Jul 112014
 

Photographing Sunset in Fort Kochi behind Chinese Fishing Nets

Clichéd it may sound, but a visit to Fort Kochi in Cochin, Kerala is incomplete without clicking a picture of Sunset behind the Chinese Fishing nets. For us visitors ( tourists, travelers take your pick), it is a photo opportunity but for the fishermen of Kerala, it is a lot of hard work. I am not sure exactly when the Chinese fishing nets came to India and when they became ubiquitous on the Cochin Skyline. Today they are kind of symbol of your visit to Fort Kochi in Kerala and every photographer worth his DSLR, Point and Shoot and cellphone camera want to click sunset behind the  Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi.  Kerala is particularly suited to click sunset pictures as it is on the west coast of India  and as we all know from our geography lessons that  Sun sets in the west. So you have the sun lazily dipping in the waters of Arabian Sea as you click the Sun. But the best sunset in Kerala too in my opinion are in Fort Kochi behind the Chinese Fishing nets

Fisherman in Fort Kochi chinese fishing nets

Fisherman working on Chinese fishing net Fort Kochi

As I was walking along the bank in Fort Kochi area looking for some things to shop, a collective song rose over the cacophony of honking vehicles, and sales pitch  of street vendors, engulfing me it its ” Hiya, Ho, Hiya Ho “. I could not understand a word of the song but it was almost like a war cry from men with calloused hands, sweaty shirts  and chest and arms chiseled by working on the nets every single day. These fishermen had never seen the inside of a gym but could easily pose for Michael Angelo for one of his masterpiece,  showcasing human masculinity. 

Fishermen working on Chinese Fishing nets Fort Kochi Cochin

Fishermen working on Chinese Fishing Nets

Fishermen working on chinese fishing net fort kochi

Singing and working goes together as the Fishermen sweat lowering the nets

The Haunting song made me stop and look at what the fishermen were doing. A couple of guys will climb the slender logs used to lower the nets in water using their body weight. Then they will climb back and join their colleagues singing ” Hiya Ho, Hiya ho“, as they pulled the nets out of the water. Not an easy task looking at the pearls of sweat formed on their forehead.

 I saw the exercise 5 times and twice the net yielded almost nothing. So they did everything again hoping that this time the bountiful Arabian Sea will fill their nets. They did not catch fish every time but they did catch the attention of onlookers every time they broke into a chorus.  The poles that hold the nets and life of the fishermen climbing them will never win any prize for beauty or structural engineering, and look scary with multiple poles joined together using some strings and wire, a typical desi Jugaad kind of job. But the fishermen were climbing them like you and I will climb stairs, may be better than me as I prefer to take the elevator when available.

The Chinese fishing nets look pretty mundane and oversized laundry hanging on the poles in the day. The harsh tropical light makes it tough to click them and I converted some of the day pictures of the fishing nets to Black and White. You see the challenge is when they were invented the idea was to catch fish and not  the golden orb before it takes a dip into the Ocean in evening.  But as the Sun starts to get ready for his evening plunge, the sky changes color faster than a chameleon, the Chinese fishing nets show their true color for which the photographers  like me consider Fort Kochi an ideal place to click a sunset (and hereby I declare myself  A Photographer, Narcissus would be so proud of me! ).  A lot of things happen in the golden hour as you prepare for clicking the pictures of sunset behind the Chinese Fishing nets. As the fishermen get ready to go home, the birds start coming to spend a night on the nets. The nets that were squeezing the life out of the sea during the day become the home to another life for the night. 

Chinese fishing nets sunset

Chinese Fishing nets during day

sunset Chinese fishing nets fort kochi Kerala

Chinese Fishing nets just before sunset

How to photograph Sunset in Fort Kochi behind Chinese Fishing Nets

The another challenge is everybody else around you is also a photographer and some of them damn good at their job. So everybody is looking for the best angle to click Sunset over Chinese fishing nets.  Now here is a little secret that I learned only after visiting Fort Kochi, the tourist side where all the shops and few fishing nets and market is situated is not the best place to click sunset as your view is hindered by people, lights coming from shops and the very fact that you are on the land and very close to the nets with wires, poles etc. obstructing your view.

