The following images are a selection of my favorites after a week here in Nepal. Tomorrow we head up to Nyapol to begin our 4-day trek to Poon Hill — hopefully we will see the Annapurna range. The haze and pollution in the region has been really awful over the past 3-4 days and we can barely see the foothills let alone the mountains here at Pokara on the shore of Fewa lake.
Nepalese couples wearing traditional attire attended a ritual for a mass wedding in Kathmandu, Nepal, 08 February 2015. For the first time ever in Nepal a total of 100 Nepalese couples, representing the different caste systems, participated in the ceremony organized by the Radha Krishna Foundation to promote unity and Hindu culture in the country.
Two hours before, barely 200 meters away, we had witnessed several cremations at the Pashupatinath Temple. This simple irony of new life versus old life slips seamlessly through Hindu culture while we Westerners observe the latter, the public display of the end of life, with a mixture of shock, anxiety and morbid curiosity.
I have tried to edit down images from 2014 to just 14 which were taken on 14 separate trips that year. Each of the images taken, although they may not necessarily be the "best", brings back a fond memory from each trip. This is a very difficult job and as always, it is good to have someone else look at the images objectively, especially if you are pulling images for a photography competition.
Please co to the following link if you would like to see a slideshow of the images
January, Al Hajjarah, Yemen
February, Tiruchirappalli, South India
March, Viñales, Cuba
April, Merzouga, Morocco
May, Lake Bled, Slovenia
May, Seville, Spain
June, Shalimar Gardens, Kashmir
July, Jokulsarlon, Iceland
August, Leeufontein, Namibia
August, Namaqualand, South Africa
September, Turmi, Ethiopia
October, Ulgii, Mongolia
November, Karamea, New Zealand
December, Baracoa, Cuba
Recently I was approached by one of the participants from our recent Pixelchrome/EpicPhoto Tours tour to Gujarat. She had been reviewing her images and was feeling very nervous about sharing them with her peers on our group Facebook page.
With her permission, I would like to share the contents of her email and then comment at the end:
"I have selected a few photos I love in the categories I had preselected before the trip. Faces, Working, Street Life, Hands & Feet, Sharing and after being on the trip a new one, Animals. I am following the Facebook posts from the group and feeling a bit intimidated/nervous about posting my photos on Facebook and mentioning Pixelchrome/Epic Photo Tours; I am thinking only fabulous photos should be shown to showcase your company in the best light. Without post photo enhancement software, the best I can do is crop and a bit of highlighting…whatever Windows standard software allows."
First of all I would like to commend Lois on her foresight and on her wish to tell the story of her journey through Gujarat. What a great idea to try and tell that story with each of those categories in mind. This is certainly a good way to organize one's thoughts and a good way to plan the narrative — not that it would preclude her from photographing all of those random moments that would crop up that would not necessarily "fit" into those categories.
Secondly, having looked through the following collection of images, if I were a newcomer to the photo tour experience may I suggest that I might be intimidated by what I have seen here. This is quite a collection of images, one which I would certainly be proud to share with my peers, and indeed with the rest of the world.
Lois came on this tour as a fledgling photographer, and having been given the myriad opportunities which our tour offered, she stretched her photographic wings and soared.
I have arranged the images in galleries in the categories in which Lois had divided them, and at the top of each gallery I have chosen my favorite image from each collection. I have explained why in the caption — oh, and the first four images below are my pick of the whole bunch.
Please grab a cup of coffee and take some time to look through this body of work — one which you should be proud to have created Lois. Brava! (click on the images in each gallery to create a slideshow)
All images © Lois Brassart, 2015
Strong, bold colors, good composition and great use of shadows. Timing was a little off. I would have waited till there was a little more separation between the two men (see example). I would have also altered my position so as to create more of a diagonal with the kite strings (see example). As it is the white strings form a rather strong 50:50 division of the frame
I love the mood in this image and it is the "gestures" that are what really make it work — the woman washing her hair, the position of the hand of the woman standing, and the raised paddle as the woman beats the clothing — great timing! Great use of the reflection. Maybe get lower next time and include the whole reflection.
Fabulous portrait, great connection and beautiful light
Here I really like the use of the arms as the lead in to the image. The diagonals are very strong, the color is strong and all the elements come together to tell the story of this sale/trade. In a perfect world I would have moved my camera perspective slightly so as to get rid of the bright spot of earth in the lower mid frame.
Fantastic image. You know what I really like about it is the wonderful use of depth of field. The viewer is so drawn to the cows where the background could have been a great distraction — not so here.
Not sure what is going on here but whatever it is, I really like it. The textured "overlay" in the background is very complimentary to the image as a whole. The expression on the face of the man is engaged and the placement of the hand is very strong — the gravy is his red string bracelet.
I really like the unusual point of view. The light is nice and you have made a connection with the girl. Compositionally I would have included all of the ladle and given a little more breathing room between the tyre and the edge of the frame. The cut-off matchbox is not helping either.
Hands & Feet
Great shot. It fits beautifully into your category of hands & feet — a bonus having the woman in green in the background! Again in a perfect world there are a couple of things that I would have changed to make this perfect. A step to the right would have got rid of the merge of the womens' arms with the tree, and I would have preferred that the woman in the background had been one pace back so as not to be so close to the edge of the frame.
This image is really strong in part due to the mystery. What is it? Love the texture and pattern.
Great use of the telephoto lens to compress the image. Great colors
Nice barber shop image. It took me a second to see the reflection of the face in the mirror. I like the repetition of the hand gesture. A little step to the right and you could have had the reflection of the barber in the big mirror, and a little more space between the edge of the frame and the reflection of the guy being shaved would also have been nice.
Jeremy Woodhouse is a professional photographer and traveller. He leads photography trips to all corners of the globe