The saffron robes of buddhist monks are gorgeous, but even more beautiful are their serene faces.
Bhutan is unique and special. The flight into Paro Airport is legendary and exciting. Nestled on the southern slope of the Himalayas, this small buddhist country has become famous for it’s “Gross National Happiness” in contrast to gross national product. Indeed it’s main sources of revenue are hydroelectric power and tourism. The people are lovely, their fabrics colorful and the yak tasty.
As with many paces in Asia, the people don’t mind being photographed as long as it is done in a respectful manner. It is not acceptable to photograph inside a shrine or temple or to photograph monks during prayer.
The Bhutanese are master artisans and take pride in preserving their traditional arts and crafts.
They have worked closely with the Japanese in developing their paper industry. Being a paper junky and collector I visited one of their paper making facilities and had a great time watching and photographing them at work. It is very similar to other handcrafted processes I’ve seen in other countries yet they manage to put their own unique stamp on it.
While visiting one of the remote monasteries, a group of nomads arrived with their families to receive blessings from the monks and masters. It was a fortunate time for us to be there.
I’ve decided to take all of my experience of using the Nikon Df while traveling around the world and using the camera in all conditions and turn it into a comprehensive long term review. This review will be updated with information and photographs and real life use as I continue to use this lovely little camera. This camera is becoming more prescient especially when we consider that Leica M10 2017 = Nikon Df 2013.
As we traveled deeper into India, it felt as if we were traveling back in time.
Our guide Rohit told us to expect this felling and it was true. Nowhere did this seem truer than in Varanasi, one of the oldest and most sacred human settlements in the world. The streets are ancient and lined with shopkeepers and holy men, the spaces in between filled by unfortunates begging for alms.
Cows and pigs wandered the streets eating garbage and fertilizing the ground. Keep following the streets and they will take you to the shore of Mother Ganges. Mother Ganges, the river that provides the water of life, washes, blesses, purifies, and accepts the ashes of the dead.
All day every day Hindu families bring the bodies of their loved ones to the Temple of Shiva on the shore of the Mother Ganges for cremation. The fires burn constantly and the bank of the river is blackened with their ashes. This has been taking places since the beginning of time.
We sat in a small boat just off shore, transfixed by this ritual, watching eleven cremation fires burning in front of us. Under these conditions your mind goes to places tucked away deep in primordial consciousness. Varanasi is the bottom of the rabbit hole that is at the bottom of the rabbit hole.