In the Mongolian countryside, the landscape stretches beyond imagination. My host father and I were herding goats and sheep muddled together, grazing, meandering down to the river. For hundreds of years or more, his family has bred these animals; they are his entire livelihood, his movable feast. I raised my camera to take a picture of my host father with his herd.
“No,” he told me in Mongolian, “over here.” He wanted to appear in my photograph sitting astride his shiny new motorcycle, a jarring intrusion of modernity into the pastoral landscape.
This man’s life is a collision of two worlds.
Through my viewfinder, I watched him swing his leg over the motorcycle … and took the photo.