The Great Wall of China

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Daily Photo – The Great Wall of China

Wow I was alone here. As I walked along this ancient, original stretch of the Great Wall, I felt the ghosts haunting the old towers and little enclaves.

I finally found an extremely remote part that is far enough away from civilization to stay pure. The ruins of the wall in this area has been overgrown with vegetation. When you walk along the top, you have to snake your way between huge bushes and all sorts of trees. Stairs and parts of the walkways have crumbled away in the past thousand years. The old towers are slowly fragmenting as lichens and moss cover parts of the stone that are decaying away.

This has only reminded me that the main tourist part of the Great Wall is a very tiny stretch that has been re-built in recent years… so it is all fake and kind of Disney-wall. I don’t think I like that…

That day I walked from tower to tower, looking at the sinuous wall as it snakes over the mountains. It’s so huge that I won’t even begin to come up with analogies… but, speaking of snakes, a family here told me to watch out for them. I kept that in mind as I hiked back in the pure black of night. I had a little flashlight to keep me company, along with my music. I didn’t see any snakes, and I didn’t fall down, so all together it was a great day and night.

The Great Wall of China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-04 15:00:48
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/11
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length16mm (16mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

  • Susan

    Super shot of the Great Wall- before you posted these I don’t think I even knew this part existed and was still open to visitors! Glad you made it home!

  • Andrea Boyle

    Wow, so how did you get to this location? I can’t imagine you’d get in a cab and say “Take me to the old section of the Wall…” That must have been an adventure in itself. Gorgeous photo, Trey! Glad you missed the snakes:)

  • Awesome comp; awesome processing. Funny, the last time I was looking at one of your China shots I wondered if you’d ever made it to the wall. Very nice.

  • Wow. This picture is amazing and lucky you got a picture with no one else around! I am hoping to get to the Great Wall within the year! Just waiting to find out when my time off will be (I am a teacher in South Korea).

  • George

    Wow, what an adventure it must have been to get to this place, and you came away the an amazing shot.
    My only question is – where did all that foreground light come from – moonlight maybe – or from your little flashlight?

  • This is awesome,as it brings to all, parts of the Great wall, that many don’t and won’t see in their life time and that includes people of that country. How wonderful Trey that you can and have that opportunity to do these thing for all mankind to see. We do know of others that do this but they do to sell their books of which many cannot aford to buy. I say this and include myself that the world is fortunate that people like yourself are freely giving for all to see. Thanks for sharring as I know,I will never see this part of China in my time. A WOW if I may say so.

  • Patrick Ahles

    Great shot! Hope I can see the Great Wall myself someday.
    I heard that the Chinese used rice water in the cement mixture, which made is so hard that, although the bricks are eroding, the cement is not.

  • Andy Bird

    Breathtaking – I have no breath now! Incredible view!

  • Arun

    Wow.. Trey.. you are really an inspiration. I got inspired and got into hdr photography ever since i saw ur pictures back in 2010.

  • Vicki Wilson

    A beautiful sunrise and scene, I love this! This is a much more interesting part of the wall, you can feel the history here.

  • The “real” Great Wall so many of us don’t get to see. Thanks for the effort here, great result!

  • Mike Tschappat

    What an incredible photo. This is one of your best ever.

  • Awesome photo Trey! Incredible landscape and structure! You captured the grandeur of this place perfectly!

  • Timo Gutbrod

    Saw a lot of pictures of the wall but this is definitely the best one. Thx for sharing.
    Greetings from south Germany

  • That is so friggin cool Trey! I’ve been wondering when we might get to see the wall? Thanks man, this is awesome!

  • Fantastic, one of the best this year! I would love to see postprocessing video of this one!

  • Awesome photo, Trey! Just out of curiosity, why did you change your print sales philosophy away from “exclusive prints”?

  • Steve

    How incredible! You certainly put in a lot of work to get the most incredible images.

  • Paul

    Hey great shot, Trey! Nice to see a natural shot of this ancient icon, instead of the typical Disneyfied sections that I’m used to seeing!

  • Incredible Trey! The size of that thing is amazing and probably indescribable to us.

    Andy Bird – Are you on G+? If so what is your profile link?
    You can check out mine at

  • Oh, wow, this is a nice one. Really nice one. I like it a lot.

  • Julian

    Wow Trey – been following your work for some time and this is the first time I have commented.
    This photo is simply stunning. Love it in every way.

  • Wow, great shot Trey!

    Not sure where else to post this, but have you tried Photo Engine: ? I just downloaded a trial and so far so good. It looks to be able to process HDR from RAW files which one would expect to be a huge advantage over the other software tools on the market. If you have tried it, any comments? I haven’t purchased it yet, and currently use Photomatix for all my HDR images.

  • cynthia

    Just stumbled on your site with a google search for HDR photog – this is all so new to me and I’m loving it! Going to pilfer your blog for as much info as possible – I may want to try my hand at this! Thanks Trey for a great site and for sharing your work!

  • Amaing! Lovely warm colors

  • Gail Moshier

    Great photo, Trey!! I love this one. Thanks for sharing, have a great Tuesday 🙂

  • As usual Trey, another brilliant photo!

  • Sahily


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  • Tom Meerwarth

    Just got back from China and was on the Wall. took some shots but doubt mine will be as beautiful as this one. Nice….

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