BEIJING 360° FOREWORD
I dedicate this album to my beloved wife, Vera, who was not able to come to China to visit the places photographed and described in this album, but will always be in my heart wherever I go.
Whenever I flew to Beijing to work on this panoramic photo album I admired the colours of the morning sky from the air. The East was always red indeed.
I came with the desire to discover the remains of ancient times and encountered a bustling city modernising at high speed. Whenever I returned I was amazed by the changes of the cityscape.
While I collected panoramic impressions of places, residents of Beijing were equally important to me. And they were very welcoming indeed. (Please turn to page 51 and read the water calligraphy text).
Panoramic representation of the surroundings is not an invention of the modern age. Nor has this art form just originatred with photography. It has been with us over centuries in pictography.
The desire to show, display, paint and photograph the space around us is as old as mankind. Just think of the cave paintings of Altamira and Lascaux as well as the tomb frescos in Luxor. These paintings, which can be seen as the original examples of panoramic format, captured events and spaces in wide angle.
Chinese painting formats are great examples of panoramic representation also. Most familiar are the hanging vertical scrolls. However, many large size panorama paintings were also created during the Song Dynasty including Xia Kui's more than 10 meters long horizontal scroll portraying the Yangze riverside and Zhang Zeduan's Qingming Shanghe Tu. I very much hope that modern panoramic photography taken with the latest digital technology will be met with a warm response.
With the previously released album, Budapest 360°, as well as with the publication of Hungary 360°, I aimed at redefining the notion of panoramic photography. The common understanding of panorama involves an image of wide angle and deep horizon. However, I believe that you do not have to stand on a summit to sense the space surrounding you as a panoramic unit. In a space of 360 degrees the overall view of objects in your reach and elements melting into the horizon creates the perfect composition for me.
Not all sites have the makings of a good scene for a panoramic photograph, and therefore our album does not follow the common and perhaps expected themes of similar endeavors.
With my photo album I would like to acquaint visitors with the capital of China, Beijing and reacquaint the citizens, who already know the city well with some famous sites. This album reveals lesser known details and atmosphere with the assistance of the 360 degree panorama lens technology which bends space onto a surface.
We will make new discoveries together when you visit www.beijing360.cn.