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Taken 12-Feb-20
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9 of 137 photos

Intha Fisherman, Myanmar

Inle Lake in Myanmar is famous for rowers masterfully balancing on one leg. Photos of such hardworking fishermen are plentiful, but most are staged. Of course, there are many "real" fishermen plying Inle Lake with traps in order to bring home the catch to their families. But the 'model' guys have figured out another way to make a few dollars off the lake—posing for tourists for tips. They wear traditional, colorful clothing and perform amazing acrobatic shows; their sense of balance and the strength required to pose is quite remarkable. When they finished their act, I gladly gave a modeling fee to these hard-working men who provide an honest service. Despite the shots being posed, the moment is still magical and does not make the images any less beautiful.

Balancing in the boat's stern and paddling with one foot is a traditional fishing technique dating to the 12th century. Using a leg instead of hands to row allows a fisherman to see submerged obstacles and find a clear route while searching for the tell-tale bubbles of fish shoals.