Afghanistan | Bamiyan: Land of Light

In 2020, we travelled to Bamiyan, Afghanistan, for 10 days with Andrew Quilty, an award-winning photojournalist, who taught us how to capture the essence of Afghanistan.



Bamiyan lies between the ancient mineral streaked Hindu Kush mountains and the soaring sharp peaks of the Koh-e Baba. Its verdant green valleys are full of ancient ‘Qala’ - mud brick fortresses and crumbling ruins dating back to when Genghis Khan laid ruin to the region.

Bamiyan is a safe and peaceful region, populated by the Hazara people, viciously persecuted by the Taliban during their rule.

We flew directly from Kabul into Bamiyan, avoiding the parts of Afghanistan which draw international headlines.

Andrew Quilty is an award winning photojournalist whose iconic photographs have graced front-pages from the New York Times to Time Magazine and has garnered accolades including a World Press Photo.

Andrew travelled to Afghanistan in 2013, just as the international world started to vacate the country. Originally planning to stay only a few weeks, he found that the striking beauty of Afghanistan’s people and landscapes had captured his imagination and he has remained there since.

Over 4 days of varied workshops, we learned how to anticipate our subjects and the environment, taking home not only a collection of wonderful images but practical knowledge, so we can do it all again wherever we go.

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