Xiapu, China - Day 4 Photography Tour with Andy and Mia Beales (Gatsby Travel)

'Just as distance tests a horse’s strength, time can reveal a person’s heart'. Chinese Proverb

The last day of our photography tour, involved, of course another early start. By Day 4 our body clock was quite accustomed to being disturbed in the early hours of the morning. Today we were destined for North Pan Beach to photograph the colorfully clothed Hui'an women, whom the Beales had engaged. On this day I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. The atmospheric conditions at the beach were windy and humid and my camera and lens did not take kindly to going from a cool environment to a humid one and so a foggy lens ensued. Any attempt by me to remedy the situation failed, forcing me to return to the vehicle and retrieve a 35mm and 50mm prime lens that did not react in such a negative manner. I was thus forced to zoom with my feet.

Fuji X-T2 35mm prime lens: Artistically rendered using Topaz Studio and PS Mixer brush

Hui'an Fishing Women

The traditional dress of Hui'an women is quite distinctive with colourful head scarves, short top and long and loose pants, with a wide belt above them. The Hui'an women are known for their hard work and independence. In doing a little research on these women I came upon a story regarding the strength of these women, which goes something like this: 'In 1958, people needed to keep water urgently to maintain their regular lives and avoid the big floods, but there weren’t enough people to do the work, so all the younger women in Hui'an county united together to participate in this huge project, It’s a 105.8 square meters area, and 126,000,000 cubic meters reservoir, named by Huian Women " Huian Women Reservoir”. Hui'an women are known to do stone carving, fishing, carrying heavy items, and all the other daily work, which is always considered too much for women in the long history of China.'

Photographing these women was delightful and they were very cooperative participants. The images below have been processed using Topaz Studio for an artistic rendering which to me suited the subjects.

Fuji X-T2 50mm lens
Fuji X-T2 50mm lens
Fuji X-T2 50mm lens

Towards the end of the shoot I had the opportunity to capture some up close images of these wonderful women.

Fuji X-T2 50mm lens

My favorite image was captured during the latter part of the shoot. Andy Beales creatively held the fishing net up high and on blended knee I photographed from under the net for a different perspective.

Fuji X-T2 50mm lens

With that our photography tour unfortunately came to an end. A huge debt of gratitude to Andy and Mia Beales for organizing such an interesting and diverse tour of this remote part of China.

Behind the scenes at North Pan Beach:

Courtesy of John Knight
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