July/August Preview: Photographer Ira Block

Novice monks on their way to school use a bamboo bridge to cross the Nam Khan River. The bridge is near the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers in Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo by Ira Block

Coming up in the July/August issue of Digital Photo Pro, we profile National Geographic photographer Ira Block, who discusses his 35 years of incredible travel photography and elevating the art of documentary photography.

Block has gone on assignment from Istanbul to Mongolia, from Cuba to Japan. And as a longtime National Geographic shooter, he has a distinct advantage over most photographers: He’s able to make return trips to a destination in order to gain a deeper knowledge and fuller portfolio.

Says Block of this image, “Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang enveloped in a fog. This Buddhist temple complex is built into a cliff at 10,240 feet (3,121 meters) and is about 3,000 feet (900 meters) above the Paro Valley in Bhutan. The original temple was built in the 17th century around the caves where Guru Rinpoche meditated. Guru Rinpoche was the monk who spread  Buddhism to Bhutan.”

Block travels with a Sony a7R II for most of his work. He loves that the small size makes travel a bit easier, but it’s the ability to blend in that gives him a distinct advantage. “They have made me blend in more like a tourist,” he says. “And that’s what I’m trying to achieve a lot of times: not coming in looking like a large production.”

Look for the full article by William Sawalich when the issue goes on newsstands July 4, 2017. To see more of Ira Block’s photography, go to irablock.com, and follow him on Instagram @irablockphoto.

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