View Full Version : Anyone been to Mongolia?

David R Munson
6-Jul-2006, 22:21
With or without LF equipment. There's a chance my sister and her husband may be moving back there for a period, so naturally I feel an excuse for an amazing photo trip coming on. Thoughts?

Paul H
7-Jul-2006, 01:54
With or without LF equipment. There's a chance my sister and her husband may be moving back there for a period, so naturally I feel an excuse for an amazing photo trip coming on. Thoughts?

There is a guy over on the the rangefinderforum (http://www.rangefinderforum.com) who divides his time between Amsterdam and Mongolia who goes by the name RML. Perhaps you could drop him a note?

7-Jul-2006, 02:40
Hi David,

Thought I'd send you the name of a photographer who has shot some beautiful images over there...


Ms. Ling is a physician who practices medicine to support her photography habit! :)

Anyway, there's contact info on the website.

Good luck... hope you have the opportunity to go over and explore! :)


Karl Gruenewald
8-Jul-2006, 08:21
My friend Peter Crandall has been there twice. Here's his web site with some nice pics:

Hope you can make the trip. Good luck!

8-Jul-2006, 17:33
Hi David,

I just got back from Mongolia last week! I was there for the month of June. It was just and amazing, amazing trip.... Of course, we are all different and travel for different reasons, but I'd highly encourage you to go.

My traveling companion is an artist and we went there specifically to immerse ourselves in our passions. While I also shot digital (SLR) and pinhole, I did quite a bit of work with my LF. It's easy to get around with LF since the normal mode of transportation is to hire a 4WD with a driver since the term, "road" in Mongolia takes on a new meaning. You can just carry everything in the back of the vehicle and work out of it.

While the countryside isn't particularly spectacular, it was the people that won us over. They are friendly, social, caring and gentle. We had herders ride up to us from out of nowhere after seeing our dust trail, and offer us cigarettes rolled in newspaper, snuff or vodka. Same with wonderful old men in the capital city. People will just come over and sit down next to you, knowing that you can't speak their language or them yours. They are just that friendly. And, the norm is to show in the evening at someone's ger (yurt), get invited in for supper, a place to stay, food in the AM and food for the road. People are just that giving. We kept having one experience like this after another. We were at a loss for words, but "magical" and "transformative" were the two that stuck. What is also amazing is that people know of the western world and have opted to not embrace it as other third world countries have done. OK, I'm going on at the mouth because I am still on a high from this trip...

People in the countryside don't have cameras but love to have photos and have their photographs taken. I brought color Polaroid film with me and that was a hit!

Depending on the time of year that you go, plan on early AM's and late PM's to catch the light. Sunset in June was at 11PM.

Pick up a copy of Brandt's guide to Mongolia to learn more and see if the place is for you. The Lonely Planet guide is not as good and has some bogus info in it. If you go, avoid one of the high end tour companies. You'll be insulated from the people and see only the tourist sites. Also, PM me for more info.

The one caveat is since the vast majority of the roads are dirt, everything gets caked in dust while traveling. I'm still cleaning my gear!

I hope to post two really cool photos in the coming week once I downsize them.


David R Munson
9-Jul-2006, 12:09
Thanks for the leads and the information! This is going to be interesting. I'll keep this thread updated as this thing progresses, assuming they make the move.

David R Munson
7-Apr-2007, 13:07
I thought I would resurrect this thread, as the Mongolia trip is finally on and will have me going transcontinental for a couple weeks around the end of July. I'll be going with my Canon digital and a Mamiya M645. I toyed with the idea of taking LF gear, but I just don't think it's in the cards for this, my first real international trip with or without photo gear of any kind.

So....anyone have anything new to offer up in terms of advice? We'll be splitting our time between the Gobi and Ulaan Bataar, primarily.

7-Apr-2007, 13:09
Get in touch with RML, he'd be happy to give you some pointers.

Ron Marshall
7-Apr-2007, 14:57
Definately take your LF gear.

Scott Davis
8-Apr-2007, 07:07
If you think you even MIGHT want to shoot your LF, bring it! Trust me, despite the hassles of hauling LF gear around, you'll spend the rest of your life saying, "If only I had brought my LF camera, I would have had this amazing image...". That's no way to remember your biggest adventure of a lifetime - with regrets.

David R Munson
8-Apr-2007, 11:08
I've emailed RML as suggested above. I've contemplated the 4x5, but if I take it, that means no 645 and I can't deny that for me, it's the much more versatile instrument. But, we'll see. I've got 4 months to work out the details. My biggest concern at present may be dust, especially where the digital is concerned. Also, my sister and her husband may well be staying on beyond this year, so there's a decent chance I'll have an opportunity to go again.

Brian C. Miller
8-Apr-2007, 12:16
:( No LF? Not even a press camera and ReadyLoads? (sniff, sniff)

The Gowland Pocket View looks pretty good, and any of the press cameras are marginally larger. A Graflex Super Graphic or Toyo 45CF would be happy in Mongolia.

You know that if you leave your LF camera at home its going to be sulking at you for months after you return, right? The lens will swing back and forth, or always tilt at the floor. You'll have blue cast to all of your shots. Make you cameras happy, bring them with you!