Understanding Photography

A rest stop for travelers near the top of a high, windswept pass on Huangshan (i.e., Yellow Mountain) in China.

The Promise of Rest and Shelter

There I was nearing the top of an exposed and particularly high pass on Huangshan (i.e., Yellow Mountain) in Eastern China. The photo depicts a rest house, one of only two that I saw during my three days traversing the mountain. This one adjoined a tea house which, due to it being late winter, was the only one I found open during my time on the mountain.

A Man of Opposites

I enjoyed a short break and, despite the chill breeze, reveled in the view. It seemed like a good idea to spend a few kuai (i.e., bucks) with the traders given the relatively low number of tourists on the mountain at this time of year. I enjoyed a hot cup of tea and a lovely ice-cream. What can I say, I have a sweet tooth.

Mood and Metaphor

I think the photo successfully conveys the remoteness of the location and the harsh beauty associated with the depths of winter. It's interesting how the pathway, terrain and the background mist all lead the eye towards this structure. Perhaps it's more than just a building.

I feel the shelter acts as a metaphor. It's a haven, albeit a temporary one, on life's journey. A journey that, while so often involving hardship and monotonous toil, rewards us with moments of sublime beauty.

Or you could continue to lye on the couch.

Understanding Photography

So whether you make the effort and get up, out and into the landscape or prefer to enjoy it as an armchair traveler it's always good to extend your enjoyment of photography by looking at pictures at a deeper level. So, while this is a picture of a mountain shelter, it can be so much more. The choice is yours.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru