The pastoral way of life is harsh in winter but idyllic in summer, although climate change and subsequent drought is making life hard all year round. Annual mean temperature has increased by 2.14°C during the last 70 years and precipitation has decreased in most regions outside the west.
Mongolia – Photo Tip

Control your exposure manually

Photo by Timothy Allen

Mongolia – Photo Tip Control your exposure manually

I hardly ever shoot into the sun because the exposure will contain so much latitude that parts of your photo will inevitably end up being blown out.

Timothy Allen
Timothy Allen Travel Photographer

As a rule, you expose for the highlights, so you could say that the photo below is overexposed. I don't like it because of that, but I included it in the selection for this story because quite often a photo editor might like a photo you don't, as happened here.

In the top picture, however, which is taken about five minutes later, I have cropped out the sun with a long lens so I can expose for the whole frame. I use manual exposure all the time. Never use auto, especially when shooting into the sun. In the top photo, I have exposed for the highlights and you get a lovely silhouette.

Shooting into the sun will show up any dust on your lens or sensor but with modern self-cleaning sensors that is not such a problem. Normally, at the end of every day I do go over my gear with a blower brush and have a look at it. But I am not a real clean freak unless something really dastardly happens. You might be surprised to see the state of my cameras.

mongolia-grasslands-timothy-allen-305

The pastoral herders of Mongolia are one of the world's last remaining nomadic cultures, grazing their herd on the treeless grasslands of the steppe that are too dry to support agriculture. About a third of the population of 2.8million is still nomadic, moving their campsites several times a year in an endless cycle from summer to winter pastures. Photo by Timothy Allen

Timothy Allen

Timothy Allen

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Aperture
ƒ/7.1
Exposure
1/1000
ISO
640
Focal
32 mm

The pastoral herders of Mongolia are one of the world's last remaining nomadic cultures, grazing their herd on the treeless grasslands of the steppe that are too dry to support agriculture. About a third of the population of 2.8million is still nomadic, moving their campsites several times a year in an endless cycle from summer to winter pastures.

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