I shot this environmental portrait with my trusty Voigtlander Bessa T and a 25mm f4 Skopar lens. Thanks to the subject, Pemba Sherpa, I managed to pull off a successful trek to strengthen a story on climate change in the Himalayas which I was shooting for Hollandse Hoogte Photo Agency.
Pemba is a great character of the Everest Himalaya of Nepal and I hope that this portrait does him some justice.
I was quite active as a news agency photographer in the 1990s (for SIPA Press and Gamma and sometimes for AP, AFP and Reuters on a freelance basis) and recently found some time in 2014 to scan a lot of my old 35mm slides and negatives.
I am currently editing some of this material into my archive and will be editing more in over 2015. My collection on 35mm is very diverse and covers Panama, Colombia and some other parts of central America from 1994-1998, Britain and Spain from 2000-2014, plus many great film images from the Everest Himalaya of Nepal (and also the 2006 revolution).
I was based in Panama for four years and have quite a good collection on the pre-handover Panama Canal (including aerials) and of Colombia’s civil war spreading into the Darien Gap of Panama.
Back at home, I have many pagan-type festivals and a fairly good stock on British politics, youth culture and Britain itself in the early part of the 1990s and Britain from 1998-2014. Several of these have also been edited into my collection of late.
All these images were scanned at 3600dpi on a Reflecta scanner (similar in quality to a Nikon Coolscan 4000) and are unsharpened as to allow for the full print quality that film can convey.
This is one of my favourite portraits from my travels in the Khumbu Himalaya ( Everest region ) of Nepal. These Tibetan Dropka nomads bring cheap Chinese goods to sell to Sherpas over the Nangpa pass and sometimes establish temporary markets to sell their wares. Mostly, they come from the Tibetan village of Ting Ri in Chinese-occupied Tibet. Although a separate ethnic group from the Sherpas, they do share their religion and some customs. Perhaps less so with the Chinese controlling the frontier than when Tibet was an independent country, the Sherpas and the Dropka sometimes marry. The arduous journeys undertaken by these nomads make them the highest traders on Earth and the Dropka of Ting Ri have for around a century been the backbone of many a Himalayan mountaineering expedition, especially the British attempts on Mount Everest from Tibet before it was climbed by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Notoriously light-fingered, these nomads are the biggest tinkers I’ve ever encountered and I would often see them during many of the treks I did in the spectacular Khumbu Himalaya of Nepal. The image above is part of a photo essay on the Sherpas I am in the process of re-editing.