It is rare for me that I go to an event just to attend it not on assignment. But on Sunday I was invited only to attend the launch of a mobile phone. But just after some time I had reached, I got a sms from my editor that said ‘huge fire near nardevi, 2 casualties’.
The photographer instinct on such situation is leave everything and rush to the place. I did the same. I asked a fellow photographer to drop me. We followed narrow alleys as it started to drizzle. We reached the accident place following narrow roads as showed by the locals.
Imagine a photographer sitting in a room surrounded by monitors being ready to click. And, the monitors displaying live-view from cameras set up in various locations. With the technology developing so fast can’t say it is not possible.
I took the above picture a few days ago in a restaurant called Nepal Connection in Thamel. A child enjoys food while a live view from Jomsom is projected on the background. The camera was installed in a place called Mahare in Gandaki, which is hundreds of kilometers far from Kathmandu. It just needed a laptop and a good internet connection. The quality of wireless devices and internet are being better every day. So can’t say what I mentioned above cannot be possible.
Michael Wolf won Honorable Mention in World Press Photo Contest 2011 for his photo story ‘Series of unfortunate events‘. Those photos were not taken going out on location. They were photographed from Google street view, placing a camera in front of a computer screen. Some said this story winning award was a ‘controversy’. I say this was a good example of starting debate. And, after all we have always been adopting technology.
I took the above before some time. For some reason, I like the photo. I like low lights the most. Sometimes I like harsh light and shadow. But this was just a simple assignment most of the photographers don’t want to go. To take photos of preparation of some upcoming expo for business page. In fact nothing goes in such preparations. But sometimes you get something out of ordinary.
People normally think that working in a daily newspaper means whatever photo you take, it is published. Some people think ‘photojournalism’ is all about taking political or hard news photo. But both of these are misconceptions. Photojournalism is not just about taking political photos. It’s also about daily life images. They are called ‘feature photos’. In my (our Nepali newspapers) context, you have to take ‘feature photos’ when there are no programs to cover. Feature photo includes everyday life with some news values. But they can’t be photographically good or artistic. If the photo is good (creative), it won’t get published. The reason will be ‘readers will not understand.’ Here I always remember a Bangladeshi photographer Munem Wasif’s word: “Editors are visually illiterate person.”
And most of the photos we take don’t get published, just like the above one.
One of the few things that I really like about my job is meeting interesting people. One of them I met around 2 months back is veteran photographer, Mukunda Bahadur Shrestha. It was really amazing to hear his stories. He shared his works and really amazing photographs. There was a framed picture on the wall that was of the same place I took around 5 months ago for a book (above left). It’s the same Kathmandu but back then very few houses, less pollution, more greenery, few people and also clear view of Dharahara. Things have changed and that can clearly be seen in these two pictures. One thing common is people enjoying the view, now and then.
I was very busy organizing the photo competition for over a month. I thought I would take a break after that. But just after two days, I got a trip to Everest Base Camp (EBC). EBC was in my list to visit this year. So I packed my bag and left.
I have travelled many places of Nepal. Some journeys have taken to very beautiful places. Some of the journeys made me suffer a lot. But for me, travelling is like addiction. No matter how much I suffer, when it comes to travelling, I just start packing.