June 4, 2010
Into Swayambhunath Stupa
The entrance of the temple is corwded with people, although Kathmandu is not a large population city by Asia standard, such scene is common. Nepali, as new comers will all soon to find out - seldom will they camera shy! For those who into photography people, this is a paradise. Of course, beggers alike or those mom with baby or small children, they all ask for rupee, or basically any money you can find out from your pocket. It is suggested, although not to promote it, bring some rupee just for convenience, I would say a quarter US dollar or something similar will do; for kids, candy also welcome. But I have to clarify this: you get to ask to pay just by the entrance area, after that, common Nepali is as friendly and picture welcome as you can ever meet, don't worry.
This little girl, lovely, although looks sad, shot with Canon 1Ds III with EF 100/2.8L Macro IS. So yes, I have a Lowepro Trekker camera backpack on my back with spare lens and a Panosonic GF1 for back-up and 2 Canon, a 1Ds III + 100 macro and a 5D II + 24-105/4L IS on my neck, heavy! Also I have with me a Domke J-400 Long Lens Bag for the big Leica Apo-Tylet-Elmarit-R 400/2.8 - heavy and I only use it for the sunset Kathmandu panoramic shot - but well worth the effort to carry it. Plus the tripod and a Arca Swiss B1 head. A bit too many, so I move slowly, but also allow me to capture shots more carefully.
Here is one tip I would suggest: macro lens for portrait. It allows you to take shots even very close, in Nepali, get close, as close as you can!
These two shots of the temple itself, were from Panasonic GF1 - with the excellent pancake 20/1.7 lens. I will have a special chapter to cover how good this compact camera is later. The GF1 has been with me for some months now, as my travel companion, during this Nepal trip, it only further convinces me. For now, enough of GF1.