I like studying the diversity of cultures, customs and ways of living. I am drawn to photograph environmental portraits in-situ.
This form of portraiture shows people in their natural environment; home, workplace or everyday life. It provides context to a portrait and tells a broader story of a persons’ character, circumstance and life.
The everyday lives in different cultures can appear extraordinary. The resourcefulness of people with limited means in developing countries continues to astound me.
I prefer natural lighting and non-staged portraits where the subject does not appear artificial or strained. A few additional elements or symbols (even subtle) in the photo, can portray a significant amount and facilitate a more representative picture. It commonly leaves you asking more questions about the subject and environment.
I find documenting peoples’ everyday lives informative and important. I try to do so with sensitivity to the cultural values of the people involved.
Photograph include a series taken at a village nearby Tomur Glacier (“Iron Mountain” in Uygur), also known as China’s No.1 Glacier. Tomur Glacier is located in the Tian Shan Mountains (“Heavenly Mountains”), 120km south west of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China. Tomur Glacier covers an area of 1.8km² in the headwaters of the Urumqi River. Peak altitude is 7,435.29m ASL. I experiences altitude sickness visiting this site. This region has a fascinating cultural mix as it shares a common border with eight countries; Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The region has magnificent landscapes from the spectacular Tian Shan, Karakorum, Kunlun mountain ranges to the Gobi Desert extending into Mongolia. The ancient Silk Road trade route passed through this region linking China and the Middle East. The local villagers are Turkic-speaking Sunni Muslims belonging to the Uighur minority or [“Uighurs”] and live in yurts.
Shopkeeper Emin, is running a small tea-house deep in the Rose Valley [Güllüdere Valley], Cappadocia, Turkey. The shop is located in a pigeon house made from tuffaceous volcanic igneous rock and has been passed down to him from his grandfather. He proudly sat for this photograph and spoke fondly of his grandfather.
Other photographs include a 450 year old Hamam bath and working artisans along the main street of Manisa, Turkey, young cowboys in southern rural Argentina and locals relaxing on a late Sunday afternoon in the backstreets of Trinidad, Cuba.