Xinaliq is an ancient and remote Caucasian village high up in the mountains of Azerbaijan. Nestled in the Eastern Greater Caucasus mountains, it is the most remote, isolated, and highest village in Azerbaijan (2400 m) and locals claim it to be the second highest village in whole Caucasus. The beauty and uniqueness of the village makes it a worthwhile destination on its own, and Lonely Planet guidebook rates Xinaliq as the single best tourist destination in Azerbaijan.
As some other Caucasus villages, Xinaliq is also linguistically unique: its language, descending from the ancient language of Caucasian Albania, is spoken only by the inhabitants of this village (around 1000-1500 speakers only). The language has 77 letters and 14 grammatical cases(!), and there is even a grammar of Xinaliqi, published in Germany(!) Although the Xinaliqians speak Azeri as well, they are considered to be a different ethnicity.
I'll upload some views of Xinaliq later; but I want to start with this "portrait" of a local woman cleaning a carpet, against the surreal backdrop of grass-covered mountains. It is great to see people living the traditional way there, almost untouched by civilization...
Update: a general view of Xinaliq can be found here
Critiques | Translate
daddo (26794) 2007-10-04 2:18
Hi Alexander. Stunning colours on the woman and the carpet. What a dramatic contrast to the almost monochromatic background. Monochromatic it may be, but also awe inspiring. what a landscape!Albanian Kavkaz, I had heard about it and wondered if there is any connection with the Albanians in the Balkans, or if the name is pure coincidence. Regards. Klaudio.
smarcell (19965) 2007-10-04 2:22
The red of the carpet and the woman stands out from the background. A nice capture. Maybe I would have prefered a larger view, with more mountains in the frame, I don't know. It is a beautiful picture anyway.
xramm (1831) 2007-10-04 2:31
Good composition of cleaner in desert mountains.
yanseiler (20) 2007-10-04 4:06
Hi Alexander, the colored cleaner is very contrasted with her environment, that's nice, taken at the right time...
SandROM (19) 2007-10-04 4:14
Very nice photo! 3 weeks ago I was in Azerbaijan,but saw only the capital Baku.
AiresSantos (56155) 2007-10-04 5:18
Magnificent view of the carpet cleaner of Xinaliq, in desert mountains.
I like the POV, colours and how you framed the picture
TFS and greetings
servane (629) 2007-10-04 6:22
It's the best picture i've seen today with a perfect sharpness and a very well seen composition.The soft colors in the background help those on the first plan and the red color is raised.
i just regret not to see the face of the woman
Thank you for sharing
bwiti (402) 2007-10-04 8:58
What a nice shot ! I love so much the sweet colors and the contrast between the milky green and this lightning red so congratulations and sorry for my poor english...
worldcitizen (8708) 2007-10-04 16:59
I like this photo because it is something we don't see every day. The vivid colors of the colors and clothes jump out very well against the gray tones in the background. I like that you captured the woman in action, performing a chore from her daily life in the middle of such a wonderful and remote setting.
ktanska (27862) 2007-10-05 3:15
Strong feeling of daily life mixed with brightly coloured subject and good composition. Hazy background does not steal the main role, but still shows how great those landscapes are.
bantonbuju (51815) 2007-10-05 6:04
this is a sheer beauty, this image...the background dull-green mountains perfectly helped to isolate the reds of the carpet and the woman's dress...
that unspoilt naturalism of the place which you mention in your note is clearly recognizable in this image...
delicious work, and the place which i wish i was to, as well...
Didi (60588) 2007-10-05 9:36
Very strange scene and interesting contrast difference between the main subject and the foreground.
ben4321 (9875) 2007-10-07 4:25
This is an interesting shot Alexander. The contrast between the bright colours of her clothing and carpets against the barrenness of the landscape is a striking one, and I like the overall simplcity of your composition.
Still, I think it would have been even better if you'd changed your position slightly to cut down on the space in the left foreground, and I'd have preferred it if you'd waited until her face was more visible.
Even so, I like this - good work.
brevbrev14 (140) 2007-10-08 3:04
Hi Alexander, beautiful image.
the red is so strong against this wonderful landscape!!
the background is out of the world!
chc (1468) 2007-10-09 4:14
the way you played with colours here is very striking. An unrealistic brushwork is created. Well done
Polonaise (5802) 2007-10-10 14:34
Your picture Alexander, is...Hmmm...How to find the true word for it..?
..is very PHOTOGRAPHICAL
Only through the camera's lens you can create such photographical effect.
The fuzzy background and the unbelievable front colors - all together a soothing medicine for my eyes.
Thoughtful presentation pal, and the pleasant results of your trip into Caucasus mountains.
Stay sensitive, bro.
PS: I really missed the visits to your gallery.
designsoul (21492) 2007-10-12 5:28
a beautiful shot with the lovely saturated coloured carpet cleaner and the carpet amidst the toned down colours of the bare Caucasus. A very nice work, it looks like time stands still there... I think this should be printed large on a large wall!
