‘Human Element’ is about the relation between humans and their natural environment. Neither humans nor the natural environments are the focus of the images: it is their combination.
These are motion-landscape stories with scale-perspective and a sense of anonymity.
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A stilt fisherman early in the morning at the beach of Weligama, Sri Lanka. Stilt fishing, or stick fishing as the locals also call it, is a traditional way of fishing that was introduced rather recently, during the Second World War. Thus, although it may look like an ancient tradition, it is actually a practise invented in order to adapt to changing circumstances of food shortage and overcrowded fishing spots in that time.
At this particular morning, the ocean was rather rough. The other fishermen at the shoreline told me that the waves were high and the fishing conditions far from perfect. Because of this, not every man directly climbed its pole. Many were investigating whether it was worth to start fishing. Buy this!
A group of stilt fisherman early in the morning at the beach of Weligama, Sri Lanka. It was a difficult day for fishing due to the high waves, fishermen standing at the shoreline told me. Although many hesitated at first, more and more men went into the water and climbed their fishing spots.
Stilt fishing, or stick fishing as the locals also call it, is a traditional way of fishing that was introduced rather recently, during the Second World War. Thus, although it may look like an ancient tradition, it is actually a practise invented in order to adapt to changing circumstances of food shortage and overcrowded fishing spots in that time.
Some photos are the result of a combination of technical preparation, patience and luck. This is one such picture. And in this case, it is double luck. Not only the weather was great, with a stunning sunset on the beach of Montañita, Ecuador. Also, this surfer made his move exactly as the earth’s rotation showed the sun where I wished to frame it. I just needed the perfect click. And there it was. I was low on battery and the second after the picture was shot, my battery went dead. It didn’t matter: the moment was captured.
The man in the corner just came down from the top of the dune on a sandboard in the Sechura desert (or Nazca desert) of Peru. On the top of the dune, other people are preparing to go down on a sand board. The sand dunes in this desert stretch up to hundreds of meters high.
On the way to the Valle del Colca in the Southern Highlands of Peru you pass a vast steppe and climb a mountain pass. On the way, I saw this woman in traditional clothes walking across the steppe. Perhaps she is a shepherd of a herd of Alpacas, who can be found in large numbers along the road. Or she simply needs to get from one village to another. Either way, it seems she has a long distance to travel.
A car driving on the on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat. As it is the rainy season, the salt flat is flooded, although not completely at this spot.
In 1960, an earthquake caused the forest around the village Chepu in Chile to sink about two meters. Consequently, the salt water of the Pacific Ocean entered the forest area and killed much of the forest. On this image both the partly dead forest and coastal area with its dunes are visible.
A traveller is enjoying the view on top of the Sri Lankan mountain Sri Pada and just had to get a picture, like I did of him taking a picture.
The sky above Amsterdam is filled with airplanes and contrails, the artificial clouds left in the sky by airplanes. Depending on temperature and humidity, the contrails are visible for seconds, minutes or hours. Scientific studies suggest that contrails contribute to human induced climate change, although the current scientific understanding of the effect is limited.
Ella Rock is the top of a mountain near the town Ella in the Sri Lankan Hill Country, giving a stunning view into the canyon. You reach the top by walking along the railroad track, through marshes and the farming fields. Once in a while, you need to jump of the railroad track as a train approaches.
At the end of the hike, the man on the image awaits to sell you a cup of tea. Even when you don’t feel like drinking tea, you can hardly refuse due to the man’s kind spirit.
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– Research before the trip | The quest in Sri Lanka | Discovering the stilt fishermen | Photographing techniques
Type in Sri Lanka in a search engine. Among the first thing you find are the iconic images of stilt fishermen. Many photographers have made beautiful pictures of them. As I was about to visit Sri Lanka, I wanted to find and photograph them myself. You never know what new perspective you might discover, right?
– The two markets of Otavalo | Around Otavalo
Travelling through Ecuador is a colourful experience. And I’m not merely talking about the colours of nature. They are with the people too. It’s in their clothing, bags, art – everywhere! I guess, when you’re visiting Ecuador, there’s a fair chance you’d like to bring something home? Then the Otavalo artisans market is the place to indulge yourself. However, there’s more to this town than market stalls.
– Part 5: Overview & Tips | Preserving and visiting the Amazon
You’ve been able to read about our preparations at the beginning of this story. But I didn’t include a packing list, for example. In this final part of the story, I will give you a complete overview and tips. But first, here’s a brief explanation what we all can do to help preserve the Amazon.
– Part 4: Exploring the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
We were preparing for a night walk in the rainforest with Luis. It was pitch-dark. That meant headlight on and being even more alert as to where you’re going than during the day. Even more so because we were about to learn that it’s the very small that can have the biggest of consequences.
– Part 3: Exploring the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
As Luis guided us through the Ecuadorian Amazon, we experienced a continuous stream of amazement. We were walking in an unknown world. The jungle was teeming with wildlife. However, some of it dead and alive at the same time. We’re talking real-life Amazon zombies here.
– Part 2: Trip into the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve | Arrival in Siona lodge and meeting the crew | First adventures
The moment I thought I had seen something weird, something weirder was around the corner. You can be pretty sure with hundred thousands of species surrounding you.
– Part 1: Why the Ecuadorian Amazon? | How to prepare and get there?
“Jump in the water!”, Luis said. Under normal circumstances, jumping in a lake would be no problem. But circumstances were not normal. The water was brown, unclear. It means you can’t see what’s in it. The problem was that I knew what’s in it…