It was my honor to meet and photograph the Haung brothers, both at their home and on the Li River in Guilin, China.In about 1948 the eldest brother Yue Ming (now 86) and following thereafter the youngest brother Yue Chuan (now 79) learned the ways of the Cormorant fisherman.An ancient fishing technique where cormorant birds are trained to dive for fish and return their catch to their master’s raft. If not for the snare tied around the bird’s neck – the cormorant would swallow it’s catch whole.The brothers lived on a houseboat until 1978 at which time the local government gave fishermen land. They built a home on this property and still live in it today. It is modest, reachable only by boat and meals are cooked over campfire.Fishing was a way of life until the late 1990’s. Unfortunately, Cormorant fishing has become a lost source of income but the art form still remains. River pollution, motorized boats and electric rod fishing have made it hard for the birds to successfully fish.
Traveling through picture perfect Guilin in China we met Mr. Xu. In the dark of the morning, he and his water buffalo walked over an hour to get to work – arriving just before sunrise.The role of the water buffalo is rapidly changing with the onset of modern machinery and China approving the use of credit – payments over time. More and more the buffalo is becoming a household pet.
Timeless images of Asia wouldn’t be the same if a farmer posed with his tractor…
Bill, the travel agent, discovered that we can hop on a ferry in Helsinki, Finland and get a 72 hour visa St. Petersburg – the cultural capital of Russia. All we had to do is present a hotel confirmation from one of Russia’s approved hotels.
A round trip ticket was only $150. and it included 2 nights on the ferry – so we considered the ferry ride free.
St. Petersburg did indeed live up to it’s cultural hype. We only had 48 hours and it wasn’t near enough. The Hermitage alone could take weeks.