The story behind a photo – Two boys on a fast and joyful downhill ride on a self constructed vehicle in Ura, Bumthang.

Boys driving self constructed vehicles, Ura, Bhutan, 2007

A photo can tell a story. And photos can evoke stories in a viewer’s mind. Depending on the kind of person who is looking at the photo the story will be different. And for me -being the photographer- the story that is related to a certain photo again will be a different one.
In the category “The Story Behind A Photo” I would like to tell such stories as they happened to me.

Following the story related to the photo “Two boys on a fast and joyful downhill ride on a self constructed vehicle, Ura, Bumthang”:

It was end of November, 2007. I was in Bumthang, Central Bhutan to document different projects of Helvetas Bhutann and came by the pictoresque village of Ura that lies on an altitude of 3100 meter above sea level. When I was walking up towards the village Lhakhang (village temple) I noticed a group of boys climbing up the hill beside the temple with self constructed wooden vehicles. The hill was all covered with prayer flags, but in between the poles of the flags there was enough space for them to have a good downhill track. I watched them for a while, then took my camera out and put on the tele lens. It was quite tricky to give the impression of movement and at the same time keeping the boys in focus. You have to move the camera with the movement of the subject and find out the right camera settings -a rather slow shutter speed- by trial and error.  And -very important as well- I wanted to capture the expression of their joy and excitement in their faces! So I had to try many times..
When I asked them repeatedly if they could climb up and drive down again they boys were very helpful and cooperative and happily answered with a friendly “Yes Sir!”.

At the end I was not only impressed by their lasting joy but also by the talent they have to construct and drive these great vehicles; but even more I was struck by the statement of one of the boys: he told me that they would play this game only in winter time; during the other seasons there would be too many insects crawling on the track and the boys don’t want to kill them with their game!






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