Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Photographing Spirits During Nepal's Dusk & Nighttime

When I saw this photo, I immediately cleaned my camera lens. But the photos I took before and after this one of different moments in the same early evening in Nepal were sharp and clear. I showed my husband. "Nepali spirits are very active," he said.

OK, well I'm so not a Slav. This mystical stuff is a little too Shirley McClaine for me.

But then it happened again. One of my photos from New Year's Eve shows a one of those large clouded soap-bubble things hovering just over my step-daughter's shoulder. A shot of a garden at dusk revealed a single big bubble drifting near an exceptionally well-trimmed bamboo bush.
Note, again, none of the other photos I took that night had the same bubble and my lens was not dirty.

Soon, spirit shooting became commonplace for us. It wasn't just my camera, they showed up on other people's shots too. I began to notice patterns. Generally it was dusk or nighttime. Often it was a photo taken without looking through the viewfinder (something you're more likely to do with so much digital "film" to waste). And usually it was when someone was very happy or some other positive strong emotion was around. Never did a spirit appear anywhere near my husband in the pictures, but several showed up near me.

On one of our last nights in Kathmandu, my step-daughter snapped a shot of a neighborhood temple as we strolled past on our way to dinner. She immediately checked out the results on her camera's viewer. "Wow, lots and lots of spirits around here!" she said. "Yeah, yeah. Of course there are. It's a temple," I replied. "Can we hurry it up? I'm really hungry."

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