Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Quick Tip on Cleaning Up

This weekend I picked up a tip on cleaning pots which have burnt on or stuck food after cooking. To clean them, put some water in the dirty pot and place it back on the fire. Bring the water to a boil. It will lift up most of the stuck on food. Then you can clean it along with the other dishes.


The last of the summer raspberries from my garden were used for this lovely cake-cum-dessert.

Homegrown raspberries don't come creepy crawly free like the ones you buy in the supermarket. My method is to put them onto a large inspection plate and then leave them for a while, I then transfer the picked over raspberries to another plate. You can't be too careful!

This cake can be either made by the all-in-one-method or the traditional creaming method. Either way, the cake will still be wonderful.

Either eat as is, or warm in the microwave and serve with Greek Yogurt or creme fraiche as dessert.

Makes: 15 squares.

You will need: 26x16.5cm oblong tin, lined with baking parchment.

175g softened butter, 175g caster sugar, 3 medium free range eggs, 175g self-raising flour, 125g ground almonds, 2 tablespoons of milk, 150g raspberries, 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, icing sugar for dusting.

1. Heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then fold in the flour, ground almonds and milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
2. Scatter the raspberries over the surface and press down lightly into the cake mixture. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-50 minutes. Check with a skewer to make sure the middle of the cake is cooked. If not return to the oven covered with foil for another 10 minutes.
3. Leave in the tin to cool.
4. Cut into 15 squares and dust with the icing sugar.

Nicky Loh: Tattoo Girls of Taiwan

Photo © Nicky Loh-All Rights Reserved

Nicky Loh is a photographer with Reuters working in Taiwan, whose specialty is news, sports and feature photography, who's interested in documenting traditional art forms such as Chinese opera.

On his employer's blog, he writes of having had an assignment to cover the 2010 Taiwan International Tattoo Convention in Taipei which, while not newsworthy per se, offered him a good opportunity to produce colorful photographs.

He describes how he decided to set up an impromptu studio in one of the empty booths of the convention, and do portraits of women with fully tattooed backs.

Not only beautiful artwork, but also very attractive women...so a "twofer" as they say.

Global Post: Turkish Brothels

Photo © Nicholas Dynan-All Rights Reserved

One of my favorite online news provider is Global Post, not only for its cutting edge news reporting and analysis, but also for its frequent "off-the-beaten-path" features such as the one of Turkish transsexual brothels by Nicholas Dynan.

It also periodically publishes Full Frame which features photo essays and conversations with photographers in the field (including myself).

The Turkish transsexual brothels which, we are told, can be located in the busiest streets of Istanbul, and are the work place of some of Istanbul's transgender and transsexual sex workers.

To the best of my recollection, only one attendee of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Istanbul last June presented work relating to transgender issues. Pedro Gomes, who attended my multimedia class, produced Esmeray, an audio slideshow about a transgender feminist-sex worker-actor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Trip

This weekend my girlfriend and I met up with two friends of ours and decided to go a bit further North than our usual camping areas. It turned out to be quite a climb to the top of the mountain. Here I am at the 3500 ft. mark.

There we bumped into some of the local wildlife. Ever since I was bitten by a snake I could not identify about two years ago, I keep my distance.

Unfortunately, after we had climber several more hundred feet in elevation, we realized that staying overnight in the forest at elevation above 3500 ft was prohibited. We had to summit the mountain, and gown down the other side to just below 3500 ft, before we could start looking for a suitable camp site. Seeing how by this point we were utterly exhausted, we bushwhacked until we found a somewhat level spot free from undergrowth, and settled down for the night. I decided to not bother putting up a tarp. You can see my campsite in the picture. You are looking at two sleeping bags, each with a bivi, the two backpacks, and the little puppy sleeping by a tree (see if you can find her). We had a fire pit a bit out of the shot.

In the morning a call rose up for coffee. The emergency was large enough to necessitate the pulling out of the stove. It made quick work of the gallon of water.

Even though the night temperature dropped to about 40 F, I think this was one of the best nights I’ve spend in the woods in a while.

My Work: The Salt Maker of Kusamba

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

A few days before the start of the Bali: Island of Odalan Photo~Expedition ™ , I drove to the eastern shores of the island to photograph the traditional salt making in Kusamba.

