Behind the Scenes: Waterfall Fisherman of Si Phan Don
I recently shot a mini photo story over 2.5 days on the lives of the incredible fisherman who live and work around the waterfalls of Si Phan Don in Southern Laos. I’m not lying when I say it was possibly the most fun/dangerous/cool/eye-opening shoot I have done to date. The area around Si Phan Don is home to numerous huge waterfalls that during the rainy season swell, with the largest Khone Phapheng falls channeling over 49 million liters of raging Mekong water every second. As the area is fairly undeveloped and the river large I had to rely on cycling and small wooden boats to get from area to area. With this in mind I had to pack light because I would be crossing onto the fisherman’s traps, taking boat rides to the base of the waterfalls and even getting in the water to get the shots I wanted. Therefore my Gitzo GT1542T Traveler tripod was the ideal choice. Strapped onto the back of my F-stop Loka it literally went everywhere with me. The Loka was filled with my D7000, 12-24 f4, 50mm f1.4 and 80-200 f2.8.
The Gitzo even went into the raging river a couple of times! In the picture below you can see me with my Gitzo tripod and D7000 + 80-200 f2.8 combination in the river. Stability wise it is great, considering the tripod only weighs around 1kg it was perfectly use able at full extension as you can see from the images I shot with it below.