The Intha people of Inle Lake have perfected the art of leg rowing simply to free up both hands while they are fishing. Getting close to them however was a challenge; tourist boatmen respectfully keep a distance, after all the fishermen are trying to make a livelihood. I wanted to get closer. I asked my guesthouse if they knew any local leg-rowers, they replied, “yes, in the next village”, so we arranged a shoot for first light the next day. I sketched out a few scenes for the two leg-rowers to understand the compositions I was trying to achieve, waited for the sun to creep over the peaks and began working through the various scenarios.Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar (Burma). It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 km2), and one of the highest at an altitude of 2,900 feet (880 m).The people of Inle Lake (called Intha), some 70,000 of them, live in four towns bordering the lake, in numerous small villages along the lake's shores, and on the lake itself. The entire lake area is in Nyaung Shwe township. The population consists predominantly of Intha, with a mix of other Shan, Taungyo, Pa-O (Taungthu), Danu, Kayah, Danaw and Bamar ethnicities. Most are devout Buddhists, and live in simple houses of wood and woven bamboo on stilts; they are largely self-sufficient farmers.
© all images copyright gavin burnett
Please contact me for image usage