Photographer and director Mike Rosenthal travels the world for his job, not to mention his own insatiable sense of adventure. On a recent trip to China, he stopped in Beijing and turned his trained eye on some of its most iconic sites — including, The Great Wall of China, a UNESCO World Heritage site still standing from the 14th Century. Here, he shares his impressions.
“China is an expression of extreme opposites: incredible ancient Chinese architecture colliding with modern, western-influenced architecture and materials.
“Seeing The Great Wall for the first time is pretty awesome. It’s hard to imagine building something like that today, let alone thousands of years ago. And the permanence — modern construction just isn’t designed to last 2000 years. There’s also the relationship with nature that makes the wall so striking — it is clearly a man-made addition to the landscape, but there’s a beautiful harmony between the stone and the hillside.
“As the sun moves the dimensions appear to change, giving you an entirely different landscape every 15 minutes. Depending on the day, the haze can be thin or heavy, and it exaggerates the depth of the horizon and the mountains in the distance. It’s a photographer’s dream.”