The Mandala hosted an art exhibit/performance in the first week that I arrived for my work exchange. Like Papa Layan they squeezed another in at the end of the season. It was decently well attended and the performance itself was awesome.

The event is called the Unity Gathering. It is the work of Sohel, a very wonderful person who I am happy to know and call a friend. Sohel and the Mandala asked me to do some photography for the event and I happily accepted.

This was, far and away, the most difficult photography that I have done. Confounding variables:

  • Night – low light, difficulty focusing
  • Blacklight – destroys depth, texture, color, leaving a purple haze all in my brain
  • Flashing lights – difficult to time panoramas when the entire dome lights up blue for half a second every three seconds
  • Mist – one of the most difficult things to photograph, practically impossible in the dark with a blacklight on it
  • Sufi spinning – hard to time shots, hard to take dead-center shots with the person in the middle of the dome
  • Fire – I still need a lot of practice photographing fire
  • Big venue with multiple subjects spread out across a large distance – hard to switch lenses at the drop of a hat when a fire-wielding performer blasts out from backstage unannounced and off cue

I learned A LOT on this shoot and did manage to squeeze out a good number of images. Enjoy them here.

See you in the glow of the dome,

~Nathan