Posted by: facetothewind | January 13, 2010

Photo bonanza in Lao

Sebastian and I took a 30-second boat ride across the Mekong today from Luang Prabang to a tiny village and monastery. The disparity between the wealth on one side of the river and the poverty on the other is shocking. Still, the locals were very obliging to the universal hand signal of me holding the camera up and pointing to them. No one said no.

Everyone always says, “Great pictures. What kind of camera?” I promise not to be insulted and gently remind people that good photography isn’t about the camera. That said, one can hit one’s creative ceiling. And I am definitely pushing this SLR in a compact to its limits. So the answer is, I’m shooting with my new Lumix LX3. It is a joint venture between Panasonic and Leica, and mostly delightful – especially shooting black and white and RAW format. The zoom, as expected is inadequate and often forces me to get uncomfortably close to people. But hey, it’s a good excuse to mingle shoulder-to-shoulder. It’s a tad slow in RAW format causing a few seconds delay between shots. The other bummer is that it has developed a black spot on the sensor when shooting video. So it’s going back to the manufacturer when I return.

This kid was adorable riding an adult’s bike around the muddy streets. He knew how to say one word: money. Harumph. It’s hard to get shots of kids without them doing the peace sign in front of their faces. So you have to get ’em quick.

This boy was part of a small gang of friendly kids whom I filmed and photographed.

They squealed with delight watching the motion pictures in instant replay – probably their first time seeing themselves in video.

Sebby and I have a ton of films to show you all when we’re back. The Internet here is painfully slow so all I can put up for now are stills. We’re saving the best for our return: a film of moving stills. It will eventually be on YouTube…just shooting and pouring all into iMovie for now.

Oh days of grandiose delusion I fancy myself being a photojournalist, inspired by the likes of Alfred Eisenstaedt, Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier Bresson, and W. Eugene Smith, clicking around the planet for Life Magazine with their Leicas. Alas, photojournalism is a dying profession as one we met yesterday from the Marin Press Democrat confessed. Sigh.

My cold has peaked and I’ve been downing mystery pills from the pharmacy to aid my congestion. Still I can hardly sleep because of my cough. So I’m up with the monks at 4 am – listening to them gonging and chanting. Larry is feeling better but weak. Sebastian seems nearly better and a little restless for adventure. I’m content just wandering around scouring villages for every photo opportunity.

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Responses

  1. Great pictures! What kind of camera?


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