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Weligama, Sri Lanka, 1995

This is a picture of fishermen along the southern coast of Sri Lanka casting their lines in a very traditional way, sitting up top poles in order not to disturb the fish. I think this is one of the most unique and interesting ways of fishing. I have travelled everywhere and I have photographed many different ways of fishing. Fishing with dynamite in Lebanon, with Nets from big boats, from small boats, people fishing from bridges... But I think, this was for me the most interesting method I have seen anywhere in the world. They hold the stilt with one hand and fish with the other in order not to lose their balance. After the tsunami in 2004, there was widespread destruction all up and down the Sri Lankan coast, but surprisingly, these poles were undisturbed. They survived that tsunami. 

One thing I love about this photograph is the sky and the clouds, and the wonderful blue from the ocean and the sky. You have this one man who is on his way to find his pole and to start his day fishing. There’s a wonderful geometry and a composition to this picture, which I think really makes it unusual and strong.

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