Bhaktapur was the capital of Nepal until late in the 15th century. As a result it has many amazing wood and stone temples and statues all around the city. Both days Jon McCormack (Check out Jon’s images here.) and I shot there it was rainy and overcast. Not the kind of rainy skies that give dramatic dark clouds, the other kind of sky, the white and boring washed out kind. Luckily bland cloudy skies are good for shooting portraits and detail shots of life. This is precisely what we did. We roamed the city looking for culture unfolding before us. Life as it is lived in the 21st century Bhaktapur. The trick is get up early, really early, before the tourists rise. The locals are already up and about by 5:30am. We would arrived around 6. Just in time for morning puja and the vegetable markets. (Note: if you can’t see all of an image due to a small monitor just click on the image and it will popup and fit your screen.)
Technical Note: I want to take a few minutes here and note that I was pretty frustrated this trip shooting with just my two Fujifilm XPro 1 bodies. Not because of any slow focus or odd flash sync speeds, but because of my limited lens choices. Part of this is my fault and part of it is Fujifilm’s fault. When I shoot with my Canon 5d MKIII (a full frame camera) I usually shoot two bodies and two lenses: the 85 mm f/1.2 or the 70-200 mm f/2.8 on one body and the 16-35 mm f/2.8 on the other. I didn’t have this option and I felt the pain more this trip than in others. This is mainly because I did a lot of close up work that would have benefited from a 16 mm lens choice. So it is Fuji’s fault in that they just don’t have a wide enough lens yet. They are promising a 10- 24 mm f/4 OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) later this year. That would be the equivalent to a 15 – 36 mm in a full frame camera. Until then I am left making the 14 mm (21 mm full frame equivalent) work for me. It was my fault because Fujifilm does have the new 55 – 200 mm f/3.5 – 4.8 OIS (84-305 mm full frame equivalent) but I don’t own it yet. So it is what it is. All-in-all I was happy with what I did photograph. It is that age old fact the creativity happens when limitations are present.