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Deniz Bensason



Travel Blog: Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan: Woman grooming horses

Kyrgyzstan: Woman grooming horses

Kyrgyzstan – Land of Horses, Highlands and History.

The Kyrgyzstan Photo Workshop - an expriment in diffused light.

I was invited to participate in a ten day Photo Workshop in Kyrgyzstan.

The weather turned out to be relatively mild for this time of year. This in turn made the daylight ideal for photography. The diffused light and the occasional rain-shower made the Kyrgyzstan Photo Workshop one of the best in both experiences and results.

The workshop focused on a number of topics:

Yurt - Kyrgyzstan

Yurt - Kyrgyzstan

  • Landscape photography,
  • Documentary photography,
  • People in motion,
  • First light photography,
  • Night photography.

Even before we landed in Bishkek we got our first “photo-op” of the Tien Shan Mountains, with its 7,000 meter peaks piercing through the clouds. Just before landing we also saw the vast steppes with herds of horses from above.

Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek; Grandfather with Grandson

Bishkek: Grandfather with Grandson


What impressed me most in Bishkek were the amount of young people there. The streets were awash with the under 30’s. You could see and feel both hope and apprehension in their faces.

The people were proud but friendly to tourists, trying to show us what they felt was the best of their country.

Lake Song-Kul

Kyrgyzstan: Horses, Water and Rainbow action

Horses, Water and Rainbow action

From Bishkek we drove to the Lake Song-Kul, elevation 3020m, and the second largest in the country. The only way to access that area is either by jeeps, horses or on foot. We slept in yurt-stays on the shores of the lake. Our hosts prepared an amazing dinner for us. The shores of Lake Song-Kul turned out to be an enchanting place for us. Just after we arrived there was a heavy rain shower. In tandem with the afternoon sun it created a spectacular rainbow. The rainbow, landscape and mountains produced ideal conditions for classic picture postcards. The local farmers (herders) augmented the setting by to galloping some horses through the shallow waters.

Action + stunning scenery = fantastic shots.

Fairy Tale Canyon and the Silk Road

Falconry - Kyrgyzstan

Falconry - Kyrgyzstan

From Lake Song-Kul we continued on to Issyk Kul, a salt lake surrounded by the Tian Shan Mountains. Some 5 km outside of the village of Tosor we explored Skazka Canyon (Fairy Tale Canyon) with its purple and red sandstone natural sculptures and formations – obviously on foot.

In the evening we slept in Karakol, the fourth largest city of Kyrgyzstan. Originally Karakol was a trading post along the Silk Road. We visited the mosque of Cahil, and then the livestock market held there every Sunday.

On the northern shores of Lake Issyk Kol, near the town Cholpon Ata, we came across amazing rock paintings in what can be described as an "open air art gallery" of petroglyphs from the sixth to the first century BC.

Back in Bishkek

Before leaving the country last “shoot” was at food market in Bishkek. At night we flew back home.


In addition to an exciting trip, wonderful experiences and beautiful photos, there is also the Kyrgyzstan Photo Album that I published.

The Route


Hi Deniz,

I assume that those fantastic pictures of galloping horses on your home page are also from your Kyrgyzstan trip. Do you have more of them and where can I find them?

Hi Una,

Thank you for your kind message.

Yes, the horses picture on the homepage is from Kyrgyzstan.

You can also find more pictures of horses in the Kyrgyzstan Photo Album.


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