Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Photographer's Paradise

Papua New Guinea is paradise for a photographer. Surrounded by the photogenic, there is constant temptation to frame, focus and shoot.

The list of subjects is endless: painted faces, proud families, thatch-roofed villages, super-sized moths, morning mists, waterfalls, orchids, children....

Sing Sing dancers in their bilas are the most obvious and possibly the most exciting subject matter for photographers. Proud of their appearance and traditions, and pleased that visitors are interested, the dancers invariably and graciously agree to photographers' requests for one more shot.

In addition to the Sing Sing groups, a traveler's PNG album could include: bright green landscapes taken through aircraft windows, shadowy Spirit Haus interiors taken by invitation, hands weaving bush string bilums, villagers enjoying the Sing Sing. I'll stop this list here as I think I've made the point that PNG is seductive paradise for photographers.

Only those seeking a shot of a Bird of Paradise in the wild risk disappointment. Professional nature photographers spend weeks crouched behind blinds waiting to get shots for their natural history programs and publications. These professionals report that certain Birds of Paradise are among the world's most difficult wildlife to photograph.

Pack more film, memory cards and batteries than you think you will need. It would be a fluke to find those items in PNG.

If you use equipment that needs recharging, be sure you have the correct conversion equipment. I recall a traveler whose spouse forgot the transformer. His face looked like he'd bitten into a sour apple.

More information about electricity in PNG will be in a future posting.

copyright (c) 2007 - 2011 Mary Jane Murray