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Last week, I had the opportunity for the first time to visit the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, in central China. I was excited to have this opportunity althougha little wary that I would be visiting a location that has been photographed from nearly every angle over the years, since their discovery in 1974. This is often the case when visiting popular sites and it is sometimes a real challenge to find something unique and different when you feel like you know a place well, even before you have visited.
As I wandered around the vast pits containing the warriors I, like everyone else, was stunned by the sight in front of me. The only problem was that there was quite a large distance between the visiting areas and the warriors themselves. This sense of wonderment in the visitors was therefore difficult to capture.
Upon further exploration of the site, I happened upon a room which containing a number of individual soldiers, encased in glass displays. This was the closest that visitors could get to a warrior. As a result, the hoardes of tourists squeezed around the case, all trying to get a good look.
My attention became focused on the visitors and I began to photograph them and their reactions to the warrior in front of them. It was their reactions which fascinated me the most and offered me the best opportunity at capturing the reaction of the people to seeing the warriors. I hope that the image above reflects (excuse the pun) their feelings and hints at the importance of this site to the Chinese people.
Camera Info: Canon 7D | 16-35mm f2.8 lens | ISO 1600 | f2.8 | 1/30th