Jan 072011

A Little Bhutan,

Mostly Darjeeling

[ The Higgs Archive ]

About a year ago I was introduced to an English woman who said her husband was a photographer.  They traveled around the world and as she put it, “Took lovely pictures of the things they saw.”  Sounds innocent enough, right?  When she invited me to her home, I was stunned to find an archive of at least 5,000 edited slides.  Every image was numbered and cataloged as if it was waiting to be discovered.  The entire collection was shot on Kodak’s legendary Kodachrome slide film and Leica’s R system.

Leica R3: Pamela actually sold her husbands camera bodies, but still has all the R lenses. Now if Leica could just make an updated way to use them, Leica?

We are now in the process of scanning some of the best images from their travels between 1959-1989.  The locations they visited are still considered exotic today and must have been unheard of in the 60′s and 70′s.  Leading the treks were expedition greats like Sir Eric Shipton and Sir Nicholas Shackleton, nephew of the great Arctic Explorer Ernst Shackleton.

Sir Eric Shipton, famous Himalayan Explorer and guide for the Higgs in Asia.

Follow me as I explore the archives from the Faukland Islands to Darjeeling India for a cup of tea with Nenzing Norgay.  For those if you who don’t know Tenzing, he was the climber to took Sir Edmund Hillary to the summit of Everest for the first ascent!

Tenzing Norgay (left) & Edmund Hillary (right). Tenzing hosted Hal and Pamela Higgs for tea on his estate in Darjeeling. What a cup of tea that must have been!

As of right now the project is being done out of pocket, so the progress maybe a little slow.  But I promise to keep you updated on the finds.  And one more thing, there is over 14 hours of original 16mm film footage that was shot along the way.

  6 Responses to “Vintage Travel”

  1. Sounds like an amazing discovery! How exciting!!
    How the project is going?

  2. Would love to see the project in the culmination!

  3. This blog post reminded me so much of the recent discovery of the Chicago photographer Vivian Maier by someone purchasing her work at an auction.

    It’s not only the cameras but the stories behind each camera that interest me.

    Thanks for your blog post.

    • Hey Richard,

      Yes, Pamela Higgs’ stories are outstanding. The project has been temporarily sidelined, but we are collecting interviews in the mean time.

      Eventually it will all come together. But it was a great inspiration to find her and Hal’s images. They knew how to travel.


  4. Hi Adam.

    I have been following your blog for the past year or so all the way from Malaysia. I find great value reading your posts. They are wonderfully written, show great thought and are joy to read. Please keep up the good work.

    With regards to this wonderful project. Please please please keep giving it oxygen. It is exciting and I for one am totally curious and in am wonderment.

    Here’s to hoping and praying that the project sees the light of day :D

    All the best,

    • Hi Johan,

      I am pleased to hear so much positive feed back from Malaysia. Its going to be a spot I must visit for a workshop in 2013. There seems to be a great community of engaged photographers and I would love to work with you all in person.

      Keep in touch and we can make it happen for you guys!


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