Operation Orion is a group of students from National University of Singapore (NUS) that travels around Asia to learn more about the world outside of our very comfortable lives in Singapore and hopefully leave behind inspiring memories for both the locals and ourselves.
Nepal is unlike any other country that I have been to. Including India! Nepal gives off a very homely and personal feel where locals call each other brothers and sisters even though they aren’t related. The students have a strong crave for education and knowledge and it’s a pity that there may never be an opportunity for them to learn more about the world. But I really do hope that we have inspired them to find their ways to pursue further education in every possible way!
For this trip, I set out photography goals for myself! Basically, less landscape and more humans in my photos! Which I think I did it?
Camera gear that I brought along with me: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, Canon 135mm f/2L USM, Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM, GoPro Hero Session and a Manfrotto Tripod. The equipments are linked to Amazon. Do click on the links to purchase them if you buying them! :)
The photos are not in chronological order. It’s based more on how I want to show my story in Nepal! Do hover over the photos for captions!
We stayed in Bhakunde for approximately 10 days where we helped out with construction of a classroom and taught students from two different schools! Accommodation was unlike anything that I had ever experienced. No heater to warm up the room during Winter and the guest house had to boil water so that we had hot water for shower. The condition of the toilet at the end of the 10+ days was horrible…
Shree Krishna Lower Secondary School
We spent 5 days at this school to construct walls of a new classroom block and taught the students science and mathematics! We rode behind a pickup truck to get to the school every single day. We sat down at first but eventually stood up for the entire ride ;) Totally felt like temple run but we only have one life each…
This was the second school that we went to! The whole team was more impactful at this school as the students understand English and we shared more knowledge and inspirations to them! We even held a mini carnival for them on our last day in the village.
I was very inspired by a video on Vimeo to take portraits of the local Nepalese. So… Every time when I approach a subject, I will tell them that I’m taking a photo but I was actually recording videos of them looking into the camera! A lot of the photos here are photos that I took while the camera was still recording.
I was determined that I wanted to try different types of astrophotography this time round. I basically told myself that I’m gonna go home with star trails, timelapse of Milky Way and having a person inside the Milky Way photo! And I done it! I need a f/2.8 lens though… ISO6400 on a Canon 5D was just pushing it too far.
Hike up to a village!
We hiked up to a nearby village on our second last day in Bhakunde. They brought us to a brick factory to learn how to make a brick and to have an early Christmas feast with the villagers.
Our hosts brought us out to a river to have our day off from the construction and students! Entire day of chilling around and having picnic by the river. And thanks to Dawn for being my model for the day and for the entire R&R!
Bhaktapur, Nagarkot and Kathmandu
Bhaktapur is an ancient city in Nepal, Nagarkot has killer views but we were just unlucky to be there when it’s cloudy and Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. I will definitely be back to get my promised view at Nagarkot!!
I grew a lot as a photographer during this trip. I started to include humans into landscapes and taking more portrait photos! I used to dislike taking photos of humans because I always had the impression that a lot of portrait photos are staged and staged shots are just not the kind of photography that I’m interested in. I started taking impromptu shots of my friend Dawn, then I moved on to the students and the photos turned out to be great!
A huge thanks to the friends that encouraged me to move away from landscape photography and try out something new :)
Swayambhu or monkey temple as it’s more commonly known. Our taxi driver dropped us at the tiring part of the mountain and oh boy was it super tiring to climb up to the temple. Lucky for us, Boudhanath reopened recently and we were able to visit it.