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Marco Polo in China



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Defying the Desert
Photograph by Michael Yamashita

Village women mobilize near the oasis of Hotan in Xinjiang to plant a windbreak of poplars. Many of the caravan stops Marco mentioned on his route across the deserts of western China are now buried. Tree planting numbered among the many virtues Marco ascribed to Kublai Khan, the Mongol ruler whose empire covered most of China. Kublai ordered that trees must border all the roadways in his realm so that, Marco wrote, travelers “may not lose the way.”




Camera: Canon EOS I
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: 28-135mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/250 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Beautiful
Time of Day: Late afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Available light





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