* Wed C&C "No Theme" Thread #594 on 2019 09 11 *

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
P3T3S Senior Member • Posts: 1,269
Re: More on the Sulphur porters

Mike Fewster wrote:

This series is rather longer and bends our rules. I jammed more in so that I am not on the same topic for too many weeks. Next week, shots of the volcano itself.

I went to Kawah Ijen with a photography crazy friend, Heinz. He has been working on an ambition to climb every volcano in Java above 3000 metres and shoot it at dawn. When he discovered the sulphur porters he set up a number of programs to help them. Mine are just record shots but they give an idea of the project. Here’s an interview with Heinz and some of his shots.


He had trolleys designed and constructed to make carrying bigger loads easier. The porters work as they do in the hope that their children will have a better future. Heinz has been assisting the school and children. The clothes of the porters disintegrate from the fumes. He brings up supplies of used clothing for them to wear at work.

Human nature, being what it is…The porters found that tourists would pay to be taken up and down the volcano in the carts. This pays better than carrying sulphur. So some trollies were modified. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a shot of them in use. More human nature…The porters keep some of the old baskets because tourists prefer to photograph hem using the old baskets across their shoulders.

Heinz brings up spare parts for the porter’s trollies. Here are porters with spare tyres and brake parts that came on our trip.

Not all the donated clothes are appropriate when unpacked.

A new toilet block was opened at the school.

Heinz and schoolchildren.

A porter

I don't think this bends the rules for a series, and anyway, a few bent rules are worth it, if the result is a series like this.

The photos and the text form a whole far greater than the individual parts. This is an extremely interesting story and with a set of excellent photos, which not only illustrate the story, but show the people in an endearing way, with their humour and apparent good nature.

The final portrait is special, and how ironic that relaxation after a hard day inhaling toxic fumes is to take out a pet dragon and inhale a different kind of toxic fume.



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