The right place and the right time. Camera on the passenger seat ready to shoot. It’s August 2016 and my best friend and I just rented out a mini camper van to have us driven around Nubra Valley in Himalayas, India.
On the road we have four people. They are Jack, that we call Julia, because just like Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love he left everything behind before coming here. I’m talking about well-paid job in top advertising office in London and a fiancé of the past 5 years. Next we have Ricardo, industrial designer that booked his ticket a week before actual travel. He rented out vintage Royal Enfield motorbike to drive along our side and to later, with a cheeky smile admit , that this is 3rd time in his life when he is actually driving a motorbike. The weather monsoon conditions including landslides were no good for armature nor experienced driver and if not help from our friendly van driver we could get stuck in mud for some time.
However non of us were disheartened as it felt like we were all in search of something. My friend Sofia that is an art historian specialising in oriental culture, as well as is massive yogi and adventure loving girl, suggested that I read Siddharta whilst travelling. I remember reading: “When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”
We were on the road.
Looking at dreamlike photographs in the mountains bathed by sunlight I remember what I have focused my attention on. So, now few weeks later, those images of fun whilst travelling, and sensuality transport me to a place and time that seems like part of a book or film about modern travelling. Although many, including hippies have done it way before us , there is something quite different and tantalising about camper travelling today. I’d call us digital gypsies, people who are location independent with portable businesses — they can run from anywhere in the world with just a laptop.
I know that we all came to India with a purpose of searching but after reading Hesse I focused my attention on whatever that was in front of me and on how I could capture the best moment of the scene. Most of the time rather than nature I was captivated by the subjects and their way of being or lifestyle. I was taking tons of landscape shots but in between was I always interested in composing pictures of my travelling friends resting, waiting. Atmosphere pictures which now are some of my favourites. I like photographs of people that are candid and maybe look like a scene from a movie.