Portraits: Behind amazing story of Mongolian Eagle Hunters by Sasha Leahovcenco
Today we have a guest photographer, Sasha Leahovcenco, this is his story:
They say we’ve succeeded if, those, who come after us, have gone farther than we ever could… If I could leave behind a legacy it would be something larger that myself, longer than my lifetime and louder than my voice. We wonder whether we will be remembered, missed or thought of. The irony of this very human thinking process is that the only way we can ever do that is by touching the lives of others. And the most inspiring things happen when we strike friendships, loving relationships or even momentary acquaintances that leave behind a thought, a memory, a lasting emotion. And in that moment we’re leaving something behind. We’re passing on something that can live beyond that moment, beyond me.
This is a story about a tradition as old as Mongolia itself – eagle hunting. A generous heritage passed from father to son, generation after generation by the beautiful people of the Altai mountains and Mongolian hills. This is also a story about Konki, an eagle hunter who lives near Deluun Village in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia, who decided to pursue the craft after his father’s passing 2 years ago. In spite of being a herder for the entirety of his life, he is now accompanied by his cousin, Onei, and his friends on the tireless mission to carry forward the tradition he inherited from his father.
My good friend Cale Glendening, the producer behind this amazing story, and I traveled to Mongolia to meet Konki and document his journey.
We spent a week living with Onei’s family learning and documenting incredible life of eagle hunters.
Special thanks to my good friend Hajik who helped me with writing this narrative, Cory Tran who traveled with us and helped me a lot during the shoots, and amazing retoucher Pratik.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon 24-70 II
Main Light: 35″ Octabox with AlienBees B800
Battery pack: Vagabond Mini 120VAC
Light stand: 10-foot light stand
Thanks for your help Sasha.