Yangon PhotographyPhotography Yangon
Myanmar Yangon is the new Cuba for street photography.
For a long time Cuba has been the meeting place for icons of road and travelling photography - its mixture of ethnic and ethnic beauties and friable texture combined with a celebratory crowd is photographic silver. With the recent arrival of tourists, the problem is that it has opened the locks for the photographer, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get this truly one-of-a-kind picture.
Those who have strolled through the roads of Havana have come across the "professional" models: the gold crown with the giant cigarette and the 50s gown on the colorfully decorated stairs costs a buck for the same picture taken by a million others. So what should the travelling photojournalist do?
Well.... Travelling, of course! Yangon, Myanmar is the new Cuba for filming. There' s much in common between the two nations, among them a failing policy system in need of reforms, a fracturing settlement and a previously insulated people - but Yangon has the ideal asset surge that makes it the new, ultimately photographic power.
Think of men in skirts with reddish-colored faces and walnut tipped betelnuts wandering through a crowded goat-headed outdoor fair and you get the fundamental perspective, but what makes it a great target for the photographer is more than a mere landscape. Myanmar's backdrop is just astonishing.
Every photographe knows that a good backdrop is indispensable for taking a good photograph. Decaying UK farmhouses, spindled thirsty bushes and strange Myanmar signs blended with old busses and shiny golden stupas are the best of the'55 Chevys in Havana every single working days of the year.
It' almost about setting a cold backdrop and wait for a scene to appear in the snap. As an example, I stayed about an hours on the riverbank in Dala and tried not to slide into the sludge while taking pictures of men fixing hand-painted creeks. The Fitzcarraldo was right behind the perfectly stranded deck of vessels with the Yangon skin in the foreground.
When the man who worked on the ship raised his skull, it was almost too simple to hold off when I kept hitting the trigger in a photographed copy of whack-a-mole. For the Burmese, the wireless phone is an uncommon feature; the Myanmar web is very new, and a large part of the Burmese people cannot yet be afforded the luxuries.... yet.
This means that they are not self-conscious, as the digital cameras mean - photo-on-facebook-for-the-world-to-see-way. The networked realm of digital television has become timid - or at least very conscious of being portrayed by foreigners - and equipment has made us feel so much indifferent. Humans just don't seem to care about the whole wide globe when they're busy communicating all the time.
There is still a lot of human suffering without equipment. Persons who are dull look around, get involved and are interesting to society. Burmese don't have one of these hangings yet. Generally, they like to be taken pictures and will even stop their kids and motivate them to laugh so that they can be made.
You find it totally intriguing that someone is interested in photographing her in her everyday life. that I was hilariously funny because I hung out of the driving carriage just to take a picture of her.
The best of all is that the Myanmar tribe is of course kind and many talk simple English. As my bride-and-girl and I decide to have our hair cut in the temporary barber's hut next to the railway lines, the whole neighbourhood appeared and turned it into an experience. They' took some pictures of us, and we' ve taken some pictures of them and everyone had a great quality part.
As we shyly entered a Buddha school, we were welcomed with a meal and a pendulum to see a nice collection of text written on a fan of wood, where I took a picture of a friar who would be teaching me to meditate the next ore. These guys here are treating you like special guest.
In the afternoons I used to play a match where I was smiling and holding the eyes of a total stranger until they were smiling back. Burmese are pretty and by no means camera-shy. Burma has a vast and varied cultural scene - in one moment you photograph a series of bare-footed newcomers with charity shells outside a ruined emperor's edifice, and in the next you step into a decorated Hindoo sanctuary for a Buddhist fire rite, where a cleric throws purified bread and flavored seed into a flaming heap.
Myanmar's closeness to India, China and Thailand makes for a strong mixture of colourful culture, and the fact that the Hindu cleric is completely chilly when you take a thousand photos of the Homa wedding makes it almost too simple to get away with them all.
And then the preacher will invite you to a celebration where you can drum for an hour with 20 other sweaty men and they will give you astonishing meals until you can't take a morsel. Séan Davis is a Tamarindo, Costa Rica-based travelling professional specialising in site portraits, architecture photography, aerial photography and aerial photography for advertisers, editors and business people.