Among the Huli Wigmen


It’s been so crazy I’ve fallen behind on my posts from the Legendary Cultures trip for National Geographic Expeditions.  We went from Mongolia to Lijiang China (I’ll pick that up later) and then to the highlands of New Guinea, where this warrior posed for a tight portrait (D7000, 70-300mm VR) before a small “sing-sing”, or gathering of warriors.

Shooting 98% video on the gig, and learning just how hard it is to use a still camera for video in very fast breaking, fast moving situations.   By the time you get your LCD loupe on the back of the camera, the action is over, so I’ve been forced to try to focus off the back LCD on the camera in bright daylight conditions….a situation that brings out all the foul language this Jersey City boy can muster. 

Despite their ferocious demeanors, the Huli men have great senses of humor and love to kid around.  During an archery demonostration I got to joshing with one of our village hosts and we got into a mock battle with axes and spears.  The picture below shows him delivering the “coup de grace”, much to the amusement of the village kids.  Next stop: Java, Indonesia. I’ll try (I’ll really try) to keep you posted….


This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Looks like your having a great time and I am enjoying your posts, but I just don’t get it WHY you don’t use a regular video camera unless the people who foot the bills want it that way. No offense meant

    1. Jim: Let me see, how can I answer that. Let’s try it’s “the triumph of hope over experience,” or, “I’m a masochist,” or “practice makes perfect.” The client likes the big chip, narrow depth of field look that only DSLRs (and a couple of very new, VERY expensive Sony and Panasonic camcorders can provide). Plus I figure, the more I practice, the easier it will get. But I’m seriously considering bringing the Sony NEX VG 10 on the next leg of this all video gig.

  2. Haha! That picture really made me laugh Bob. One thing I’ve been focusing on with my photography lately has been relating to the people I photography — without that connection, all the gear in the world doesn’t get you a great shot. Looks like that’s one area that you dont have any problems 🙂

    BTW, as strange as the New Guinea Warriors seem to us with their facepaint and war regalia — I bet you look even stranger to them strapped with all those cameras, backpacks, waist packs, and the like!

  3. It looks like a great time. I hope my clients don’t want me to do video however–I have enough trouble just shooting stills. 😉

    Great shot–made me laugh.

  4. Love it! Hope when you get back you can write more and show more from this trip. I know how hard it is when you’re in the middle of it all.

  5. That’s a long ways from shooting models on a La Jolla beach. You do get to go on great adventures. If/when you get tired of the whole video thang, I’ll be happy to come with you. I’ll even put one of those nice lenses on my Sony to get the DOF…and free editing advice. 🙂

    1. John: I am wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew vis-a-vis video! Great to hear from you. And I’m beginning to think a lens adapter on regular camcorder might be the way to go for the bokeh-loving crowd!

  6. HI, I just joined this community. I m from pakistan. I like this forum…….hope to learn lot of things here 😉

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