musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Photos from Zin Ko

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Whenever I visit 90th Street in Mandalay, I lend my camera to Zin Ko, one of the kids from the neighborhood, and let him take some photos. Except for the shot above, that I took of Zin Ko, all the other photos are ones that he snapped.

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This trip was unusual because I both started it and ended it in Mandalay. Normally, I fly into Yangon to begin my trips, but now with direct flights to Mandalay, that’s no longer necessary. After four days in Shan State I returned to Mandalay with good news and bad news for Zin Ko. The bad news was that my camera was not working properly and would need to be repaired, thus we wouldn’t be able to take any more photos my last two days in Mandalay.

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I had already been thinking about getting a new camera, so having the problem with this old Canon (I’ve had it for five years) will only hasten my decision. And the good news, I told Zin Ko, is that after I have this old model repaired, I want to give it to you. That is, if you want it. Well, needless to say, Zin Ko, was very excited at that idea and replied in the affirmative. “I can take photos at weddings,” he told me in Burmese. And the purpose of that, he added, was that he could charge money for such a service. Not a bad idea, kid!

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Zin Ko has already got the basics down, but I still need to show him more of the options on the camera, as well as explain more about lighting, composition, and other techniques. Not that I’m any sort of photography expert, far from it, but hopefully my suggestions will help him understand more about the camera and what it can do. Plus, it will give me a chance to learn some new phrases in Burmese. In any case, I’ll be curious to see the results of what he snaps next time.

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