June 2010. Ladakh, India.
Hemis is the name of a monastery located near Leh, the capital of the Indian state of Ladakh. Ladakh is very different then the rest of India. Culturally and ethnically it is mostly Tibetan, so Hemis is a Buddhist monastery. Every June a huge festival is held in Hemis and in 2010 I was lucky to be there and witness it.
I love photographing festivals, as they tend to be very lively, colorful events full of emotions and unpredictable situations, so I was very excited about the opportunity of seeing Hemis festival. The reality however, was not fully in line with what I hoped for. The crowd was unbelievable – it was a mixed of locals and tourists, and the day was really hot. It didn’t help that the celebrations started at 11am, right during the harsh mid-day sun, making the light very unappealing. All of that made taking photographs difficult. I wasn’t happy with the end result and I quickly forgot about the photos.
Yesterday I was looking through my photo archive and I stumbled across those photos again. I still think they are very average, but I’ve managed to rescue a few of them with the help of a mighty Adobe Lightroom, and this is the result: