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<strong> 1st Place:</strong>Young Debating Lama (Wendy Loo)

1st Place:Young Debating Lama (Wendy Loo)

I have often heard of the debating lamas in Lhasa-Tibet where they gathered in a small garden courtyard to discuss and learn the Buddhist scriptures. To be able to shoot them in action was certainly an exhilarating experience especially for an amateur photographer.

There was ‘human drama or facial/body action’ everywhere. Imagine having more than 100 monks in their red-yellow robes within a small courtyard the size of a basketball court. To make a point, they have to ‘slap their hands and storm their feet’ standing in front of their listener who is sitting. Every time they do that, the dust from the ground will be flying all over the place.
As an amateur, I had no real experience trying to capture ‘human facial expressions’ in a crowded small place (besides the monks, there were a couple of dozen or so tourists/locals). It was an unforgettable experience and this photo is one of my favorite as most of the monks are adults except for maybe 3 of them about 10-14 years old.

The smile with a set of perfect white pearly teeth on the subject’s face in turn got me smiling every time I see this picture. The hint of the sun’s glare reflected against his eyes reminded me somewhat of the state of ‘enlightenment’ through the eyes of a young Tibetan Buddhist monk. All of us can achieve ‘enlightenment’ if only we “open our eyes and ears” to the different ideas or things around us.

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magazine29-Dec-2005 13:27
From Chuck Gardner:

This is a great capture in a
natural setting. The only editing I suggested was to tone down the arm on
the right so it wouldn't distract from the face. Wendy's other two
submissions were also nicely composed. I was very surprised to learn she's
only been shooting since March 2005!