I spent a couple of hours with Dewa Yoman Sanat; a traditional salt-maker (or more accurately, salt gatherer) in Kusamba. He guesses his age to be close to 70, and he works at gathering salt everyday under the scorching sun. On cloudy and rainy days, he remains home as a hot sun is needed to evaporate the seawater which leaves a thin film of salt, which is then gathered by Dewa.

He and his wife, Jero Sekar, who also helps him in this back-breaking work, have 7 grand children...none are understandably interested in continuing the salt making tradition. Dewa said that he gets about Rp 5000 (about 50 cents) for every 10 kilograms of salt.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

NYT: Pakistan Floods By Tyler Hicks

Photo © Tyler Hicks/NY Times-All Rights Reserved

The catastrophic flooding of the Indus is considered as Pakistan's worst natural calamity, which has ruined almost every infrastructural aspect that connects the country together — roads, bridges, schools, health clinics, electricity and communications. The destruction is also estimated to set Pakistan back decades, will weaken its feeble civilian administration and add to the burdens on its military.

The New York Times has recently featured Tyler Hicks' compelling photographs of the disaster in Pakistan's Floods, as the one above of two young girls quenching their thirst at a water pump in Sukkur. It's said that 20 million people have been affected by the floods; a number of people equal to the population of New York State.

According to the New York Times, a joint study from Ball State University and the University of Tennessee, puts the total cost of the flood damage at $7.1 billion. That is nearly a fifth of Pakistan’s budget.

I sense an apathy amongst the Western and Islamic nations to assist Pakistan in its difficulties. Is it because of the widespread perception (or knowledge) that the Zardari's government is riddled with corruption and cronyism, and thus may divert some of the aid? Or is it Islamophobia? Or is simple donor fatigue after Haiti? I tend to think it's all of the above and perhaps more.

And while I'm on the subject, is it only me who now increasingly relies on foreign cable news like China Network Television (CNTV) and RT (the Russian 24/7 English-language TV) for in-depth international news??? The added bonus of course is that these stations have no interest in Glenn Beck and the repellent clowns of his ilk as does CNN, MSNBC, et al.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jon Vidar: The Tiziano Project

The Tiziano Project presents the journalistic efforts and personal accounts of Iraqi citizens living in the Kurdish north, along with stories produced by their professional multimedia journalism mentors.

An extremely well-made multimedia project, it includes stories such as those on the Yazidis, nomadic mountain-dwelling Kurds, a pigeon keeper, a muezzin, a klash maker, and many more.

The mentoring team consist of Jon Vidar (one of the talented instructors at the Istanbul Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, and a freelance photographer who developed self-assigned projects spanning six continents, including work in Iraqi Kurdistan, Southeast Turkey, Rwanda, and Brazil), Victoria Fine, Grant Slater and Chris Mendez.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Kookalight Pillow

I know, I know, real men don’t use camping pillows. They find a nice rock, or a tree root on which to lay their head after a long day in the woods. For the rest of us however, a pillow can make the difference between a good night and a bad one.

There are many different designs out there, from goose down, to inflatable, to just a stuff sack in which you put some clothing for loft. There is nothing wrong with any of these approaches, and you should pick the design that best suits your interests.

Here I just want to point out a fairly new manufacturer of camping pillows, who has developed a rather innovative way to use thin nylon for his designs.

The result is the Kookalight Pillow. It is very light, coming in at 1.3 oz. It is also fairly small, measuring 12 in length, 7.5 in width and 3.5 in height.

Since it is an inflatable pillow, made from a very thin material, it can be compacted to a very small size, alleviating some of the feelings of regret at the thought of carrying a pillow into the woods.

The pillow retails for about $30.00, and if you are in the market, it is worth a look. The manufacturer is very responsive, and I even hear he is willing to take custom orders.

Rose Schierl: Bali Island of Odalan

Photo © Rose Schierl-All Rights Reserved

Here's the work of Rose Schierl; the second participant of the Bali: Island of Odalan Photo~Expedition ™ to send images to post on this blog.

Rose has been photographing since 2005, and only gone digital two years ago. She hasn't gone through any formal photographic education per se, but attended various short workshops, and those set by Arizona Highways. Rose won an award at a juried show for one of her photographs in 2009. She's also an accomplished diver, and before the photo expedition was on a diving vacation for a couple of days in the north-west of the island.

