Uzbek Portraits

Writers don’t believe a picture is worth a thousand words. Seven hundred–maybe.

Still, it’s a useful exercise for folk who look at pictures to be confronted with the implicit stories they usually wait for someone else to tell. So here are 39 pictures, all portraits from the markets, streets, attractions of Tashkent, Samarqand, and Bukhara. While I lay back and laze, you’re invited to choose any two or three and invent the character, the life, the temperament, the motive. Best story wins a prize from Trabzon, if I ever get there.


Hint: It’s Mirzo Ulugbek, sultan astronomer.


Hint: To be all in white is to have been to Mecca.

DSC_4509 DSC_4520 DSC_4592 DSC_4594 DSC_4614 DSC_4618 DSC_4636 DSC_4641 DSC_4645 DSC_4646 DSC_4649 DSC_4759 DSC_4765 DSC_4788 DSC_4792 DSC_4850 DSC_4852 (1) DSC_4862 DSC_4868 DSC_4910 DSC_4930 DSC_4937 DSC_4958 (1) DSC_4962 DSC_5033 DSC_5037 DSC_5071 DSC_5082 DSC_5129 DSC_5149 DSC_5158 DSC_5167 DSC_5182 DSC_5195

3 thoughts on “Uzbek Portraits

  1. These are marvelous, Peter. The modest shopper remains a favorite of mine. But I trust you’ll forgive me for not indulging in the character creating challenge you offer. I’m finding this amateur nursing exhausting…and supporting the realities of Jerry’s character as much as I can manage just now,

    i enjoyed your Silk Road journeying, too. And I hope Jerry wil be up to is soon; right now he’s finding that reading print takes more strength and concentration than he can muster. Besides we’re still grieving our inability to share these encounters WITH you, not just THRU you. Anyhow, yes, I do suspect sand between the toes would have helped a lot!

    Love as always, Sid

  2. Peter, your portrait collection here deserves a showing at Charleston’s Waterfront Gallery, and I’d love to be part of that. These are, I believe, the best such you have done, better even than ones framed on your walls. The photographic talent here goes beyond your roving eye pausing for a blink to focus a portrait of an intriguing or droll or beautiful facial study: somehow amid the bustle of these crowds, the jostling of passers by, you’ve managed not to lose these exact moments. I tried this while in Turkey a week ago, and realized what skill I lacked, jostled, rushed our tour director, never once capturing a Turkish portrait human with your clarity. At least the antiquities and structures remain still.

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