After today I can officially cross another place off my bucket list: The Great Wall. One of the seven wonders of the world, this manmade design stretches across the northern part of China for over 20,000km, and it was all completed by two million people. Apparently the wall didn’t do the Chinese all that well when it came to fending off enemies (it’s really not that high), but it did help to mark off territory and serve as a warning system for oncoming armies. The question is, what should one do while visiting this historic piece of ancient history that still stands to this day? Kung-fu high kicks of course. Below are my general guidelines for achieving the perfect shot without breaking your ankle.
Step One: Location
Contrary to my previous belief about the wall, there are not many flat surfaces to allow for an energetic tourist to jump three feet in the air and land safely. The stairs are numerous, with areas so steep I was literally crawling up hands first. However, there are certain areas that allow one to climb stairs to the roof of the lookout towers. Not only will you have a flat surface, but you’ll also have a great backdrop of the winding wall.
Step Two: Patience with Other Tourists
Just accept this fact: 99% of the time some unassuming European or other poor foreign soul will step into your photo, causing one to breath heavily while muttering profanities under their breath. If you hold your ground and stand in a certain spot for long enough, while practicing your jump in the most awkward fashion possible, most people will either become amused or disturbed, causing a quick shuffle in the opposite direction.
Step Three: The Jump
The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived, and body position is everything. None of these pansy hops you once used to make photos more interesting. I’m talking full out, upper leg vertical, air punch with the sky type leap (as you can tell by the photo below, Kyle is still working on his flexibility for this one). Its all about alignment here, and the more you can keep your legs parallel to your punching arm, the better.
Frustrating Yet Necessary Last Step: The Cameraman
Chances are, this pose will need to be done numerous times in order to capture that dream kung-fu kick on The Great Wall. The best bet is to have the cameraman turn the device to an action setting, and figure out some kind of countdown method. Otherwise I guarantee people will stare not only at the lunatic doing constant kicks every few seconds, but also the yelling match that ensues.
For more practical information that has nothing to do with arbitrary high kicking actions on The Great Wall, please see Kyle’s post.His Take