Talking Pictures
Quiet Desperation

The Photographer's Travel Guide

© 2003, Randy Thompson, All Rights Reserved

Her haunting gaze resonates in my memory like no other image I made while crossing the Tibetan Plateau. The young nomad girl appeared from nowhere, dressed in hardly more than rags against the cold Tibetan wind. She never said a word and I wondered later if she could speak at all. The girl just watched, with a look of quiet desperation, as I took a break from the grueling overland road known as the Friendship Highway. She didn't object when I mentioned that I wanted to take her photograph. She just stood there, alone, very small and vulnerable, while I made my images. Now, when I look at her photograph, I think of how difficult her life must be and that she will be old before her time. My hope is that I see a faint smile on her face. For that may mean her life isn't one of just quiet desperation on the vast and beautiful Tibetan Plateau.
--Randy Thompson
Savannah, Georgia

Technical Information:
Canon Elan IIE, Canon 28-135mm IS, Fuji Provia 100F, in camera flash set at -1 stop exposure for fill flash, aperture and shutter speed not recorded.

The premise of Talking Pictures is that all of us have images that carry an internal narrative that we rarely get to share. This entails more than just camera, exposure, and film. It might include what provoked us to snap the shutter or how, in retrospect, the image makes us feel.

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