Kathmandu is great for street photography but is probably one of those cities which is either loved or hated.
The air is heavy with exhaust fumes from the many vehicles which seem to weave between other road users, regardless of their method of travel. Road safety seems even lower on the priority list than air pollution. Pedestrians, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, vans, taxis and scooters seem to come from every direction, on foot or wheels it’s a city which requires care to navigate.
Stalls and shops selling trinkets or trekking gear line the bustling streets. Show even the slightest interest in the merchandise and the owner will come scurrying out to persuade the browser to part with some cash. Every other shop seems a tour operator offering a variety of adventure activities, apart from trekking, there is white-water rafting, climbing, mountain biking, jungle safaris and even honey hunting. An adrenalin junkies idea of heaven.
It is an extremely photogenic city, especially for those with an interest in street photography. There is something of interest almost every other step, workmen digging up the streets, people sat in doorways splitting bamboo with machetes or making sandals and there’s a shrine around almost every corner. Scores of women flit from trader to trader like bees searching for nectar, looking for fruit and vegetables sold from baskets balanced precariously on old bicycles.
Poverty is widespread, it is impossible to ignore. Begging is also prevalent, beggars are found in most streets. It is impossible not to feel sympathy for them and it’s difficult not to hand some change over. The raw nature of Kathmandu appeals to most travellers but at least one member of our group constantly complained about it being dirty, full of hawkers or beggars and that he did not feel safe there. He is probably not alone in his perception of the city.
Simple scenes like the one portrayed in this image, probably wouldn’t appeal to him and possibly not to others but I really like it. These abandoned trollies, their owners whereabouts unknown, just waiting for them to return. They seem typical of the street scenes in Kathmandu, and black and white appears to suit it well.
There may not appear much happening, but it remains interesting, there is a story, we will all see it differently, have our own version. What do you see?
*This image was taken on a Samsung WB250F wi-fi ready compact camera.