The Paro Festival or Tsehchu is a major Buddhist celebration and people travel from outlying districts to participate in the festivities. My impression of the festival was that not only was it a colourful religious festival it was also a time for families and friends to spend time together, eat specially prepared meals; dress in their finest clothing and exchange gifts….. a bit like Christmas or Easter
The young monks were not excluded from enjoying the gift giving and I noticed that many of them were the recipients of toy guns which they obviously enjoyed playing with; I found the sight of robed monks brandishing toy guns quite surreal.
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2014. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
timecapturer (44431) 2014-03-07 4:29
a bizarre concept here, not nuns with guns but monks! How we expect the world to be a better place by giving toy guns to children is a mind bender really, but TE is not the place to expound on that one. A fascinating shot this made all the more so devoid of colour as it concentrates the eye on the originality and uniqueness of this image. Intense and emotive imagery - just what we all strive for in our creativity!
Have a good weekend - B.
Sergiom (53775) 2014-03-07 4:35
Cela me rappelle le bon vieux temps ou on jouait aux cowboys et aux indiens.Je me souviens de nos pistolets à pétards qui étaient tout sauf réalistes. Des heures de plaisir. Il semble bien que ce jeu s'est répandu partout dans le monde quoique au Bhutan c'est assez surprenant.
holmertz (36441) 2014-03-07 8:19
This is a good double portrait and quite charming, although it gives me somewhat mixed feelings. I don't really like children to play with guns, but then it is obvious that lots of boys love that kind of toys, and small Buddhist novices are not much different from other boys anywhere. I have found it maybe not surreal, but rather amusing, to watch novices playing football with their saffron robes flying.
gildasjan (40738) 2014-03-07 9:08
Je n'aime pas trop les armes mais j'avoue que ce cliché en B&W est une réussite avec cette netteté très sélective.
Noel_Byrne (20085) 2014-03-07 10:46
like you, I am a little taken aback at the sight of monks with guns, but in saying that, it would be a great name for a movie! You have used brilliant DOF in this to focus on the one boy and the other gun, and the transition to B&W is expertly chosen. Fine portrait photography is something I always admire (because I am terrible at it) and this is a doozy!
Thanks as always, have a great weekend
Giustiniani (2415) 2014-03-07 11:07
un cliché inattendu et amusant. Un très beau portrait de ces deux moines.
macjake (51374) 2014-03-07 11:30
this photo brings up alot of issues for me, especially in the USA.
American government, many American school's have a ZERO tolerance on guns, on toy guns, and even on PRETENDING to have a gun.
Here is the latest example...a young boy, of about 10 years old, was suspended from his school because he pointed his index finger as if he had a gun - like all boy's do, like I did when I was a young boy...its only playing...but he was suspended as its seen as a threat!!!!
American government and policies have their right to feel this way, and rightfully so as they are the target of Terrorism etc...but its gone WAY too far in some regards.
Glad to see these kids in your photo being allowed to have fun.
Interested to hear your thoughts
carlo62 (26856) 2014-03-07 13:58
molto curiosa questa cosa, non ci avrei proprio pensato a questa eventualità, difficile pensare di accomunare monaci e pistole. Tra l'altro si vede che non sono abituati, il piccolo chide l'occhio che dovrebbe mirare...
Una foto molto curiosa.
Royaldevon (25896) 2014-03-07 14:22
This is a charming portrait of two young boys. I like the double pose and your use of a narrow dof.
You say you found monks with guns surreal. I found it quite disturbing. I would have thought that guns would have been the last things that these young monks would have been given as toys. Maybe I am being too sensitive but I never encouraged my own children to play with pretend guns and, at school, there was always a subtle way to turn a pretend gun into some other, less sinister object.
Still, your photograph is well composed and records exactly what you experienced.
Have a great w/e,
daddo (22352) 2014-03-07 15:00
Hi Rosemary. I often wonder if it wasn't for movies, often war and gangster movies, that glorify violence ("our boys" fighting evil forces), whether children would be like this. I know as a boy who was bewitched by American westerns, I played cowboys and Indians games with my neighbours, using fairly dangerously made bows and arrows (from spikes of disused bicycle wheels). Where did the idea come from so far from America? Movies and comics. These boys are imitating some image projected into their brains, I'm sure.
Great shot nevertheless but sadly the boy behind is pointing at your heart even if it is in fun. Regards. Klaudio.
rogerl (1526) 2014-03-07 17:39
And I thought the U.S. was the only place where kids (and adults) regularly played with guns. I guess it's pretty universal. Good choice of B&W here to emphasize the subject matter.
RhodieIke (11512) 2014-03-07 22:39
Wow, this do's look sureal,(as you say) Buddist monks having fun with guns?
Great in B@W gives it an unusal mood, well spotted and managed.
COSTANTINO (50665) 2014-03-07 22:45
one shot is one thousand words
according to yor useful notes
the Paro Festival is major Buddhist
celbration and time for families
and friends to spend time together
jjcordier (72614) 2014-03-07 23:09
Un étonnant shoot qui montre que même les moinillons gardent l'envie de jouer aux gendarmes et aux voleurs. Bon cadrage de cette photo en noir et blanc très réussie techniquement.
pajaran (47810) 2014-03-07 23:55
Dobar tekst i lep pogled ...
Dobar trenutak snimka, ostrina i kontrast, lepo pokazani decaci sa igrackama pistolja.
