Street photography in Tibet


Last year I joined a trip to Tibet with the Mount Everest as destination, a dream come true. For this occasion, I’ve bought a Canon 1D Mk3 as I was not sure if my old Canon 1D Mk2 may be able to survive.

We’ve started from Chengdu then took a plane to Lhasa, capital of Tibet, situated at 3500 meters above sea level. Some did not take well the altitude, one by one most people in our group start to get affected. The weather was great: sunny and warm. Form Lhasa we got in 4WD cars (3 tourists + 1 driver) and we drove all the way to Base Camp 1 for the following 5 days. We basically reach the entrance to the National Park late morning on the 5th day and after we cleared the custom (again!!!) we were allowed to go in and head to our destination. We reached just in time to catch the sunset. No time to play with filters or change your place, the sunset last for about 5 minutes, either catch it or miss it.

We made the mistake of staying overnight to the “hotel”, I will not recommend it, was warmer in the tents and did not stink like the “hotel” rooms. We got up early with -2 degrees in the room. Only 3 of us had the strength to go out and drag the equipment on a -7 degree weather with wind blowing in our faces. We had to hike few hundred meters, climb a hill, mount the tripods, cameras, lenses… but it worth it, the view was incredible!

Once this done, we went back inside looking for a warm place and a hot drink. The breakfast come late: half-cooked pancakes made from flour and water but were warm and that was the only thing that mater. We drove closer to have a better look to the huge mountain in front of us. There is a China PostOffice in one of the tents, selling certificates and postcards.

We drove all the way back to the main gate then we headed for Namtso Lake, regarded as the largest highest salt water lake in the world. We spent the night there then we make our way back to Lhasa for the following 4 days. We then took a plane back to Chengdu and one day later back home.

Overall was a once in a life time experience, we had lots of food and the accommodation was not bad at. People are friendly not very happy when you try to take their pictures though.

Posted bellow some pictures I took mainly on the streets in this trip. I love people’s expressions and reactions once they get used with the camera.

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