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Nepal and the Himalayas: A Must on a Photographer’s Bucket List

I specialize in fine art panoramic landscape photography, wildlife photography, and indigenous portraiture from remote locations around the world. A visit to Nepal and a trek in the Himalayas should be a priority on every photographer’s bucket list. Here’s some helpful knowledge for making the most of your Nepalese expedition.

I specialize in fine art panoramic landscape photography, wildlife photography, and indigenous portraiture from remote locations around the world. A visit to Nepal and a trek in the Himalayas should be a priority on every photographer’s bucket list.  Here’s some helpful knowledge for making the most of your Nepalese expedition. For my trip, I carried a Nikon D3s and D800E digital SLR bodies with a Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S ED VR,  Nikkor AFS 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 ED VR, and 70-200mm f2.8 G AF-S ED VRII lenses.

Must See Locations

Nepal is riddled with photographic opportunities. You really can’t go wrong paying a visit anywhere in the country. However, there are a few locations worth zeroing in on if you have limited time or knowledge of the area, such as Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park, Himilayas, and Pokhara.

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An elder woman spins a Nepalese prayer wheel at the Monkey Temple. This image was captured with Nikon D3s and a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR II.

Gear Tips

The climate in the Himalayas is constantly changing, particularly at higher altitude. Prepare yourself for all types of weather conditions and layer your clothing. Be sure to wear a warm base layer and carry a waterproof layer with you at all times to protect you and your gear. Gear bags, such as a Gura Gear 26L Bataflae, work extremely well for ease of access and to keep your gear dry. Another tip is to hire a porter (or “Sherpa”) and trek with a walking stick or hiking poles such as those made by Leki. Even individuals in excellent cardiovascular shape have had difficulty in these mountains. Safety always comes first.

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A woman sits and relaxes on a temple’s steps in Durbar Square. This image was captured with a D800E and a Nikkor AFS 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 ED VR.

Chitwan National Park

It is said that, “eyes are the window to the soul.” This Asian Elephant’s eye tells a tormented story. For years, elephants have been mistreated in the region and used primarily for work purposes. I can’t say I was ecstatic about how they were treated while in my presence; however, in the Chitwan National Park you can at least provide some comfort to these gentle giants by spending the afternoon grooming and bathing them in a river.

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Mt. Everest (on the left and tallest in the world at 29,029ft) and Lhotse (on the right and 4th tallest in the world at 27,940ft) stand together on watch over Nepal to the south and Tibet to the north. The night before, we had a white-out snow storm and our chances to observe these natural wonders looked grim. Not so as dawn broke, revealing this scene from the small mountain village of Tengboche. This image was captured with a D800E and a Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S ED VR.

Pokhara

A young monk is seen here on his way from class to daily prayer. This image was captured in a Tibetan Monastery near Pokhara.

Travel with Experienced Guides

I’ve heard many horror stories about adventure seekers attempting to hike the Everest Base Camp Trail alone or without an experienced guide. This is a mistake, which often does not end well for the trekker. While it is true that one path leads up to Everest Base Camp and back, there are many twists and turns that may lead you off course. Trekkers “going it alone” frequently have accidents, get lost, and even disappear to never be found again.

Personally, I recommend Nature Beyond for someone who has a keen interest in photography. Among the other local experts at your disposal at Nature Beyond, Pallab Bhattacharya is an experienced photographer himself with an extensive knowledge of the region that is invaluable. While in the Himalayas, Pallab and his organization also team up with expert mountaineers to lead the trekking portion of the expedition.

This Buddhist monastery was captured by our expedition member and talented photographer, Bruce Kennedy, at sunrise near the village of Tengboche in the eastern Himalayas.

A Final Word: Nepal’s Ongoing Earthquake Recovery Effort

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The Nepalese people need your help! On April 25, 2015, our photo expedition was caught on the ground in Nepal during a 7.8 magnitude earthquake – the worst to rock the region in over 80 years. In addition to the tragic loss of life, there was widespread devastation to Nepal’s infrastructure.

The Nepalese people continue their battle to recover and rebuild their communities today but require significant assistance. If you would like to help, please donate to a trusted group such as Children and Youth First (“CYF”). CYF is a 501(c) charitable non-profit and non-governmental organization that was established in 2008 by an energetic group of nine like-minded youth volunteers from Kathmandu.

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Tags: , Last modified: May 24, 2020
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