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Capturing the light.

Swan Lake, Xinjiang

In 2015 summer, I came to Xinjiang and had a great time photographing the grassland. A newly met friend from local told me that you have to come back for Swan Lake in the winter.  Seeing his photos, I was literally shocked: I’ve never seen any swan lake like this – it looks heaven!  He said this is the only place in the world that has such a breathtaking view of Swan and lake in the winter.

The desire grew stronger and stronger. I know it won’t be easy: I have to fly from San Francisco to Beijing, then to Xinjiang’s capital city, then drive to this in-the-middle-of-no-where town.  The weather needs to be perfect: it needs to be warm the day before, and cold at night, then the next day, all the trees along the Swan lake will be covered with frost.  Only a few days of a year, maybe a total of a week or two max that is suitable for this.  Many Chinese photographers come here every year to try their luck, and do it for like six to eight years to get that right moment.

My desire of seeing it with my own eyes and my friend’s warm invitation took no time before I booked my ticket.  On the way to the Swan Lake, we stopped in the middle and spent about 3 hours shooting on the foot thick ice lake, got some good shots.  Maybe my friend wanted us to get something in case of disappointment at the Swan Lake.  When I asked him all sorts of questions, he kept saying that he got lucky every time he came here, but this time, the weather doesn’t look good: it’s too warm.

When you know the chance is slim, and it is something you always wanted to see, what do you do? You travel tens of thousands of miles to make your dream come true.

The next morning, we drove in.  All of sudden, the trees along the way started to wear white frost.  That’s a good sign!  It took us two turns before we found the right place.  In a world of white everything, I bet many people just cannot find it before the sun rises.  When we got there and parked, my friend became silent, so silent that I thought something was serious wrong.  After I walked a few steps, I realized what was happening: we’ve got a home run!  All the trees turned into frosty along the lake.  Three of us started running along the narrow path along the lake which must be only a foot wide.  For several times, I fell, and I got up without feeling anything, as I feel I was living my dream.  When I pressed my shutters, I can hardly breathe – I was too excited and nervous, could not believe my eyes.  My brain was locked to the shutter and the heavenly creature in front of me, clicking away… … without hearing anything.

 

自从看到曹大师的雾凇天鹅的绝美创作,就一直魂牵梦绕的想要来拍摄。心里知道短暂的停留想要遇到雾凇是很难的,但是心中的渴望启动了追寻的脚步:飞行万里抵达乌鲁木齐,然后再驱车1000多里来到这世界独一无二的小天鹅湖。

来之前被告知天气太暖,今年恐怕不行。但是我们一行三人都没有放在心上,满腔热忱的上路了。先在冰雪覆盖的赛里木湖湖面上自得其乐的拍了四个小时。第二天日出前一个小时我们就上路赶赴天鹅湖。清爽的冬晨渐渐变的模糊起来,清晰的视线… 慢慢的… 慢慢的… 被雾化…… 上天就像知道我们心情一样,一夜之间挂起了雾凇! 覆盖了路旁的树木。就这样,我们慢慢的,从现实驶入了梦境。

来到了湖边,拿上器材,包裹严实,穿过浓浓的雾障,我们就迷失在这人间梦幻仙境。沿着窄窄的湖坝,三步并两步,即使跌倒也毫无感觉的轻快爬起,目光像镜头一样前后定焦搜索那梦中的天鹅。当那洁白的使者划破雾的梦乡慢慢驶来,我听到的只有自己的心跳。眼前的一切美得让我窒息,不是,只顾轻轻的快速的按下快门,忘记了呼吸,不知多少快门之后才深深的吸了一口气。

看着那梦的使者划破寂静的湖面,忽隐忽现的游过一层层的白雾,那优雅和尊贵寂静了整个世界。当她煽动起翅膀,呈现在眼前的就是光影的欢动,翅膀舞起的是新生的希望,是灵魂的共振…… 几个小时,我们目不转睛的观看着这些生灵爱的表达和生的气息。当黑天鹅慢慢的穿过湖面,所有的目光和镜头都追寻着那尊贵,唯一,和别样的宣言。

四个小时之后,树上的雾挂开始滑落,天鹅一一排起队来,飞离湖面,划破时空:一场心灵的舞台开始谢幕。

后来和旁边的摄影师聊天,才知道他们等了12天才等到。他们开始惊叹我们的运气:有些人来了四五年七八次都没有碰上雾挂。我们一行三人却赶上了最好的雾挂景象。天鹅是善良和美的使者。希望这次美好的邂逅带给2016更多的精彩!

《只要你寻找,就能找到精彩》与大家共勉
感谢曹大和陈渊大师。

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