MONGOLIA – Photographing the Kazakh Eagle Hunters – Birds, Horses and Cold

Monday December 7

Today we begin!  There’s an area huge stone formation rising out of the valley, located only a few kilometers from where we are staying, we have arranged to meet two eagle hunters there.

Bitter cold makes everything more complicated

Mongolian Capture Tech Office

The high wind and affects of altitude are ridiculous, gear is not happy.   Zak tapes hand warmers all over the Phase XF camera in an effort to maintain battery power, we both knew the first day was going to be a steep learning curve, but seriously!  Also, though hardy Canadians we are not-yet used to the cold, we must look like dilettantes to our guides.

mongolia-machismo

Thankfully we are only a relatively drive from the house, a warm lunch and a chance to collect ourselves is welcome at the end of this session.

Mongolia Drying Boots

The afternoon shoot is only about an hour, the realization of the multiple challenges we face is fully in my face… working with: cold-affected equipment, birds, horses, language barrier, cold, weather and short daylight.  My daily yield expectations are dropping fast.

We do manage to get some interesting shots of the hunters on horseback in an area we nickname ‘Stonehenge’ due to the interesting rocks, and what will turn out to be one of the most outstanding shots of the trip, perhaps even the title shot of my exhibition.

Mongolia Location Scouting

More scouting after sunset, naturally.