What a challenge for the photo maniacs!
The poor illumination, the reflexes in the glass, the impossibility to use flash, the uncomfortable position, everything contributes to the poor quality of all the taken pictures.
Of course, some efforts deserve respect!
China means... lots of people, and all the historical sites are generally crowded.
Taking a picture of a detail is something hard to do, unless you use the tactic of holding your camera in the air and taking the picture above dozens of heads.
In the display by the terracotta warriors I did it, getting a reasonable picture of something that... I couldn't see.
When, finally, the crowds allowed a short brake I noticed that it was a sword. But all the large stories around it were... in Chinese, so, I couldn't find out why was it so important for them, and that allows me to use the imagination: it was the emperor's sword.
Contrary to belief, you are now able to photograph the Terra Cotta Warriors. I have read other peoples tips from the past, and some people were saying that you couldn't take pictures when visiting the exhibits. Other's said that you could, but you would have to bribe the guards or pay them off. When I went, there was no problems whatsoever at any of the 3 pits.
The only thing, or should I say person that I think you should take caution photographing, would have to be of the farmer who discovered the Terra Cotta Warriors in 1974...Mr.Yang.
Mr. Yang took the discovered pieces to officials. Since then, the government has given him his current job. Sign, and promote the sales of books of the Terra Cotta Warriors. At first, Mr.Yang was very happy to have received this job, but after 32 years of doing the same thing over and over. He has grown quite bitter, and holds a fan over his face because he doesn't want anyone to take his photograph. Can you blame him?
There didn't seem to be any problem with taking photos, when I visited in October 2004. As there were thousands of other people taking photos, I doubt that there would have been enough oficials to stop them, not even in China.
Entrance fee was a hefty 90RMB.
When you go to see the terracota warriors, beware of the crooks, aka museum officials, who will charge you $200 yuan to take a picture with the reconstructed warriors. Just do what i did, take the picture anyway and when one of the guards catches you, pretend to be japanese and say 'chingokugo ga dekimasen' to him. Trust me, it worked for me...lol :)
As tempting as it may be do NOT take photos of the Terracotta warriors. There are guards all over the place and if they cath you may have to pay a fine and the local guide who is with you may even be arrested. You can try photographing without flash so that you're not noticed that easily but then you don't have too much chance of making a good photo. Stick to postcards.