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Focusing on wild beauty

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-23 08:20
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Folk customs are a highlight on the plateau and have been one of Zhang's priorities.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Photographer of the majestic Qinghai-Tibet Plateau frames its vivid landscape and brings it to life, Yang Feiyue reports.

If you unroll a map of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and point Zhang Chaoyin to any spot, he can, without fail, tell you a story about it.

Over the past three decades, Zhang, now in his 60s, has traveled practically every nook and cranny of that pristine land, furnished with stunning mountains, lucid rivers, arid deserts and imposing glaciers, all of which he deems to be "magnificent".

He has also applied his expertise in photography to capture more than 100,000 photos and produce rich, firsthand travelogues that show the plateau's beauty from ingenious perspectives.

In a recent public lecture series Masters Talk, hosted by Chinese National Geography magazine, Zhang shared the highlights of his remarkable journey to a packed audience of more than 42,000.

Ever since his first photography trip in 1985 to the Hoh Xil depopulated zone on the plateau, Zhang has been enamored by the stunning natural landscape.

The complex geographical conditions of frozen earth, glaciers, snowcapped mountains and pebble paths all intertwined in the region, making driving difficult yet thrilling.

"The natural environment was grim, completely free from human interference, but it sort of tugged at your heartstrings because you saw everything purely complying with the rules of nature," says Zhang, who was born in Lanzhou, Gansu province.

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