Wild horses standing in front of the huge snow capped peaks in the Sary-Jaz valley on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China.
As a skilled landscape photographer, Albert Dros has seen a lot of stunning landscapes, but nothing prepared him for the beauty he would find during a 3-week trip to Kyrgyzstan. The landlocked Central Asian country, located along the ancient Silk Road, has an incredible variety to its landscape. While the mountainous region to Tian Shan covers 80% of the country, Kyrgyzstan is also filled with impressive valleys and basins, as well as a clear sky untouched by light pollution.
For Dros, Kyrgyzstan was paradise. “As a photographer and nature lover, you know that feeling when you see that untouched beauty? Crazy mountains with open valleys? It triggers you somehow. That’s what Kyrgyzstan did to me,” Dros writes. The unspoiled landscape makes for sweeping views, with the occasional yurt or group of wild horses entering the frame. Though the mountains are already visible when in the capital city of Bishkek, the real adventure begins when Dros explores regions inhabited by nomadic shepherds.
“With some effort (driving ‘bad’ roads and hiking steep paths) you’ll be able to see some of the most beautiful untouched nature you’ve ever seen. Endless valleys with huge mountains around you, crystal clear turquoise lakes, wild eagles, canyons, you name it. This country has it all. I was surprised by its variety of landscapes in a rather small area. Just a few hours driving would bring me from snowcapped mountains to landscapes that looked like the moon with red canyons and unearthly textures.”
Dros was able to employ all his landscape photography secrets and capture the unspoiled beauty of a country few tourists venture to see. The results are a moving tribute to the power to nature.
Landscape photographer Albert Dros spent three weeks photographing the unspoiled beauty of Kyrgyzstan.
A green valley with wild horses and a view on Peak Yeltsin. This is what Kyrgyzstan is about.
An intimate shot of a green hill. Kyrgyzstan has many opportunities for intimate shots as it has beautiful rocks and hills everywhere around.
A wide open valley with glacial rivers coming from the mountains protecting the valley. These mountains are often 5000m+ (16400ft+). This is a shot of the Barskoon Valley. It took a 4000m (13000ft) road pass to get here.
Twilight before the sun comes up. Standing at one of the crazy canyons in Kyrgyzstan that look like they’re coming straight from the moon.
Ala-Kul lake, a magical crystal clear lake turquoise-colored lake located at an altitude close to 4000m. This lake requires a steep 5 hour hike at high altitudes to get to.
These kind of scenes are common yet impressive to see in Kyrgyzstan. Hundreds of animals covering the empty lands.
An aerial panorama of a part of the Barksoon Valley. You can see all the rivers coming from the glaciers of the mountains into lakes. This valley itself is already at 4000m (13000ft) with the surrounding mountains much higher.
An eagle ﬂying over the tops of the Ala-Archa mountains. Unique light hitting inside of the mountain from reﬂecting onto the clouds.
Camping at the Sary-Jaz valley on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China. Zero light pollution makes the skies so bright. We used this old Soviet bus as transport. Not much comfort but very reliable, they said. This thing could drive oﬀ road up to mountains. It was called ‘the pill’ as according to the locals it looked like a pill.
You can always ﬁnd diﬀerent wildﬂowers in the mountains in Kyrgyzstan. This was at an altitude of 4000m (13000ft) in the Barskoon Valley. Glaciers, lakes, and mountains everywhere around.
The Tian Shan mountain range covers 80% of the country, with peaks reaching over 7000 meters (23,000 feet).
Standing in front just another Glacier at the Sary Jaz Valley which is located on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China. This area requires a permit. It’s an amazing valley surrounded by snowcapped mountains of the Tian Shan range which has peaks over 7000m (23000ft).
Standing in front of Peak Karakol. A very scenic peak popular among mountain climbers. It has an altitude of 5200m (17000ft).
You’ll ﬁnd this kind of landscapes next to a lot of roads. Like they’re carefully carved out of mountains. Interesting hills against blue skies form a beautiful sight.
A top down view from the patterns of Skazka Canyon (fairy tale canyon).
A photo of the lunar eclipse in 2018 with Mars right under it and the visible milky way. Notice my girlfriend standing there enjoying the night sky.
Sunrise at Skazka canyon, which means fairy tale canyon. Does this remind you of Mars?
Many people are shepherds living a nomadic lifestyle, with families living in yurts.
A kid of the local family enjoying the sunset at Song-Kul, a wide open valley at a huge lake at an altitude of 3000m (9800ft). The locals are living like nomads here without any luxury. Think about growing up here.
Hundreds of sheep moved on the hills right before a storm hit.
Kids standing in the opening of their Yurt. They stay here in the summer months learning to take care of the cattle from when they’re young.
Mars-like landscapes in a canyon called Skazka Canyon which means ‘fairytale canyon’. Walking around here is really unreal.
An open view of the scenic Karakol Peak which lies at the end of Karakol Valley. You can see how the glacier mounts into streams and rivers. An impressive sight.
A horse with a mountain backdrop in the Song-Kul area. Look closely and you can see lots of animals and yurts in the background.
Aerial shot of textures from just another canyon in Kyrgyzstan.
The night sky of Kyrgyzstan is unpolluted. We stayed at this yurt. Looking at the beautiful night sky was a joy.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos Albert Dros.