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We recently popped over to China to capture just one image. We wanted a picture of the Chinese cormorant fishermen of Guilin for our collection.

What is that you say? It’s an ancient fishing technique where rather than using a line, the fisherman uses a Cormorant (bird) to pluck the fish out of the water and then deposit it in a basket. The birds aren’t actually as well-trained as that sounds and there’s dubious borderline abuse involved.

There’s only three cormorant fishermen left in the world and two of those are in their 80’s. So, if you want to capture these photos, the clock is ticking. None of them actually fish anymore, they make more money being paid by people like us to pose.

And so that’s what we did. We paid the younger chap some serious coin to pose in the late afternoon sun, again at sunset, and again in the rain during the following day’s sunrise. Basically, we travelled half way around the world to pay a guy to sit on a bamboo raft and smoke cigarettes in the rain. We’re OK with that.

After all this effort and lots of air miles, we’re not sure we captured the picture we wanted. Here’s the best of the hundreds we took.

Cormorant Fishermen of Guilin
Cormorant Fishermen of Guilin: Smoking 2
Cormorant Fishermen of Guilin
Cormorant Fishermen of Guilin: Balanced

A full account of the trip will be posted soon.
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