Viewfinder: Anne Menke

  • Pilgrim’s progress: on the banks of the Ganges in Varansi one of India's holiest cities, little has changed since the photograph was taken a dozen years ago.

    Pilgrim’s progress: on the banks of the Ganges in Varansi one of India's holiest cities, little has changed since the photograph was taken a dozen years ago. "Pilgrims from distant places arrive here adorned in sequins, henna, and their brightest colors," says Menke,"and all have smiles in their eyes."

  • A Naadam festivalgoer in the grasslands outside the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar.

    A Naadam festivalgoer in the grasslands outside the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar.

  • Brazilian Whacks: A group of men in Salvador, northeastern Brazil, practicing capoeira, a martial art that combines elements of dance and music.

    Brazilian Whacks: A group of men in Salvador, northeastern Brazil, practicing capoeira, a martial art that combines elements of dance and music.

  • Negotiating a mountain track in the southern highlands of Peru.

    Negotiating a mountain track in the southern highlands of Peru.

  • Masai warriors posing for a shot outside Nairobi.

    Masai warriors posing for a shot outside Nairobi.

  • Buoyed by woven reeds, this floating village on Peru's Lake Titicaca is home to a pre-Incan people called the Uros.

    Buoyed by woven reeds, this floating village on Peru's Lake Titicaca is home to a pre-Incan people called the Uros.

  • Anoraks are the ultimate style statement in Barrow, Alaska.

    Anoraks are the ultimate style statement in Barrow, Alaska. "I came here in 1999 on a fashion shoot for Japanese Vogue," says Menke, "but by the time we had arrived in September, all the icebergs had melted. Luckily the Inuit turned out to have a fantastic style of their own."

  • A gaucho displaying some fancy horse work on the high-altitude ranges of Salta province, Argentina. “The Indios cowboys had such great style,” says Menke of her 1998 visit. “Thick ponchos, wide-brimmed hats, and loose-fitting pants called bombachas. It had always been a dream of mine to shoot them.”

    A gaucho displaying some fancy horse work on the high-altitude ranges of Salta province, Argentina. “The Indios cowboys had such great style,” says Menke of her 1998 visit. “Thick ponchos, wide-brimmed hats, and loose-fitting pants called bombachas. It had always been a dream of mine to shoot them.”

  • A trapper’s house in Quebec, Canada.

    A trapper’s house in Quebec, Canada.

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A new book by photographer Anne Menke showcases more than a decade’s worth of pictures shot on her journeys to the far corners of the globe—and reveals the beauty and sense of style inherent in cultures the world over.

By Harry Jacques

The world began to see fashion through a wider lens in the 1960s and early ’70s when Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland started commissioning spreads in exotic, far-flung locations. In the years since, few photographers have done more to develop the fashion-travel genre than Anne Menke, whose second book, See the World Beautiful (Glitterati Incorporated), presents a collection of images spanning more than a decade and shot between assignments for Elle, Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue, and other magazines.

Born and raised in Germany, Menke spent her formative years under the influence of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Alfred Eisentaedt before beginning her career in fashion and advertising photography in the late 1980s. She later moved to Paris and then to New York in 1996, where she would eventually release her first book, Our New York—a collaboration with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger about the immediate aftermath of 9-11.

Even the most cursory of glances at See the World Beautiful reveals a photographer pushing the limits—both aesthetically and geographically—of her craft. Menke says she wanted “to go a little farther up the mountain, a little farther down that bumpy dirt road.”

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