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Being young & strong

Being young & strong
Photo Information
Copyright: Bill Laucp (trekks) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2260 W: 172 N: 4300] (14348)
Genre: People
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-06-02
Categories: Daily Life, Festivals
Camera: Nikon D700, Sigma 50-500 mm F4-6.3 EX DG APO RF HSM, 4Gb Sandisk ultra II, 86mm UV
Exposure: f/6.0, 1/800 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: 2009Gawai trip to Kpg Semban
Date Submitted: 2009-06-09 21:04
Viewed: 6118
Points: 98
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3 Generations of a village life. This young man is called M and his being young & strong is needed for a village which sits in the mountains and jungles of Borneo 5hrs walk from nearest trade post. No other way to get to the village except trekking through jungle trails. My previous 2 posts from Kampung Semban were on an old ethnic tribal lady and a young boy playing ball, so I would like to complete the cycle of life by showing young man as 3rd post of travelogue. Nested in the Borneo highlands, Kampung Semban is a village of roughly 30 households with less than 300 shrinking population.

Early morning, M was busy preparing chickens/duck for Gawai and a major wedding feast in the night. He was squatting under morning bright sun at the front porch of his hand-built house and shy about being photographed and uttered words 'please dont take my picture' but I took it as a shy manner rather than refusal. This was from the direction of the sun when I was standing in the grass compound where they rear chicken. I showed his head shot on concentration and his focus to his work on the floor.

The afternoon before, he carried 50kg payload from town and walked to reach home just before 6.30pm. His lege muscles cramped and could not stand up. I met him last night again at airport, while handing photo prints to him, when he came to pick his 12-year son returning from football competition representating the State of Sarawak. [my earlier post of self taught boy playing football, you know how they love the game up in the jungle]. He had to carry a boy on his back yesterday and walked from village for 4hrs and it hurt his back.

From the story, you will know that the survival of the village in Kampung Semban depends on the able-bodied young men like M. They carry on the tribal tradition and culture passed down from generations. I have read the EIA report given in my previous post and asked him about the effect of Dam construction and if the village is going to relocate. His answer : no. Perhaps next year Gawai there is hope and chance to visit him again in Kampung Semba by another 5hr trekking in the Borneo Highlands trail.

p/s And he promised to wake up 5am to catch sunrise. His son's under-12 team secured 2nd place in Malaysian competition for 2009, a boy self trained in the jungles and on a football pitch in the jungle of sand, soil and trees. At least I made good use of my heavy tripod and heavy 50-500mm lens hauled all the way through the jungle trek.

I also met the village school teacher at airport, and noticed how some school boys upon landing at airport return, cried with tears when seeing their teacher welcome them home. Sadly I did not bring my camera last night.

papera, ChrisJ, JudyR, dareco, shevchenko, axiotea, disturbia73, patdeph, jusninasirun, Cricri, jhm, isabela_sor, AiresSantos, danos, belido, siolaw, skippy007, JCG, erdna, Charo, bakes888, Cretense, bobocortis, penny12, bukitgolfb301, satyakki, ymrk has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To axiotea: Stop posting?axiotea 2 2009-06-11 07:27
To isabela_sor: hitrekks 2 2009-06-15 03:35
To Waylim: hitrekks 1 2009-06-15 04:13
To belido: hitrekks 5 2009-06-15 06:30
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Bill,

Pinpointing on how you knew the hard labor this man has gone through giving importance to man's the mood, how his sweat runs through his body alone says it all.

Using your experience and compassion to discover what we viewers can learn and get from this shot also gives us in-depth facts from the village in Kampung Semban is like.


  • Great 
  • SteveH Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 383 W: 90 N: 967] (6431)
  • [2009-06-09 22:27]

Hi Bill,

nice tight portrait of this young man. As others have said the sweat on his face tells the same tale as your interesting note. a great TE offering. cheers, Steve

  • Great 
  • papera Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 111 N: 1805] (14372)
  • [2009-06-10 0:50]

hi Bill,
I am glad you published another portrait of this young man also on TE, keeping in mind what you said in you comment about him on TL (that he was trying not to have his picture taken because of his shyness) gives this "other side" of his face a new meaning.
the other portrait showed his face bathing in reflected light, here we have direct light with great contrasty shadows - also two sides of the same subject!
I like your comments to the photos - you don't sound like a tourist guide =) but more like an explorer =)
have a good day,

  • Great 
  • aadilj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2494 W: 64 N: 2604] (18102)
  • [2009-06-10 2:27]

Hello Bill, I like the way you have composed this superb shot. the hues and the moment are lovely. That expression makes it ever more special

  • Great 
  • quillo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2087 W: 415 N: 1878] (11858)
  • [2009-06-10 3:55]


Hello Bill :

Good details of color, light and definition in this
Spotlight of the man that is concentrated on his thoughts.

