I can see myself only through a mirror. And I know that I would never see myself like other would see me. Being a mirror lover, I let people see the world through a mirror. Prior to which, there’s an array of glasses. An array of conductors and semi-conductors known as sensors, which lies behind the mirror, and senses everything. A gentle press on a button called shutter button let the memory card record what I saw through a mirror. And they call that a Photograph. A mirror aided cameras, with a memory card are what they called Digital Single lens Reflex Camera 😀
Sometimes, like fashion, technology keeps on changing and revolving. Sometimes bulky cameras are the no. 1 fashion, sometimes not. Sometimes, handy cameras are more fashionable. Handy cameras with a flipping mirror is near to impossible…(may be). When size does matter, technology comes to the rescue…Hence a camera technology without a reflex-mirror was developed.
Being a Leica fan for a very long time, but who doesn’t afford, I sold my 7 years old DSLR and some accessories, and invested it for a camera which look alike Leica the most (they might not like it, though)… a Fujifilm mirrorless aka an SLT camera. Customizing all the knobs and buttons to make it more ergonomical (like my DSLRs), I started to see the world through a translucent glass. My vision is now in translucence.
Here are some few pictures through my translucent vision. Of course, this is not a review article of a camera…just about pictures made by using fujifilm X-E3. If you wanted to read about the reviews and comments of this camera, just google it! 😀
One of the reason why I opted for a smaller camera is street photography. Just a few minute across the Bara Bazar…
At the end of the day, I remember Gabriel Fuchs words “the more people are interested in photography, it is the manufacturer who gained the most, not the user…”
Very often, I have seen Myanmar. Mostly from the hills near the Indo- Myanmar border. But never have I crossed the border and set my feet on. The name Myanmar itself is mysterious. The country has lots of connection with the history of our fore-fathers. Our language is grouped under the Tibeto-Burman family. Our speculations about Myanmar on the other hand, has been influenced by media reports, which are hardly the brighter side. Nothing was clear until I set my foot upon it.
Myanmar, the land of the golden pagoda, has undergone several transformation. The moment I set my foot on Yangon, I can feel that those speculations were negative.
A volunteer named Silas and Eleazar received me at the airport. At first, I thought Eleazar was a cab driver, his dress code was so similar to that of the cab drivers at the airport. He was wearing a ‘Longyi‘ and a panah. Moreover, he doesn’t mention that he’s a pastor.
A panah, or a slipper in English, like all other South Asian countries is the most prevalent foot wears here in Yangon. And for a guy like me who often think that the invention of a panah, or a silipar or vawthlep in Mizo, is one of the greatest invention, it makes me feel at home…hehe…
The best thing about a panah is its ergonomy. It is easy to wear, easy to take off, easy to dry and easy to clean.
As you stand by the roadside, you can hear the sound of flip-flop there, a flip-flop here. The faster they walk, the pitch of the flip-flop increase.
Adjacent to the Minyekyawswar Street, there’s a narrow, yet busy street. Its dynamism is beyond words. They were so much engaged that a gentleman with a panah on his feet, wearing a sleeveless shirt and a short, with a zenfone3m on his hands, clicking random pictures also seems to remain unnoticed.
The best thing about Yangon is the street food. For a guy like me, who loves a street food and a panah, it is Canaan.
Had they known that a panah express is passing through, these meat monger at the junction of narrow street bazaar would have pose themselves more proper.
For a cycle-rickshaw driver, a panah is a must. There’s no other foot wear which has a better ergonomic!
It’s my first time to see a cycle-rickshaw with a pillion rider on its side! Reminds me of a WW II Nazi bike with a side car.
For a butcher, a panah is more feasible than other foot wear, and so is, for the lady. The Longyi worn by the lady looks like a Mizo puanzeh, and of course it is complimented by her panah.
What I have noticed during my short stay here is their love for flowers. I don’t know to which varieties do those flowers belong, but of course, they belonged to Asteraceae family (of course all the lovely flowers belong there :D). Working in the flower garden is so much a comfort with a pair of panah on the feet.
These two ladies were in deep conversation, may be about the panah that I wear. But my flip-flop sound didn’t distract them, either.
While all the others were busy with their chores, a young man who seek for inner peace was confessing to the bante. Had it been a pagoda or a gompa, they would have removed their panah.
As I detour towards my hotel, may be the flip-flop was audible. I was spotted! And it makes me realise that my panah doesn’t support a silent mode!
Since it was raining, the fear of my sneaker getting wet was making me in a dilemma, “What if i stay in my room and starve…” Then comes the thought of wearing a black panah which the hotel provided us. It fits me broad feet. The flip-flop sound slightly differs with my own panah. The cushion and the grip are however much much better, pity my old cushion-less panah.
A quick re-visit in the evening amidst the rain offered me another sneak peek. This lovely little girl was playing in the puddle. She was wearing a plastic bag on her head, may be to avoid getting wet. But on her tiny feet was a pair of tiny panah, that resist water!
