Honestly, this is not from the moon, but from the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, taken on my way to the Ladakh region in 1985.
This is where we had started descending from the highest pass, Fatu La, and I guess this place was at an altitude of about 4,000 metres (13,000 feet). At the summit the Fatu La is slightly higher, but when we stopped there I was actually too sick to get out of the bus. By this time I was feeling better.
Although the Fatu La is the highest pass on the Indian National Highway 1D from Srinagar to Leh, the most spectacular pass is the Zoji La at an elevation of slightly over 3,500 metres. Passing through the Zoji La I occasionally noticed that some of my fellow travellers prefered to keep their eyes closed. I travelled with a regular bus, but most of the passengers were foreign tourists.
You can see a photo from Zoji La as a workshop. It's not a particularly good photo but it will give you some idea of the conditions. Both photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides. Here is a larger version of the main upload.
Critiques | Translate
fanni (14381) 2014-04-07 9:03
indeed, this does look like a Moon landscape... only the people lack special space equipment and suits :)
perhaps, if the sky was grey or white (cloudy) - but not blue - the landscape would look even more fantastic - like the one which is in the Workshop photo:)
I don't think I'd ever dare to travel in such conditions!
rychem (25866) 2014-04-07 9:06
At first moment I thought it is really a moon landscape, in my country are most mountains covered with forest, the mountains in your photo are without vegetation! A very good photo, nice scene, well done
mesutilgim (87316) 2014-04-07 9:19
Hello dear Gert,
Another nice capture from your archive.
Good scan with many interesting and good notes.
TFS and best regards
pajaran (53705) 2014-04-07 9:57
Dobar dan, popodne.
Dobar tekst o mestu sa opisom ...
Dobar rad skeniranjem slajda, lepo pokazano mesto, lepa fotografija u radionici, opasno mimoilazenje.
Lepo popodne i sve najbolje u novoj nedelji koja je pocela, srecno.
Good afternoon, this afternoon.
A good article on the site with a description ...
Good work by scanning the slide shown good place, beautiful pictures in the workshop, dangerous passing.
Nice afternoon and all the best in the new week that started, good luck.
photographer_sg (4410) 2014-04-07 10:24
That's one superb composition... surely one of the best I have come across in a long time. Adding to the beauty of the picture are the great colours and sharpness and of course the lovely contrast with the blue sky.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice evening.
Romano46 (18472) 2014-04-07 10:40
il titolo rende molto bene l'idea dell'asprezza del luogo.
In effetti il suolo arido assomiglia al terreno del nostro satellite.
Anche questa però, come le foto precedenti, è una di quelle immagini senza tempo che restano attuali anche nella nostra epoca.
Il paesaggio e le strade non mi sembra che siano cambiati rispetto all'epoca della tua foto ed anche oggi la strada viene percorsa dagli stessi mezzi come si ha modo di vedere spesso nei documentari in televisione.
Peccato che la trasposizione in digitale abbia fatto perdere alcuni dettagli.
Rimane in ogni caso una grande foto sia per il paesaggio ripreso.
Ciao e buona serata
Kamilutka (8103) 2014-04-07 11:09
the scenery indeed looks like from the plan of the Star Wars :-) It must have been amazing journey through this unusual landscape. The dunes create very interesting setting for the touristic bus taking its break for some photos.
Very nice light and lovely colors.
Thanks for sharing
chawax (19566) 2014-04-07 11:13
Very impressive wild landscape ! Very good scan quality.
Subhogen (4067) 2014-04-07 11:49
It was really courageous of you to travel to Ladakh so many years ago. Ladakh has caught the imagination of the Indian tourists only in the last decade and thankfully not in a huge manner. This is a fantastic shot typical of the Ladakhi landscape. This really looks Martian minus the old bus and the tourists. In fact there is a spot after crossing Zoji La which people now call 'Moon Land'. Nice shot with beautiful light and good clarity, thanks for sharing.
ourania (34433) 2014-04-07 12:05
I like very much the way you framed this scene, placing the bus in the middle of the frame and with a tilt that follows the road, against the shadow that makes it stand out. I like how lively this spot is with the people fascinated by the lunar landscape and your lens. I love the excellent definition of the shapes and textures that form this landscape, the colours are marvelous. The people look merry in this extremely desolate place, you captured a moment that's surely gaining more value with time. The workshop picture is amazing, the drivers must be heroes. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
Fis2 (87999) 2014-04-07 12:15
Beautiful documentation of the expedition!
