Photos I Wish I Had Taken

Photos I Wish I Had Taken: Timothy Allen

Photo by Timothy Allen

Photo by Timothy Allen

I’ve written about Timothy Allen’s work before on a few occasions. He’s one of my favorite travel photographers and renowned for his profoundly evocative images. In 2013, he was honored with the Travel Photographer of the Year Award.

In July, I am excited to say that I will be traveling with Tim to western Mongolia to explore that remote region of the world and meet the incredible people who live there—among them, the eagle hunters.  And before you freak out, they don’t hunt eagles, they hunt with eagles. I don’t know much about the art but I am looking forward to learning more in Mongolia.

Above is one of Tim’s beautiful images. One that I wish I had taken on so many levels. It’s cinematic, majestic and filled with drama and romance. It reminds me of a closing scene from an epic where the main character after many battles and tribulations, looks over his domain as the film’s soundtrack swells just before the closing credits roll.

I love that Timothy use a wide-angle lens but chose to capture it close enough to the horse to show the expanse of the landscape and yet maintain a sense of intimacy with his subject.

I know the shot is staged, which I typically frown upon, but in certain circumstances to tell a meaningful story about a culture like this through photography, staging is a necessary tool. The world is too vast there for Tim to just “happen” upon an eagle hunter in the middle of his hunt. UPDATE: Well, I’m wrong. The shot wasn’t staged. Tim weighed in on Facebook and said that “Interestingly… not actually one of my set up photos.. this one was shot during a hunt.” So, I stand corrected. 🙂


What do you think of the photo? Let me know in the comments.


Click here for more Photos I Wish I Had Taken….


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75 replies »

  1. I’ve seen this before, and yes it is a great shot. Of course opportunity is everything though, in other words who is to say we wouldn’t have taken something similar had we been there.

    • I guess opportunity isn’t everything in my opinion, that’s why even though multiple photographers may be photographing something, only one may have the eye and the talent to make the image really extraordinary. It’s why the greats, ARE the greats. There’s no doubt that the eagle hunter, mountain, eagle combo would provide ample opportunity for almost anyone to take a striking photo, but I don’t know that everyone would have chosen the angle, the lens, the position, Allen did.

  2. Oh heck yeah! *fist pumps*. Such a beautiful image indeed Susan. You’ve described it perfectly. Such exciting news too that you will be joining him very soon – nice one kiddo 🙂

  3. Wow, that is quite a fistful! What an expressive image of a unique culture. I really enjoy these photographer spotlights you include in the blog every now and then. Keep them coming.

  4. A fantastic image, yes I follow Tim’s blog and love his ‘eye’ for the unusual but this is a special shot, majestic! I will be in Mongolia in June but not that far out to the west. I’m excited but also excited that you will get an opportunity to meet these eagle hunters.

  5. Man, bird and beast, together in harmony, a lovely photo. Will be looking forward to seeing more from your trip in July
    I adore Eagles, birds of prey, they’re so majestic.

  6. I notice that the three living beings are right in the center, all together, while the landscape spreads out behind and around them. Beautiful. You are so brave, Susan. I cannot imagine the journey you are about to take, and I look forward to following you via your blog posts and photos. You go, girl!

    • LOL… Thanks!

      Oh, I’m not so brave. There will be Timothy and some guides there to make sure we’re fine. 🙂 Looking forward to sharing once I’m back. But it isn’t for awhile, and plenty to do before I go. But I am very excited.

  7. It’s a great shot. Compositionally it’s very strong with the leading lines of the clouds and the angle of the horse. I like also what the composition suggests about this figure in a vast landscape, that he is small and transitory within the enduring landscape, shrunken by the mountain.

    Have an amazing time in Mongolia! I look forward to reading about your trip and, of course, seeing the photographs.

    • Beautifully stated, Laura. I think you nailed the essence of the image perfectly.

      I look forward to sharing my trip.. July still seems far away but I know that it will be here in no time. 🙂

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