Images – One Last Harvest

In Images, Travel by David25 Comments


This is a short slideshow of some of the images I took in the village of Lamayuru last month while in Ladakh in the north of India. I love Lamayuru, and fear for what progress means for this place. While there we were told that this might be the last harvest done without mechanization, and while machines bring good they can also bring the erosion of cultures and values. For every gain there’s a loss. These images aren’t a commentary on that, just a celebration of the beauty of the harvest.

This is Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada, so Monday’s likely to be a break for me while I give thanks for all I have – my family, my health, my place in this world, and for you who are a part of this growing community of good folks. I’m deeply grateful everyday, but this weekend I get to show it by eating more pumpkin pie and turkey than is healthy. On Tuesday my trainer will kick my ass for it. I can live with that. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Click the image above to open the slideshow in a new window.


  1. Sorry, but these are not “awesome”. They are interesting but less compelling than MANY others who have photographed in Ladakh. I have been following this region for decades and all the photographers who have documented this lovely region. I do love your writing and am so glad you are inspiring photographers to go out and try their best. Todd

  2. +1 on the details please David! I aspire to these types of shot, but never seem to quite get it right in terms of exposure. Still, I suppose it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice!

  3. Great set of images. Bet you didn’t do much lens changing withall that dust flying around 😉

    It’s wonderful to record these images in a world that is fast changing. Six years agoI saw some traditional harvesting in a village just off the main Annapurna Circuit route in Nepal. I suspect that it has changed now due to the building of roads in the area.

  4. I just wanted to wish you and the little lady a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your break!

  5. Hi David,
    Beautiful images! The way you’ve captured the dusty dynamics of the harvest is truly masterful.
    Like Norm, I am wondering if you can provide some technical info on how you shot the scenes with such large dynamic range. Were flash, reflectors etc. used in any shots? I would also love to see larger versions of the pictures.
    Happy turkey day!

  6. Wonderful pictures. David, may I suggest that there be an option where they can be displayed much larger on a computer screen? I’d love to see these pictures much bigger. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Beautiful picture story! Happy Thanksgiving. Oh, in your comment you said “Thanks Y’all.” I see you’re from “southern” Canada. 🙂

  8. Love how you’re shootin’ into the sun on most of these, appropriate theme with the harvast – just a great connection from sun to earth to food and life.

  9. Thanks for sharing. I was in Nepal almost exactly 10 years ago, near the Tibet border in the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang. From your images and descriptions, it seems very familiar. I’d like to go back again. Hmm.

  10. Happy Thanksgiving!

    We don’t have Thanksgiving in Haiti but we do eat turkey, ham, and everything else on Dec 25th and January 1st. Beautiful pictures as always.

  11. Hi,
    I’m very interested in how you exposed for these images. For example, in the 8th shot (man silouetted, shovelling hay), did you use spot metering, and if so what point did you use as the “18% gray” tone? Did you use EV compensation?
    Many thanks,
    – Norm.

  12. Beautiful images. I really appreciate the lens flare and visible dust floating in the air. It gives a sense that the harvest isn’t an easy or clean process; you have to get your hands dirty to get it done. Thanks for sharing these.

  13. Author

    Thanks y’all.

    @justin – This is all natural. I post-processed these the same way I usually do my images – in Lightroom with a good tone-curve and a little push on the exposure, fill, and clarity sliders. it all starts with a good exposure.

  14. I love how you used the overpowering sun to an advantage in these shots. Were there any tricks done in the digital darkroom to get those effects or is it purely natural?

  15. As usual, beautiful images! Your comments on progress on Lamayuru remind me of the book I’m currently reading–Three Cups of Tea (I know, I’m a little late to the party)–and how sometimes we need to be careful about how we define ‘progress.’ Thanks for sharing and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. I’m grateful for all of my Canadian friends. Canada’s a beautiful place with beautiful people. So close. So different.

    Thanks for sharing the images from your trip. I hope we get to see more. Enjoy your weekend.

  17. Oh and have a great Thanksgiving !!!!!!
    We don’t have that holiday in Israel, so I overlooked it 🙂

  18. I’ve beet to Lamayuru, 15 years ago. It was even then that they showed a short movie in Leh, that describe how the locals stopped painting their houses, since the arrive of the westerns people. Till then they were happy, when progress came they saw how they are compered to the rest of the western world and were much less happy, stopped painting the houses.
    The back-light is like your trade mark, you do that a lot. I’m about to start practicing this technique myself and see how it goes for me. thank you very much.


  19. Very nice. Great use of backlighting. You really worked the sun in many of the pictures. Have a good holiday.

  20. What a beautiful homage – thanks for posting these gorgeous pics, David!
    And Happy Thanksgiving to you too – enjoy the turkey!

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