Deca su nase najvece bogatsvo i buducnost.
Imajte lep dan, sve najbolje za vikend, srecno.
Good text and a nice view ...
Good time recording, sharpness and contrast nicely displayed boys with toy guns.
Children are our greatest wealth and future.
Have a nice day, all the best for the weekend, good luck.
photographer_sg (2542) 2014-03-08 0:38
A fine photograph from all the aspects of framing and composition, exposure, details and choice of monochrome which provide the picture with great visual impact. It is sad that we are no longer able to perceive toy guns in the hands of children as harmless fun. Have a nice weekend.
everlasting (14289) 2014-03-08 0:41
I feel a little uneasy seeing not only young novices with guns, but children with guns fullstop.
I am sure they are acting out some ghastly film or computer game that influences so many young minds these days, no matter where you travel.
Having said all that - the image itself is well thought out, the sepia, the dof the framing all spot on for impact.
dekanski (2192) 2014-03-08 11:34
Their faces are complete opposite of what they hold in their hands. Although this image is great, I do not like what I see on it!
jcpix (11040) 2014-03-08 15:23
Well, this has certainly stirred the emotional pot, hasn't it? Quite provocative imagery, something completely unexpected. As many would probably assume, I'm accustomed to guns, but seeing it them the context of these two young monks really makes an impression. Undoubtedly, much social commentary could be addressed concerning the subject matter.
I think the instant impact this carries goes a long way to the compelling nature of this photo, you've really made people stop and think about the visual. Love the black & white format for this expressive capture, and the depth of field is tremendous. Very thought provoking. Bravo! Have a great day ahead.
Waylim (24954) 2014-03-08 15:31
Beautiful photo of the boys you have here. I love it, boys will be boys, novice or not. I don't think it really mean much to them, but as an adult to see kids even with toy guns makes me uncomfortable. It is the beginning of violent, at least they know the intension of it. Anyway, I hope they stay innocent as long as they can. We were planning to here but with so many other reasons and cost, we ended up in Nepal instead. I still would love to visit Bhutan one day.
A great photo.
Subhogen (4063) 2014-03-08 20:55
Very witty title, I like it!
Good observation to take this photo full of contradiction and irony. The guns look so out of place in the infant monks' hand, even if it is toy. Excellent control over DOF and good choice of B&W. Thanks for sharing.
Silvio1953 (115095) 2014-03-09 13:12
Ciao Rosemary, lovely double portrait, nice expressions, wonderful sepia conversion and splendid light, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio
abmdsudi (38822) 2014-03-09 20:54
A delightful portraitful of life and energy that leads the eye to their natural mischievous expression which compliments the fresh clean innocent look. That's character-filled features, neat and authentic caught in wonderful light, clarity, tones and brilliant detail. Timely captured with good sense of humour, I love the overall soft feeling of this happy picture. Applaud your efforts. Congrats, TFS
annjackman (17507) 2014-03-10 3:35
Toy guns and young monks - how disturbing! Your double portrait is however superb with the focus on the boy in the FG and no BG to conflict with the image.
Very well seen - a most unusual picture.
Kind Regards, Ann
delpeoples (52289) 2014-03-11 2:43
Ciao bella Rosemary
Wow, what a juxtaposition, eh? Monks with guns. It's kinda like seeing Charlton Heston with a fluffy teddy bear, it's freaking me out, but I love it. Great title, great tight framing and interesting your choice of B7W. I usually prefer kids in colour, but the guns, the looks on these kids' faces, seems to complement the monochrome nicely. Excellent work, very artistic ....and thought-provoking.
Hugs (sorry I've been AWOL)
Nicou (115280) 2014-03-11 3:19
quelle vue de ces jeune sueprbe avec ces pistolet ils s'amusent bien sueprbe portrait et scène.
Bravo et amitié
kasianowak (4604) 2014-03-16 10:10
Compelling portrait with a twist. Great use of differential focusing, I also like the tight crop and neutral background. B&w medium suites the subject well with all those shades of grey.
Indeed, same underlying theme as my International Women's Day upload. And I do agree with you - there is more to being a woman than just making oneself beautiful. I guess that's why we travel. :)
Enjoy your evening
i9l2y1m8a8t3 (4768) 2014-03-23 18:26
I love the caption! (Of course, the shot as well) Nice compact framing and the blurs as well. These 2 kids show priceless facial expressions in here. This moment is quite surreal, it's like east meets west. You'll see the influence of the western world (TV, commercials, hollywood) penetrating even through communities such as theirs. I guess the B&W format works good on this one.
P.S. I noticed that the image is quite bigger than the usual posts (considering the last time I visited this site which was mid last year) Yeah, it looks bigger which is nice.
adores (33924) 2014-04-05 3:57
Somehow this reminds me of a photo of Myanmar I've posted some time ago. Curious to see the little monks playing with guns, it's a contradiction and I wonder what's the meaning of giving them toy guns.
Very good portrait, I like it in b&w and you captured their expressions really well. They seem to be having lots of fun!
rigoletto (34109) 2014-04-09 15:20
strong narrative, dear rosemary, and a precious photo, a documentary, supporting the theories about the influence of TV and the system it represents. quite shocking indeed to see such a contradiction of elements, of whom we'd never expect to come together. i'm not sure about where the focus would look the best, but your choice (or momentary coincidence) is nevertheless quite effective.