A surprise Showing

A few nights ago I was slowly (but surely) getting through my images of Nepal when I came upon this image.

Photographed at the Bodnath Stupa in Boudha, Kathmandu, I'd completely forgotten about it until I gazed upon it this week.

This was a 'defining' image for me on my trip - one of those where the experience of capturing it leaves a lasting impression on me, and I'm keen to see how it turns out when I get home.

So when I gazed upon this image this week, I was taken right back to the moment I clicked the shutter.

A woman was lighting some of the butter lamps inside the Bodnath Stupa. There is a little courtyard there with a small tent. It all looks rather precarious to me and it's not something I'd be happy to stand inside - a black tent with around 1,000 candles in close proximity to flammable walls, but that's just me. Regardless, I was standing on the outside of this tent looking in and noticed this scene. I was very discreet - the photographic interaction was quiet and quick and  I doubt very much that she even noticed me taking her photograph.

But what surprised me this week when I gazed upon this image after so many months is the little girl in the bottom part of the frame - who is being helped to light one of the butter lamps. I don't recall seeing her at the time of capture.  Perhaps I've forgotten, but I just don't think I consciously registered  that she was there when I shot this.

Our minds are capable of clocking and mapping objects / people in our periphery vision and I'm often left to believe that photography entails subconcious, gut decisions that guide our concious minds.