Martijn Doolaard Photographs Extreme Cycling in Kyrgyzstan’s Winter

All photos by Martijn Doolaard. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Bitten by the travel bug and now craving for an adventure of a lifetime? That’s exactly what our featured travel photography project will inspire in you today. If you have a great love for the outdoors and are keen on embarking on your own journey of self-discovery, you’ll want to have some stunning photos to serve as a keepsake of your trip. You might also want to get some ideas from designer, photographer, and filmmaker Martijn Doolaard, who spent a year cycling from his hometown in Amsterdam all the way to Singapore. Now, let’s take a few pages off his travel diary to get a glimpse of the harsh terrain he had to traverse as he cycled through Kyrgyzstan.

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Scott Turner Lives With and Photographs the Kyrgyz People

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All photographs are copyrighted by Scott Turner and are being used with permission.

Building trust is essential to any documentary project, and it’s something that can take time. In the course of traveling through Asia, American photographer Scott Turner found himself in Kyrgyzstan and stayed there because “there’s a certain pulse to life” that he hasn’t found anywhere else. So, he lived and worked with them in the beautifully vast grassy fields, and he found that the more time he spent with them, the closer he got.

Robert Capa’s famous adage, “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” is twofold. There’s a physical proximity that’s necessary as well as an emotional proximity, and the closer you are emotionally, the better your photos will be. Scott’s managed to achieve both, and with a grant from VSCO’s Artist Initiative, he’s been able to work on this project long-term. Here, he shares his insights, the story behind the project, and some of the necessary considerations for working on a project like this in a remote location.

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