Lesson of the Day: ‘On Horseback Among the Eagle Hunters and Herders of the Mongolian Altai’

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Lesson of the Day: ‘On Horseback Among the Eagle Hunters and Herders of the Mongolian Altai’

7. The goal of the World Through a Lens series is to help transport readers to some of our planet’s most beautiful and intriguing places. In what ways did the featured article succeed in those aims? What did you find most intriguing, memorable or inspiring? What does seeing and learning about another way of life teach you about your own?

Option 1: Analyze and interpret a photograph.

Choose one photograph from the article that you found particularly informative, surprising or affecting in telling the story of Kazakh people. As you look closely, respond to questions adapted from our What’s Going On in This Picture feature:

Then dig a little deeper:

  • What do you notice about the composition, colors, objects and people in the photo?

  • Why did this photo stand out to you? What do you find intriguing or moving about it?

  • What do you think Ms. Thomas wanted to communicate with this image? What questions would you ask her or the subjects of the photo if you could?

Option 2: Document your own family traditions through the art of photography.

If you were hired to document the traditions of your own family for the World Through a Lens series, what would you show and why? What would you hope audiences around the world would understand, appreciate and learn?

Take some time to reflect on your own cultural and family heritage: What traditions — events, activities, games, songs, meals, dances, athletic or artistic endeavors — big or small, shape and define you?

After selecting one aspect of your family’s lifestyle and traditions, brainstorm ways to best capture it photographically. Use the photos featured in the article as inspiration, whether it’s Ms. Thomas’s shooting a close-up shot of a woman’s hands to show the physical hardships of life as an animal herder, or an extreme wide shot to capture the wonders and beauty of the vast terrain atop the Altai Mountains.

How would you show the beauty, the skill and the challenges of your own family traditions? Whom or what would you photograph? What settings would you choose? When would you use wide, medium or close-up shots?

After you have captured at least three photographs, write a short artist’s statement that connects the three images and explains why you chose them and what they reveal about your family.


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