Pemba Nuri Sherpa

This is a photo of my friend, Pemba. I heard yesterday that Pemba had died sometime during the past week. Details are still sketchy and unconfirmed, but he was in the Mustang area of Nepal at the time.

I first met Pemba in 2009 while on a trek to Everest Base Camp South. He was one of our guides, working directly, I believe, for Mountain Tribes, the company that planned our trek (most of our sherpas were hired on the spot at the start of our trek).

Since then Pemba had continued guiding treks and had risen to the position of "sridar," leader of the sherpa crew. Pemba and I had occasionally corresponded on Facebook, and I like to think that we had become friends.

Last April Andi and I returned to Asia to go on a tour of Bhutan. On our the way back home we stayed in Kathmandu for a couple days and had the great fortune to attend the reception following Pemba's wedding. We were treated as honored guests, but I really think it was our honor to be part of this important day for Pemba and his wife.

I made this photo on the way into the reception area. Pemba had come outside to greet us. We had hoped to be in time for the ceremony, but the tikka (the mark on his forehead) told us that the ceremony was over. Still it was great to see Pemba again, and the reception was a lot of fun. For me it was an amazing day that I will never forget, just as I won't forget my friend, Pemba Nuri Sherpa.

Civil War Encampment

Last Saturday the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Battery A, a group of American Civil War reenactors, held an encampment at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The weather was rainy, which kept the turnout of spectators low and gave Andi and me a chance to make photographs without too much distraction in the backgrounds.

I mainly used my Fuji X-E1 and Fujinon XF60mm f/2.4 macro lens. I kept the aperture pretty wide to further reduce background distractions by blurring them out as much as possible. Even though I shot the photos as black and white JPEG files, I processed them in Silver Efex Pro 2. I used one of its Antique Plate presets as a starting point to try to get a more authentic Civil War era look. From there I took down the blacks to be more to my liking and added a rough border. As usual I set the final black and white points in Lightroom.

Here's one of a couple dozen keepers. The rest will become available in my Flickr feed over the next month or so.

Civil War Encampment 1

Back Home Again

We've returned safely from Bhutan and are now experiencing the joy of fond memories and the pain of jet lag. We had a fun time reuniting with old friends, getting to know new friends, experiencing Bhutan, and making thousands of photographs. Now it's time to recover, get back into our routine, edit photographs, and share our experiences.

On one of the flights back to home, I started making a list of potential weblog posts, and I hope to start working on those soon. For now, though, I'll just provide one photograph that, I hope, gives a glimpse into my view of Bhutan and the people who live there. I made this photo at Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery in Punakha province.


Glass Axis

A couple weeks ago Andi and I joined several other photographers, members of the Central Ohio Photo Group, for a photo walk and glass blowing demonstration at Glass Axis. One of the instructors showed us the complete process of making a glass bowl. We were allowed to roam freely (while staying out of the way of the artist with their extremely hot glass) and make photos for a couple hours.

I had been thinking about shooting photos of this process for several years, ever since I saw that there was a glass studio on the campus of the Ohio State University, so it was great that the leaders of the group had arranged for this opportunity. With so many photographers present there was a bit of jostling for the best angles, but everybody was polite and friendly, and everybody seemed to have a good time.

I made quite a few photos of the demonstrator and the other artists, but I also made many photos of my fellow photographers. They didn't seem to mind but may have wondered a bit about me.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day. As usual there are more on my Flickr site.

Glass Axis #1

Glass Axis #7

Glass Axis #2

MPEX Columbus North Market Photo Walk

Andi and I went on Midwest Photo Exchange's January photo walk to the North Market in downtown Columbus, Ohio. We met Aaron, our fearless leader, and the participants for a short introduction concerning the "rules of engagement," and then we all headed out on our own to make photos. It seemed that most of the others were shooting pictures of "stuff," but I stayed strictly in street photography mode and took photos of people. Most everybody seemed comfortable with me, but a few of the vendors didn't like the idea. I found out later that they hadn't been told about us and what we were doing even though the market management had said they would do so. Still, my street photography persona was pretty effective. I had a great time and ended up with quite a few good photos. Here are several of my favorites.

Reflections (MPEX North Market Photo Walk #1)

Xhot L (MPEX North Market Photo Walk #2)

Ingredients (MPEX North Market Photo Walk #3)

Meat Eater (MPEX North Market Photo Walk #4)

Prizelawn (MPEX North Market Photo Walk #5)

Portrait (MPEX North Market Photo Walk #6)

Fearless Leader (MPEX North Market Photo Walk #10)