Portraits From A Land Forgotten

Portraits From A Land Forgotten

Vikas Vasudev is an Indian photographer who recently captured a portrait series in the northern rural area of India called Baltistan, the ‘Forgotten Land’. Check out these fantastic 11 pieces from the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

via [http://vikasvasudev.tumblr.com/]

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27 Comments

Striking images. Love them!

While the images are truly wonderful, I think I'm getting a bit tired of seeing identical images of faraway peoples, posed to stare into the distance, with the ambient light underexposed and their faces (mainly) lit by massive octabanks.  JoeyL started it with his African and later Ethiopian portraits a few years ago and since then we've been flooded with similar images.  I don't find them representative of those people or their environments and while, I repeat, they are aesthetically beautiful, I think they're copies of an idea and not much more.

Nicholas's picture

I'm a fan of Joey L., but he is far from being the first to do that. He deserves his success but he started nothing. I don't think it would be fair to compare these awesome images to someone else's (I don't think the intent was to imitate anyone so much as tell the story his way) but I do think what separates these images a bit from Joey's portraits is depth of field. In Joey's expedition, he used ND filters and profoto strobes to create wonderful shallow depth of field portraits.

What I learned from these images is that depth of field does not necessarily mean depth of image. The subject is so well lit and yet the background is incredibly detailed but not distracting. The photographer must've felt that the environment was as important to the portrait as the subject, and rightfully so. Beautiful work.

I agree with you. It was creative, at first. I still like these photos, though.
Let's see if we can do it different.

First thing i thought when i saw these shots was looks like Joey L. Crazy such a young guy has a recognizable style. 

Great Shots regardless! Super inspiring - thanks for sharing!

Jens Marklund's picture

^ Agreed.

+1 
Those were my thoughts exactly. 

+1 more. I've always believed they missed the mark.  They are pretty pictures of people, but not representative of their stories.

That was exactly what I thought. "They look so familiar". The technique, the framing, the lighting...JoeyL build his style which is perfectly fine. But now we see more and more images that look exactly like them. Replace the guy with a soldier with a gun and you get another image....Waiting for someone who combines this technique with Joel Grimes. Who takes the vacation pictures of people as a background. That way he doesn't even have to visit all those different places....
Don't get me wrong, I like those images and I really love Joeys images (probably because he was the first to use that style and it was new and exciting back than) but even now he has it's own spin. And even if people try to copy him one can see that it is a copy and not the "real thing".
The images above are a good example for "nice" images. They aren't bad but it's not like they make me stop and stare at an image for longer that 3 seconds and after 15 seconds I couldn't even remember the images.

I appreciate the use of the landscape in these images. The lighting is subtle enough so that they don't look artificially lit. Is it on the border of being surreal because of all of the depth of field? Maybe, but I like the edginess that creates. These people look like they're tough and hardened, which the photographer's style compliments by including a detailed view of their terrain. This is how he told the story IMO. BTW, I don't see Joey L at all in these.

Mark Salmon's picture

Other than the use of artificial light in a somewhat remote part of the world, I see little comparison to Joey L, both in a good and bad way.

very Joey L style... thats just what I thought

Susheel Chandradhas's picture

Arne, Mark is saying exactly the opposite of that. :)

 The framing of the images is almost identical to the framing of the images of Joey as well as the color grading. The photographer also desaturates his images (at least th ones seen above). But as I said above. These are good portraits. In fact they are more than just good, but they don't capture my eyes.

Dino Kužnik's picture

Very nice. Love the magent-ish post.

Does it matter what 'style' it is? They're great portraits. If they'd been shot using different techniques they could also easily be compared to a large number of other  photographers who happen to employ those methods. I've always thought portraits are the photographers take on their subjects, it might not be to your taste but it doesn't mean it is work that should not be applauded.

I absolutely LOVE this. If you've been paying attention on an earlier post today someone was complaining about the type photos being posted on fstoppers, they cited these EXACT photos as examples of great inspiring work. Then as soon as the inspiring work gets posted people tear it down. I think I need to just read the posts and stop before I get to the comments section from now on. hahaha.

so true, I use to get mad and reply to comments in a bad way, now I just try to ignore. I wonder if people who write here get depressed reading all this twats.

 Wow! It's crazy seeing some of the same people I got the chance to photograph on a website that I come to see other world photographers do their thing!

Some of these images are shot in a village called "Turtuk".
I was there last year about the same time as I write this. Some of the most amazing people and stark beauty in one of the worlds most desolate areas! This village, Turtuk is only 100 kms from K2 Peak. And that's the second highest peak in the world!

Special!

Next time, I'm going all Strobist!

Wow!
It's crazy seeing some of the same people I got the chance to
photograph on a website that I come to see other world photographers do
their thing!

Some of these images are shot in a village called "Turtuk". 
I was
there last year about the same time as I write this. Some of the most
amazing people and stark beauty in one of the worlds most desolate
areas! This village, Turtuk is only 100 kms from K2 Peak. And that's the
second highest peak in the world!

Special!

Next time, I'm going all Strobist!

 

don't go all strobist... natural light is allways the best light... stop trying to bring the fuckin' studio with you...

cough *bullshit* cough

John Godwin's picture

Checked out your work - it's terrible. You'd probably love studio light if you knew how to use it. 

John Godwin's picture

Joey L didn't invent the concept of taking a light on location. 

A strobe used on location could hardly be called a style. JoeyL wasnt the first to do it, the techniques been around for 30 odd years now. The Technique used in this case is secondary to the actual visual that is being created and shown, and the actual visuals are stunning(irrespective of strobe or no strobe)
before JoeyL there was Phil borges shooting strobes in far away locations. Point being, technique and style are two distinct things.

As mentioned above, Phil Borges was knocking out stunning portraits long before Joey L turned up....just take a look:
http://www.philborges.com/tibet/3.html

I want more quality photographs like these on Fstoppers. Quality lighting and processing. I can't stop coming back to this post.