A good work undoubtedly; congratulations.

Best regards.


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  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15673 W: 1055 N: 32789] (152452)
  • [2009-06-10 4:00]

Hello Bill

A superb portrait with the diagonal axis adding heightened dynamism. Impeccable sharpness, light contrast & dof. Tfs!

Hello Bill,
A superb portrait of this hard working young man, whose body positively glistens with the sweat from his exertions. It is well framed with good natural looking tones and excellent clarity.

An original portrait with such strong expression. Good DOF also.

Hello Bill,

An excellent portrait with an excellent framing. The concentration and the attitude of the man are very well collected. The portarit arise very well to the green BG.
Have a nice evening,

  • Great 
  • JudyR Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 140 W: 0 N: 168] (1671)
  • [2009-06-10 11:15]

Wonderful portrait which invites study and contemplation. Simple statement of a simple, hard life lived by a man who does not complain. Thank you, Judy

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  • dareco Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2139 W: 54 N: 1004] (17136)
  • [2009-06-10 19:08]

Excellent note and picture. I especially like the lighting which bring out the colors so well. TFS

Hello Bill,
Completely you study their daily life,
distinct side portrait, thanks for sharing.

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  • gunbud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 5926 W: 8 N: 8034] (34066)
  • [2009-06-10 19:55]

Hi Bill,
Wonderful portrait of this young man whos hard work is much needed by his village.
Your shot show the strain in his face to go along with the definete pride he has in completing his tasks.
Exceptional note about how hard life is in this remote village.
Regards, Tom

bonjour Bill
The title made me smile ;) but for sure after reading your note and looking at him, one can understands 'M' is a strong man...
I think it is a successful portrait, well framed, with a good choice of selective focus and a fine light too!

Great photo.
Vibrant colours, good focus and well defined. Outstanding note.
Good job as always, TFS,



hello Bill
this is a very nice and original portrait!The colors and the light are superb,the DOF is perfect and the sharpness is exceptional!
I have read what you have added in your intro,I am so afraid that you also leave TE!Sad situation!

Hi Bill,

Superbly close framing with such an interesting notes. I like the perfect selective focusing in muting the background pretty well.

Really brilliant and thanks for sharing.


  • Great 
  • berek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7512 W: 201 N: 7196] (50508)
  • [2009-06-11 21:44]

Hi Bill,
creative portrait my friend. nice close taken and impressive details. I feel power.

Hello Bill,

A fabulous, engaging note accompanies the poignant photograph of the young man, and the difficult life he has to maintain to make ends meet. The colors and textures are very good.

Warm regards,


Hi Bill , excelente y cautivador retrato .
Brillantes colores y composicion , gran desenfoque con una luz estupenda . Bravo.
Un saludo.

Hi Bill
C'est un moment fort que vous avez saisi avec une concentraction du jeune homme, bien cadrer avec une très belle lumière, beau portrait
Good Week end

Hi Bill,

Glad you decided to post again :)
Strong portrait of this hardworking man. He seems strong and determined. Excellent definition and light. Thanks for the informative note. You should join the TE extension on facebook too! We have a group there.


  • Great 
  • alainh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3766 W: 143 N: 6587] (33209)
  • [2009-06-12 23:56]

hello Bill

yes Young and strong as here in the TE's tempest !!!
i hope have the pleasure to see a long yime your pictures in TE.

a nice day, Bill

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 26241 W: 523 N: 44924] (191415)
  • [2009-06-13 1:06]

Hello Bill,

We see perfect the face of the hard labor this man.
Sharpness and clarity are superb.
Composition and presentation are very well. TFS.

Have a nice weekend,

Hi Bill, although I can only see a small part of your subject, somehow you have conveyed to us his youth and strength. The details in his face, back and neck are just amazing. Most of all I love that beautiful shallow DOF which just brings him to life for me. Excellent work, Lisa.

  • Great 
  • TopGeo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4033 W: 93 N: 8299] (38220)
  • [2009-06-13 23:39]

Hi Bill!An excellent portrait with an excellent framing.A different picture that gives intensely the characteristics and the qualityReally brilliant and thanks for sharing.

Regards, I praise you

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 966 W: 0 N: 1364] (7101)
  • [2009-06-14 0:06]

Hi Bill,
you have produced a very excellent capture of the guy. The bokeh works very well and the sharpness is very splendid.
well presented portrait in a condensed style.
lovely work.


Great use of focus and DOF
I like the details on the man 's face/head, the water drops, the haircut .Thanks for note
All the best

Hi Bill
Fine details in this nice portrait. Great colours and low DOF. Well framed and done

  • Great 
  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11415 W: 174 N: 20888] (92011)
  • [2009-06-14 3:24]


beautiful portrait, the sadness of the man and his effort to survive are evident. nice the light, framing and pov



  • Great 
  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27478] (110395)
  • [2009-06-14 11:47]

Hello Bill,
great portrait of this hard working man with this specific pose and the sweat streamed down his face to be so well presented.I like the good management of the colours as the light too.Informative your note.Well done.

