High Adventure; Journey Through The Thunder Dragon Kingdom

There's a place on earth where time stands still. A place where a reverence for nature and the Buddhist religion have preserved a kingdom that is often referred to as the world's last Shangri-la. A mythical and medieval land hidden high away in the Himalayas--an Eden called Bhutan.

Tigers Nest--My style of photography in the most remote places in the world requires a lot of physical stamina as well as mental endurance. Here I had to trek 3000 ft to an altitude of 9000 ft to be at eye level with one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan world.
All Photos © 2005, Daryl Hawk, All Rights Reserved

In early 2004 I was hired by Yarkay Tours to photograph Bhutan, a small country just south of Tibet and north of India, to create a 60-minute documentary for Bhutanese and American television using both film and still images. Ever since I heard of this amazing country six years earlier, my passion was to explore its land and meet its people. Somehow I felt it was my destiny to go to Bhutan and now my dream was finally going to come true!

Thimpu Ancient Ceremony--Incorporating mood, light, and composition in as natural a way as possible will allow you to capture the true spirit of a place.

Along with a driver and guide, I spent the entire month of November traveling from the far west to the eastern regions of Bhutan capturing the day-to-day life of the Buddhist culture, the remote landscapes, imposing architecture, and powerful nature. Since I was officially considered a royal guest of the government, I was able to gain extraordinary access to numerous ancient ceremonies, secret festivals, religious events in monasteries, and the King's birthday celebration.

Arrival Of The Chief Abbott--Something magical happens when good light, color, composition, and action all come together in harmony at a given moment in time and to know exactly when to click the shutter on your camera.

Traveling and trekking across Bhutan is very challenging and adventurous. It has very winding roads with 3000-foot drop-offs. The altitude usually ranges between 6000 and 12,000 ft in most locations. The farther east you head, the more primitive the sleeping and eating accommodations become.