Editor’s note: Colin Prior is back from his first trip to the Karakoram mountain range that borders Pakistan, India and China. On this leg of his four-year Karakoram Project (you can read more about it in our April 17 blog post), Colin captured stunning photography of this singular region. He shares a few images here, talks about being back in these mountains, and gives a tip on shooting with a tilt and shift lens.
Q. Welcome back from the first leg of The Karakoram Project. Did your trip in May reveal new insights about this magnificent mountain range?
A. In so many ways it did and re-affirmed in my own mind that it remains, in my opinion, the most magnificent range of mountains on the planet. There is a uniqueness about each individual mountain and they all possess their own character which somehow compliment each other, and in a way it’s not dissimilar to the individual musicians in an orchestra – each of whom contribute in their own way to a moving performance.
Q. What is the geological story about the conglomerate rock at Mustagh Tower?
A. These rocks are quite amazing and this one in particular was one of the most impressive I came across. They are a collection of many individual rocks in this particular example composed of red, orange and grey rocks, which have all been fused together by heat and pressure to create these studies of natural beauty.
Q. Is there a particular Canon lens in your expansive kit that helped portray the dramatic vistas you shot?
A. Without doubt, the latest version of 24mm T/S is a lens that creates impact in a way not possible by any other means. The image of the conglomerate rock was taken with this lens and I have employed some tilt and a little rise which has allowed me to retain sharp focus from the immediate foreground right through the image to infinity all pin-sharp. Tilt and shift lenses are the key to overcoming the limitations of depth-of-field caused by sensor diffraction with smaller apertures. For landscape photographers they are the ‘silver bullet’ which fuse the craft of large format photography with digital capture.
Q. We have to ask, how did your Pro Trekker and Rover Pro packs perform on this trip?
A. Extremely well my personal camera porter who carried my 18kg bag up and down the Baltoro, as if there was nothing in it, was extremely complimentary about its comfort on his back. I carried the Rover Pro with water and waterproofs and found it to be one of the lightest and most comfortable bags I have used. The Baltoro is an extremely good testing ground for any outdoor products and both my own and the BBC film crews bags all performed flawlessly.