Photographer's Note

On my first evening in Sarhad e Broghil, just before bedtime, I ventured out to the toilet. I’ve mentioned before, that this kind of facilities (invariably grotesque tiled bathrooms with porcelain loos but with no running water) are sometimes located outside of your guesthouse, sometimes a short walk away from the building where your room is.

Soon after sunset Afghan countryside turns pitch black. There are no streetlights, no vehicle headlights, no house windows glistening in the distance. You can hear dogs barking nearby but you can’t see them. Visibility is limited to the beam of your torch. You are there on your own, enveloped in perfect void and you start imaging what could be hiding behind the wall of darkness that surrounds you. And that’s in the country notorious for…

Exactly, for what? I had to remind myself that I was in Wakhan, inhabited by peaceful and friendly people. And that the barking dogs were locked behind the compound gates.

And then something miraculous started unfolding in front of my eyes. The light of my torch revealed myriads of tiny ballet dancers, clad in white frocks, whirling on their descend from the skies…

In simpler words, I witnessed the first snowfall of winter 2019/20 in lower Pamir. It was kind of wet and melted quickly under my feet. But I stood there, enchanted, looking at it.

Before I went to bed, I made sure I put the alarm on and in the morning I was rewarded with the view of… rain puddles on the road. But the mountains surrounding the valley had been transformed from the previous day’s lion-skin dun into dazzling white. Hardly a Winter Wonderland but still quite beautiful.

During my travels I often face the choice whether to zoom in on people or show them in the context of the surrounding landscape or architecture. Sometimes you can’t have both – shooting one image and then changing lenses simply not an option. It was the case here. These girls were walking quickly, and even if I could follow them with my camera, I had only a few seconds to capture their reflection. I decided to include the snow-covered Pamir in the background and when the little ladies approached the puddle I had my wide angle lens at the ready.

However, I thought I would let you decide whether you agree with my approach or not so I will post a much-cropped version of this image in WS. Plus another “morning water run” photo.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1597 W: 9 N: 3247] (16832)
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