Tuesday 5 November 2013

Monk in Punakha Dzong

Monk in Punakha Dzong - 1000 Buddhas shrine in Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan.

This is in a 1000 Buddhas temple in the monastery that is part of Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan. The photo-gods were with me that afternoon.

I was walking down a corridor soaking up the atmosphere and gorgeous architecture of the Dzong (a fortress, combining a monastery and government quarters) when I heard 'come' out of a room I passed. This monk was waiting for me there. I put my camera down and had him explain me how to pay my respects to the Buddha. He explained a bit about the room and the 1000 buddhas. I was just beginning to wonder how to bring up the subject of a picture - always a bit difficult when it comes to religion - when he pointed to my camera, still sitting on the floor, and simply said - 'camera'. I snapped this portrait.

One that should not have been, as ISO 800 was not good enough: 1/5th of a second is a tad slow at 127mm... But as said, the photo gods were with me. Good karma. It's not critically sharp but I doubt you'll notice on the web. Love this shot anyway.

(I took two more almost identical shots, seconds later, at more reasonable shutter speeds, but you can see his smile slowly drop. Expression over perfection, for me.)

When I was about to say my goodbye to him, he referred to me as father. A touching end to a brief meeting I will remember for a long time.

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