So far, it appears the fire-walkers at the end of the Kecak dance performance we attended in Ubud was a favorite subject for the group members. Rose managed to capture one of them kicking a blast of glowing embers (above).

Photo © Rose Schierl-All Rights Reserved

One of the shoots I organized during the photo-expedition was at the house of a wayang kulit (shadow puppet) master, where we were treated to a private performance The wayang kulit is an extremely important vehicle of culture, serving as carrier of myth, morality play, and form of religious experience rolled into one. Here, the master is moving one of his shadow puppets during the performance.

Photo © Rose Schierl-All Rights Reserved

Here's a Balinese villager who was attending a night odalan in Bitra village. The temple anniversary was one of the most interesting we've been to during the 2 weeks photo-expedition. Not only did it involve the requisite day-time religious prayers and offering in an exquisite forest setting, but it included performances of Barong and Arja dances.

Photo © Rose Schierl-All Rights Reserved

Rose captured a dancer during an evening Legong performance at Ubud's palace. The performance included various dances, such as the Gabor, Baris, Kraton and the Taruna Jaya.

New Canon D60

It's all over the blogosphere...Canon announced the EOS 60D, a sort of “replacement” for the 50D. According to the reviews, the 60D body is plastic, and uses SD cards instead of the CF.

It's certainly built for video. It has a pop-out, tilt-and-swivel rear screen which, even if it's Canon’s first on an SLR, would just drive me insane. Video can be shot at different sizes and speeds. 1080p is available at 24p, 25p or 30p frame rates.

According to WIRED's Gadget Lab, its 18MP sensor (like the LCD panel) is the same as in the 550D or Rebel T2i, its AF system comes from the 50D and the 63-zone exposure meter comes from the 7D. So it's dubbed the "Frankencam".

It will go on sale in September for $1,100 body-only.

Santa, I have no interest.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sharpening a Convex Edge in the Field

One of the best edge grinds for a knife is the convex edge. With a convex edge, instead of the blade being ground to form an edge using intersecting straight lines, the two sides of the blade curve and intersect, forming the edge. This can create a very sharp edge, while leaving a good amount of metal behind it, providing robustness.

Unfortunately, many people stay away from such grinds because they can be difficult to sharpen. Unlike a single, or double bevel grind, you can’t just lay down the edge on a sharpening stone, and move it back and forth, because the side of the blade is curved.

There are different methods of sharpening a convex edge, including using a pad with fine sand paper, but I have found all such methods to be too impractical for field sharpening. In the end, no such equipment is necessary. A convex edge can be sharpened using a regular sharpening stone in the exact same way that you would use it to sharpen an axe (many axes having a convex edge).

I use a small sharpening stone, the Fallkniven DC4, which I carry in my possibles pouch.

To use it, simply take the blade and hold it in front of you. Now take the stone and place it so it touches the edge of the blade. By holding the edge of the blade up, you can see if the stone is touching the edge. Now begin to move the stone in a circular motion along the blade.

Then reverse the blade, so you can still see the edge, but are now sharpening the other side. If you wish, you can count the number of circles you make with the stone to insure that the grinding is even.

Keep in mind that for most sharpening you will only be using a fine stone. To get a hard steel like VG10 to be razor sharp, you will have to spend a good amount of time sharpening, so do not be discouraged if it is not shaving sharp after a few passes. Because the stone I use is so short it may take 80-100 circular motions on each side of the blade to get it shaving sharp.

Matt Allard Captures Geishas

Matt Allard is a Team Leader- Cameras for Aljazeera International based out of Kuala Lumpur covering Asia/Pacific and the sub continent, and has produced a movie documenting the changing culture of geishas. Due to the world financial crisis, even well-entrenched traditions have had to adapt in Japan, as elsewhere, and geishas in Kyoto have had to follow suit.

Matt used a Canon 7D, 5Dmk2 and 7 lenses to shoot this assignment. The lenses used were a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS II, 50mm f1.2, 135mm f2, 24-70mm f2.8, 100mm Macro f2.8, 16-35mm f2.8 and a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. All interviews were shot on the 70-200mm. All the audio was recorded on a Zoom H4N using either Seinnheiser radio or shotgun mics. It was edited using FCP and ran on Aljazeera English on the 19th August 2010 around the world.

