OK, enough of war and history and all that. …back to morning in Myanmar. Here is one that, in my opinion, epitomizes the saying in photography “it’s not the equipment, it’s the photographer”. A little bit of explanation behind the saying: you can have the best, newest, most expensive, most highly praised camera gear and equipment, but if you don’t know how to use it, it’s worthless. I really don’t know how to use it but I have always said, in a twisting of thinking here: Why spend thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of dollars buying photo gear on that “once in a lifetime” trip when you could just learn how to use a camera, use what you have and spend that money making that “once in a lifetime” trip into something like a “once a year” trip or “once in a while” trip. Ninety percent of the battle, when referring to travel type photography, is actually giving yourself the opportunity to be able to get a good photo. …not that this is so spectacular, but it was perfectly timed and I was perfectly placed, which is not going to happen sitting in your house looking at all that nice equipment that you bought for that trip two years ago …that you’re still paying off.
…and let’s face it. If you’re anywhere near Bagan, you’re at the right place, no matter what time. Another view about fourty-five minutes earlier on the same morning can be seen here.
Still going through the pics from my trip to Myanmar and, well, this is one of them - For the whole story see my index page (top right). Not much I can say except, get up early, climb a temple, …and wait for the sun. It is well worth it. You won’t see this kind of view anywhere else in the world. …and if you do get up that early, make sure you “sneak” up to the front desk and scare the h*ll out of the girls sleeping there :) , who instantly snap to life, all six of them, and just start saying “What? what? How ya doin’? Good morning? What’s going on? Ehhh-hmmm, how can can I help you sir? Morning. Good morning. Beautiful morning. Mingalaba. Yes it is. How can I help you? Good morning. Ehhh-hmmm.”
Sunrise over Waza National Park, in the Far North Province of Cameroon, as seen during the yearly Harmattan where dust from the Sahara is blown across the land and into the air, blocking out the sun and creating an almost fog-like landscape. It’s eery at times, and creates a mysterious looking landscape at others.
As far as Waza is concerned, it’s a different world up there. The town of Waza sits right outside of the National Park. Stunningly beautiful and unquestionably poor, it’s an amazing corner of the world. Part desert, part grassland. Hills intertwine throughout where you can get above it all and see for miles around. This is a tough one to get too, but well worth the effort, especially considering how genuine and non-touristy it truly is. This was taken during a safari ride, looking for lion, elephant, giraffe and baboon. We did see some animals, but the greatest view that morning was definitely the landscape.
Taken from the esplanade of Dahab, on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula, with the sun rising over Saudi Arabia across the Red Sea from early morning Egypt. Kind of surreal actually, standing in one country, looking at another, with so little separating the two. I not only have a huge list of countries that I’ve visited, but also a fairly big, and growing, amount of countries that I’ve seen and photographed yet not set foot on. Saudi Arabia is one of them, some others include Iraq, Chad, Israel, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia and Laos, to name a few.
As for Dahab, Egypt, “A Place to Rest the Soul” is appropriate, with one of the best diving spots in the world in the “Blue Hole”, a myriad of shops and restaurants, the mountains of Saudi Arabia in the distance set above the sparkling water of the Red Sea, camels all around. It can be relaxing or it can be exhilarating. It can be exotic or it can remind you of home. You can snorkel, scuba dive, hike or sail. Drink a beer or fine wine, or drink a fruit smoothie. Take a camel ride in the desert, end it with a swim in clear blue water surrounded by rainbow-colored fish. It can be anything that you make it or want it to be really, with a totally different feel and atmosphere from the rest of Egypt.