Getting the right photo  MAY 27 2009

Art Wolfe details the process he went through to get just the right photo of some Chinese fishermen. There were many false starts.

By the time I was ready for the next shot, the darkening evening sky balanced the light somewhat. A 16mm focal length endowed the image with the depth I wanted and, combined with an f16 aperture, ideal depth of field. Waning light necessitated a one to two second exposure. Although blurred moving birds ruined most of the shots, they blocked direct light from the lanterns. I was making progress.

Perhaps even more interesting that Wolfe's process is the fishing method employed by his subjects; they use birds, not nets or poles:

For centuries fishermen on the Li River of Southern China have partnered with cormorants to catch fish. Each fisherman has a complement of half a dozen or so trained birds. The light of a lantern attracts the fish, and the cormorants return to the boat, fish in beak. They can't swallow them because the fisherman fix a band around their necks, but they eventually get their share.

(via penmachine)

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