Friday 6 February 2009

From the Archives-Sumatra

There is nothing like going through old images to bring back memories, I am in the process of having a new website built so am going through all my images to see what's good enough to show the world, In 2000 my wife and i travelled around South East Asia as backpacking photographers, Our aim was to photograph Endangered wildlife whilst they are still around, We managed to get some good stuff from Orangutans to Rhino,Elephant and Tiger to name but a few, We did this backpacker style to keep the costs down and allow use to travel to India,Thailand,Singapore,Malaysia and Sumatra-Not bad on a very small budget, Sumatra was an unknown for us-very little documented but if you dont go you wont know so we jumped on a boat in Peneng Malaysia and headed over,We loved it soo much that we ended up going back 3 times spending just over a month there in total, We stayed in Gunung Lesser National Park and each day walked into the Jungle to a feeding platform and hoped that Orangutans would show up-they did everyday and we also viewed White handed Gibbon and leaf monkeys, A truly fantastic place that still seems to be hidden in the backpackers books and not a tourist destinantion like Borneo, Being a backpackers destinantion means that accomadation is cheap but basic-just enough of what you need and no more, Photography wise you do not need huge lenses-300mm will get full head hots if you hang around the rehab centre there as orangs come and go as they please, 2 things i would recommend-1 is a flashgun as orangutans faces are very dark and few images taken without one will work as the eyes will be lost in the dark face, I would use AV mode and set you flash to around -1.5 so its just enough to lighten the face and thats all, You are in a tropical rainforest so it will rain-A LOT, so protect your kit,Its not just the rain as the humidity is very high, I washed some underware and hung it outside and a week later it was still wet!!! So also protect your self not just from the mozzies but the dampness-medicated talc and caniston cream keep ring worm at bay-i know this from experience, Sumatra is a very very cheap place to visit and one place thats at the top of my places to go back to-around june-august is best


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