Readers’ wildlife photos

Today the wildlife comes from reader Bill Zorn, who sent photos of Homo sapiens in Tibet, a place I once visited (but only Lhasa and its environs). Bill’s captions are indented.

Almost all of my photos are landscapes, but here are a few portraits. I lived in Beijing for several years and did a project on the Three Gorges Dam. I went to Iran in 2005 to photograph for a project on ‘rituals’, and some of the Tibet photos were for that.  Most of these photos were taken with a 4×5 field camera. I did the processing and printing.
A boy at a Tibetan Buddhist festival:

A Buddha (Siddhartha?) statue:

This is a living buddha, Kan Da, in Qinghai, China. He’s standing where 400 years ago, a monk sat for 60 days, taking no food, no water, then turned into a crow and flew away. apparently this practice has fallen out of favor and there are no recent instances to report.

Tibetan girls:

Buddhist monk with prayer beads:

Young monks and prayer drums:

Tibetan cowgirl (yakgirl?):

Woman in alley, Yazd, Iran:

Mother and child, Wu Gorge, China:

Workers, Qutang Gorge, China:

Old man, Peisha:

Boatman, Madu River, China:


  1. Joe Routon
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    A wonderful collection of beautiful photos, Bill. Very impactful in black and white.

  2. Posted September 3, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos Bill!

    The Tibetan girls photos has really lovely tones.

    Were these photographed as prints, scanned as prints, or scanned as negatives?

    In the first shot (Tibetan boy), did you use a blurring (ring) filter for the print?

    • bill
      Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      these are proofs, scans from 4×5″ negatives. i play with them in photoshop, then print on paper in a wet darkroom.

      i use a linhof master technika 2000. the plane of focus can be tilted by moving the front or rear lens; usually to improve focus or correct convergence, or as here, for selective focus.

      • Posted September 3, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Cool, thanks Bill.

        Of course! I forgot about tilt. 🙂

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink


    These are mesmerizing

    Gotta ask : any relation to John Zorn?

    • bill
      Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      SQUEAK! honk?! no.

      but you can get my meager attempts at jazz here

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Pretty good – I can hear Henry Mancini… woah – what was that?!… yes… uh huh… wow, that’s all you? that is damn good!

        • bill
          Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          thanks! i’m most guitars, hansel gonzalez from cuba does some guitar work; tim timmons from martinique on bass, yvan keller from france on drums, randall bramblett on sax and keys. recorded most in beijing, some in athens ga.

  4. David Fuqua
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    These are wonderful pictures. I really like the Homo sapiens animal pictures.

  5. Posted September 3, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Woman in alley, Yazd, Iran is the best, but they are all breathtaking.

  6. rickflick
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    These pics are very enjoyable to look at. Thanks for submitting.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Very impressive photos. That old man in Peisha is so odd and intriguing. Tiny chair, strange wig like hat and serious stomping boots make for a wonderful composition.

    • bill
      Posted September 3, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      thanks, mark; i think it’s a hat. these bamboo chairs are common in china. this 800 year old village is now under the three gorges reservoir, about the length of lake superior.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Underwater…wow. That’s sad. I know a lot of people were displaced by that massive project, and a lot of archaeological treasures lost forever.

  8. Kelcey Burman
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Wow there is a story in every photo. Exceptional work !!!

  9. tjeales
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Amazing. Reminds my of my travels in Ladakh in the early 1990s.

  10. marioz
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Wonderful photos, which remind me of one of the most heart breaking books I’ve ever read, “Secret Tibet” by Fosco Maraini.

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