National Geographic : 2003 Jan
ONE THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY Final Edit MICHAELYAMASHITA GREAT WALL Horsepower "There are few signs of the 21st century" in the tiny Chinese village of Tanyaoguo, says photographer Michael Yamashita. "There are no tractors. People rely on horses for transportation and farmwork." He traveled twice to the Gansu Province hamlet to capture the rhythm of rural life: harvesting wheat and vegetables, herding sheep and yaks down to the river for water every morning and evening. Yamashita was shooting street scenes at sunrise one winter day, taking advantage of the early gold en light, as a horse followed a villager down the road. "Then a second horse ran into view. I caught it at a perfect moment with its front legs raised." "We all loved the drama of the photo," says illus trations editor Elizabeth Krist, "but visually it was too close to the picture on pages 24-5 with the silhouette of the bicyclist moving into the center of the frame. And perhaps other photos we used in the story had more to say about village life. Sometimes it's not enough for a photograph to be beautiful." NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * JANUARY 2003 Cut it or keep it? Find out what tipped the balance for this photo and send it as an electronic greeting card at nationalgeographic.com/ ngm/0301.