26
Feb 14

Kyrgyzstan Nomads

I previously wrote about our experience at a Nomad Kyrgyzstan Yurt camp. A remarkable experience, recommended if you ever get the chance. Here is another photo I wanted to share that shows the vastness of the high altitude Central Asian Steppe near the Chinese border.

Yurt, Kyrgyzstan Steppe.

Yurt Camp, Kyrgyzstan Steppe.


19
Feb 14

Past Meets Present in Uzbekistan

Travel to Uzbekistan and you will be hard pressed to experience a land and people with as deep a history so close to the surface. The people of Uzbekistan are friendly and beautiful. During our Silk Road trek, we crossed Uzbek desert and steppe overland because we wanted to see it all. From the viewpoint of a westerner, Central Asia is a lynchpin to understand the modern world.¬†Uzbekistan was one to the five “stan’s” created by the Soviet government to divide and rule the Turkic population of Central Asia. The “stan’s” of Central Asia include Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Prior to the Soviet collapse in 1991 all five counties were part of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Have a look at the Great Game to get a better understanding of the relationship of Uzbekistan and Central Asia to Europe prior to the modern era.

The ancient city of¬†Shakhrisabz, formerly a stronghold of Amir Timur (Tamerlane) replaced it’s central statue of Lenin with one of Timur and the Soviet era hotel stood abandoned. Timur’s descendents gave rise to the Mughal Empire, who can be credited for building the magnificent Taj Mahal.

Silk Road Merchant. Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Silk Road Merchant. Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Timur and his palace. Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan.

Timur and his palace. Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan.

Cyrillic. Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan.

Cyrillic. Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan.

Sacred Tile. Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Sacred Tile. Samarkand, Uzbekistan

 


19
Feb 14

Beautiful Uighur Photo Essay

Photographer Wang Qing has produced a wondrous photo essay of Uighur spiritual practices in the Xinjiang Provence of Western China.

Thank you to the terrific blog of Tewfic El-Sawy for this.

 


14
Feb 14

African Elephant

Yesterday I was pining for the days of black and white photography. This is probably because I’ve been looking at all the new mirrorless cameras being released which got me thinking about monochrome rangefinder photography. While I don’t miss mixing chemicals or the smell of stop bath I do miss the emphasis monochrome places on tonality, line and shape. It’s a different aesthetic. So, I began going through my library of images to find one I could convert to monochrome. A little while ago I did a black and white conversion on one my landscape images from the high steppe in Central Asia using Silver Efex Pro and I think it came out pretty nicely. For this African elephant image I chose Agfa APX 100 film grain since this was an emulsion I had used quite a bit and was familiar with it’s qualities. In addition I used a glass plate emulator for the vignette and antique look.

Elephant, Lake Manyara.

Elephant, Lake Manyara