September 28, 2010

Day 4, Bhaktapur

Into the 4th day in Nepal, this will be also the day we leave Kathmandu to Nagarkot.  This day started early again, and this is the beauty of traveling in a photography tour, to catch the first light on location. Rather than the usual morning call, the breakfast, the wait, then slow starting - not for me, not for those who travel for photography.  And this morning is a perfect example.
I have to pack last night - frankly, on such a photography trip, I besides cameras, lenses, I have not much else.  Oh yes, of course my 17" Macbook Pro, 2 external HDD (1G each), my Walcom Intuos 4, clothing is probably use more to stuff the bag for shock protection, and to wear.  But this is March in Nepal, a typical summer cloth will do and a light jacket for early morning in country side (which I did not bring at all - I get used to some cold, but not freezing - March in Nepal is not freezing, so I survive very well).  After loading the luggages to the bus, still in the dark, we moved on to ou destination of the day - Bhaktapur (The Town of Devotees),  also a world heritage site.  And here I repeat again, many of the world heritage sites I visited is for torusits, few peopel actually live there.  In Nepal, you are visitor to those who live in the world heritage site, real life.  
Upon arrival, the most familiar sight - the Nepalese started to queue up to get their daily essential - water! This is shot with Panasonic GF-1 mounted with 20/1.7 lens, manual exposure.  This little and powerful camera was almost glued to my hand through out this trip. Its full manual control allows me to capture the light where I see it and wanted to show it.
And this Nepali woman, later than those already around the water well, just left the door to get the water. This is how people live in the world heritage site in Nepal, sorry, no plumbing.  This of course is one of the photographic subject, but it would be quite selfish for me to want to shoot the scene such as this and delay the people from modernize.  I also wondered, many years later, when they finally live in a community where water comes from the faucets, will this be a bitter or sweet memory? Or both?  Again, this is shot with Panasonic GF-1.
Still in the morning, around 6:10am, after each of us have a registration of our bearing, we decided it is better to give freedom for the group, and we shall meet again at a beautiful breakfast spot later, and we will be here until 2pm, before leaving for Nagarkot - a good plan! So I set off!
Wandering around, in front of my eyes were the ancient architecture, some with modern improvement (but not those you would usually see in China, with color metal or color changing LED - ?? what the xxxx is that for??), here you see nicely matched modern day - OK, not so modern, but something of present day, fixtures, lockers, window shields and so on. And you will be convinced that this is a real world heritage site, not a theater.
Again, with the heavy gear on my back (Canon 1Ds III and 5DII and a bagful of lenses inside my Lowepro), the GF-1 is my primary tool, and something powerful indeed. Here I spot this woman just left her home for her morning prayer, quickly snap off a shot.
And here a lone passenger, to want to record the image with motion blue, I was in fact set up my camera with the shutter speed to 1/60s to just enough to capture the moving subject reasonable sharpness and reasonable motion blur - and wait.  Wait for the motion subject to get into my frame, and fire off. I did not wait for long, and this is only shot I took! I have a little luck here.
And some Nepali men, sitting there, I was not sure what they waiting for, or may be just sitting?  No matter what, they are kind enough to just sit there while I take my shot.
And also something about Nepali men, as one will find it very common, they like to read newspapers. It is just their culture?  or the country is in changing?  I don't know, may be both.  But this is nothing which I should worry, and I told myself, perhaps it is time to go to meet friends for breakfast!

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