Excellent frame, colors and light.
Fantastic quality scan!
kasianowak (7315) 2014-04-07 12:32
The moon or not, there is something unusual about this scenery. I must say, the mountains are very beautiful, especially in this golden light but, having looked at the image in WS, I'm not surprised passengers liked to keep their eyes closed. :)
emka (82572) 2014-04-07 13:15
Hello Gert, The road from workshop is definitely for me. I would be scared and mad with these precipies. The altitude is less important, in Peru I was even higher 4800 with no effect. Splendid composition. The desert landscape is a bit similar to the one I saw today going to David Gareja.
Warm regards Malgo
siudzi (34119) 2014-04-07 13:46
An interesting scene you have photographed. The title was smartly submitted to this image to give us an impression of the landscape. Well composed and executed. TFS!
lousat (79772) 2014-04-07 15:03
Hi Gert,in effect this old bus doesen't seem a space-shuttle..ehehe..but i like a lot this funny title,beautiful capture of this corner far from the touristic circuits,another great memory of your incredible archive,i like it!Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
jcpix (13724) 2014-04-07 15:27
I have a feeling I would be one of those people with eyes wide shut! :) I have a healthy fear of heights, and those scary conditions are not something I would want to see coming. You know, I think if this picture had been taken at night, it might actually pass for the surface of the moon...looking barren and completely desolate.
I can only think that it looks exactly the same to this day, maybe some different people however. :) A very smooth scan result, this could easily pass for something more modern. You handled the bright light very well here, and of course the inclusion of the bus and travelers holds everything together and makes for a solid focus point. Sure makes you appreciate paved roads, right? A literal and figurative fun journey back in time here, nicely realized for its potential. Enjoy the new day. All the best.
serp2000 (41356) 2014-04-07 16:43
Good morning, Gert,
Amazing but very clever title for this landscape. When I have seen this thumbnail I have thought about Afghanistan, but I see this is not so far from that country too.
Anyway, this poor nature has got some special beauty. Excellent blue&yellow combination ;)
Best wishes from SoCal! We have +30 C today!
macjake (58862) 2014-04-07 23:38
you know what? I actually prefer the WS photo!
how strange is that...
but its because of the visual impact of the cliff edge, and most of all....that TRUCK is so cool.
never seen a truck with so much character in just the windows...very fun looking vehicle.
this shot here is making me SO thirsty, talk about an arid landscape! yikes!
you certainly travel to different and unique places, i'll give you that!
willperrett (7656) 2014-04-08 0:36
I continue to be impressed by your archive images, to the extent that I've posted an oldie myself a few days ago - from 1968. This "moonscape" is spectacular, and absolutely needs the people and the bus to give a focal point. Your old Kodakchromes all have a distinctive yellowish cast, though I seem to remember Kodachrome was famed for its warm tones: probably the colour balance has faded/changed over 30 years. It would be easy in Photoshop to "correct" the colour balance, as I'm sure you know; but I'm happy that you've left them alone. It gives an additional patina of age maybe.
Nicou (126290) 2014-04-08 5:14
encore une mervielle quelle vue quelle iamge sueprbe compo et ensemble quel montagne désertique aux très belles formes et ce camion et le personnages sueprbe j'adore.
Bravo et amitié
Royaldevon (31791) 2014-04-08 5:49
It is a fine scan and looks even better in the Beta version.
I wonder how many people ever used to think about altitude sickness before they set off on treks; nowadays, with health and safety, it is made abundantly clear.
You have certainly portrayed the inhospitable, mountainous nature of the terrain. It is very different from trekking in the Lake District!
