If you happened in Kathmandu and you have nothing in your plan for that day, I will suggest a visit to Boudhanath Stupa. The largest stupa in Nepal, ranked no. 3 interesting places to visit in Kathmandu written in Lonely Planet Travel Guide Book.
Located about 7km of east of the downtown Kathmandu, if you from Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist spot, it cost you about Rs350 (in 2012) per way with a small, cramped sized taxi. It took about 15-20 minutes to reach here. Entrance fees applied at the gate with the cost of Rs150 per person.
Boudhanath is both an eye of calm within capital’s dusty pandemonium and a sancutary of Tibetan Buddhist culture amid a nation dominated by Nepal Hindus. Throughout its narrow streets, you can see posters of smiling Dalai Lama, Tibetan folk-medicine stores, traditional artisans’ workshops, and restaurants. It has been announced as World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1979. Buddhists walk around the sacred monuments clockwise, the same direction a prayer wheel spins. The monasteries near the stupa have become a global centre of Tibetan Buddhism.
If you planned to make a visit, I suggest to go here arround 3-5pm. If you come earlier, the you will have all the time for visit all the shops inside, of have a cup of coffee or two at one of the roof top cafe surrounding the big stupa. I’m suggesting to visit at that time so that we are can target for the sunset and the blue hour. Well I don’t really mean that sunset but to have Boudhanath with nice golden layer at the edge of the horizon. During blue hour, when they started to lid the prayer candles and put it around the stupa is something not to be missed too. I didn’t manage to wait until all prayer candles fully completed arranged around the stupa, but for now, that will be in my “must-have” list on my next visit.
After spending few weeks with Fujinon XF14mm 2.8. I am very satisfied with its both sharpness & its ability to shoot during low light. There are some marking on the lens which i’m not paying attention to when I use this lens until recently my curiosity has brought me to find the actual purpose of the marking.
For those who used manual lens or film camera, these marking are nothing new to them. I’ve seen several zoom lenses has these marking with its lines connecting to the focusing distance. These marking is known as “Depth Of Field (DOF) Indicator”. Here are some example (google images) of the marking i talked about:
DOF indicator is used to guide which aperture will provides “acceptable” sharpness nearer and further from the actual focus distance. These technique is known as “Zone Focusing”. I’m not going to explain it scientifically about this. But lets learn how to use it.
Lets use “Image 2” as an example.
- From the top, we can see the focus distance in feet(ft) followed by meter (m). On the focusing mark, it has aperture value on both its left and right side. Starting with 4, 8, 11, 16, 22.
- Lets say that our subject are now in focus at 4ft. When we decide to use f8, both marking on the focusing marking shows us 3ft and 6ft. These indicate us that anything between 3ft to 6ft will be in “acceptable” sharpness. Any subject beyond the zone, will begin to blur, or out of focus.
- I’m pretty sure you get the point now. I’ll let you to do further understanding by actually try it yourself.
Unfortunately, many of modern lenses nowadays doesn’t have these indicator due to Auto Focus technology has been improved way better for year to year. Welldone Fujifilm for their genius effort on putting the Depth Of Field Indicator on its Fujinon XF14mm lens to keep us aware of this features and be thankful for the advance of our AF technology nowadays.