On a recent trip with Gecko Adventures, photographer duo Mark and Miranda of @thecommonwanderer documented their journey through Nepal. On their trip Into the Annapurna, the duo captured an intimate look inside village life from Kathmandu to Pokhara, just before hitting the road for a five-day community lodge trek. By experiencing life like a Nepalese local, Mark and Miranda were able to capture palpable images that go beyond the country's beautiful landscapes (although there are plenty of those images below, too).
In the following photos, discover Nepal through the lens of @thecommonwanderer and see the people behind the wildlife and forests of the Annapurna range.
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Movement on Main Street in Bandipur
During day one of their adventure, photographer duo @thecommonwanderer documented children playing in the main street of Bandipur. This community is a hillside settlement that's indicative of traditional Newari architecture and culture. As you photograph, keep an eye for movement, as it is key to harnessing the true reality of a scene. Nothing in this image was staged, the photographers simply captured the image as a quiet observer, which holds a special moment without being obtrusive to the story unfolding before you.
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Scenes in Besishahar Village
As their journey progressed, Mark and Miranda caught a glimpse of local life in a small village just outside Besishahar. Finding color no matter the location, they spotted this brightly dressed farmer tending to his land. Keeping an eye out for unlikely scenes, the duo found the playfulness at hand in this image, capturing a bright spontaneity of life in Besishahar.
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Sport as a Lens into Culture
On day three of their journey, @thecommonwanderer spotted locals playing an intense game of Ludo in the main street of the Jagat Lamjung community. There's no better way to capture the essence of a place than through cultural games and sports. As you can see, concentration is high and this image showcases a glimpse into day-to-day life in Nepal.
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Perspective in Landscapes
On the way to Dharapani, Mark and Miranda captured this dreamy landscape image. The focus on the foreground is a great way to add dimension to an image, and the cascading waterfall gives a sense of scale to the vastness of the scene, creating a unique perspective.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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To test their endurance, Mark and Miranda climbed the steep stairs to Nepal's Chame village. Part of the foundation of the trip is to visit lodges run by the local communities, where the duo contributed to the construction of these lodges.
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Practicing Scale in Paungi Danda
Continuing their trek, Mark and Miranda documented their entrance into this pristine valley, just on the other side of Paungi Danda, where towering mountains lay on either side. Although riddled with exhaustion, Mark and Miranda knew lunch awaited in their destination. This is a perfect example of providing scale in an image. The landscape is even more immense with two figures in the foreground of the scene.
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Muted Tones with Pops of Color
On day seven, after successfully acclimatizing at 3300 meters in Pisang, Mark and Miranda celebrated with a quiet morning of exploration. Although surrounded by cobblestones and muted tones, the temple provides a contrasted pop of color. Mark and Miranda capture it perfectly.
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On day nine, while crossing into the Manang region, Mark and Miranda scaled a suspension bridge to reach their destination. The bridge provides emotion in this photo, creating a sense of the infinate, as if the scene never truly ends. Use the repetition of a long bridge or an extensive pier to create a limitless feeling to your images.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Taking the Seriousness Out of the Process
Mark and Miranda took a moment to enjoy the view at 4000 meters above sea level: Reaching a level to see a clear view of Annapurna III, the duo soared high over the mountains in Nepal.
This is an example that all photography doesn't have to be serious. Sometimes it's fun to snap a shot of yourself in the scene, holding your hands up and celebrating a victorious achievement.
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Never-Ending Mountain Ranges
By day twelve, Mark and Miranda began to notice the air getting colder and thinner and their legs getting wearier by the second. Pushing through, @thecommonwanderer trekked their way up snow-capped ridges, passing little towns and stunning scenery along the way. This image provides another example of scale, as the trekkers offset the never-ending mountain range into a size for viewers to absorb.
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Document the Achievements
The duo reached Thorong La Pass at 5416 meters above sea level, prompting an iconic photo amidst the landmark sight. Never be too serious to miss a chance at a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity!
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Respect Local Crafts
Just as Mark and Miranda finished their trek in Nepal, they met a local woman weaving scarves outside of the Muktinath village. This documentation is the perfect way to offer a deeper lens into the cultural significance of arts and textiles in a place. Always establish a relationship with the individual in your scene, as this is a custom and a way of life for them that's not to be gawked at, rather respected.