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Golden Eagle festival 2015 in Mongolia


Apologies again for the long absence
Have been away, will explain more in the next post..

But first, have to post some fantastic images from a great trip in Mongolia
Conducted a photography workshop in Western Mongolia during the Golden Eagle Festival.

Thanks to all the participants who joined me for this trip.
Also, thanks to Nikon Singapore for the equipment.
All photos posted here are taken with the D4s + 300 mm f2.8

part 2 can be seen here

I will be back for the same festival next year.. so let me know early if anyone is interested..

The Eagle festival, or Golden Eagle festival (Бүргэдийн наадам/ бүркіт той), is an annual traditional festival held in Bayan-Ölgii aimag, Mongolia. In the eagle festival, Kazakh eagle hunters (Burkitshi) celebrate their heritage and compete to catch small animals such as foxes and hares with specially trained golden eagles, showing off the skills both of the birds and their trainers. Prizes are awarded for speed, agility and accuracy, as well as for the best traditional Kazakh dress, and more.[2]

The Eagle Festival is held during the first weekend in October, run by the Mongolian Eagle Hunter’s Association. Dark, rocky mountainous terrain forms the backdrop to the festivities which incorporate an opening ceremony, parade, cultural exhibitions, demonstrations and handcrafts in the centre of town of Ölgii followed by sporting activities and competitions 4 km out towards the mountains. Dressed in full eagle hunting regalia and mounted on groomed decorated horses, the entrants compete for the awards of Best Turned Out Eagle and Owner; Best Eagle at Hunting Prey and Best Eagle at Locating Its Owner from a Distance. Other sporting activities include horse racing, archery and the highly entertaining Bushkashi – goatskin tug of war on horseback.

eagles are being released from the top of the mountain, and the hunters are to use a bait to guide the eagles back to their arms.
This hunter had this hat dropped onto the floor when his eagle swooped down to him

eagles are being released from the top of the mountain, and the hunters are to use a bait to guide the eagles back to their arms.

“kukhbar” competition (traditional horse back riding game to fight over the goat skin)

  if you are wondering why the spectators on the right turned their back against the action … that’s becos a gust of sand just blew towards us.. and they turned around to avoid the sand blowing onto their faces.. In fact this was what we faced with for the whole day. We were practically covered with dust and sand after the day was over..


“kukhbar” competition (traditional horse back riding game to fight over the goat skin)

A close shave as both competitors crash into the crowd , that had us all scrambling for cover..

Another fascinating competition was ‘tenge Ily’; grabbing an object from the ground while riding on a horse. Each horse rider had to grab 3 yellow objects as fast as possible


very well dressed  hunters arriving at the venue with their eagles

“Shyrga Tartu” Competition

The Golden Eagles swoop down from a mountain top and try and grab a fox or wolf pelt being dragged behind the owner’s horse. The eagle is judged on the time it take and skill and accuracy.
Here, Young Ashol Pan pulling the bait with her eagle following closely behind


her eagle caught the ‘prey’

After her eagle released its grip from the ‘prey’  the eagle is being returned to her..

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William enjoys telling stories with his camera. Regardless if its your wedding, travels or even your newborn, he does it so beautifully through his pictures..

Couples enjoy his natural and artistic approach to their portrait or wedding sessions. Some of his customers have even returned for their famliy shoot after the wedding, year after year.

He also takes on personal projects traveling around the world to create images.

With a list of international awards and publications behind him, his images are also being represented by Modern Art Etc (Los Angeles, California) for sale as Fine Art Prints