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Photography Magazine

Stepping Back

Stepping Back

Cameras Afloat


As the sound of the launch’s motor faded in the darkness I had an inkling how Robinson Crusoe felt. I was alone on my own desert island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. OK, my boatman was scheduled to return in a few hours after I’d shot dawn breaking over the pristine coral island of Kuda Bandos, but what would happen if he forgot? Or got diverted? I had a brief vision of having to build a raft to float back home across open ocean.

Then I turned to what I know – making compositions with the iconic shapes of palm trees overhanging the white sand beach. A stump marked the spot where possibly the most photographed palm tree in the world once stood. The story goes that a photographer once chopped it down after yet another clichéd “Bounty Bar” style advertising shoot to deny the lucrative location to others. Maybe it’s true? I can believe it.

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