The Magic of Kathmandu

As a working photographer, I’m often asked in what genre I specialize:  landscape, wildlife or cultural?  I’ve always considered myself a generalist, that’s what I love about my world of photography. And, I’ve always tried to approach my assignment with the idea that there is a best photo available.
            On a National Geographic “Around the World by Private Jet” Expedition, Kathmandu, Nepal was the 4thstop out of the 11. In Kathmandu, Pashupatinath Temple is a famous and sacred Hindu Templecomplex that is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River. Here, cremations are regularly carried out during the day. Attendant to the Temple, one finds the sadhus, or holy men. The sadhus wander stroll around revered Hindu shrines, adorned with Rudrakshya necklaces, rings, and long, unshaved beards. The sadhus have abandoned world goods and pleasures, determined to live a peaceful life in isolation. 
            I’ve photographed several sadhu previously, and enjoy seeing them when visiting Pashuatinath. This gentleman had stopped me asking if I’d like a blessing, always something not to pass up!  After the blessing, I asked if I could photograph him. (I always take prints back to places in which I am pretty sure I’ll re-encounter a photographic subject)
            I used the Olympus 45mm f1.2 lens for this image, shot at 1/2000thof a second at f1.2, 200ISO. I shot this intentionally wide open, so the background would “melt” out of focus. The out of focus nature of a lens is its bokeh, and the design of the Zuiko F1.2 lenses is built around a beautiful and natural bokeh.  

by Singa Turm


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