National Geographic published one of my recent images from Myanmar in their Your Shot story "Built to Walk," curated by esteemed photographer John Stanmeyer and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Paul Salopek. The photo essay focuses on human migration and parallels their current project, the Out of Eden Walk, which "involves walking across the planet for almost a decade in the footsteps of the first human ancestors who trekked out of Africa during the Stone Age and discovered the world."
My image is of a boy carrying firewood down a dirt road presumably back to his home in Bagan, Myanmar. It was taken about an hour before dusk and the sun's light was just beginning to turn nice and golden. I began stalking rays of light, waiting for unsuspecting pedestrians to pass through them for photo ops. The village was shrouded in trees and therefor largely shaded, making such light even prettier and more dramatic. I suppose I was simply in the right place at the right time to have been able to capture this moment, as the boy entered and passed through the light in the blink of an eye.
I felt that this photo was a good fit for Built to Walk because although the subject isn't migratory, he's in fact doing something just as primal: walking in search of firewood- something the vast majority of people reading this entry only have had to do while camping during leisurely trips into the wilderness. For millions of people around the world, simple issues like obtaining heat and potable water are critical tasks that require lots of planning, working, and in this case, walking. Here's what National Geographic Fellow/Foreign Correspondent Paul Salopek had to say about the image:
Fabulous moment, Christopher. The chance of light--gone in an eye blink--is thrilling. A wonderful moment for Built to Walk, and a tidy caption, too.
You can check out the story here; there are some truly amazing images and I'm honored that mine was one of thirty selected out of over 10,000 submissions to be a part of the it. Congratulations to the other photographers and to John and Paul for putting together a great story. If you are a photographer and not yet a member of the Your Shot community, you should check it out. It's a great way to gain exposure, have your work critiqued and potentially be published in one of the highest regarded magazines in the world. I will be posting more entries on my most recent trip through South East Asia in the days and weeks to come so please stay tuned!