Also from Matt Allard is this movie depicting the same modern day girl transforming into a Geisha in Kyoto, Japan. It was made using a Canon 7D and a 5D Mark 2 using a Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro and a Canon 16-35mm f2.8. The ambient light and the angles used by Matt are just perfect...the colors are beautiful.

Via DSLRrnewsshooter.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Work: Bali Cockfights

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

We were fortunate to encounter a number of cockfights during the Bali: Island of Odalan Photo~Expedition ™.

I say fortunate because, while cockfights are gruesome and certainly bloody, they offer glimpses into a tradition practiced on the island (and elsewhere in the world) for ages. All animal rights activists and many other lay people consider it a horrible blood sport which ought to be banned. In Bali, cockfights are known as tajen, but have been forbidden since 1981 since it's considered gambling. Notwithstanding, it continues to be practiced as a ritual to expel evil spirits, and feverish gambling by bebebotoh (always men) is the norm when it occurs.

The area where the cockfight occurred was full of men, who were engaged in gesticulating and yelling their bets according to the color of the roosters. In the middle of the circle formed by the crowd, the bebebotoh were stroking their prized roosters, preparing them for the fights. Others were tying razor-sharp spurs to the birds' legs, while others were busy carving up carcasses of those that had been vanquished.

There seemed to be a sort of hierarchy. A older man, dressed in better quality clothes than the rest of the throng, was sitting very calmly in the midst of the frenetic betting activity, taking it all in. He clearly was a main player of some sort here. I couldn't tell whether he participated, or whether he was the "banker". He may have been a wealthy gambler who joined these cockfights to satisfy his passion.

My movements were restricted, as the men were in no mood to allow anyone to obstruct their view of the cockfights. However, I managed to photograph at will, and recorded some raw ambient sound, which includes the crowds yells and bids.

The roosters' demise is quick...the "combat" is short lived and takes about a minute or two for one of the roosters to fall. Thereupon, it's carried away and eviscerated to be consumed later.

As a side note: I often witness similar rituals; some secular and others religious, and I always try not to pass judgment on the practice. While I personally consider cockfighting to be cruel (as I do of bullfighting), I also respect the right of the Balinese (and others) to practice it, especially when it has a religious significance. Unfortunately in this case, it was all unapologetic gambling.

Having said that, I found the atmosphere electric and compelling, and I am at work on an audio-slideshow of the two cockfights I've witnessed in Bali this time. It will include the one I've described above, and another which was part of a melasti on a beach.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alternative Method for Tying a Bow and Drill

A very common problem with using a bow and drill to start a fire is getting the correct tension on the string. If it is too loose, the drill will not spin, but rather the cord will just slide around it. If on the other hand it is made too tight, and the bow is under pressure, you get the very familiar flying out of the drill. The tension is just so high, that the drill gets spun out and flipped over by the cord. Getting the right balance takes a lot of practice.

There is an alternative method of wrapping the cord around the drill, however, that eliminates this problem. It is sometimes referred to as an Egyptian bow drill.

You start as if you are making a regular bow and brill set. When you have your board and hand hold ready, take the bow, and tie the cord to one end.

While the other end of the cord is untied, place the drill in the middle of the bow, and tie the string around it.

Now wrap the string at least once in each direction.

Tie the other end of the string to the opposite end of the bow.

Even if the string is loose, the drill will spin without a problem.

VII's Seamus Murphy: Phoenix Afghanistan

“Photography is part history, part magic.”
-Seamus Murphy
Here's a multimedia piece published by VII The Magazine with stills and audio by Seamus Murphy titled Phoenix Afghanistan.

Seamus began photographing in Afghanistan in 1994, and for two decades, he has worked extensively in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America and most recently America on an ongoing project during what he calls “a nervous and auspicious time.” His accolades include six World Press Photo Awards.

Phoenix Afghanistan compares photographs of life in Kabul from 1994 to photographs in 2010. You'll notice that the 1994 photographs are in black & white, whilst those of 2010 are in color, thereby enhancing the contrast between the two eras.

