Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Bhutan 2022

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Bhutan 2022

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Wangdue Phodrang Dzong (also known as Wangdi Dzong) was founded by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the father of the Bhutanese state, in 1638, atop a high ridge between the Puna Tsang Chhu and the Dang Chhu rivers. The Zhabdrung was searching for a strategic site to build a dzong to defend against invaders from the south when he came upon a boy named Wangdi building a sand castle on the beach where the rivers join. Zhabdrung told the boy that he would build a Dzong on the point above the beach and that it would be the boy’s castle, or Wangdi Phodrang. I wanted to make a photograph that would illustrate the Wangdi foundation story: the confluence at Wangdi’s beach and the dzong above as seen from a southern invader’s perspective. Climbing up from the highway for over an hour in mid-afternoon, I found this view along a cattle trail rounding a point. After clearing the brush, I set up my tripod and composed this scene, when it began to rain. Covering the camera with my raincoat, I waited under an umbrella, occasionally defending my tripod from small herds of cattle that would have knocked it over the cliff. 

A few hours later, just as the sun was setting, I was about to give up and call it a day when, for a moment, the sky opened and this vision of Wangdi’s castle appeared.

Prints are on Hahnemuhle heavyweight (315 gsm) 100% archival cotton “Photo Rag Baryta” paper, using archival inks and archival spray coating. They have a 200-year life expectancy before any deterioration of the print will be observed when stored, handled, and displayed under archival conditions.

What is often called “Gallery Wrap Canvas” is a fine art inkjet (Giclee) print on canvas, with printed edges to wrap around a wooden stretcher frame, like a painting. With canvas prints, your print image is still the same size, but given a "wrap effect" around the edges to account for the thickness of the stretcher. Canvas can be rolled and shipped with no effect to the print. Your local framing shop should be able to mount the canvas to stretchers at a fraction of the cost of traditional framing, making for an overall more economical way to get fine art on your wall. The canvas is printed to wrap around a 1-inch stretcher (1.5 inches on larger sizes). Specifications will be provided with your order. Feel free to contact us if you need guidance with your canvas order.

John prints, titles, dates, and signs all of his photos.

CUSTOM ORDERS: For custom orders of prints shipped flat, framed, or as stretched canvas, contact