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'World's oldest person' dies in El Salvador
Salvadoran Cruz Hernandez, who is registered as being 128 years old on her national identity card, talks in her home in the village of San Agustin, about 100 km (62 miles) east of San Salvador

China Plants 5.23 mln Hectares of Trees in 2006
China planted 5.23 million hectares of trees in 2006, bringing the country's forest acreage to 175 million hectares, according to a report issued by the State Forestry Administration (SFA) on Sunday.

Malaysia’s Proboscis Monkey(1)

2006-12-26 15:08:23 Mark Berthold


  The Malaysian portion of Borneo is home to the layered environments provided by Mt Kinabalu and the mangrove swamps frequented by the Proboscis Monkey. Other notable habitats include the equatorial rainforests of the Danum Valley Conservation Area. The Malaysian Peninsula is home to Taman Negara, its largest reserve. My 1994 visit focused on the proboscis habitat in Sepilok, less than an hours drive from the airport at Sandakan which is serviced by flights from Kota Kinabalu.

My first stop was on a tiny island just off the coast. I rented a cabin there and the only people I then saw were those who would regularly bring me my food. So I had plenty of time to plan this shot of Mt Kinabalu. At 4100 metres it is South East Asia’s highest mountain and a national park People tend think only of wide angle lenses or lens settings (28-35mm,) when photographing landscapes. But occasionally a telephoto is more effective and the scene filled the frame of my 300mm lens nicely. Only low shutter speeds were available and so camera shake and subsequent blurring a real danger. To provide the necessary steadying support I used my tripod. Exposure is a matter of choice so as usual when I am satisfied with the composition I “bracketed” several shots at varying exposures. I have chosen this under-exposed shot with its silhouette effect. Just as over-exposure strips the subject of any sense of mystery, so too underexposure can imbue it.


Regrettably, my tight itinerary denied me the opportunity to explore Kinabulu by foot.
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