Kathmandu Katak (kathak) Dance Program 2018

Katak (kathak) Dance Performance on 26th of January 2018, at the Rastrya Nachghar in Kathmandu, Nepal.

This video I delivered to organizer and teacher of the Katak dance program, Namrata K.C. 
It's recorded t 1080p from 2 camera's, edited and color graded in FCPX 10.4.

Portraits of the Katak dance program

Arzu | 10 year

Recently I did a few portrait series with children from the area where I'm living currently in Nepal. My goal was to take portraits of children that are a bit different then their childish look. By letting them only with me and my wife in a setup studio we could get them posing at their own freedom and creativity. It's great tot see their creativity and character appearing. 

This is the first in the serie. Her name is Arzu.

 
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Publicatie book: Multipitch Climbing in Europe

A portrait of Climbing Photographer Martin Fickweiler in Presles, France.

At the end of May I was asked to photograph the well known Dutch Bigwall Climber and Climbing Photographer Martin Fickweiler. I went there with my partner Sanjhana as we had to climb a multi-pitch route to photograph Martin during his work.

The photographs I took are now published in the magazine of the Dutch Mountaineering Association (NKBV).

The photos will be used as well in the book climbing "Multi-pitch Climbing in Europe" that Martin currently pulbished. The book will contain a selection of the best Multi-Pitch Climbing in Europe.

Multi-pitch Climbing in Europe

Het Engelstalige boek 'Multi-pitch Climbing in Europe' van 288 pagina's (17x24 cm) bevat beschrijvingen, foto's en verhalen over de meest spectaculaire multi-pitch klimgebieden van Europa.
Meer over het boek en bestellen kan hier.

Limited Edition Book: "Nepal, the duality of survival and beauty"

This book has been printed in june 2016 as a Limited Edition.

Only 50 prints have been made.
The last 5 pieces are availeble in the webshop.

*  50% of the profit of the sales of this book is going to the NGO "Micro-Care Nepal that was founded afther the devastating earthquakes of 2015. See microcarenepal.org for more information.

Zwangerschaps fotosessie

Last month I did a pregnancy shoot. Although it isn't my favourite type of portraiture I really enjoyed this shoot. Perhaps because I decided to work mainly with the light from my Westcott Apolo softbox. This to create a bit more dramatic kind of light and get more separation of the subject.

I made a very intimate portrait that is inspired by the famous Demi Moore Vanity Fair magazine cover of August 1991. I think she has the looks but my client decided not to make the image public and I will respect that.

I would like to thank my client for the shoot in their personal space and was pleased to hear they were very happy with the series of photos.

Behind the scenes on the shoot.

Behind the scenes on the shoot.

The Newar people, historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley.

The Newar people or Newar are the historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley and its surrounding areas in Nepal and the creators of its historic civilization.

The valley and surrounding territories constituted the former Newar kingdom of the Nepal Mandala. Unlike a common-origin ethnic group, Newars are a good example of a nation-community with relic-identity of a previously existing country. Newar community within it consists of various strands of ethnic, racial, caste and religious heterogeneity, as Newars of today are descendants of the diverse group of people that have lived in Nepal Mandala since prehistoric times. Indo-Aryan immigrants like the Licchavis and Mallas that arrived at different periods eventually merged with the local indigenous Newar population by adopting their language and customs. These immigrants retained their Indic heritage and brought with them their Sanskritic languages, social structure, Vedic religion and culture which has profoundly altered the history of Newar civilization. Newar rule in Nepal Mandala ended with its conquest by the Gorkha Kingdom in 1768.

Today, Newars are a linguistic and cultural community of primarily Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Burman ethnicities following Hinduism and Buddhism with Nepal Bhasa as their common language. Unlike other ethnic or caste groups of Nepal, they are a linguistic and cultural community that transcends religion, caste, ethnicity and cultural distinctions. Scholars have also described the Newars as a nation.[8] They developed a division of labour and a sophisticated urban civilization not seen elsewhere in the Himalayan foothills. They are known for their contributions to art, sculpture, architecture, culture, literature, music, industry, trade, agriculture and cuisine, and left their mark on the art of Central Asia.

According to Nepal's 2011 census, there are 1,321,933 Newars in the country. They are the nation's sixth-largest ethnic group, representing 5% of the population. Recent mass migration into the Kathmandu Valley has resulted in the Newars becoming a minority in their homeland. Despite the high level of development, Newar culture and language are both under threat today.

History
For about a thousand years, the Newar civilization in Central Nepal preserved a microcosm of classical North Indian culture in which Brahmanic and Buddhist elements enjoyed equal status. Snellgrove and Richardson (1968) speak of 'the direct heritage of pre-Islamic India'. This was the direct result of the years of migration of people from both north and south who brought with them not only their genetic and racial diversity but also greatly moulded the dominant culture and tradition if Newars.

The different divisions of Newars had different historical developments. The common identity of Newar was formed in the Kathmandu Valley. Until the conquest of the valley by the Gorkha Kingdom in 1769, all the people who had inhabited the valley at any point of time were either Newar or progenitors of Newar. So, the history of Newar correlates to the history of the Kathmandu Valley prior to the establishment of the modern state of Nepal.

The earliest known history of Newar and the Kathmandu Valley blends with mythology recorded in historical chronicles. One such text, which recounts the creation of the valley, is the Swayambhu Purana. According to this Buddhist scripture, the Kathmandu Valley was a giant lake until the Bodhisattva Manjusri, with the aid of a holy sword, cut a gap in the surrounding hills and let the water out. This apocryphal legend is supported by geological evidence of an ancient lakebed, and it provides an explanation for the high fertility of the Kathmandu Valley soil.

According to the Swayambhu Purana, Manjusri then established a city called Manjupattan (Sanskrit "Land Established by Manjusri"), now called Manjipā, and made Dharmākara its king. A shrine dedicated to Manjusri is still present in Majipā. No historical documents have been found after this era till the advent of the Gopal era. A genealogy of kings is recorded in a chronicle called Gopalarajavamsavali. According to this manuscript, the Gopal kings were followed by the Mahispals and the Kirats before the Licchavis entered from the south. Some claim Buddha to have visited Nepal during the reign of Kirat king Jitedasti. The Licchavi dynasty ruled for at least 600 years, followed by the Malla dynasty in the 12th century AD.

Newar reign over the valley and their sovereignty and influence over neighboring territories ended with the conquest of the Kathmandu Valley in 1769 by the Gorkhali Shah dynasty founded by Prithvi Narayan Shah. Systematic brutal suppression of the Newar people was pursued for generations during early dynastic rule in order to discourage them from any political aspiration.

Prior to the Gorkha conquest, which began with the Battle of Kirtipur in 1767, the borders of Nepal Mandala extended to Tibet in the north, the nation of the Kirata in the east, the kingdom of Makwanpur in the south and the Trishuli River in the west which separated it from the kingdom of Gorkha.

Between an elephant and a girl

Since two years I had the idea to photograph with a model and an elephant. I had to wait for the time that the abilities to do so came into my sight. This time in Nepal I traveled south to find an elephant that made it possible to stay calm and especially responded positively on the flash that I used for exposing the photographs. 

Thanks for this go out especially to model Suzeena Shahi and my partner and lighting assistant Samjhana Bishankhe, Elephant Caretaker 'Ganesh', our local contact Manoj Ghimire who arranged this possibility. 

Without all of them this shoot wouldn't have been possible.

Behind the scenes of the shoot. Samjhana lighting the scene and our friend taking care of the Elephant.