*** All images taken with Fuji X-Pro 1 and 35mm f1.4 lens ***
My fishing net expedition didn't quite go according to plan. We were ready and waiting at a good location on the river at 5.30am, but the sun didn't manage to do its thing. We waited for about half an hour listening to village life along the riverbanks ease into life to a chorus of roosters and barking dogs...but no light. It teased us for a bit, but eventually it just created a dull glow behind the heavy clouds so we had to switch to Plan B, C or D...which really just means work with what you've got and shoot what you can. It's a bit of a spray and pray approach, but I think I still managed to pull off some interesting images. I even resorted to playing with white balance to prove my level of creative desperation at one point! It's one of my favourites though.
And if going blue doesn't float the boat, then you can always resort to the faithful black & white. Often that can make the least interesting shot come to life a little :) ...I like this shot also by the way. I'm not intentionally picking on blue and BW! I really liked the moodiness of the clouds that morning, even though I was hoping to work with side and back-lighting. I opted to enhance the texture of the clouds to draw them out a bit.
As beautiful as the fishing nets are, I think they're an ecological disaster. These huge nets are often operated overnight by husband and wife teams (she operates the wheel winch that she peddles to raise and lower the net, and he collects the bounty and cleans out the net of any river debris ready for the next cycle of dip and raise). They have lights on the nets to attract the fish and shrimp at night, and oddly enough they run electric cables out to the lights. I thought they would have been battery-operated.
The river system is lined with these nets, and for the most part they are used to feed families, but any excess is sold at the markets. The river system is being fished out though. While we were watching they barely caught anything of substance, let alone anything that I would consider legal size. There aren't any regulations in that regard, which I've mentioned before. At one point the fisherman held up a prize shrimp, which could really have been caught with a smaller cast net rather than this enormous trap. I think this country will have a real food shortage in the near future. Luckily they don't actually eat that much meat in relation to rice and vegetables, and the quality and supply of fruit and vegetables seems to be strong and healthy. I don't hold out a lot of hope for their fish stocks though. I saw some fish farming along the way up the coast and this may have to be more widely adopted so they prevent the current habit of eating everything at every stage of its lifecycle.
So...putting my ecological concerns to one side for a moment, I've put together a slideshow of my final cut from the shoot that day. I had a tough time culling it down fifteen...and I'd only be able to choose one to enter a competition so by all means let me know which is your favourite. Everyone I've shown these to has a different choice!
#11 is my pick!
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