Outtakes: Life on the Irrawaddy

On the wide expanses of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River, fishermen have learned to watch for Irrawaddy dolphins. When the mammals approach the boats, fishermen go to work, netting the fish the dolphins are also hunting. With each haul, the dolphins eat some of the catch. It can be slow going though: Photographer Michael Yamashita hunched behind this fisherman for hours. Photo © Michael Yamashita

In February, photographer Michael Yamashita traveled to Myanmar to document the Irrawaddy River for a story on the world’s great waterways for Nature Conservancy magazine. The river splits the country vertically as it runs nearly 1,400 miles north to south, from the glaciers of the Himalayas to the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean.

See full blog post here: blog.nature.org

About the author

Mike Yamashita has combined his dual passions of photography and travel for over 25 years as a shooter for The National Geographic. Specializing in Asia, he has covered Vietnam and the Mekong River, Marco Polo's journey to China, the Great Wall, the DMZ between North and South Korea, as well as almost every aspect of Japanese culture from samurai to fish markets.

Among many of his published books, Yamashita's best-selling Marco Polo: A Photographer's Journey sold over 200,000 copies worldwide in its initial printing and was re-released by Rizzoli in the fall of 2004. Marco Polo is also the subject of his award-winning National Geographic Channel documentary, Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed, in which Yamashita retraces the 13th-century Venetian's epic excursion to China.

A frequent lecturer and teacher at workshops around the world, Yamashita has received numerous industry awards, including those from the National Press Photographers Association's Pictures of the Year, the New York Art Directors Club, and the Asian-American Journalists Association. Major exhibits of his work have opened throughout Asia, in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, as well as in Rome, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. His images of Korea's DMZ were featured in an exhibit at the Visa Pour L'Images photojournalism festival at Perpignan, France.

When not traveling, Michael Yamashita lives with his family in rural NJ, where he maintains a studio and an extensive stock library, and is an active volunteer fireman.