Wednesday, 8 April 2015

France Leclerc | Nomads In Ladakh

Photo © France Leclerc-All Rights Reserved


"I have always been a traveler and a wanderer. Travel for me is not about vacations; it is my way to learn about a world that I care deeply about."
Here's the latest from a peripatetic photographer, who's unflinchingly merging ethno-photography, pictorial anthropology and travel photography together in interesting and informative blog posts and galleries.

France Leclerc has been everywhere, and puts other seasoned travel photographers to shame in terms of their geographical coverage. Let me try to list where she's been: India (including Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Assam, Nagaland, Maha Kumbh Mela, Kolkata and Varanasi of course), Philippines,  Myanmar, Ethiopia's Omo Valley, Namibia, Cambodia, and yes, even Paris.

Based in Chicago (when she's not on the road), she developed a passion for photographing the more remote regions of the world, and sharing her experiences visually and in her writings. A self-taught photographer, she describes herself as a traveler and wanderer, and is turned by photographing people...not just portraits but what she calls 'snippets' of their lives...sort of environmental portraits that tell stories about the people.

Her latest blog entry is Nomads in Ladakh; about the Changpa (also called Champa), a semi-nomadic Tibetan people she encountered whilst traveling in the Rupshu valley, a high altitude desert in the southeast of Ladakh. They are high altitude pastoralists, raising mainly yaks and goats. Though only 100 miles or so from Leh, the Rupshu valley is only accessible by driving many hours and travel over the Tangla La at an altitude of over 17, 000 feet.

Mostly a color photographer, France seems to have adopted the monochromatic look for her latest work of Ladakh. Let's see if that trend continues.