I wish I hadn't found found the narrative by Seamus to be so stilted...he was probably reading off a sheet of paper rather than having a conversation or reminiscing aloud. Same like good photography, compelling narration is a difficult skill to learn, and requires training.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Kim McClellan: Bali Island of Odalan

Photo © Kim McClellan -All Rights Reserved

Kim McClellan is a third-time repeat participant in my photo~expeditions, having joined Bhutan: Land of Druk Yul Photo~Expedition ™ in October 2009, and the The Tribes of Rajasthan & Gujarat Photo~Expedition ™ in January 2010 before returning with a trove of images from the Bali: Island of Odalan Photo~Expedition ™ last week.

Photo © Kim McClellan -All Rights Reserved

Kim is a professional photographer (as well as working for the SBA in DC), and graduated from the Washington School of Photography in January 2001. She's passionate about international travel photography, and her work was featured in juried exhibitions and shows in the Washington DC Metro Area. She's well-known for her work in fashion, glamor, and classical figures.

Photo © Kim McClellan -All Rights Reserved

During the Bali photo-expedition, Kim worked on transitioning from the more staged style of glamor photography to the more fluid style of travel-photojournalism, which is the core objective of my photo workshops. Her photographs here demonstrate her progress in that transitioning.

Photo © Kim McClellan -All Rights Reserved

The first photograph was made during a private ceremony preceding a cremation. Cremations in Bali are occasions for gaiety and not for mourning, since it represents the ceremonial burning of the dead to liberate their souls to be free for reincarnation into better beings.

The second was made at the holy temple of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, which is a major water temple on Bali, and one that protects Bali from evil spirits from the north west. and where constant ceremonies were being conducted when we were there.

The third is of a melasti on a beach on Bali's north east shores. Melasti is an important purification ceremony when temple devotees in Bali go to its beaches, carrying their temple effigies and where the cleansing rituals occur.

The fourth photograph was made during a Kecak & Kris Trance dance in Ubud, and shows one of the dancers in a trance walking barefoot on glowing embers.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Work: Balinese Elder With Dog

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

What people may or may not tell you is that some of the best photographs out of the many one makes during a photo trip are serendipitous, and the opportunities to make them occur when one least expects them.

Here's one of my favorites so far (and I've only looked at two of my image folders...a mere fraction of the over 10,000 photographs I've made during the Bali: Island of Odalan Photo~Expedition) of an elderly Balinese woman returning to her traditional home after having emptied her basket of the morning offerings.

We were driving to one of the many temple ceremonies, and I suddenly saw the woman walking slowly towards her house. I immediately asked Komang to stop our van, and our second car also stopped. I reached for my cameras, and squeezed a few frames using the 70-200 lens, while the woman was quizzically looking at the two vehicles full of photographers, aiming their lenses at her. She never smiled...but just stood there, regally, probably muttering "Mad bule (foreigners in Bahasa)".

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ian Winstanley: Pashupathi Sadhus

Photo © Ian Winstanley-All Rights Reserved

Here's a collection of sadhus' portraits by Ian Winstanley, a commercial photographer based in the UK. Exclusively involved in the advertising and design industries, Ian later also specialized in fine art based work.

Photographing in Nepal for a book, Ian spent time on the banks of the Bagmati river in Kathmandu's holy site known as Pashupathi. It was here, in 2001, that the much-loved King Birendra and other members of Nepal’s royal family were cremated after a massacre blamed on the crown prince, who also killed himself. The site is considered as one of the oldest and most holy of temples dedicated to Shiva, and sadhus and other Hindu faithful have been drawn to it since the 5th century.

In Hinduism, sadhus are mystics, ascetics, practitioners of yoga and wandering monks. Technically, sadhus are solely dedicated to achieving the fourth and final Hindu goal of life known as moksha, through meditation. However, many of sadhus are nothing more (or less) than wandering homeless individuals, relying on charity of others to survive.

The Economist's More Intelligent Life website has also published some of Ian's sadhus photographs here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Handheld Recorder Zoom H1 In Stores

I've previously posted about the ultra-portable and cheap Zoom H1 from Samson Tech, which is a handy portable stereo recorder at an unheard-of $99 price.

The manufacturer claims that it will give you 10 hours of battery life on a single AA cell, and can accommodate up to 32GB of removable microSDHC storage. Its microphones are configured in an X/Y pattern for optimum stereo imaging.

