Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow


The highest summits in the world stand in front of me. It is hard to believe that they are only a consequence of the collision between two tectonic plates. No, deep within me I know it is about something else, about a truth that we cannot grasp and try to justify with arrogance; because the only certitude is that everything, absolutely everything about these mountains defy imagination. And from this imagination was born the fascination that pushed me into this adventure between the disproportionate peaks of the Himalayas, the ancestral homes of the gods.

But beyond greatness, I have also been struck by the ubiquitous contrasts. Dark rocks, almost black, dusted by an immaculate white snow; thick forests, sprinkling with life, subtly shedding their skin to become barren wastelands; colossal mountains, invulnerable in appearance, being slowly worn down by ice and winds in a re-lentless cycle. Standing on guard, I have contemplated the battle fought between these titans of light and shadow, a struggle marked by the sound of avalanches of rock and snow, and so I became aware of the impermanence of the world.

Gods themselves die
And in this slow decay
From their sweat create life.

Julien Fumard started as a landscape photographer with a passion for cold and harsh environments. Soon enough the numerous encounters he made during his travels around the world pushed him to photograph the people living in the landscapes he admired. He is now working on a long-term project on the Himalayas and its inhabitants.

Website: www.julienfumard.com

Geometric shapes carved on the side of Swargadwari Danda. This is only one tiny piece of the 180° circus of flat stone and steep slope looking like a paradise for avalanches in Annapurna mountain range in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

4900m high Thorong-Phedi is situated in an inhospitable land made of moraines and glaciers. The shapes of the dead-eroded mountains are a testimony of the strength of ice and winds in this area of Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

The soil is dark and moist. As a contrast stands a magnificient and glacier, only here for a few seconds before hiding again in a thick layer of fog. Annapurna mountain range in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

Glaicer showing different shapes over snow covered Tilicho Lake, one of the highest lakes in Nepal. These glaciers often break the frequent avalanches into snow dust. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

Sunrise and snow cloud on 7227m high Langtang Lirung peak in Nepalese Himalayas. Its summit, always covered by ice and snow, shows sharp textures. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

High summits in Himalaya often show off sharp textures of permanent snow and ice, sculpted by incessant winds. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

Layers of rock, sand and snow-covered mountain in the Nepalese Himalaya. Erosion and glaciers have been so powerful here that one can find mountains only made of sand. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

At the top of Thorong-La Pass, above 5400m high, stands a massive mountain covered in snow — Thorung Peak. For a few minutes the morning sun played with it, offering a high contrast scenery. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

After a snowfall during the night, the dark sand of the mountains is covered by fresh snow, creating interesting textures and contrasts. An eternal fight between rocks and snow. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

On the way down, clouds are playing with us. Most of the time they hide the way but sometimes they take interesting shapes instead, as if they were trying to tell us something. I interpreted this one as a breath of relief after we had successfully reached our goal. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

It’s been snowing all night long. Early morning walk to Tilicho Lake was a tough but magical climb. The more we advanced, the more beautiful the landscapes and we quickly forgot the difficulties we were going through. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

The streams resulting from the melting of Ganggapurna glacier carve the ground and build an eye-pleasing interlacing of sand and water. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

As the high altitude glaciers melt and transform into streams, then into waterfalls and rivers, they shape the rock and sustain life in the downstream valleys and beyond. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

As you leave the cold and harsh summits, trees begin to appear and before you can notice it you’re in the middle of the jungle. Ice melts, rivers flow and life becomes aboundant. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow

The perpetually snow-covered peak of Nilgiri South dominates an infinite jungle upon which it seems to look after. Annapurna mountain range, in the Nepalese Himalaya. © Julien Fumard: Himalaya – Titans of Light & Shadow


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