Vinay: Impact of Ordinary Human in Extraordinary Circumstance


Splash the Color visual assignment is about applying a technique to emphasize details by removing the color from a photo and restoring the color of a single object. I chose this particular assignment because I browsed through the work of others and I was simply wondering: “how did you do this?!”. So it is fair to say – out of curiosity.

This is a picture I took in Kathmandu, a few years ago, a few years prior to the devastation from the earthquakes. And this little red dot is my friend Vinay. Vinay Champagain. Of things and experience during our trip to Nepal, Vinay had the most impact on me. I remember other people we have met, the hospitality, the durbar Square, Thamel, the elephant ride in Chitwan National Park, the lizard hanging on the ceiling of my room, the feeling of encountering the unknown, the amount of rain during the monsoon…but Vinay, I remember the most.

We didn’t plan on visiting the Pashupatinah Temple that day. It is a sacred Hindu temple on the banks of the Bagmati river. I remember reading about it, the legends, when it was build, but it’s been a while, and all that information may be stored somewhere but it is not coming out right now. I do remember Vinay. He was just leaning on the wall, waiting. Just like on the photo – blue jeans, red T-shirt, skinny, big eyes. He didn’t even ask if we needed a tour, just started walking along and explaining. It took a minute to realize he was giving us a tour of the place. He was so curious about us and we asked him who he was in turn. We did not plan to visit the temple. It was hot, humid, and it smelled like dead people. The cremation ceremonies were perhaps the most difficult memory stuck in my mind. We asked Vinay random questions, pretty much about anything we saw around. And he always had answers.

I think our random tour lasted for about 30 min and we had to leave. Expressed our gratitude to Vinay and off to the next temple. It wasn’t until years later, I received a message on Facebook from Vinay. He wrote: ‘hi, how are you remember me’. So every now and then we would just say hi. I didn’t think too much about him, hardly knew him at all – just as this skinny guy in blue jeans and red shirt, going to school, giving random tours to random tourists for a buck or two, big eyes, big smile. And that was all. Until the earthquake hit Nepal and devastated Kathmandu. I thought of him, sent him a message, found out he was alive. He was distributing rice, lentils, oils, and salt to people in the villages. He wrote:

“Even in places around Kathmandu people are not being able to get food . They have lost their hope . They have no house and they have no where to go . They are sleeping under the tent with no food . Recently we went to the villages to distribute Rice , Lentil , Oil and Salt .Many foreign people come here with other food but Nepali stomach is not satisfied with other food they will not get the same type of satisfaction eating other food . and most of the time they have stomach problem and it is creating another problem . Now at this moment Nepalese people need rice , lentil , oil and salt . With the money people use to buy other food. i found in the village that people will be happy with Dal Bhat ( rice and lentil). i tell everyone buying other food to help earthquake victims to use the same money to buy rice and lentil which is best for Nepalese tummy .”

A week later he was distributing sleeping bags and blankets, helping children and elderly, taking care of his own family. He wrote: “….Winter is coming. Death is coming. The victims of the earthquakes stare at their watches and check the temperature outside. They survived the monsoon, but sub-zero temperatures and snow-blocked mountain passes will be far more challenging – particularly for the elderly, children and pregnant women. Cold-related illnesses are inevitable. People are going to freeze to death in Nepal this winter. The question is: how many? Communication options are so limited that we may not really know until spring
… Not everyone but there is many victims who are having problems for sleeping because they don’t have proper blankets. My brother and I am trying to organize a program i.e. buy 100 Blankets for 100 households….”

Some time after he had found people he organized together and was running an entire volunteer program dedicated to help the people of Nepal suffering from the earthquake devastations.

So that what this little red dot on the picture is. And this was a story about my friend Vinay. This was also a story about the impact of one ordinary human being in an extraordinary circumstance. And the impact we all have the potential and opportunities to make.

(I did not know I had this picture. It wasn’t until I was looking through photos for this assignment, I thought of Vinay again and spotted him on the photo. So randomly….or not.)

Assignment execution: To achieve the color splash effect I imported the original image to Photoshop CC. Under the Select menu option I choose the Color Range option and selected the colors that I needed. In general, the Color Range tool allows for selecting a specified color or color range within the image. After the color range is selected, the layer properties are adjusted to Black and White. This makes the entire image black and white leaving out the selected area of color selection.

This was a new technique for me and I was able to locate a great tutorial, and accomplish the task by following the instructions ( The tutorial is specific to the CreativeCloud version of Photoshop but I am sure it is quite similar for any previous versions as well.

#VisualAssignments #VisualAssignments340 Splash the Color


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