The U Bein Bridge crosses the Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura, Myanmar. A 1.2 kilometer footbridge made of aged teak. It is one of those iconic photographic images of Myanmar. Think sunsets, temples in the background, and silhouetted figures walking along the bridge.
Also, think scads of tourists angling for just the right shot from the shore, from boats on the lake, from the bridge itself. So on my first visit to the Bridge in February 2011, not surprisingly, I quickly got somewhat frustrated. So I turned around and looked out over the lake. As I watched the lake, I could see a group of what I thought were local swimmers heading for the shore. As they slowly approached, I continued to watch. Once they reached the shallow water and began to emerge, I noticed that they were not out for a swim; they had been fishing – their nets and longyis filled with their catch. As they emerged from the water, the sunset light behind me caught the men and the water around them. I immediately began shooting . . .
When I returned to the Bridge a year later, I headed straight to where I hoped the fishermen would be – I was rewarded with a new group, drenched in beautiful sunset light.
And finally, here’s a shot of the Bridge . . .