Griet (506) 2007-10-12 5:33
strong contrasting colors against the almost B&W background
Nive POV too.
Regards and have a nice WE
alainh (33201) 2007-10-13 23:45
another word, splendid painting of Azerbajian. i like the strongness of the colours behind the very clear aourounds.
a nice work
have a good day Alexander
iason (459) 2007-10-17 11:16
It is great!I could not imagine something like this.It is very interesting.The contrast of colours are great.
lespicaros (5542) 2007-10-17 11:29
Very nice colors and nice composition
thanks for this picture
Luan (12971) 2007-10-21 23:30
Wow, colorful subject against breathtaking landscape background, the perfect combinaison ;o) Such a nice place to clean up carpets.
Beautiful picture Alexander.
zmey (7335) 2007-10-22 8:02
lovely capture, alexander! beautiful colors and well used, selective focus. i would have preferred to see the carpet cleaners face, but then again, we cannot have it all, can we (and not sure, how azerbaijani women feel about eing displayed on fotos)? other than that, i find the composition to be perfect! TFS and my compliments!
p.s. an excellent note.
gbeli (1970) 2007-10-25 11:08
Amazing photo from Azerbaijan.
The vivid colors of the woman and the carpet and the low contrast of the other picture make a great atmosphere.
archimatica (20638) 2007-10-28 12:04
This picture is fantastic. Wonderful the contrast between the red and the monochromatic background.
faubry (35447) 2007-11-06 3:29
bonjour Alexander, a superb colorful photo, i like contrast between background and color clothes and carpet.. superb daily life from this country.thanks
MayaG (2413) 2007-11-09 9:54
What a superb shot, Alexander...textures on background textures. I don't know if my imagination is going wild now, but this image has something so magical in it, almost archetypal...I am expecting this woman to sit on the carpet and fly away!
Excellent photo and I envy you for this travel experience for sure!
riclopes (35577) 2007-11-12 3:30
Olá Alexander, excellent shot in a fascinating landscape. Great contrast with the red clothes and nice diagonal of the carpet. A very attractive exotic scene.
baba_flies (8829) 2007-11-15 8:33
This Alexander knocks me totally out! Wonderful all these happy strong colors in the middle of almost nothing, in a rugged area with very little color and life at all. No wonder they started to use red and orange for their carpets. Somehow you don't expect anybody living here at all, this is maybe what is so surprising, seeing her working on her carpet. Excellent. Barbara.
leo61 (0) 2008-02-27 12:06
Viewing a member`s favourite images,I found this jewel in your gallery.Everything is excellent here;colors,contrast POV and composition.And the DOF too ,with this valley in the background.A great shot!!!
Thanks for a new favourite.
kiks (12623) 2008-03-01 9:25
Hi Alexander, het aller mooiste in deze foto vind ik het contrast van the kleuren van het karpet en kleding met de omgeving. Echt fantastisch en onwerkelijk. Prachtig gezien en vastgelegd
elitsa (509) 2008-05-14 3:08
Amazing image, Alex!
Very nice contrast b/n the grey mountains in the background and the coloured woman and carpet in the foreground.. Excellent point of view..
dinkar (196) 2009-04-01 19:17
Alexander - A beautiful POV with fantastic framing. Quite unique. Belongs on the pages of national geographic
kunitsa (195) 2009-06-20 9:45
Alex, this is very captivating photo! Most colorful rug and the landy are contracting but at the same time belong to the hazed hills on the background
mafegan (8624) 2009-06-20 16:58
A most informative photo. The bright colours of the carpet and the woman's clothing stand out against the vast desolate mountainous countryside. Tfs this special photo, Marlene
KevRyan (22956) 2009-07-15 1:02
What a fantastic contrast of colour against this backdrop and a fantastic note - my only time in Azerbaijan was spent in Baku working very long hours for just over a week but I was hoping to do a village based arts project - twice now - but neither have come to pass - your note fills me with a desire to visit more of the country! A very nicely framed image with such a natural feel to it.
tpstrek (2168) 2010-01-07 3:43
The best composition I've seen today.
Perfect sharpness and nice contrasting red colours with the grey background.
ajayrawat (670) 2011-09-17 8:02
very nice composition...no less than magic
kasianowak (9217) 2014-07-29 2:04
I'm thrilled to see a photo from that rarely visited place even I missed during my recent, too short, trip to Azerbaijan (I stopped at Lahic but I'll definitely go to Xinaliq next time).
Eye-catching image this, with the splashes of vibrant red on the background of muted colours.
- Copyright: Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) (15185)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-08-27
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 18-200 f3.5-6.3, Hama 62mm UV390 0-Haze
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Your favorites, South Caucasus Miffy O places to go, Intersting Photo's on TE, Kasia's Favourites 6 [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-10-04 2:08
- Favorites: 7 [view]