Excellent viewpoint for creating good leads.
Thank you for sharing this.
Have a good day,
saxo042 (37596) 2014-04-08 6:15
En fascinerande vy, men var det inte svårt att få upp bilen på månen? Hur som helst, en intressant bild och en like intressant text. Var det höjdsjuka eller resfeber du drabbades av?
Kielia (23993) 2014-04-08 6:17
this is really a spectacular place and very well captured under difficult conditions. The inclusion of the people is very useful. I also enjoyed reading your notes and all the other comments. A great contribution to this site in its best spirit!
eldancer1 (30034) 2014-04-08 7:25
Might as well be on the moon, this landscape is so barren just like some parts of the American southwest. I hope those guys are just stopping for the view not with mechanical problem. Good lighting and nice details. Well done, tfs.
kato (11630) 2014-04-08 11:13
You're capturing well this place by a good angle and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see a desolate mountain range and mini bus on mountain road. It's tasteful for the surface of a mountain of different brown tone. And, the shadow draws out a good effect. It is a very steep mountain path for driving about the photograph of WS, I also feel dangerous.
rbassin (19179) 2014-04-08 12:23
une photo intéressante d'un endroit arride et montagneux; bon ensoleillement avec de zones d'ombre créant des contrastes agréables.
nikkitta (15762) 2014-04-08 13:01
A place where I want so much to visit, as I have low pressure I felt great in high altitudes
What an interesting landscape and capture, historical one, I suppose very few has change with the exeption of vehicles
Very good angle, POV, to show both route and desertic mountains with the van as the central point
Very well done, photo and scaned work
Just the moment I enjoy the more, to stop to walk a bit in a long trip
imageme (1790) 2014-04-08 15:29
Hi Gert, Indeed, the setting in this composition looks like they are on the moon. There has not even one tree or grass in the area. Beautiful sunny day with dry and dusty atmosphere too. I wonder if there has any animal live around in such condition. Great capture with very nice POV. Thank for sharing
abmdsudi (44964) 2014-04-08 23:35
Another retro good scanned image with the eye catching land formation dominates as strong interest while the curious visitors are great add on to make it happening.
giving lots of life. Lovey play of light and shadows, pleasant exposure along with much detail to absorb and the best colour rendition. Contrast to blue sky is just superb and the overall effect is very pleasing to the eye. Well done, tfs
claudeD (34390) 2014-04-08 23:39
very interesting scans of your old pics here. Excellent informative note about your travel in 1985 to India.Very good contribution to TE.Very well done.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
heimann2 (625) 2014-04-08 23:58
nice impression from this special region you visited in 85. I was there in 72!
best regards and have a nice day
subhendu_bagchi (25935) 2014-04-09 2:19
a nice show from the ladakhi moon-land. Great composition. The mountains are beautiful with their very special appearance. Great composition with those people. Superb depth and clarity. colours are nice too. Another nice shot from your archiete. Great one indeed. Tfs.
Silvio1953 (126846) 2014-04-09 6:45
Ciao Gert, really an alien landscape, lovely composition with people, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio
Graal (99124) 2014-04-09 8:22
yes, landscape like from the moon. Unusual travel. Interesting WS also. Amazing remembrance from your travel in 1985. Good scan.
Have a nice evening.
emilbo (22616) 2014-04-09 8:51
Surement une excursion intéressante dans ce désert de montagnes. Pas de problème pour la qualité d'image, l'environnement est bien montré sous un beau cil bleu. Bon travail de scan et beau souvenir de vacances.