I predict it'll be a hit for entry-level multimedia photographers, especially that it can be mounted on the camera shoe of a DSLR.

It's currently available at B&H which has also blogged about it. The post also answers the issue as to how to connect it to the camera shoe. The answer? Through a $35 male shoe adapter which is available from a different manufacturer.

I might just be tempted.

Canon G12

According to WIRED's Gadget Lab, CNET Asia leaked the new Canon G12 pro-compact.

It appears that the G12 brings back high-definition video to the table. It will shoot 720p, just like the new Canon S95, which launched yesterday. Some of the specifications are a 10 mp high sensitivity CCD sensor, a 2.8" titlt-swivel LCD and manual exposure function.

The lens is a 28-140mm with ƒ2.8 to ƒ4.5 aperture, and the price is estimated by WIRED's Gadget Lab at around $500.

Via WIRED's Gadget Lab.

Ciara Leeming: Not Gypsies...Roma

Photo © Ciara Leeming-All Rights Reserved

France's current expulsion of illegal Roma with generational roots in Romania and Bulgaria has been labeled by human rights groups as xenophobic, and criticized by President Sarkozy's (whose poll numbers are abysmal) political opponents.

So to feature Ciara Leeming's work on the Roma in Istanbul during the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop is timely and opportune. Turkey is home to one of the largest Roma populations in the world – an estimated two million people. Yet here as elsewhere, the community is subject to frequent discrimination – ranging from overt harassment to more subtle institutional racism.

Ciara's "Not Gypsies...Roma" was her project during the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, where she attended Rena Effendi's class. It's a combination of stills, a PDF of the reportage and an audio clip featuring one of the Roma. Many of the stills are verticals and arranged in the gallery as diptychs, but to my eyes, the one above is the most evocative.

Ciara worked at the Evening Leader, the North West Enquirer and the Manchester Evening News. Currently freelance, she supplies features, images and multimedia content to a diverse range of publications and charities, and edits The Big Issue in the North. She's also worked in India, Israel, Palestine and Turkey.

Armed with a degree in European studies and French from the University of Manchester, Ciara is now working towards an MA in photojournalism and documentary photography, through the London College of Communication.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Diego Vergés: Bali Wedding Ceremony

Photo © Diego Vergés-All Rights Reserved

I was glad that Diego Vergés has just sent me some of his work in Indonesia, which includes photographs from a typical Balinese wedding ceremony in his distinctive style. It's opportune as I just returned from Bali myself and also photographed a wedding.

According to Diego's diary, he was driving in Randang, not far from Ubud in the east of Bali, where he was invited to a wedding. The ceremony was to start at the groom's family house with a lunch offered to all guests. Subsequently, the guests went home, while the groom's friends and family started to slaughter pigs and ducks as offerings to the temple, and for the large dinner on the following day.

Many of the guests arrive early morning, with the religious rituals over by noon when food is offered to the guests. In the afternoon, the groom and his bride will visit her family's house when she bids them farewell, as she will live thereafter with her in-laws.

I experienced the same sequence in tradition when I attended a wedding in Ubud. In essence a wedding-crasher, I was nevertheless considered and treated as a valued guest, and offered food and water whenever I was seen with neither in my hand. Hindu priests (known as a pemangku) officiated the ceremony, which required the bride and groom to perform symbolic rites. It also required them to endure a couple of hours of make-up, and wear traditional wedding attire.

Making Cordage Part 2: The Three Strand Braid

This post will go over a different method of cordage making. Many of the same principles will remain in effect. If you have not seen Part 1, you can check it out here.

Take three strands of rope. Make sure they are of different lengths for purposes of extending the rope.

Tie the end of all three strands together.

Take two of the strands, and cross them over. The third strand will be left to the side.

Now take the strand that was previously left tot he side, and cross it OVER the nearest strand. Now a different strand will be left to the side.

Take the new strand that was left to the side, and cross it with the nearest strand.

Repeat the process until you end up with the desired length of rope. Of course this is done with all three strands being held in your hands, and can be done fairly quickly. I have placed the cordage on the table so it is easier to see. The cordage can be extended by adding additional fibers as shown in Part 1.

Here is the piece of cordage made in Part 1, compared to the piece made with the new method.