Fascinated by the everchanging himalayan light, photographer Isaac Tsetan Gergan freezes moments that paint a vivid image of stunning Ladakh and its beautiful people
I am an artist, photographer and designer from Leh, Ladakh. While this is my home, I have grown up in different parts of the world and today that diversity is what propels my work and life. The camera, to me, is a tool which allows endless experimentation and play, like an artist with a paintbrush or a writer with a pen. It is a tool that, with constant use, allows for steady growth and surprise.
I have been fascinated with the idea of capturing images, making the large, immensely fascinating world my own, from as long as I can remember. From experimenting with countless point and shoots, early mobile phone cameras and manual film cameras, I have come to understand capturing my experiences as second nature.
Along with my passion of image making, my sense of photography evolved and diversified at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC. The photograph and the act of making it has advanced since then to become, in a way, that mnemotechnic extension of my philosophy, allowing me to bridge my many interests.
These photos are from a series of portraits and landscapes from the Himalayas, a collection of photos from the past five years of travelling in Ladakh and its surrounding regions. The travels include walking, horseback, motorable transport, and flights.
Photographing Ladakh has been one of the most rewarding experiences. Be it taking the camera on a walk, a trek or on a drive, the ever-changing Himalayan light is constantly communicable to the eye and memory. In such a landscape, I still struggle to know that one special image.
While on long journeys through mountains in cars, the world passes by very quickly. However, every now and then there is something you see in a split moment that gets etched into our memory. At other times, we remember what we see in stills rather than in motion. I think our brains like to freeze moments.
It is easy to take a good photo in Ladakh, and while the camera, eye, hand and brain all need to be in sync to take a photograph, I do believe that an investment of time, be it in travelling to, listening, researching or learning about what we are photographing, gives photographs an extended life and weight.
With such considerations and leanings, I am on a constant journey to define a style and find new methods of photographing my experiences, mundane or extraordinary. A journey filled with those in-between moments, and that one magical fleeting moment, for that elusive light which marries what it touches in perfect harmony.
(The author is a photographer based in Delhi)...