Barefoot in Paradise

Jessie T. Ponce


Now it can be told to friends — but don’t tell my mom! 🙂 : I was in the jungles of Papua New Guinea these past 3 weeks .  I came home nursing a heavy flu but, other than that and a few logistical mishaps, I survived unscathed and will probably go back in a few weeks.

The limited time I had to do the work there kept me near the urban centers (more appropriately described as ‘dense pockets of population in the midst of tropical rainforests’) and away from the highlands and deep jungles, just a little short of catching the legendary Bird-of-Paradise, PNG’s most popular symbol, in its mythical habitat.  Nevertheless, I still managed to capture a few sets of images of the Papuan people and their environment which I hope to post in 3 parallel series in the coming weeks.

My style of photography had always leaned towards photo-journalism rather than the plain artistic photography and the recent experience in PNG seemed to have reinforced that.  I also had to give my aging Olympus E-500 a break and shifted to a Nikon D-90 in this trip thus had to quickly learn the best settings in the new gear for my most preferred outcomes.  There’s a noticeable difference in the quality of photos but there are distinct features in both brands which I really like (thinking of doing a comparative review in the future when I run out of things to write about).

While in PNG, I’ve seen people ride a plane across the country, enter government offices, or walk around town — barefoot! I myself got toured around two remote villages without any footwear on so I thought that the above photo will be a good teaser for the coming photo sets.  Stick around for this adventure. 🙂