“Cormorant Fishermen at Dusk” – Li River, Guilin, China – Dan Ballard – Featured Photographer
Today’s spectacular photo is from deep in the heart of China. Cormorant fishing is an ancient practice from Asia that has been utilized for over 1,000 years. The old man on the left doesn’t look a day over 997 years old. Dan lights the image perfectly exposing the expressions of both fishermen. The perspective is great as well. I feel like I am about to step on the little raft along with them for a night on the water.
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I took this image last year while on a six month photo journey through China, Tibet and Southeast Asia. This image was taken in an incredible place and was an amazing experience. The cormorant fishermen of south China use cormorant birds and lanterns to fish. They work at night and use the lanterns to attract fish to their boats. Once the fish get close to the boats the cormorant birds dive in the water and catch the fish. A string is tied around the birds neck so they can’t swallow it. They bring the fish back to the fishermen who then remove it from the birds.
I used Nikon off camera flash with a gel held by my assistant at dusk to capture this image. Although it appears the light is coming from the lanterns, if I had not lit the subjects the image would have been lifeless, and I would not have been able to hold the details in the bright sky, and dark foreground subjects.
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