Basic Knowledge for Photography in Yunnan

Yunnan is beautiful in color. Whether it is the Tiger Leaping Gorge or the tranquil shore of Erhai Lake; whether it is the holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain or the Tropical Flower Garden of Xishuangbanna; whether it is Lugu Lake, or Shuhe Ancient town; all the colors are natural, gorgeous and never repeated. Take a beloved camera and put all the beauty of Yunnan on your camera and re-enact the sceneries in memory. Even after many years, open the album of that year when you came to Yunnan and recorded the beauty of Yunnan in your camera , I believe you will still sigh at the magic of creation, and the profound experience of the Yunnan photography tour.

For shutterbugs, What is important in a travel? Maybe the most important thing is to take beautiful photos. However, taking photos has always been an indispensable part of travel not only for shutterbugs, but also for common travelers. In the following, I will share some basic knowledge for photography in Yunnan. and I think these knowledge will be helpful for you when traveling in Yunnan.

Basic Knowledge for Photography-Filter

UV Filter

UV is short for UV filter. UV is invisible light, but the film is very sensitive to it, so when shooting landscapes, UV filter should be used to absorb the ultraviolet light of the distant view to reduce its effect on the film and enhance the clarity of the photo. There is also a skylight filter, which has the function of UV filter. In Yunnan, the UV is very strong, so you need to use the UV filter when you want to take a beautiful photo.

Polar Filter

It mainly have four functions as follows:

  • Control the hue of the sky: If you want to deepen the saturation of the blue sky, you can use the polar filter.
  • Control the reflection of objects: It is ideal to control the light reflected from a non-metallic smooth surface with the polar filter.

  • Improve the saturation

Basic Knowledge for Photography- Mistakes Made by Beginners

1. Confuse the Primary with Secondary

People who often take pictures in the park, the photographer and the subject are far away, and the camera used does not have a zoom lens. Naturally, we can conclude that this will not be a successful photo. Because the photographer can’t figure out what he/she wants to express, is it the person, or the scenery? According to the composition arrangement and the theme conception, the photo can only contain one subject, and other content should be centered on the subject, and better highlight and express the connotation of the subject. In terms of the outdoor landscape photography, there are generally two situations as follows:

(1) Focus on the person. We traveled to scenic spots or walked to the park on Sundays, taking pictures as the best memories of the future, with representative buildings, flowers, grass, lakes and other backgrounds to set off the main characters. Characters should occupy the main space in the picture and become the center of vision. If you can further vividly reproduce the inner temperament of the person through expression, action, etc., it will make it worthy of permanent collection!

(2)Focus on the scenery and decorate with the people. It is often used to express special scenery. For example, if you shoot a big Buddha statue, you can reflect the greatness of the ancient civilization with a small proportion of the people in the photo.

2. Half- white and Half-black Face and Black Face

“Half-white and half-black face” means that the face of the portrait is illuminated by 90 degree side light. Shooting in this way often shows a strong dramatic effect, which is not suitable as a life photography. “Black face” refers to the consequences of underexposure of backlighting portraits. If you shoot the back or side of the person, you can achieve the silhouette effect. For the front portrait, it is best to fill light properly, such as using a flash or a reflector. For beginners, it is often difficult to improve the role of light in the overall composition, or always habitually use some kind of light without any change.

3. Trees on the Head

Due to the flat shape of the photo, it is easy to “graft” the branches and poles in the distance to the main character, as if growing from the head, so that the photos that might have been good are not enough. In fact, as long as you are shooting, pay attention to it, and then you can avoid it by changing the angle. It can also be solved by the related correction software afterwards.

What Equipment We Need for Photography in Yunnan

Many electric device can be only used at the altitude of 2,000 meters. So you need to prepare the special cameras if you plan to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Meili Snow Mountain, Shangri-La, Haba Snow Mountain, ect. places at the high altitude of 3,000m. And the only transportation is on foot, so take the only necessary things as far as possible. The necessary things shall be fewer as possible.

  • Digital camera: Films are less useful at high altitude than digital cameras and the photos quality are lower and tend to blur at near-freezing temperatures.
  • Batteries: In general, the batteries can only last for a lot shorter period of time. So please take more batteries.
  • Tripod: A tripod is a kind of support frame used to stabilize the camera to achieve some photographic effects. The positioning of the tripod is very important.
  • Lens: After the light reaches the  retroreflector through the lens of the camera, it is refracted to the upper focusing screen and formed into an image. Different lens can meet the different requirements of the photographer.
  • Body: A body with good ISO performance is best here and can get the best photos possible.
  • Recharger: Ensure very batteries are in full of energy.
  • Filter: It can help us produce the best imagines.

Tips for Photography in Yunnan

1. Portrait Photography

If you are interested in portrait photography, then you should first choose sites that have good light intensity, minimal cloud over, and direct overhead sunlight, and the best time to photograph. Compared with other places, Yunnan is a place that is suitable to travel all year round. Filters are not a good idea in portrait photography either, as they tend to blur the image too much. Overhead sunlight is the best option, with a good 1.4/200mm lens for the clearest shots. Use a good DSLR for the photos, so that you can take multiple shots at once on each desired scene, to get the best of all the photos printed.

Please Note: If you want to take photos of people, you should ask for their permission first, and do not take photos without permission

2. Local Customs Photography

If you want to take photos of local customs, you should check related information in advance making good preparation. Yunnan has the largest number of ethnic population in China with 26 ethnic minorities including Bai, Yi, Dai, Naxi, Hani, Miao, Tibetan, Hui, Yao,etc. The unique ethnic minorities culture make Yunnan the most colorful and majestic region in China. You definitely will have great fun by discovering the ethnic villages, enjoying the local performance and taking parting in the local big event. For more details, please refer to Yunnan Culture.

3. Natural Scenery Photography

When you plan to travel in Yunnan, there are many attractions that make you enjoy yourself so much as to forget to leave. The only problem you need to concern is insufficient memory, too many attractions will run out of your memory.

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