Image Focus

Tomasz Tomaszewski | Children in Kathmandu

Nepal for me is a spiritual place, but also a very busy place. There are always lots of things happening.  Everything was very different in April 2021. As a photographer I’m interested in photographing people and emotions, but people were wearing masks, the streets were quiet. There was no visible emotion.

In the square in front of Dattatreya Temple, Bhaktapur, I came across these children playing, seemingly the only people who were not scared of the Covid-19 situation. Not one of them was wearing a mask. I could see every emotion on these children’s faces.

group of children playing on a trailer in kathmandu

© Tomasz Tomaszewski | Sony α9 + FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM | 1/250s @ f/5.6, ISO 160

They were playing on this gigantic chariot, which is used during the Bisket Jakra festival, which celebrates the Solar new year. Those gigantic chariots, called Rathas, are moved by adult men who pull them along on large ropes.

Of course children cannot move the chariots, but they were playing and mimicking the way that they have seen the adult men move this Ratha. I was fascinated by this energy, the positive karma and trying to capture this moment in time where I would be invisible; none of those children would look at me or do something to improve the picture, as they were busy being funny, crazy, and so full of energy.

The weather was also quite incredible. It was just before a storm approaching this part of the city, making the light dramatic and beautiful.

When I’m shooting a dynamic situation like this, I use my Sony Alpha 9 and FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens. The camera together with this lens is just the perfect tool to shoot situations like this. I can rely on the sensor for the best image quality, whilst the Multi-Pattern metering system can be relied on to get near perfect results every time. The lens is also incredibly sharp, which is partly the reason why I have presented the image in black and white. Sometimes colour can be too perfect and give you too much information, then there is absolutely nothing left to the viewer’s imagination. This way, the picture becomes more secretive, more intriguing.

What drives me in this picture is a kind of positive energy. The children are just being themselves. You can study this picture because there are a lot of elements and almost every kid is visible. They are all different characters. They are louder, more funny, more dynamic. I think it’s quite a unique moment.

I graduated in Physics, so I have trouble figuring out what reality is really about, and if there even is such a thing as reality. So, I’m always looking for images that capture amazing moments such as these, where you have such clear information, but its meaning is not obvious.

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Tomasz Tomaszewski

Tomasz Tomaszewski | Poland

"What matters for me in photography is not what a picture is showing and presenting, but rather what kind of questions it provokes"

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