Toutes mes amitiés,
UlfE (14641) 2014-04-09 10:49
Även jag tycker att bilden i WS är den av bilderna som är den bästa och mest intressanta. Den illustrerar mycket väl hur hisnande färden var och man förstår väldigt väl det du beskriver i noten när man ser den. Den är också väldigt bra kompositionsmässigt med de stora stenarna som lagt upp som en barriär som mot stupet. Det jag gillar är att den börjar i nedre vänstra hörnet och tillsammans med vägen i en "svepande rörelse" leder in mot bussen. Det ger en väldig dynamik i bilden. Att man bara ser den ena bussen i sin helhet gör faktiskt ingenting. Det är tillräckligt mycket med för att man utan problem kan föreställa sig hur det såg ut när de båda bussarna skulle passera varandra. En horisontell bild med båda bussarna med hade definitivt inte varit bättre. Det är lätt att tro att en bild där viktiga element helt och hållet finns inom ramen alltid är den bästa. Så är det inte alltid. En kanonbild helt enkelt och jag tror att du" instinktivt" tänkte helt rätt när du tog den. Ha en bra kväll!
carlo62 (36121) 2014-04-09 13:27
hai perfettamente ragione, la foto del ws ci mostra esattamente la situazione, veramente pericolosa e drammatica.
Il titolo si accoppia perfettamente alla foto, questi uomini sembrano appena scesi dal Lem.
omid266 (6308) 2014-04-09 21:13
Salam , Hi Gert,
It is interesting to see such these dry mountain in India , because always i heared and read that India is a very Raing country,
Anyway all the best in this old document , very precious work,
Thanks for sharing ,
Good luck ,
fabbs99 (16803) 2014-04-09 23:22
Excellent shot of the ragged mountains more like lunar surface.Keep sharing.TFS.
tyro (21114) 2014-04-11 5:58
This does indeed look like a moonscape and, I suppose, at 13,000 feet on Earth, there probably wasn't much more oxygen than there is on the Moon either. Was your sickness higher up the pass due to the altitude or mainly to a very rough ride in this 'bus? And not much evidence of any cafés, toilets or "rest areas" up here either. And, although clearly sunny, I presume that it must have been quite cold up here.
A very interesting photograph and one superbly well taken, the 'bus parked on the outside of a sweeping bend in the road (which actually looks quite well surfaced here) with the steep and higher mountains behind and a glorious sky above.
And I can see quite clearly that this road might in many places have quite a precipitous drop on either side - a feature so well shown in your workshop picture too - I suspect that might have been quite a sensible move to disembark from the 'bus during that passing manoeuvre, even if only to take a photograph!
Two lovely pictures expertly scanned from good old faithful Kodachrome.
RhodieIke (11742) 2014-04-12 12:46
Love this a photo from the past, the whole image is so rugged and raw so to speak.
Wonderful, well done.
Angshu (56406) 2014-04-15 1:30
I have not been to Fatu La...yet, but have crossed the other high mountain passes in this area.
I don't think anything's changed today...there's no vegetaion at that altitude and snow covered for 7-8 months, hence loose stones and slippery slopes...which are very dangerous for travel indeed. So if one travels in the same area, the picture would look almost the same.
Tigerlily (3107) 2014-04-17 8:40
Hi again Gert,
The clarity and colour are beautiful. Nice tone range, beautiful light control even you were so sick,:-D.hope that you are perfect fine now...
adores (39209) 2014-05-01 16:02
No wonder you were feeling sick, it's an incredible place, but not an easy one for sure. A good scene here, the quality is great in spite of the age and I like the Ws also, you could also post it as main post. It must have been a great experience to visit this region!
fritzi007 (7548) 2014-05-08 11:33
wirklich wie eine Mondlandschaft, ein sehr gutes Foto und Kommentar, gratuliere!
mcmtanyel (14939) 2014-06-23 20:28
Barren landscape that has its own kind of beauty. The buses in both photos are very interesting. Another lovely upload from your vaults.
NorthernLight (2321) 2014-08-10 4:48
Jag tror att denna är en bra och intressant bild. Det visar ett landskap som jag känner som exotiskt och det visar människor som rör sig genom detta landskap. Bussen och människor skapar en fin kontrast till den steniga öknen.
Bilden har karaktär och jag gillar färgerna mycket.
Ha det bra
Matyas (5186) 2015-04-14 0:55
Hello Gert! Interesting scene. Very interesting place. Wonderful people and car. Superb mount. Fine sky. Excellent colours. Good work. Regards!