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Novice Monk - Alex Rumford, 2007

1 January 2009

This picture was taken when I was living in Nepal, at Benchen monastery in Kathmandu. The resident Buddhist monks were performing a traditional dance, and despite their colourful and impressive costumes and masks, it was rather slow and tedious.

Or perhaps I just couldn’t see anything that day. It was not so much of a dance as it was monks walking slowly around the monastery courtyard to the beating of a drum. However, I noticed the younger ones occasionally peeking for a moment through the stage curtain to the side, so I decided to stay with that instead.

My camera must have been trained on this spot for several minutes before this novice came right through the curtains. He didn’t see me, and I only managed a few frames before he disappeared again. I made some prints of the day and gave them across some weeks later as a thank-you.

Alex Rumford is a freelance photographer based in London. He came late to photography in 2001 while teaching English in Japan, where his observations of light, colour, shape and expressions inspired him to get into photography more seriously.

On his return to England, Alex signed up to the Photojournalism course in Sheffield from where he landed a job with the Derby Evening Telegraph and went on to work for the Bristol Evening Post before taking a year out to travel and shoot pictures prior to settling in London.

Photographer since 2004, EPUK member since 2007.

See more work by Alex Rumford

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