Well Bhutan continues to be a popular destination, my photo tour of Bhutan for March 2014 has completely booked out. I have already started working on the itinerary for the 2015 photo tour of Bhutan, and I will have the dates up shortly for that, so if you missed out this time there will always be the next tour.
Just to whet your appetite a little, this is an image of the Bhutanese landscape on the way out to the Tango Monastery, just a short drive out of Thimpu. This image was shot early in the day on my last photography tour of Bhutan last October with the Hasselblad H4D-60 and the Hasselblad 100mm f2.2 lens (and a tripod).
The Hasselblad H4D-60 is not really a travel camera… it being huge, heavy and not very subtle. But It’s such a lovely camera to use, and the results are nothing short of spectacular, which makes it all worth it. Its a hard camera to use quietly, as the shutter makes an almighty “thunk” which tends to echo around the space in places like Dzongs (Temple fortress of Feudal Bhutan) and temples.
This Image shot in the Thimpu Dzong on my last photo tour of Bhutan in the angled light of late afternoon as a group of Monks crossed the courtyard. Shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with the Hasselblad 100mm f2.2.
Thimpu is the capital of Bhutan, though to call it a city is stretch. Up to a few years ago Thimpu was just a small town in the Thimpu valley, now it is the biggest “city” in Bhutan and the capital with a population of just over 80,000 people. To me it’s still a beautiful relaxed town where the locals are always ready with a smile and directions for a lost traveller, or even a lost photography tour group.
Despite its title as Capital City, Thimpu still has no traffic lights, and when the city council tried to instal some there was such a local outcry they were removed again shortly afterwards.
This trip to Bhutan we were blessed with some beautiful skies and some magic sunsets. This is the Thimpu valley at twilight with the Thimpu Dzong on the right hand side behind the rice fields. Below is the same location shortly afterwards with the lights of the Dzong lit up.
Both Images were shot with the Hasselblad H4D-60 camera and the Hasselblad 50mm f3.5 or the 100mm f2.2.
Since there are so many Monks in Bhutan I can hardly only put up one image, so here are a few more. Mostly photographed in the Dzongs and temples of Punakha, Trongsa, Thimpu and Bumthang.
Path to Enlightenment
It seems the Monks are used to being photographed, I guess they are an easy target, but if you are on the path to enlightenment being magnanimous with a group of photographers is just one small test along the way. Either way they were all very friendly and obliging, or perhaps gracious is a better description.
Don’t forget to click on the images to see the bigger (and better) version. All three of these images were shot on the Canon 5D Mk II with a Canon 24-105mm f4L
Bhutan Photographic Tour 2013.
The dates for the Bhutan photo tour for 2013 are up! I have redone the whole tour for 2013 and reduced the number of participants to a maximum of 10 people to ensure plenty of personal contact time. You can read about the new Bhutan photo tour for October 2013 on this page
The Bhutanese love to eat chilli, they eat it with almost every meal, but more like a vegetable (actually a fruit) rather than a seasoning. The chilli is actually the main dish. To achieve this they need a lot of chillies, so almost every small farm holding throughout rural Bhutan has at least one field of chillies, some have very big fields of Chillies, and every market will have a large selection from green to red, and from fresh to dried.
The image on the left shows the Iron Bridge Monastery in Paro province during the chilli harvest. The field in the bottom left is al chilli bushes, and the red spreading down the hill from the monastery are the freshly harvested chillies drying in the sun. Click on the image to see a bigger version.
Not everyone has a big piece of land to dry their chillies on, so what better place to dry your chillies than on the roof of your house… or convent?
This is one of the few Buddhist Nunneries in Bhutan (in Thimpu, the capital) and this young Buddhist Nun has been sent up to the roof to collect the chillies that are dry and ready for storage for the winter. Seems like it was a nice spot in the sun to rest and contemplate for a while… and blow bubbles.
If you would like to visit Bhutan with me next year go to my Bhutan Photo Tour page for details.
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