Ban Nong Ping, May 30, 2010

The tiny village of Ban Nong Ping (Leetch Lake Village) lies at the eastern edge of Laos's Khammuan Province near the border with Vietnam. Its 200+ inhabitants are a mixture of lowland Lao and Salang who were ordered to moved here more than a decade ago, and who have yet to experience the joy of electricity (it's meant to arrive in 2012). The village is the access point for Hin Namno NBCA and some of the more remote stretches of the former Ho Chi Minh Trail, as well as for the amazing Tham Lot Se Bang Fai, which is why we there there. After having explored the cave and stayed with the villagers, we had a bit of free time on our last day and I did some impromptu portraits. The images were taken with my D700, a 80-200mm f/2.8 VR and illuminated with two off-camera strobes, a SB-800 and an SB-900, both activated by the camera's built-in flash. I didn't have much time and the flashes were acting naughty, but at the least the images provide a bit of insight into the inhabitants of one of the most remote and poorest villages I've ever visited.

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