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Vanished Wonder - The Three Gorges

Vanished Wonder - The Three Gorges
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-04-14
Categories: Mountain, River
Exposure: f/9.5, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-07-07 7:36
Viewed: 4725
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It would not be possible to take this shot now as the bottom third of the gorge is now flooded by the lake created by the Three Gorges Dam. I cruised between Yichang and Chongqing in 2003 - the dam had been closed three days before but there was no noticeable effect - especially this far upriver.

The Wu gorge at 44km is the second longest of the three gorges - you can get get an idea of the scale when you realise that the boat at the foot of the gorge is a very large Yangtse riverboat - 5 decks above the waterline!

A canyon (rarely cañon) or gorge is a deep valley between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Most canyons were formed by a process of long-time erosion from a plateau level. The cliffs form because harder rock strata that are resistant to erosion and weathering remain exposed on the valley walls. Canyons are much more common in arid areas than in wetter areas because weathering has a greater effect in arid zones. Canyon walls are often formed of resistant sandstones or granite. Submarine canyons are those which form underwater, generally at the mouths of rivers. The word canyon is Spanish in origin (cañón). The word canyon is generally used in the United States, while the word gorge is more common in Europe and Oceania, though it is also used in some parts of the United States and Canada. The military derived word defile is occasionally used in England.

The Three Gorges region is a scenic area along the Yangtze River in the People's Republic of China with a total length of approximately 200 km. The Three Gorges occupy approximately 120 km within this region. Although it is primarily famous for its scenery, the Three Gorges region is historically and culturally an important region in China. A representation of the westernmost gorge appears on China's currency, the back of the paper 10 yuan note.

This was taken with a Kodak point-and-shoot camera - I never got round to develping the slides I took with my Canon 1vhs - I was bitten by digital from this point on!

jaycee, gerbilratz, Dis. Ac., aes_thor, boreocypriensis, rousettus, vanderschelden, eqshannon, marhowie, Heaven, haraprasan, SelenE, albert, mayuresh, NinaM, anel has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To joey: Did it arrive?Jamesp 1 07-08 14:18
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Critiques [Translate]

Beautiful shot. The light sparkling on the water and the mountains in the mist, all create a magical shot.

Hello James
Another fanatstic picture and lesson all in one...Well 2 lessons really...Its not the equipment that takes a good picture its the photographer whatever the equipment is he or she has to hand.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-07 10:39]

Hi James,

This picture reminds me of something I regret very much. Not taking the opportunity to see The Three Gorges when I was in China. We said "next time." A beautiful shot filled with atmosphere. The shadings, the mist, and the dof are wonderful.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-07-07 11:53]

Hello James

Wow what wonderful ambiance in this photo.
The lighting is amazing.
Excellent pov and dof.
The composition is terrific.
I think if I travelled through this place I would get goosebumps.


Extreme mood, tinged with deep sadness, a loss for all humanity... amazing picture James, one for posterity. regards h

Hi James,

What a beautiful landscape with an exellent pov and colour range.
Very good deepth working.


Hi James,

beautifull shot, mystical and original light, very dramatic cliffs. Good use of shadows and lights. nice colors. I lkie it.


Hi James, wonderful landscape of the Three Gorges Dam with fantastic lighting. TFS. Cheers,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-07 12:58]

Hi . I have just got home from work and very late so just a note to say great picture for now.

Hi James....I Wonder how would be feeling being there myself....Amazing picture and mountains look fantastic....Excellent shot..Thanks to share James...Kind regards, Leyla

Hi James,
Excellent landscape. The effect created by the light and fog is just amazing. Very well composed picture with excellent handling of lighting.

Hello James
I see that today's post from China after several Romanian ones. This is also very nice for a beautiful landscape. good notes. Thanks for sharing, best wishes

Hello James,
Must have been some kind of experience!
The 'little' boat is a good reference.
Well done

For a slight second after the image came up in full from thumb, I thought it moved. Huh? Not sure....but I tried it again and look at it slightly out of peripheral vision...Same thing...The lights appear at slightly different times depending on tonality. Now I don't claim to be that fast at catching light rays...but whatever this is...it is also an exclusionary image and even you didn't know it Ill bet!

Sorry!My computer is acting up on me again, this time I think it's got some virus!
Great shot!

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-07-07 23:18]

Hi James!

I like the atmosphere very much, there's something pleasant and somehow fearful at the same time in that picture. It's also impressive to realize the picture has a historical value. That makes the picture valuable, although it isn't of great quality and beauty.

Kind regards


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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-07-08 2:18]

Superb James,
the diffused light contrast beautifully against the glimmer on the water. Amazing mood generated here, very well done indeed.

Hi James,
A lovely capture of this beautiful gorge. A beautiful scenic view. Well composed with very nice colors. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-07-08 2:54]

Hi James,
The mood, light, DOF , and composition are very good. TFS
Best wishes,

Hello James,
This is a good picture of the past,
I visited this site during the construction of this giant dam as my former company delivered a lot of drilling eqts to the contractors
Best regards

Hi James,
Works well in B&W with the small boat on the river giving a true sense of scale. Well documented post on this vanished wonder of the world.

Hello James,
very beautiful shot having wonderful lighting,great DOF and pov,
well done,

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-07-08 18:07]

Ah, a beautiful scenery now gone and becoming history. It is superb, James, as usual, and the dimmed light gives such an atmosphere, it is very "oriental". Such a grandiose landscape is amazing, it must have been fascinating to visit that place. I saw a documentary not long ago about the big dams they constructed and the cities remains at the bottom of the river. Looking at this peaceful picture wouldn't let us guess about all the million of people having to leave in order to build the dams. Great picture, great story. I am mostly glad that this trip was the one getting you into digital photography! Wow!


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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-07-09 2:24]

hello James,
Next to be a wonderful picture, with its decrescendo of fine greys and the amazing view on this site, it is of course also a great document for what is no more..
With its exceptionnal light, it is almost a glance in an other world.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-07-09 11:22]
  • [+]

This is stunning, James!
The different shades and mist are so atmospheric.
Excellent composition.
Very clear.
Magnificent light.

Very well done!!


p.s I replied to your last critique to me...


It seems I have missed so many of your posts that I have no hope of catching up. Don't you think building this gigantic dam may have been a mistake? I've heard that a series of smaller dams would have served as well without the risk of a total catastrophe if the dam were to fail. Do you think that we are in for more dams not fewer with global warming and less snow pack? I dislike the thought of burying canyons underwater... like Hetch Hetchy in California. There's talk about restoring it but I'm sure it would never be the same as it was.

I like your shot of the gorge disappearing into the mist. The light and mood is really nice.

Evelynn : )

Hi James!

It's a shame I had to miss so many of your wonderful shots while I was away...
This one is especially wonderful, with so many layers fading into infinity and those thousand little shines on the water, representing the move of water! TFS!

Best regards,

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