Nepal photography in black and white

 Nepal photography captured in black and white

You might wonder why would someone want to do Nepal photography in black and white? Nepal is a world of color,  patterns and a busy, chaotic world all wrapped up in an intense blend of daily life. But it is also an ancient world, of religion and spirituality, beautiful people and amazing street life. You can easily find inspiration in the many striking temples, monasteries, scenic landscapes and incredible wildlife – let’s not just get taken away with those majestic Himalaya range that the country is well known for. I took this journey of discovery to experience, observe and challenge myself to present Nepal’s unique culture, traditions and scenery by presenting Nepal photography captured in black and white.

 

 

Nepal photography in black and white

 

Everyday life in Nepal is always a jumble amid a world of exotic culture and tradition, comfort food, impressive architecture and grand temples, while the crumbling infrastructure makes it a challenge for everyone struggling to scrape a living. It’s about living for today mixed in a changing environment that embraces the old world and religion beliefs juxtaposed with cell phones everywhere and selfies taken at every interesting monument. You definitely need patience and warm and friendly smiles to get into the essence of the people and the place around the country.

 

 

An ancient temple in Katmandu Nepal photography in black and white

 

But if you just stop, breath and take in the country slowly with its nuances, frenetic lifestyle and impressive landscape, you will find that black and white photographs capture a different vibe and place that mixes both the old and new and presents a world in transition, exciting and wonderful to discover.

Here are my favorite Nepal photography images in black and white

 

Lumbini monasteries in Nepal - birthplace of the Buddha

The monastery of peace in Lumbini – birthplace of the Buddha

 

 

 

Durbar square royal palace at Katmandu - interior courtyard

Durbar square royal palace at Katmandu – interior courtyard

 

Nepal photography in black and white – Exploring Katmandu

The historic capital of Nepal in Katmandu is seeped in so much history, traditions and incredible monuments from its illustrious past from ornate places in the three Durbar Squares of the ancient capitals of Katmandu, to mysterious and exotic Hindu and Buddhist temples that are pilgrimage sites that believers come to visit and pay their respect.  It is in these incredible places of worship and grand architecture that you will find the everyday situation even gossip immediately brings a sense of place and humanity to these stunning landmarks worth visiting around Katmandu.

 

Katmandu’s royal palace

 

Katmandu palaces and temples at Durbar Square

 

 

 

 

The monkey temple or Swayambhu in Katmandu

The monkey temple or Swayambhu in Katmandu

 

 

 

 

A place of worship at Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu

 

Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu, Nepal

 

 

 

One of the holiest hindu temples in Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu is a very important pilgrimage site with a complex of temples, monuments and burial activities that occur daily at the temple. In between all these various processions and activities the monkeys casually wander around looking for food scraps and anything they can get their hands on – they are fun to photograph ordinary things that mischievous monkeys will always do.

 

Monkeys looking for food at Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu, Nepal

A saddhu at Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu

 

 

A saddhu at Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu

 

 

 

 

Places of worship at Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu

 

 

Nepal photography in black and white – Chitwan National Park

In the southern part of the country, the national park of Chitwan is impressive and worth visiting when you come to Nepal and why you may ask? The national park hosts some of the most amazing wildlife and rare animals that you will find anywhere in the world and this includes rare rhinos, Bengal tigers and leopards, sloth bears and spotted deer, it’s all pretty spectacular. Photographing the countryside and wildlife seems pretty natural to do this in color so you can easily get the wildlife in focus and color. Doing this in black and white tends to be more challenging with landscape or animals that can be hidden into the jungle with imagery that can be relatively flat in presentation. But sometimes it does work with a little luck in lighting, sighting spectacular wildlife and getting your camera ready to capture those amazing moments.

I have written a post about this amazing safari experience in Chitwan National Park here, check out more images and inspiration from this discovery tour.

 

Safari experience at Chitwan National Park

 

A safari experience at Chitwan National park

 

Rhino spotting at Chitwan National Park in black and white

 

 

Beautiful landscapes at Chitwan National Park

 

Beautiful landscapes at Chitwan National Park in black and white

 

Nepal photography in black and white – Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini

Lumbini is an inspiring place to visit and photograph because this is where the Buddha was born and is a significant spiritual pilgrimage site and Unesco World Heritage Site. There are so many fascinating temples, monasteries and the holy site at Lumbini to explore – you can check out more images and inspiring attractions of Lumbini here for more about my experience visiting this Unesco site.

 

Visiting the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini district of Nepal

Lovely temples and monasteries of Lumbini

 

Visiting the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini district of Nepal

 

 

 

Visiting the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini district of Nepal

 

 

Nepal photography in black and white  – Durbar Square & temples of Bhaktapur

One of three kingdoms around the Katmandu area, Bhaktapur is one of the most stunning and severely damaged areas of the major earthquake and destruction in Nepal. But what has survived and going through massive reconstruction of this incredible Unesco site is so amazing to witness and capture in photographs whether it is the incredible architecture and cultural treasures to the everyday living and street that occurs in this historic ancient capital. Here are some of my favorite captures visiting Bhaktapur in black and white.

 

 

Bhaktapur temples Nepal photography in black and white

Street life in Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square

 

 

Bhaktapur street scene Nepal photography in black and white

 

 

 

Bhaktapur street scene and goat Nepal photography in black and white

 

 

 

Architectural details Bhaktapur tour in Nepal

Street life and Nepalese portraits

Nepalese people are really approachable and friendly – most don’t mind you taking a picture of them when you either ask or gesture with your camera and look them in the eye. I love to walk around busy streets with the possibility of capturing something spontaneous, unique and tells its own story. Here are some of my favorite street scenes and portraits from around Nepal and the urban environment.

