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Marco Polo in China



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Bridging the Centuries
Photograph by Michael Yamashita

Marco Polo traveled here, crossing the Yongding River southwest of Beijing. “Ten horsemen can well go there the one beside the other,” he wrote of the original stone bridge. Rebuilt in the 17th century, the span is known as the Marco Polo Bridge, commemorating the traveler often called “China’s favorite foreigner.” Marco’s book, The Description of the World, based on his years in China from 1275 to 1291, presented the stunning news that the world’s largest cities and richest resources were located not in Europe, as his audience assumed, but in the far-off Orient.




Camera: Canon EOS I
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: 17-35mm zoom
Speed and F-Stop: 1/15 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Beautiful
Time of Day: Sunset
Lighting Techniques: Available light with fill strobe

Special Equipment or Comments:
I used a slow shutter to blur 20th-century bike riders into a blur of wheels gliding over ancient stones with ruts cut by centuries of wear.


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