The Way I See It

Archive for the ‘tibet’ Category

Happy New Year! Tashi Delek!

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Ringha Prayer Flags

Ringha Prayer Flags

Happy New Year, everyone! The Tibetans have a greeting, “Tashi Delek”. It means auspiciousness and wellness. I wish you many Tashi Deleks. May 2012 bring you much laughter, prosperity and health.

Photog Notes
1/10 second, f/27, ISO 400. I made this image at the Ringha Monastery, one of the most sacred places that I’ve ever been to. We arrived in the late afternoon. It was deafeningly silent, save for the gentle whispering of the wind in the trees and the flapping of the prayer flags, as they released their messages to the heavens. To help convey the feeling of the place, I decided to try to capture the motion and whirls of colors about me.

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December 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Gyalthang

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Stupa

Stupa

Gyalthang, also known as Zhongdian or Shangri-la, sits in the ancient Kingdaon of Kham, on the Tibetan Plateau. Geographically, it is located in northern Yunnan province, almost on the border with Sichuan. Although under Chinese rule, the region is predominantly Tibetan, with a small population of Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities.

Had things gone according to plan, I would have spent today flying home from a visit to Gyalthang. But the trip was canceled at the last minute and I ended up being able to spend Thanksgiving at home, something that I am extremely thankful for. These images are from September, on a prior trip.

Pilgrims

Pilgrims

Photog Notes
I made these images under some pretty difficult lighting conditions. Stupa was taken in the afternoon, under a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds and strong directional light. The shot was made in the shadow-strewn square, resulting in a bright sky and dark architectural details. In processing, I applied a generous amount of lightening to bring out the beauty in the colors and decorative details. Pilgrims, on the other hand, was shot under a gray, overcast sky right after an afternoon storm. The dull lighting resulted in a rather flat image. To counter this, I applied a teeny bit of Orton effect to give the tones a kick as well as to add a bit of depth. Overall, both images took a bit of work but I’m pretty pleased with the results. They help reflect the colorfulness and vibrancy of life in Gyalthang.

 

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November 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Pilgrimage

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Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage

Sitting amidst a high-country pine forest on the Tibetan Plateau, the Temple of the Five Wisdom Buddhas is regarded as one of the most sacred of locations for Kham Tibetans. The temple dates back seven hundred years. Devotees come from throughout the region to pray for good health and to be blessed with children. To raise their karma, they release chickens and other animals previously slated for slaughter and afterward, they walk clockwise around the grounds in meditation.

We got to Ringha late in the afternoon. As we made our way in, the wind whispered amidst the trees and stupas as the flags that seemed to adorn everything flapped gently in the wind, releasing their mantras and prayers to the heavens. In the waning sunshine, we made our way around the hill, stopping now and then to take in the view but mainly, we walked in silence, in awe of the sacredness of the place.

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July 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Facetime

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November 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm

On The Way To Kangding

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I made these images on our way into Kangding, the last Khampa/Tibetan town on our itinerary. Beyond Kangding, we were to journey to Chengdu, from where we would leave the region. “Here we can see some blue sky. Later on, we cannot see.” said Sonam, our guide. Because of what we witnessed as we made our way to the big city, these words have resonated with me since.

 

On the way to Kangding

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November 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Sichuan Landscape

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Sichuan Landscape

I made this exposure on the drive from Yajiang to Kangding. I like it because the dramatic light accentuates the dry, desolate terrain that is typical of this part of the Sichuan high country.

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November 7, 2010 at 12:23 am

The Earth and The Sky

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Images of Sichuan: The Earth and The Sky

I made this exposure on the drive from Litang to Yajiang. It is one of my favorites because it represents one of the things that I see in my mind’s eye when I think about our trip: gorgeous sometimes-gentle sometimes-severe hills, pristine blue skies (occasionally with a tint of green), and the ever-present billowing clouds that cast the most pleasing patterns of shadow and light on the landscape.

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November 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

The Faces of Litang

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Litang is a rugged high-country town located in the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province. Historically, it was part of the ancient Tibetan province of Kham. At 4,100 metres (13,450 feet) above sea level, it is >400 metres higher than Lhasa and one of the highest towns in the world.

These images are of the nomad family that my companions stayed with. We were all scheduled to stay in their tents but I got sick on the drive to Litang and ended up staying at a local guest house (I had it rough, I know).

Tibetan boy, Litang, Sichuan, China.

Tibetan girl, Litang, Sichuan, China.

 Tibetan father and child, Litang, Sichuan, China.

 

I made these images at the Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery on the northern end of town. The monastery was founded in 1520 and was home to the 7th and 10th Dalai Lamas, both of whom were born in Litang. One of the temples is being rebuilt and the morning that we visited, the town youth were moving planks and scaffolding into the great hall.

Tibetan youth at Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery, Litang, Sichuan, China.

Tibetan youth at Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery, Litang, Sichuan, China.

 

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October 31, 2010 at 12:20 am

The Road to Litang

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In the high country, prayer flags regularly adorn the landscape. Amidst the beauty and solitude, it is not hard to imagine the whistling winds carrying devotees’ unspoken hopes, desires and aspirations to the heavens.
Tibetan Prayer Flags, Litang, Sichuan Province, China.

 

Heading North on the Tibetan Plateau, the landscape quickly changed from the lush greenery of Yunnan to the arid, rocky terrain of the Sichuanese high country. I shot this late in the day. With the sunlight filtered by the billowing clouds, the landscape was painted in a harsh, dramatic light.
Landscape on the Tibetan Plateau, Sichuan, China.

 

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October 29, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Chatreng

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Chatreng (Xiangcheng 乡城 in Chinese) is a picturesque community that occupies a lush, fertile valley surrounded by dreamscape-like mountains. On a hillside overlooking the town is the Sampheling Monastery of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect.
Semphaling Monastery, Chatreng/Xiangcheng, Sichuan, China.

 

To respect the sacredness of this place of worship, photography is only allowed in one dimly-lit hall on the second level. I dialled up the ISO and made this image. It is a representation of the “present” Dalai Lama (not the man who currently occupies the position, but the idea that at any point in eternity, there is a Dalai Lama who has passed, one who is in the present, and future one who is yet to be born).
Dalai Lama statue, Semphaling Monastry, Chatreng/Xiangcheng, Sichuan, China.

 

This is Sonam our most capable guide, and a really interesting guy. He is a native of Chatreng so our visit to the town was a homecoming of sorts. He and his family generously invited us to visit with them. I shot this in the main living area on the second floor. To Sonam’s right is his dad, the patriarch of the family and a most gracious host.
Sonam and Dad, Chatreng/Xiangcheng, Sichuan, China.

 

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October 28, 2010 at 1:28 am

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