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Novices of Bagan

Nick De Marco

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This, next completed gallery in my Myanmar series, is in my opinion the best of them. I took the series of portraits of the young novices of Kamma Kyawi Monastery in Bagan on two separate days. It was obvious from the first shoot there were going to be some striking images here and so I arranged another afternoon in the monastery a couple of days later to take some more of the novices (in the first shoot I had taken 4 of the novices to one of the Pagodas of Bagan). Not one of the novices had been photographed before, let alone posed for staged photos, as most of these are. They spoke no English and me no Barma. They after a few first difficult minutes they became some of the best and most natural models you could work with, they became quite easy to direct, and they loved the excitement of being photographed which was good.


I think their faces have a strange mixture of innocence and pain or contemplation which makes them most interesting. All of these photos were taken using only natural night which in Myanmar was so great it is hard to think it could be improved by studio lighting. I'm most grateful to the novices of of Kamma Kyawi and their Chief Monk who made these photos possible.


Please take a look at the gallery. The photos are taken with a Leica M6 with 35 Summicron with high contrast red filter and Tri X and with a Canon 5D Mark II with a couple of Canon lenses (35 f1.4L and 135 f2L) but mostly (and I think the best ones) with the cheap but wonderful old Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.8 manual lens.


Novices of Bagan Photo Gallery by Nick De Marco at pbase.com


Thanks for looking









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