Thunderbird by Anthony Carpinelli

I was doing a shoot with a model I hadn't worked with before, today. In a lot of ways, I think I operate differently from most other professional photographers, so I'm always nervous until people get used to working with me. It is like travel anxiety. I'm sure why I have it, and once I'm through TSA it goes away.

We had a few good ideas, but in between them we found an old Thunderbird that someone was trying to sell. They let us do a full on shoot in the car AND even helped us find some cool parts of the car to get the best look. The point is that I really enjoy the spontaneity and the creativity of location shoots. I have been thinking a lot about getting studio space, but then I have shoots like today, and I feel like confining myself to a space would only stifle my creativity.

Ordering from the Secret Menu: Boudoir by Anthony Carpinelli

     I got the opportunity to work with a fantastic model today on a boudoir shoot. This has always been an interesting subject to me. I find that these shoots have the opportunity to be very creative, very playful, and produce very dramatic images that I count among my best art. It is a subject that often produces some of my personal favorite photos, but with clients that hire me for them, they never see the light of day. And because no one ever sees that I do them, I think it limits the clients who would hire me to do them to people that have done other work with me and ask about it. Maybe it's the fact that I'm heading back to California on Monday, but In N' Out burger is on my mind. I'm just reminded of their famous secret menu. The options are there, you just have to know to ask. The moral of the story is that I'm ecstatic to have a shoot I can post on the site to say, "Hey, this is an option, and it's art as well!" While I admire photographers out there who specialize in this, I don't think I could without feeling like I'm coming off as a creeper.

Nepal - Day 3 by Anthony Carpinelli

A close up of one of the other groups' of travelers tables overlooking Durbar Square at afternoon tea.

A close up of one of the other groups' of travelers tables overlooking Durbar Square at afternoon tea.

     This photo really has nothing to do with my spiritual or photographic journey, but I think it's a nice photo and it's what's at hand. Day 1, night time, my computer got hit with a power surge so my brick exploded. I'm on energy conservation. Since it's a 10 year old macbook, there isn't another power brick to be found.

     Today, I remember mostly yoga related things: We did a balancing class, had a lecture on the differences betweein Budhism and HInduism, I fell out of a headstand onto a hard floor, and we learned about micro and macro orbits.

     Anyway,the big adventure today was Durbar Square. This is another site that manages to show a contrast between the destruction of the Earthquake and yet someone manages to look completely untouched by not only the earthquake but also the ravages of time. I'm told this is a quinessential place to do some yoga photos. I don't have them yet, so I can't post me doing either Standing Bow, or thesame headstand that I fell out of earlier that morning. I thought it was interesting to be able to be in front of the camera for a while, instead of behind it orchestrating the shot. I could get used to this.

Nepal - Day 2 by Anthony Carpinelli

The reconstruction of the Boudha Stupa from a rooftop across the square.

The reconstruction of the Boudha Stupa from a rooftop across the square.

     What a long day. I have a lot to say, but I will leave most of it out because I want to focus on the Earthquake. In case you don't know, Nepal got hit with a really bad Earthquake about a year ago. I was moving across the country at the time so it was a thing I knew about but didn't really know about. I suspect most Americans felt the same way. Seeing pictures of the Boudha Stupa (pictured above from my trip) before the Earthquake, and then seeing it today really made the experience real. A year later, the progress is slow but heading in the right direction.

     What fascinates me about the damage is the craftsmanship and attention to detail as well as the effort that is put on the rebuilding. We, as Americans, have piles of money and technology to throw at any situation. However, here it is detail and labor that get the job done. For example,. built up the side of the stupa is a series of bamboo tied together into a scaffolding ramp. All the materials for the stupa rebuild are taken up the ramps by hand. I admire this way of life.

Nepal - Day 1 by Anthony Carpinelli

I was walking down the streets of Kathmanu shortly after dawn on my first morning in town and was trying for a juxtaposition shot between the bright, clean couple holding hands and the Earth tones of Kathmandu. I found this shot instead.

I was walking down the streets of Kathmanu shortly after dawn on my first morning in town and was trying for a juxtaposition shot between the bright, clean couple holding hands and the Earth tones of Kathmandu. I found this shot instead.

     I got into Kathmandu last night. The travel wasn't as terrible as I'd expected. That is a whole different post though. I am mentally forcing myself to let this trip be about the internal experiences and not about my overwhelming urges to be a National Geographic photographer. There is no agenda for today, since it is technically a travel day. I got in a day early however, so I have some free time. I went out this morning and started to take in the sites and sounds of Kathmandu, and this seemed a great time to get some of my photographic urges out. The following are my thoughts on how I want to photograph this trip. 

     For years I have wrestled with this back and forth set of thoughts on photography in travel. In the "for" camp, photography is at the core of what I do so how can I not spend my time traveling taking photos of what I'm seeing? In the "against" camp is the fact that every second set composing a shot, hiding behind a lens, and reviewing that shot is a moment of actual life that passes by unacknowledged. I feel like the universe drove this point home when I lost all my memory cards in travel here.

     The balance I've struck with myself is as follows: I am going to shoot this trip like a film photographer. That means the following:

1) No burst shooting mode. I have a few reasons for this. Burst shooting will take up precious memory with basically the same shot. It would also encourage me to click away without thinking. I am going to try to fit the entire trip on one memory card, telling myself that it is esentially rolls of film and I'm very limited.

2) Limit my lens selections. I brought a lot lenses, naturally. However, a great way to waste time and increase worry is to constantly change lenses. I am keeping two handy: 70-200 2.8 L, and a 3rd party fish eye.

3) Minimal time composing and no throw away shots. This is all about making the best use of my time. It is tempting to photograph every stupa I see and every prayer wheel. I am instead going to focus on living in the moment and shooting only if something organically comes into my mind as being a shot I want. I may take some throw away or touristy shots with my phone, just for keep sake.