Beijing Express (1 of 4): Historic Highlights

Looks like it’s time to cross a couple more spots off the old bucket list. After a whirlwind work trip to Beijing, one where I spent nearly as much time in a pressurized aluminum tube 35,000 feet above the Arctic Circle as I did on the ground, I now have the Great Wall, Hou Hai, Tian Tan, Tian’an Men Square and the Forbidden City in the rear view mirror. Thanks to my liberal interpretation of what “a good night’s sleep” actually means, I was able to tour much more of Beijing in three days than one might suspect. Considering that I also had to get my job done, I knew it was unlikely that I would get to see all the famous sights in and around China’s political capital, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try.

The following series of posts provide a tiny glimpse into the modern state of one of the world’s ancient cultures. Beijing is a place where new ideas clash daily with millennia old traditions. The result is a vibrant, dynamic society that is struggling to find a balance between freedom and control as it moves forward into the 21st Century.

Forbidden City

38mm @ 1/100, f/5.6, ISO 100
200mm @ 1/400, f/5.6, ISO 100
200mm @ 1/160, f/5.6, ISO 100

Tian’an Men Square

42mm @ 1/160, f/5.6, ISO 100

The Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan)

48mm @ 1/60, f/5, ISO 100
36mm @ 1/640, f/2.8, ISO 100

The Bell & Drum Towers (Hou Hai)

70mm @ 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 100 & 62mm @ 1/80, f/5.6, ISO 100

The Great Wall (Mutianyu Pass)

40mm @ 1/80, f/8, ISO 100
200mm @ 1/250, f/6.3, ISO 100
45mm @ 1/100, f/6.3, ISO 100

Check out the video of me tobogganing down the side of Mutianyu to get off the Great Wall, and look for more shots from my amazing trip in my Beijing Express set on Flickr.


  1. Not even the editor of National Geographic could take as beautiful shots as these!! You are a brilliant photographer, with a very discerning, smart eye. I love how you framed all your shots and captured such vivid colors!! I’m in love with the Temple of Heaven shots, especially the framed doorway. I’m so happy you got a chance to experience China!

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