Blending yourself into the scene is very effective while performing a street photography. Sometimes, carrying a big camera (DSLR etc) is often distracting to the subject, which often left us unable to make pictures as desired. Cellphone camera have lots of limitations, but sometimes, people are less distracted and it gives more chance of getting an emotional pictures. Being a photographer doesn’t mean that you have to dress and equipped yourself with apparels specially designed for a photographer. Blending into the scene by dressing like the locals is often effective. When the story is more important than the picture quality, cellphone camera is the best option.
There’s a hymn by Reginald Heber (1783-1826) we used to sing, which read –
“What though the spicy breezes, Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle…”
Since then, the name Ceylon has been lingering in my mind. The Lord showed His mercy on me, and giveth me the privileged to experience the spicy breezes that blow across the Indian Ocean, for a week. Like the hymnodist said, it was a beautiful country, which earnestly longed and sacrificed for peace.
Yet again, my camera was my diary, it freezes those moments, that portray Sri Lanka, the nation, that wished me “Ayubhowan” (May you live long).
Deities of the Kohomba
A twin percussionists played the Geta Beraya in a vibrant rhythm. The dancers swirl and swing to the groove of the percussions, and occasionally sang the vannam (a kind of recitation). Most vannam describe the behaviour of animals.
Kandyandance is believed to originate from the dance performed by the deities of Kohomba in central Sri Lanka.
The innaugural procession of the SACYN 2017 was led by these dynamic Kandyan dancers.
A sweet smile was their response, as I point my lens towards them, a Sinhalese family. All through the week, I have noticed that the Sinhalese communities are a happy community.
One of the major battles the Sri Lankan’s are facing is the battle, with nature, for land. Impact of climate change has been suffered by the country. Submerging of land is one of the major impacts. Land dispute between the Government and the citizens, especially the grassroots is another battle they are fighting. Submerging of land and the 30 years’ war the country had gone through enhanced the dispute.
All these internal conflicts and disputes are a family matters of the country. But climate change…its a matter of the earthlings as a whole!
Life along the Salt Canal
Reclamation and submerging of lands has always been a subject in an Island ecosystem. Several lands are often washed off or submerged by the sea waters. The Muthurajawela wetland in Negambo, Sri Lanka is also among those, often submerged by salt water. A canal was built by the British to drain the salt water in 1802 and named it Hamilton Canal (aka Dutch Canal). At present, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.
Houses are constructed along the canal, leaving only a narrow footpath, without a railing. It seems the settlers are well adapted to it, and never fell into the canal. On the contrary, I was told that a few moments before I shot this photo, a three-wheeler fell in it, but from the other side of the canal.
Fishing industry is one of the most blooming industries in the Sri Lankan economy. The government has envisioned a large scale fishing industry.At present, the fishing community comprises of the traditional fishing community with an improvised or modernised oruvas (sailing canoe). These fishermen are the grassroots of the society, continuing the fishing legacy for more than a century.
The Government’s new policy on the fishing industry is not so welcomed by them, as they have a suspicion that they will be overthrown by the corporate. The National Fishery Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) endlessly fights for the rights of the fishing community.
If the policy is empowered, not only the grassroots will suffer, but the method adopted by the fishing industry is detrimental to the environment; increasing the rate of erosion and submerging of coastal low lands. Fighting against both the climate change and the policy agonised the fisherman.
As the government is eyeing to enlarge the fishing industry, the traditional fishing communities, the grassroots of the society, are in despair. To them, fishing is not only a passion, but a life and a legacy.
With the advent of the corporate equipped with hi-tech fishing gears, the fishing legacy of the indigenous community is fading day by day, dwindling year after year.
There will be times when the traditional fishing technique will be seen only through art works, when the oruvas is only a museum collection. When those times come, they’ll ponder upon the good old days, their glorious days that fade…
After hearing all the country’s dark side, I met this young boy, who just came back from school. He was neither bothered by the past nor the future, but enjoyed the present. A confident smile was his reaction to the lens being aimed at him.
He might not understand the struggle that the Lankan’s had gone through. He might not be aware of the bloody war that was fought. The consequences of the war were beyond his perception. But he’s enjoying the moment, he’s the new generation, a generation of peace and tranquility.
Walking the Negambo City
Negambo is a City on the west coast of Sri Lanka, north of the capital, Colombo. It is famous for its lagoon and beach.
A Lottery counter on the roadside had an ample amount of customers.
We were relentlessly searching for a street food hawker. We finally managed to find this guy. He might be a Sri Lankan Tamil, and the fruits that he hanged suggested he’s a Hindu.
The internal politics of the country is beyond our knowledge. Many blamed the Government for not providing sufficient humanitarian aid to the civil war refugee. This picture, reminded me of those that still suffered the consequences of the civil war.
On the contrary, this Tamil gentleman gestured the sign of peace. Ironically, the Sri Lankan Civil War was fought between the Tamil separatist and the Sri Lankan Government.
As she finished her noon prayer, a believer rejoicingly left the Church. She was sitting and praying at the back pew. She was wearing a hearing aid. I, oftenly, used to think that what the mainstream society called differently-abled are more devoted and consecrated to their faith.
St. Stephen’s Church has a long history. Built in 1877 and consecrated on Jul. 31, 1880, was declared as Archaeological protected monument in 2011; and it belongs to the Anglican Church.