Hongcun Village is located at the northeast of Yi County, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, covering an area of 19.17 hectares (more than 300 acres). Hongcun Village was built in the Southern Song Dynasty. With over 870 years' history, 138 ancient buildings left in the Ming and Qing Dynasties still remain their original features.
Hongcun Village is the representative among all Hui-style architectures in southern Anhui province with high historical, artistic and scientific value. The following photography tips for Hongcun Village may help you get excellent pictures of ancient architectures.
The Hui-style architecture is characterized by black tiles, white walls and corbiesteps, decorated with brick carvings, wood carvings and stone carvings, featured by high buildings, deep wells and halls. Hongcun Village is regarded as one of the must-see areas in Huangshan city. Hundreds of ancient houses in the village are lined up one after another. The well-preserved architectures from the Ming and Qing Dynasties and the village layout were inscribed in World Heritage List by UNESCO in the year 2000.
From the whole appearance, Hongcun is a peculiar ox-shaped village, taking Leigang Mountain as a head, two ancient trees at the entrance of the village as horns, Yuezhao Pond as a stomach, Nanhu Lake as the tripe, winding water canals as intestines, residential buildings as the body, and four ancient bridges as four feet. The surrounding mountains and white walls are reflected on the lake. It looks like a slowly unfolding landscape painting, which has attracted many sketching lovers, photographers, and film workers.
Hui-style Architectures in Hongcun Village
Hongcun Village is one of the top destinations for photographers who are interested in ancient town and countryside photography. The best shooting points in Hongcun Village are Nanhu Lake, Yuezhao Pond, water canals and Chengzhi Hall etc. Tachuan Village is another small but hot photography destination, known for its beautiful autumn scenery in October and November. It is located near Hongcun Village with only 30 minutes' walking.
Hongcun Village is crowded during daytime, we would highly recommend you to stay overnight in Hongcun Village and get up earlier in the morning about 6 am-7 am to shoot the best photos, because except for the villagers who get up earlier to work, there are few tourists at that time. It will be much better to take good photos. In addition to ancient town and natural scenery, photographing local residents and craftsmen's daily life is also a good theme.
Located on the southern end of Hongcun Village, Nanhu Lake was built in the Ming Dynasty with an arch shape. It is a classic photography place to shoot the reflection of traditional Hui-style architecture complex by the lake. In addition, the mist in the morning and blooming lotus in summer all are great photography sources. The famous Nanhu Lake Academy is located on the north of Nanhu Lake. At the end of the Ming Dynasty, Hongcun people built six private academies on the north bank of the Nanhu Lake.
In the nineteenth year of Jiaqing in the Qing Dynasty (1814), these six academies were merged and named as "Nanhu Lake Academy". The academy covers an area of over 6,000 square meters including Zhidao Hall, Wenchang Pavilion, Huiwen Pavilion, Qimeng Pavilion, Wanghu Tower and Zhi Garden. The buildings are traditional Hui-style architectures. By visiting there, you can see the artists' paints and also learn something about the social life of that time.
The whole appearance of Hongcun is an ox-shaped village, and Yuezhao Pond is like the stomach of the ox. Yuezhao Pond is green all year round, the surface of the pond is like a mirror, bluestones are spread around the pond, and the walls and tiles are neatly and orderly arranged. On a sunny day, the blue sky and white clouds seem to fall into the water, the old are sitting beside the lake and chatting, women are washing their clothes, naughty kids are chasing and laughing. Besides that, photographers also like to shoot the reflections of the Hui-style architecture complex in Yuezhao Pond.
The water canals in Hongcun Village are also famous and popular among the photographers. Water canals were built during the Yongle period (1403-1423 AD) of Ming Dynasty and have a history of more than 500 years. With a total length of more than 1200 meters, the water canals are bypassing every household with continuously clear water for the whole year. The water canals are benign circulating living water system winding in the village, just like the ox intestines. It brings not only much convenience to the local people but also unique scenery of Hongcun Village.
Chengzhi Hall, known as "the Folk Forbidden City", was the residence of Wangdinggui, a rich salt merchant of the late Qing Dynasty. As the largest and the most well-preserved ancient dwelling in Yi County, it covers a total area of about 2,100 square meters and a construction area of more than 3,000 square meters. The wood carvings on the main hall beams, bucket arches, flower doors and window frames have fine craftsmanship, complicated layers and various characters, which are the treasures of the "Three Carvings" of Hui-style architecture school.
Tachuan is an unremarkable ancient village among numerous ancient villages in Yi County, but it is one of the most popular destinations for photographers, as a result, it's more bustling than other ancient villages in every fall. It is ranked with Beijing Fragrant Hill, Xinjiang Kanas and Sichuan Jiuzhaigou Valley as "Four Places with the Greatest Autumn Colors in China".
In autumn, the leaves of Chinese tallow trees, persimmon trees and ginkgo trees are scattered in the fields and ancient buildings, changing from green to yellow, from yellow to red. The red leaves generally appear in mid-to-late October, reaching the maximum range in mid to late November, and gradually fall off as the minimum temperature decreases, corresponding to its suitable growth temperature. Mid-to-late November is the ideal photography period with the widest range and best viewing of red leaves. When the sun rises in the morning, it is the best shooting time.
When shooting the ancient buildings, photographers should pay attention to the beauty of buildings' lines and shoot the parts with curves. For example, using the arc as the foreground, the subject seems to be surrounded by a circle which breaks the conventional boxy composition method and makes the subject located on the golden position of center.
When shooting the ancient buildings or scenery, you can use some environmental elements consciously, such as reflection and frame which can bring special visual impact to the picture.
For example, shooting reflections on water can not only show a unique angle of view, but also give the picture a true and false visual experience. When shooting reflections, we can take pictures of different feelings through the fluctuation of water. We can also use the poultry and its reflection to form the illusion of a reversal space. It is recommended to use telephoto lens to shoot reflections.
The characteristics of Hui-style architecture are white walls and black tiles. To express its texture and the vicissitudes of the ancient town, you can use the black and white mode of the camera. Black and white mode can show more details and layers. The mottled traces on the wall and the unique decorative texture of the ancient buildings are thicker and heavier against the black and white mode.
To know more photography tips for Hongcun Village, please feel free to contact us, professional travel advisor from Top China Travel will help you find the best spots for a wonderful photography tour. A connecting tour with Mount Huangshan will be great as well.
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