Mongolian Eagle Hunters

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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.

Gear:
Main bag: ThinkTank Airport Security 2.0
Shoulder bag: ThinkTank Retrospective 30
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

Instagram: Sasha.leahovcenco

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Comments: 20
  1. Alex Dzhumara Mar 03rd 20:59

    great story, beautifully captured.

  2. Andrey Mar 03rd 21:04

    Stunning record of a beautiful legacy. Great work!

  3. Diana Mar 03rd 21:28

    Absolutely refreshing to see these images. They truly live a life full of adventures.

  4. Explore Altai Mar 04th 13:53

    Thank you Sasha, So many beautiful images, especially man holding an eagle on horse (12) looks like a fine painting. All the Best!

  5. Kailash Gyawali Mar 06th 07:17

    amazing story and great photos

  6. Gaston Mar 08th 13:26

    Wow!! These photos are stunning…

    I want to visit Mongolia so badly, you only make me want it more!

    I’m really curious about how you travel with all this gear (The ABees and the octabox mainly)… do you work with assistants over there?

    It looks phenomenal, keep them coming!

  7. gustavo franco Mar 09th 05:58

    this is special.

    this is the kind of photographs you have no idea how much is helping the world’s culture.

    great sasha!

  8. Resolution Rentals Mar 22nd 21:37

    Amazing! If you need gear, hit us up and we’d love to collaborate with you.

  9. Tung NTB Mar 22nd 23:23

    Congratulations! You captured a beautiful series

  10. Alvaro Mar 30th 10:46

    Great work Sasha. I really liked the history and the photos. Cheers from Brazil.

  11. Josh Apr 04th 20:51

    Wow! Great story and beautiful pictures. Well done!

  12. Brianna Apr 04th 21:31

    Amazing is and understatement. Did you use a smoke grenade for the last 3 images?

  13. Jean Apr 05th 06:22

    This made my jaw drop. Absolutely breathtaking images, perfectly captured, and incredible subjects.

  14. Davor Matosevic Apr 05th 09:30

    I hope you are bringing these photos everywhere, I think everybody should enjoy it. You should send it to NG, if you didn’t do it yet. :) Thank you, Saša!

  15. Martina Hohnjec (Timeless Photography) Apr 05th 12:36

    Stunning images! Really impressive work, congratulations!!

  16. Chris Apr 21st 14:34

    Absolutely stunning! Is any of your photography available for purchase?

  17. Rosalind Apr 24th 14:56

    So beautiful and evocative. I believe the last one is my favorite.

  18. A Photographer Visited A Lost Mongolian Tribe. These Photos Are BREATHTAKING | See Place Jun 10th 19:15

    […] More info: sashaleahovcenco.com […]

  19. Mila Studio Jul 06th 22:26

    Great job Alex :)

  20. These Mongolian Eagle Hunters Will Make You Appreciate The Value of Heritage | BestThings Aug 10th 08:09

    […] © Sasha Leahovcenco […]

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