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Final EditThe image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Elizabeth Krist

Illustrations editor Elizabeth Krist talks about information as the determining factor when choosing among beautiful photos with like elements.

Cut It?
"This photo was similar to several other images we were considering, including the one featured on pages 18-9 that shows the Spring Festival procession," says illustrations editor Elizabeth Krist. "It conveys the same sense of the mud-walled village in the background. Even though this is an evocative shot, the other ones were atmospheric visuals that offered more information."

Or Keep It?
"I just love the way the light creates such a strong mood in this picture," Krist continues. "The darkness of the silhouetted horse seems to anchor the light. The dramatic movement of its mane and tail and the position of the front legs, combined with the golden light of sunrise, help you imagine yourself in the scene. We hated to lose it, so it was an ideal Final Edit."

Final Edit

Photograph by Michael Yamashita

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Great Wall Horsepower
"There are few signs of the 21st century" in the tiny Chinese village of Tanyaoguo, says photographer Michael Yamashita. "There are no tractors. People rely on horses for transportation and farmwork." He traveled twice to the Gansu Province hamlet to capture the rhythm of rural life: harvesting wheat and vegetables, herding sheep and yaks down to the river for water every morning and evening.

Yamashita was shooting street scenes at sunrise one winter day, taking advantage of the early golden light, as a horse followed a villager down the road. "Then a second horse ran into view. I caught it at a perfect moment with its front legs raised."

"We all loved the drama of the photo," says illustrations editor Elizabeth Krist, "but visually it was too close to the picture on pages 24-5 with the silhouette of the bicyclist moving into the center of the frame. And perhaps other photos we used in the story had more to say about village life. Sometimes it's not enough for a photograph to be beautiful."

Check out The Great Wall, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.

Michael Yamashita

Zoom In on more images by Michael Yamashita

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