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Marco Polo in China



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Weatherproof
Photograph by Michael Yamashita

Compact version of the caravans that took Marco Polo across China’s fearsome Taklimakan Desert, a sure-footed donkey and Bactrian camel carry a traveler through a rare snowstorm outside the town of Kashgar in Xinjiang. More than two arduous years into his journey from Venice to the east coast of China, Polo was spooked by the desert wilderness. He heard mysterious whisperings in the dune fields and noises like “many instruments sounding.” He attributed the sounds to “spirits” who were thought to lead travelers off the path to their death.




Camera: Canon EOS I
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: 28-135mm zoom
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Heavy snow
Time of Day: Mid-afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Available light

Special Equipment or Comments:
I considered myself very lucky to be caught in this snowstorm in the middle of March in this mountainous desert region. I was desperately searching for a subject while my driver and assistant occupied themselves getting the jeep into four-wheel drive, when this camel guy came ambling by.



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