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I am a fly on the wall, but in Bhutan, Buddhist sensibilities ensure I am in no danger of being swatted. In fact, I am one of those invisible tourists who wanders around the festivals with a camera to his eye, a person to whom the locals are polite, but otherwise I am simply not there. And that's perfect because I can sit back and observe.

This is the entrance to the inner courtyard in Jakar Dzong, an ancient monastery with thick, whitewashed walls. It is late in the afternoon and the light you see illuminating the four girls is skylight. It is soft and gentle. Everyone gets dressed in their Sunday best for the festival and it's both a spiritual and social occassion. The colour is amazing.

There's nothing particularly sharp in the image and this is intentional. I'm shooting at ISO 100, but I could have easily rated it at ISO 3200 or 6400 to freeze the action. But I wanted the movement. I wanted to capture the atmosphere and the bustle of the entrance space and so a little blur seemed appropriate.

I have no idea who the girls are waiting for, but their pause in a busy corridore let me contrast their stillness against the movement of passers-by.You can see that the girl closest to the camera is clear, but not sharp, while her friends are well blurred. However, unlike me, they are not completely anonymous.

In comparison, the people walking through the entrance and the prayer wheel behind the girls are fully blurred. They are indeed anonymous, yet their presence is felt. I guess mine was too. I've darkened them down a little and desaturated their colours so the girls and their bright colours can dominate the scene.

Sometimes you can be lucky enough for photos like this to just happen, but I took possibly 50 frames and spent 15 minutes in the one position, standing, observing, and leaning against the wall, trying to keep my camera as still as possible for the long exposure. Sometimes you can be lucky, but you'll be luckier still if you take lots of frames in situations like this.

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