In pursuit of his haunting images, he has lived among Tibetan caravans, Nepalese honey hunters, Indian untouchables, and many other people who are living by their wits in a challenging landscape.
He says that when he documents these cultures, "I completely become a student and dive into the reality. I live with people to become like them. For some time, I act as a fly on the wall-trying to forget everything else and learn what I need to learn.
"In doing so, characters automatically emerge. Then I follow a certain storyline to make it a film."
In addition to his remarkable documentary photography, he has also made a number of films including the Oscar-nominated Himalaya, envisioned some astonishing fashion layouts for Hermes and Vuitton, and written more than 20 books about his experiences exploring the world's vanishing frontier.