 

Market stand in the Thamel district of Katmandu

Market stand in the Thamel district of Katmandu

Market stalls in Thamel, Katmandu

 

Market stand in the Thamel district of Katmandu

 

Passing a small shrine in the Thamel district

 

Thamel district street scenes in Katmandu

 

 

Watching the funeral pyres at Pashupatinath Temple

 

Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu, Nepal

Life and death is celebrated at Pashupatinath Temple

 

Places of worship at Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu

Nepal photography in black and white – Pokhara at the base of the Annapurnas

Pokhara is the main base where treks and tour companies can be found and this bustling city is very tourist driven with a tacky tourist area right on the lakeshore of the scenic Fewa lake. But if you can look beyond the hordes of souvenir shops and hotels and walk, bike or even paddle around the lake, you will find a delightful place that definitely is worth exploring even if your not the type of person to go out on a trek up to the Annapurnas. Here are a few of my favorite scenes and images while exploring Pohkara.

 

Fewa lake and boatmen for hire around the lake at Pokhara

Fewa lake and boatmen for hire around Fewa lake at Pokhara

 

 

Enjoying the flowers views of Pokhara from above

Enjoying the flowers views of Pokhara from above at the World Peace Pagoda

 

 

Enjoying tea while waiting for sunrise at the World Peace Pagoda above Pokhara

Enjoying tea while waiting for sunrise at the World Peace Pagoda above Pokhara

 

 

 

 

Beautiful gardens and views at the World Peace Pagoda above Pokhara

Beautiful gardens and views at the World Peace Pagoda above Pokhara

As you can see Nepal is a very chaotic but exciting place to visit and filled with photo opportunities and you get a different perspective presenting Nepal in Black and White. When you try to focus and eliminate the vivid colors of Nepal and pare it down to the basic elements of black and white, what you end up with is the rich taspestry of incredible patterns, smiling faces, exotic temples and the truly gorgeous landscape of the country. I hope this post has inspired you to visit Nepal some day or to even try creating or experimenting with black and white imagery and composition for your travel photography.

 

Check out these other posts on visiting Nepal

Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini

A visit to Chitwan National Park

 

 

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Nepal photography in black and white

 

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18 Responses to Nepal photography in black and white

  1. Nathan July 4, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Your photos turned out amazing- I love black and white photography. It was so cool reading through this knowing I had been at several of these when you were taking them!

    • Noel July 4, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

      Yes I agree, it is fun traveling with someone else to see what spin, imagery or writing they did and how they were inspired personally on this experience.

  2. anneklien meanne July 4, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    Katmandu architectural design looks amazing and witht he bkack and white photography brings up the every detail design. And what a great way to stop and take in the scenic views with a cup of tea.

  3. Elisa July 4, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    Fantastic and inspiring photos, Noel! I usually like B&W photography, especially for street life and some architectural ruins. But in Nepal I am missing its colorful flags for example or the green of its landscapes. I think that in the end I would choose a mix of color and B&W

  4. Megan Jerrard July 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    You have such beautiful photos from Nepal – black and white definitely takes a lot of the chaos out of the scene, and allows you to appreciate the sights from a different perspective.

    • Noel July 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

      Thanks so much Meg, appreciate it!

  5. Cindy July 2, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    I love these – the B/W makes the viewer really stop and look the image in a way that doesn’t happen with color. Really lovely.

  6. Drew July 2, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

    Wow, really beautiful photography. I’m sure the colours around you were amazing, but I agree with the others that black and whites just give a different dimension to the photos. Fantastic work. I’m quite impressed!

  7. Tripti July 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    Amazing pictures! Born and raised in Nepal, I have always seen it in color but this adds a whole new perpective to it. Simply amazing.

  8. Rhonda Albom July 1, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    I like the way B&W brings out the textures that might otherwise be softened by all the colour. The temples in Nepal are a good candidate for this technique.

  9. sherianne July 1, 2017 at 8:40 am #

    Love all these captures! I truly loved the black and white, I focused in on the people and culture

  10. Natasha July 1, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    Seeing these images has only attracted me more and more to wanting to go to Nepal. Fantastic photos of a beautiful country.

  11. Karla July 1, 2017 at 4:46 am #

    You captured all these really well. I struggle with working on black and white yet yours turned out so alive despite being black and white. You are really good.

    • Noel July 1, 2017 at 9:07 am #

      thanks, it just takes practice, check out my post on black and white basics for a primer

  12. Mei from Travel with Mei and Kerstin July 1, 2017 at 1:30 am #

    Wow! These are truly wonderful and sublime photos of Nepal! You really got an eye for details, Noel!! Thank you so much for sharing this post!

  13. Danik June 30, 2017 at 10:41 pm #

    I love black and white photography. There is always some parts of a photo when done in colour the eye misses out but can easily be pointed out in a B&W. I also love the photos of Nepal here, a great insight in the locals captured.

  14. Kathleen June 29, 2017 at 5:00 am #

    Black and white images give another perspective of Nepal. Awesome photos, Noel!

    • Noel June 29, 2017 at 6:09 am #

      Thanks so much for commenting Kathleen, I appreciate it.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add