French photographer and film director Éric Valli holds a special place in his heart for the Himalayas. The range is home to some of the planet's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. The Himalayas cross over five countries: Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan, with the first three countries having sovereignty over most of the range.
Valli spent most of his career as a geographical photographer working for National Geographic Magazine and The Sunday Times, capturing many inaccessible locations in the world on camera. He is an expert on the Himalaya Mountains, and in 1999 directed the adventure film Himalaya, about survival in the Himalayas. The film was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Award at the Oscars.
The photographs that Valli takes transport us to a region of the world that most of us will never visit. While the images give us a small peak into the lives of these people, many questions remain, such as how they find food, water, and shelter. One can only imagine the kind of conditions that these people must live through and the kind of spirit it takes to survive.
"For 20 year I trekked this unforgiving region always with a Leica in my hand," says Valli of the Himalayas. "I remain captivated by the stunning landscapes and the kindness of the people."