Monday, June 01, 2009

Ryan Pyle Blog: The Nujiang Valley


Well, I finally got my May edition of National Geographic, about a month late, and was very impressed with the story of Finding Shangri-la produced by Mark Jenkins and Fritz Hoffmann; another fine example of what highly skilled writers and image makers can do when given the time and resources to fully develop a story. A wonderful example of dedication to story telling. Did I mention it was a life long dream to work for National Geographic? I know, I'll need to step in line. There must be millions of us out there.

But back to my blog. Mark Jenkins and Fritz Hoffman spend their time in the Three Rivers region of China's south western Yunnan province. Which is, for those unaware, one of China's truly special destinations. The three rivers that run essentially north to south accross this region are the Nu River, the Mekong River and the Yangtze. With all three rivers running paraelle to each other the mountain ranges between them offer some of the most dramatic views and some of the most rich cultures I've ever witnessed.

Which brings me to the purpose of my blog. In 2004, as a young and energetic photographer, I visit the Nujiang Valley. I had read that the Chinese government was planning a multi-stage dam on the Nujiang, to date the only river that is un-damed in China. My goal at the time was to try and document the area to show the unique culture and wonderful nature that existed there. Sadly I was only there for a few days and my pictures were never published, and I didn't have the chance to revisit the region. But the National Geographic story stoked a lot of old memories and reminded me about the untouched beauty of the region. Will a multistage dam ruin the culture and the nature of the region; absolutely. Will the government take notice and leave just one river in China untouched? Absolutely not.

I highly recommend everyone out there to take a peak at the story which is linked above. I've also included some of my less interesting, Fritz really shot an incredible story, images in a slide show above.

Once again, National Geographic comes through with very strong China coverage. What a dream it must be to totally immerse yourself in a project for several weeks, or months, straight. Very envious indeed.


Ryan Pyle

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous16:41

    Ryan, I am writing my masters history thesis on ethnic groups in Yunnan province. I just wanted to let you know how helpful your blog and photos have been to my project. Thank you!

    Audrey Thompson
    Western Michigan University



This is Ryan Pyle. I appreciate you adding a comment to my blog and I hope that this space has offered you something useful and interesting. I look forward to staying in touch and I'm glad you took the time to comment.

Ryan Pyle