Sunset Chinese Fishing Nets Fort Kochi Kerala

The Magic Begins once Sun starts to melt away in the Arabian Sea

Sunset Chinese Fishing Nets Fort Kochi Kerala

The Golden Orb gets ready to plunge into the sea

 So the best vantage point to take pictures of Sunset over Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi is to take a boat and visit the other side of the harbor and click to your heart’s desire or the capacity of your memory card.

Sun caught in the chinese fishing net Fort Kochi Kerala

Sun caught in the net: A Sunset to remember in Fort Kochi

Again you will be competing with tens of boats and some will have engines bigger than yours, so be early and enjoy as the horizon changes color and sun melts and vanishes into the sea. A few points to remember are: Carry a wide angle or kit lens, protect your gear from sea water as water splashes around you. Also remember to be careful with framing and composition as the boat rises and falls with the waves your composition will change every second even if you have not moved so be agile and keep an eye on your viewfinder. In the end, everybody seems to be  happy the fishermen caught some  fish, the photographers caught some Sun in the net .

Sunset Pictures in this post were clicked using Nikon D7000 Camera and,  18-105 VR Kit  Lens. F stop used was 11 and above depending on the intensity of the sun and they were processed in Lightroom and are optimized for web viewing.

Other posts in Kerala Blog Express Series

Chinese Fishing Nets Fort Kochi Kerala

Sunset in Fort Kochi behind Chinese Fishing Nets

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  41 Responses to “Sunset over Chinese Fishing Nets Cochin”

Comments (40) Pingbacks (1)
  1. Saved the best for last. Incredible shots!

    Day One Photography

  2. Lovely pics. Nice of you to share your vantage point – many don’t do that. I had been to Cochin with family, but didn’t get time to click any pics so it was good to see it through your lens. Keep going!

  3. It is hard to shoot objects that have been shot to death. Yet, you have done it with panache. They are all well-framed and controlled, my favourite is the one captioned “The Magic Begins once Sun starts to melt away in Arabian Sea”.

  4. That is a nice handy tip on where to click the pictures! I didn’t know that when I was there. Loved the pictures.

  5. Amazing pictures of sunset !

  6. Beautiful sunset photos. Chinese fishing nets are looks nice

    thanks

  7. Beautiful captures on the Chinese fishing nets! Some things are clichéd for an apparent reason: they are worth seeing. 🙂

  8. Your series of photos is so stunning and amazing! The sunset … dreamlike! Such a wonderful post!

  9. Simply gorgeous — those sunset shots. And the black and white ones are classic too.
    Now I know which side to go to if I needed those sunset shots 😉 Thank you, Desi Traveler. 🙂

  10. What I especially loved about the post was that you not only captured the sunset but captured the tenacious work of the fishermen too! 🙂 Awesome pictures (as always!), complemented with beautiful narration and useful tips, loved it.

  11. The first photo (fisherman) and the last photo (Sun set) I like the most. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I have heard so much about Cochin but never been there. These photos are great.

  13. Lovely photos, Prasad!
    We would like to invite you to participate in the next edition of our Travel Photography Competition. Every week we publish 3 winning shots on our website and write a nice bio with a link to the photographers’ websites/FB/G+/Flickr pages etc.
    Find more details here: http://hitchhikershandbook.com/your-contributions/travel-photography/
    Have a great weekend!

  14. Beautiful. Can never get tired of seeing the sun set over the fishing nets of Kochi!

  15. the last picture is my favorite 🙂

  16. Oh wow Prasad – I so have to visit Kerala! Love the pics with fishing net in sunset!!

  17. Beautiful photos… I personally really like the black and whites ones… thanks for the tips. Shall keep them in mind.

  18. Wow! So beautiful and interesting! Thanks you for sharing!

  19. Spectacular series of photos and fascinating information too in this post. Kerala almost seems like an alternative world in India.

  20. Beautiful shots.

  21. Wow! Fantastic series of photos of the sunset and Chinese nets for SWF ~ wonderfully informative post also ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  22. wowow so many colours.. it is beautiful .. thank you for sharing

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