Asia,  China,  Travel

THE XINGPING FISHERMEN

During our stay in China, we had the option to sign up for an optional excursion. Photographing the traditional fisherman of Xingping. These traditional fishermen have a cormorant with a string around its neck. If the cormorant catches a big fish, the fisherman grabs the cormorant out of the water and gets the big fish out of its beak and then throws the fish in a basket. The cormorant itself gets smaller fish to eat from the fishermen. This excursion started at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. So before that, we wandered around in Xingping.

So, at 5 o’clock, we were on location for the photography excursion. For the perfect shot, we had to walk over a path of stones in the water. Carrying our heavy cameras and tripods with us. So, in the end, we stood there with all the photographers from our group, balancing on the stones with our cameras and tripods. That must have been a funny sight to see. While photographing the fishermen, we were waiting for the magical blue hour. In real time, this blue ”hour” only lasted 10 minutes. After that blue hour, it just became too dark to shoot a decent picture. Also, the darker it got, the more equipment appeared. A studio light, and another smaller light, and a reflecting screen.

In the end, this excursion was a great experience. Even if this kind of photography is not really my thing. For me, it feels too organized. And also, when googling fishermen of Xingping, you get hundreds of the same pictures. Then I’d rather go into the wild with only my camera, without all the extra equipment like studio lights, etc. Note: I also don’t really understand how a studio light works, or how to use a reflecting screen. So maybe that’s also why I’m not really interested in this sort of photography.

Anyhow, I would definitely recommend this excursion. Just because it’s so much fun to experience such an event. And besides that, the location at the Li River is gorgeous. I was really enjoying myself when the sun set behind the mountains. A magical moment.

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