Photography by Tom Lane


During my working life I was lucky enough to visit China many, many times. I first went there in about 1986 and the last time was in November of 2018. I mainly went for business but we did have one three week holiday there, when we also went to Tibet.

Entrance to the “Forbidden City” which sits in the heart of Beijing, China’s capital. The Forbidden City occupies 720,000 sq m (7,750,000 sq ft), over three times larger than the Louvre Palace in France. An estimated 1 million labourers worked to complete the structure. It is the world’s largest Imperial Palace with more than 90 palace quarters and courtyards, 980 buildings and over 8,728 rooms.                                         (Leica M8 with 35mm f2.0 Summicron)

Close-up of the intricate cavings between the two sets of stairs leading up to the main palace.

The Great Wall of China” – one of the greatest sights in the world; the longest wall in the world, an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture. Its winding path over rugged country and steep mountains takes in some great scenery. In June 2012 the State Administration of Cultural Heritage declared it to be 21,196km/13,170 miles long. However, the Ming Dynasty Wall, which is the part most visited is considered to be 8,851km/5,500 miles. Either way it’s an impressive sight.

Another view of “The Great Wall” showing one of the many Watchtowers.                                                              (Leica M8 with 35mm f2.0 Summicron)

Zhengyang Gate” – looking from the inside of Tian’anmen Square.                                                                (Leica M8 with 28mm f2.0 ASPH Summicron)

Mao Zedong Memorial Hall” – Tian’anmen Square, final resting place for Chairman Mao.                                (Leica M8 with 28mm f2.0 ASPH Summicron)

Statue to the People” – in Tian’anmen Square.                                                                                            (Leica M8 with 24mm f2.0 ASPH Summicron)

Changing The Guards” – just outside Tian’anmen Square.                                                                             (Leica M8 with 28mm f2.0 ASPH Summicron)

Early Evening Shoppers” – in Xi’an                                                                                                             (Leica M8 with 24mm f2.8 ASPH Elmarit lens)

Xi’an’s Ancient City Wall” – Xi’an is often called the birthplace of Chinese civilisation. Capital of Shaanxi Province and eastern end to the Silk Road, the history and cultural significance of Xi’an stretches through China’s ancient past.                                                    (Leica M8 with 24mm f2.8 ASPH lens)

The Original Wall” – which would have enclosed the city. Naturally, over time the city has expanded well outside the wall which now just covers the city centre.                                                                                                                                                      (Leica M8 with 35mm f2.0 ASPH Summicron)

Street Scene, as viewed from the top of the City Wall in Xi’an.                                                                         (Leica M8 with 24mm f2.8 ASPH Elmarit)

Descending into Lhasa, Tibet” – with an elevation of 3,650 meters (11,975 feet), Lhasa Gonggar Airport is one of the highest airports in the world.

Tibetan Buddhist Art” – this example being seen on the drive from the airport into the city.

Tibetan painting is a main form of Tibetan art and probably the most popular among all forms of Tibetan Buddhist Art. As those in Christianity and other religions, Tibetan paintings play an important role in helping Tibetan people strengthen their religious beliefs.

Above and Below: one of the many temples to be found in Tibet

Potala Palace” -winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,700m.

Being at such an altitude I do remember being out of breathe when we finally climbed to the top.

The “Prayer Wheels” – on the roof of the Potala Palace. I certainly gave them a good spin in the hope it would give me strength for the decent.

Looking down on the main “Market Square” in Lhasa, with the Potala Palace in the background.


In October 2018 I attended a five day Aviation Conference in Xiamen. On the Friday we finished just after lunch and so I was able to get into the city and take the following images.

(All taken with the Leica CL and 18-56mm f3.5-5.6 Vario Elmar ASPH) 





Finished the evening off with a superb Lobster dinner, from memory the lobsters worked out about $8 each.


When on business I usually went for two weeks and therefore spent the weekend there. I would usually spend one of the days travelling and the other sightseeing. On one trip I went to the Shilin Stone Forest near Kunming and these five images were all taken there in October, 2011.

Shilin Stone Forest, Kunming in Yunnan Province                                                        (Leica M9 with 75mm APO Summicron f2.0 lens)  October, 2011

The Terracotta Warriors, in Xi’an, are a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife. In 2010 when I took this, photography wasn’t allowed so I took the risk of having my Leica M8 and 50mm Summicron confiscated. 

The detail on each individual warrior is absolutely amazing