard tower we watch the gun-metal grey clouds roll in, devouring the lush valley like a ravenous monster. The final light of a mid summers day unleashes a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape, but the monster encroaches still, promising a cold and sleepless night ahead.

BARNABY JACO SKINNER

Photographer & Artist

All content copyright Barnaby Jaco Skinner 2018

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