Have a nice week,Danos

Hey Bill,

Long time no see. I see you still have a knack for portraits. A very nice one. Full of good tones and loads of nice details, like his sweat (although I supose that could be the main motive). In any case, wonderful stuff as always.

Best regards.

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  • Waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2732 W: 154 N: 6183] (25436)
  • [2009-06-14 23:46]
  • [+]

Hi Bill,
This is a very good image of this young man, he does looks strong both physically and emotionaly it seem judging from what I see here. A face of determination and strong will. Great details and nice define profile. Excellent shot.

My computer is fix, I have a good friend who came and help, he use to work with me in the same company who is a computer networking person and computer supports. Most of my files are back up and are recovered, except a few recent files. Thanks for asking. I was a bit worry. Now everything is fine.


Hi Bill,

first of all, thanks for your informative intro page. At least I already use the copyright text on my photos :) Well, this is a very well executed potrait. Framing is as perfect as the dof. I like to see his serious expression and the context of a hard worker explicit on his face. Nicely done!

  • Great 
  • siolaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4752 W: 602 N: 10303] (38294)
  • [2009-06-15 11:01]

Hi Bill,
A nice portrait in a diagonal position, xith excellent light colors and general quality. A difficult spot to reach, but thanks to you we can have a glimpse of these people!

Hello Bill, A superb portrait but it's your well written, detailed personal note that makes this young man come alive & makes me want to share in some of that experience. My compliments. I just read your intro, copyright seems to be a concern of many at the moment, I have read some of the links you provided, thank you. You also have a new face, nothing wrong with the old one IMO. ;-)

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  • JCG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5328 W: 737 N: 9440] (35153)
  • [2009-06-16 5:39]

Hello Bill,

A very beautiful photograph of the profile of this man. Very good management of all the parameters of the image. I appreciate much the light and clearness on the face which shows us well the effort of this man. Very good portrait, well done Bill and thank you for this interesting note.

With all my friendships and with soon,


hi Bill,
Original portrait well taken, perfect focus, light and contrast, well done.

  • Great 
  • erdna Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 738 W: 81 N: 1094] (5713)
  • [2009-06-17 20:36]

A terrific shot and a very interesting note. An unusual way of portraiture letting the viewrs know there is a message within. This photo makes you feel the hardship of living in the mountains.


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  • Charo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5142 W: 58 N: 12086] (51212)
  • [2009-06-18 13:55]

Hello Bill,
A magnificent and impressive portrait. It seems that man has made great strides since the drops of sweat run his face and his expression denotes the effort.
Excellent detail and framing. Bravo!
Best wishes,

Hi Bill. Excellent portrait. Good sharpness and details and nicely defocused BG, the beauty of a long telephoto lens ;-). You have captured the look of concentration perfectly also. Thanks for sharing.
Have a good weekend, Paul.
PS Great note also.

This is a great closeup with interesting details and sweat. Natural skin color and great DOF. Well done. Regards. Latiff.

Hello Bill!

Well, what can I say? About the photo, it's a great daily life scene, an excellent portrait accompanied by an excellent note, straight in the spirit of "good old" TE!

Then, I would like to thank you for sharing with us such important things concerning copyright and the protection of our work.

Last, and most important, I would like you to reconsider your decision about leaving TE, your presence is very valuable here! I hope that you 'll change your mind!

whatever your final decision might be, you have my best wishes!


Hello Bill.
Very realistic portrait.
The colors and fine details give a good idea of work and effort.
Best regards.

Great shot showing the hard work of this man. A shot full of emotions. I like the lightning.
Well done,

Dear Bill,

We will miss your fine slices of Malaysian life and insightful comments!

Maybe you will reconsider some day...

Pablo -

Hello my dear Am

What a marvelous shot !
Good framing, color management and clear and keen focus as usual. Very simple composition but it has very strong message too, nice shot indeed.
Youth is beaty and strongness, I hope and admire.

Thanks for sharing and best regards,
Have a nice weekend !


A photo to look and feel life. This a very beautiful portrait.
Best wishes,

Hi Bill,
The photo is as much in detail as the note that you have written.
Power of Simplicity - I say.

Hi Bill
You have really captured the moment here, the strain and concentration on his face is amazing I can almost feel his pain, brilliant sharpness and clarity. Nice portrait and POV. Interesting note
Thanks for sharing
Peter (mozzy)

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  • ymrk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1442 W: 145 N: 1953] (15085)
  • [2009-11-15 2:45]

Bill,you should come back again..Interesting portrait from Malaysia.And extraordinary outlook.See you friend..


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