These pictures were taken on a flying visit to Bhutan in June of 2017. (But aren't all visits to Bhutan "flying", at least for non-South Asians?) A business trip for my wife Julee. I took some time off to join in. It's sixty minutes from Kathmandu by air and only a bit over an hour from Kolkata, but has a carefully cultivated air of remoteness. All of these pictures were shot with my infrared camera, and a couple are stitched panoramas.
Everest, Lhotse, and Kangchenjunga Technically, this isn't a picture of Bhutan at all. It's a trio of mountains on Nepal's borders with China and India, poking through the clouds, taken from the window of the Drukair 319 on the flight from Khatmandu to Paro, Bhutan's postage stamp sized airport nestled in a narrow valley. Only an hour in the air, but the flight nonetheless reaches a cruising altitude comfortably above the 29,000 foot top of the world. A friend who has twice summitted Everest doesn't like this picture at all. He prefers his mountains without clouds.
Knife Edged Dzong Commonly Paro Dzong, more properly known as Rinpung Dzong. A dzong is Tibetan or Bhutanese government building combining everything. Fortress, palace, administrative offices, monestary, and, often, the focal point for local religious festivals. This one was also at one point the seat of Bhutan's legislative body! The picture is of a free standing building inside the fortress walls.
Paro Valley, Bhutan This is the view from the dzong. The gate is on the uphill side, and the downhill side commands a view of the whole valley. And, it commands the whole valley militarily, at least in terms of pre-gunpowder artillery. This is a large stitched panorama, nearly a full 180 degrees wide, made up of ten individual photographs. The big print, which I hung in my February 2018 show at Siddhartha Gallery, is over eight feet wide.
Young Rice, Paro Valley June, the first month of the Himalayan monsoon, so there are wonderful clouds and the rice seedlings have just been transplanted to the fields. This is vertical stitched panorama, made up of three stacked photographs.