Gold / 2018 / Nature / Domestic Animals

Tsaa Buga of the Taiga

  • Prize
    Gold in Nature/Domestic Animals
  • Company
    Willow & Boots
  • Photographer
    Amardeep Singh

‘Tsaa Buga’ is what the Tsaatan nomads in the Northwest Taiga of Mongolia, bordering Siberia, call their reindeer. No, you can't go there by bus or jeep. It takes over 50 kilometres of riding horseback on torturous Mongolian saddles, to reach their faraway settlement. The Tsaatan are proud of their reindeer, and understandably so - they provide them with milk, skin for clothes, antlers for carving art and medicine, help in transport and, very rarely, serve as meat.

Climber, nature photographer, wanderer across 20 countries… and when he is in his city clothes, Creative Director of an advertising agency – that’s Amardeep. A mountaineer in his younger days, he was part of the first-ever Indo-USSR expedition to Peak Kommunizma, Tadzhikistan and Mount Elbrus, Caucasus in 1989.

In his time, Amar’s traversed over 16,000 kilometres of rugged countryside in Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Bhutan, Ukraine and Russia… wild places where double-humped Bactrian camels, Mongolian horses, Siberian Huskies, reindeer and Golden Eagles have often been his only companions.

Amar’s stylised photographs, shot here from his trusty Canon, have seen him being featured regularly at the prestigious IPA (USA), B&W Spider Awards (USA) & TIFA (Japan). They’ve also appeared in publications of repute like National Geographic and Lonely Planet. Recently, he won the Bronze award for his Wildlife series at the Tokyo International Foto Awards. One of the photographs brought him an Honorable Mention at the B&W Spider Awards, too.