Portraits of Ngaputaw
My photography gear are set for two main purposes: landscapes and portraits. The heavy 300mm lens installed in one of the two cameras I always carry around is mostly used for one purpose: to capture candid images of village people living their normal village life and doing their regular village routines.
Visiting remote villages in Ngaputaw Township in the Ayeyarwady Region of Myanmar in December 2016, I captured these portraits of villagers that tell of the simple, sometimes challenging lives these people live.
“Boatmen” – Many of the villages of Ngaputaw are accessible only through the Pathein River and its tributaries. Passenger boats ply the river system on a regular basis as the basic means of transportation. These boatmen are taking a break while waiting for passengers and watching the hustle and bustle at the Ngaputaw jetty.
“Farm Work” – This elderly lady in one of the remote villages of Ngaputaw prepares her tools early in the morning for the days work in the farm. The farmers of Ngaputaw mostly grow rice irrigated through the vast river system but annual production is adversely affected by seasonal saline water intrusion. Ngaputaw is some 35 kilometers upstream from the Bay of Bengal.
“Care” – This villager in Ngaputaw cleans the sides of his boat. A significant portion of the local population is dependent on fishing as a source of income and food.
“Harvesting Rain” -This village man cleans his kettles using rain water collected in large earthen jars. While most villages are often close to the river system, clean or potable water sources remain a challenge for many villagers.