Lying in Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang province, at the junction of Jiangsu province, Zhejiang province and Shanghai municipality, Xitang Ancient Town has always been a favorite photography destination for photographers. It is also known as one of the "Six Ancient Towns in the South of the Yangtze River".
With a history of more than 1,000 years, Xitang Ancient Town was used to be an important strategic place on the boundary between Wu and Yue States and famous as one of the birthplaces of Wu and Yue culture. And during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Xitang was developed as an important commerce and handicraft town in southern China.
The biggest difference between Xitang and other ancient water towns is that the streets along the river have corridors, with a total length of nearly 1,000 kilometers, which are just like the promenades of the Summer Palace. The following tips for Xitang Ancient Town Photography Tour may help you with the planning.
Xitang Ancient Town
No matter you are professional photographers or travelers who like taking photos, there are many photography themes for you to choose in Xitang Ancient Town. Stepping into the ancient town, the historical bridges, corridors amidst the mist, deep and old lanes, black-awning boats, busy shops and local people…all are good photography sources. You won't miss the Yongning Bridge, which is a popular place to shoot the panorama view of the whole ancient town.
Xitang Ancient Town
In Xitang, the corridors amidst the mist are one of the most famous and classic scenes, and the longest corridor is about 1,000 meters. The corridor is actually a roof covered street extending from the street to the riverside, and the round wooden column supports the slanted roof, with a two-layer inverted carving pattern in the middle. Long chairs are placed along the corridors in the riverside for tourists to enjoy the scenery or have a rest. The corridors have been unique landscapes of Xitang Ancient Town. On a breezy, sunny day, the gentle sunlight sprinkled down diagonally in the corridors, leaving a shadow on the ground, which is a good angle to photograph the corridors.
Shipi Lane is an open-air lane located between Wang and Feng residences in Xitang. The widest part of the lane is 1.1 meters, and the narrowest part is only 0.8 meters. With a total length of 68 meters, Shipi Lane is paved by 216 stone slates with 3 centimeters thick. There is a sewer under Shipi Lane, which keeps all water away from rainy days. The 3-centimeter thin slates are also the origin of the name of the Shipi Lane (Shipi in Chinese literally means stone skin).
There are 104 old bridges in Xitang Ancient Town， among which Yongning Bridge is the best viewing place in Xitang and favored by photographers. Standing on the Yongning Bridge, you can photograph the panorama view of both sides of Xutang River, the quaint corridors, the stone bridges, the ancient residential buildings with grey bricks and black tiles, etc. Early in the morning, you can shoot the whole ancient town surrounded by the mist, and in the evening, you can shoot the view of red lanterns reflecting on the surface of Xutang River.
Chinese dwellings have rich architectural forms, and these characteristics are often reflected in the details. When portraying the architectural beauty of the ancient water town, light is the most beautiful paintbrush. It can strengthen the style and beauty of the building, avoid the monotonous picture. Photographers should make full use of the light to grasp the time and angle. The light can not only "stain" the subject but also shape the three-dimensional structure of the building, create light and dark changes in the photo, and better highlight the subject.
The charm of the ancient water town lies not only in the beauty of residential buildings, but also in the soul of water. Reflection is an important factor that can be used when photographing the ancient water town. In addition to expressing the elegant temperament of the ancient water town in the morning and evening with natural light, photographers can also try to use artificial lights to express its tranquility at night.
Night View in Xitang Ancient Town
The buildings in the ancient water towns are mostly in low height. If you want to show the ancient town overview and its streets, you often need to use a wide-angle lens with a banner composition or high angle shot from a high position. In order to enhance the impact and inclusiveness of photos, photographers can take multiple photos with a tripod, and use post-processing to stitch them together to create the shock effect of panoramic splices.
By reading the photography tips for Xitang Acient Town, we hope that you can plan your trip more smoothly. If not, just let us help you with all the arrangements, we're glad to make the most suitable plan for you.
You can also connect your Xitang trip with Hangzhou or other ancient towns, if you really love ancient architectures in China. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your upcoming tour.