Huangyao Ancient Town, known as one of the "Top Ten Most Beautiful Ancient Towns in China", is located in the northeast of Zhaoping County, Hezhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Most of the villagers there are surnamed as Huang and Yao, hence the name of the ancient town. It was built in the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty and flourished in the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, with a history of nearly 1,000 years.
In the selections of national ancient villages and towns in 2019, Huangyao Ancient Town ranks the third among all ancient towns and villages in China, following after Wuzhen and Pingyao ancient towns. Besides that, the famous movie "The Painted Veil" was shot in Huangyao Ancient Town.
There are more than 300 ancient buildings of Ming and Qing Dynasties in the ancient town, with an area of 16,000 square meters. Eight stone-slab streets are completely preserved, which are made of blue stone slabs. Huangyao Ancient Town was listed as the third batch of "Chinese Historical and Cultural Towns" by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage in 2007, and it was approved as a 4A scenic spot by the National Tourism Administration in 2009.
The gate towers, ancient theatres, ancient streets, ancient wells, ancestral halls, temples, bridges, pavilions and plaques, etc. are the valuable tangible architectural heritages of Huangyao Ancient Town. If you love ancient buildings in China, the following photography tips for Huangyao Ancient Town may be helpful.
Huangyao Ancient Town
Due to the inconvenient transportation and the low propaganda, this quaint town is well- protected from pollution. It is a good place to shoot the original China ancient town. Even if you are a photography layman, Huang Yao's beauty will always inspire your creative inspiration. The best photography places in Huangyao Ancient Town are Dailong Bridge, Shitiao Bridge, the Immortal Wells and Stone-slab Street etc.
Huangyao Ancient Town
Dailong Bridge is the largest stepped-stone arch bridge among the 15 ancient bridges in Huangyao Ancient Town. It was built in the three years of the Wanli period in the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt in the twenty-three years of the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty (1759). The bridge is 22 meters in length, 3 meters in width. There are two arches, one large arch and one small arch. The larger arch is 3.2 meters high from the water surface with a diameter of 5.6 meters. The smaller arch is a dry arch, 2.55 meters high from the ground and about 3 meters in diameter. Dailong Bridge is the best location to shoot the small bridge, flowing stream and local cottages.
It is recommended to shoot on the west side of the bridge, with the old house, pavilion and ancient trees as the background. There is a restaurant by the bridge, tables and chairs are placed under the big banyan tree, in order to avoid the diners breaking into the picture, it is better to avoid eating time to shoot in Dailong Bridge.
Shitiao Bridge is one of the famous scenic spots of Huangyao Ancient Town. The entire bridge is 19 meters long and is composed of 31 stone piers. The stone piers are composed of two square bluestone strips with different heights but the same lengths and widths. The higher stone piers are above the water, and the shorter stone piers are buried underneath to support the bridge. The 31 stone piers are properly arranged according to people's walking pace, which is not only beneficial to pedestrians but also not affect the flood discharge. And it is fixed in a straight line by the pinewood buried under the river bed. Shitiao Bridge is a good place to snap the reflections of the ancient buildings, trees and people. If you take a boat on the small river of the ancient town, you can also photograph the classic stone bridge landscape and the erratic natural stone forest on both sides.
The Immortal Wells are one of the most famous scenic spots in Huangyao Ancient Town, which were firstly built in the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty with a history of 400 years. People call it "Immortal Wells" due to a fairy tale of seven fairies played around the ancient well. The unique part of Immortal Wells is its appearance. It is not a round spring but connected by several functional square pools: drinking pool, dishwashing pool, laundry pool, and handwashing pool. Local women often gather here to wash clothes and vegetables in the morning, which has become unique scenery and attracted many photographers to take photos.
Stone-slab Street is the essence of Huangyao Ancient Town architecture. There are 8 Stone-slab streets in Huangyao Ancient Town, which were initially paved in Shunzhi period in the Qing Dynasty. After years' renovation, the Stone-slab Street still remains its original features. The best time to shoot the Stone-slab Street is on a rainy day. With the moisture of the rain, the stone slabs are smooth and bright. Some photographers like to use a colorful umbrella to add different kinds of charm to the cool color of the architecture alongside.
For ancient town photography, it is recommended to take good advantage of the light in various periods of the day in all directions. Especially in the morning and evening, morning and evening are the moments of the most colorful light, low color temperature, low contrast, warm tone and rich levels.
Morning and evening are also the quietest moments of the ancient town. In the evening, the tourists are gone, the original residents in the ancient town buy vegetables and cook meals, and the children return home from school. A long shadow under the setting sun is projected in a dappled ancient alley, and the black tent boat returning home in the sparkling river sways golden ripples. Above all are good ancient town photography themes.
Each ancient water town has its own charm of old bridge, flowing water and local residences with different histories and characteristics. To photograph it, you must first read it and understand its historical humanities and vicissitudes of life. Exquisite ancient buildings are the cells that make up the ancient town. When expressing the spirit of water, you can consciously use some environmental elements, such as bridge holes, reflections, reflections, stone steps, willows, etc., as the foreground or background. The use of these elements will bring different visual impact to the picture, and you can also sit on the boat to shoot different angles.
Ancient town photography is not just architectural landscape photography, but also includes humanity photography. Ancient architecture combined with humanities can give the film a deeper spiritual connotation.
Huangyao Ancient Town
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