GalleryAnother iconic city, another early start and another great guide. I only had a day in Saigon so I wanted to make the most of it. My guide Long Ho, a highly talented landscape photographer, was waiting for me before the Sun came up, also determined to show me as much as possible he hit the accelerate on his motorbike into overdrive so that we could catch the sun rising over the city. Next up followed some rustic markets that flow into the streets, watching some gentle tai chi and the lively motorbike markets, which hold every spare part imaginable.
This was the first day that I’d spend with a really experienced photographer, Long took great efforts to show me the functionality of my Sony camera and gave me some invaluable tips on panning, zooming and metering modes. From that day I’ve really made extra efforts to dust of my manual, hit YouTube more often and read my photography books to work on the technical side of my photography – Thanks for the inspiration Long!
The standout photos from this day for me are one of a Triad counting his money on the local market – I defied best advice by getting this snap, but it was too good an opportunity to miss up, a mechanic wearing a military helmet in the motorbike market – one of my best and most distinctive portraits, but topped off by one of my most heartfelt photos of a little girl who innocently was kissing her dog by the river in outer Saigon as her family unloaded bananas from a slow boat.
I was also humbled to be invited into a local home for a beer and some chicken liver (they insisted I explained to the doctor when I returned home!). The day ended with Long and another amazing landscape photographer, Kien Ngo Trung, comparing our photos from this year. I was in awe of both of their photos, technically perfect landscapes that I looked at and wandered how they captured them…to my surprise they seems to share the same opinion on some of my photos from a different genre – mainly street, travel and portrait photography.
A great days adventure and really big learning curve, seeing the mindset of photographers from a different genre was an eye opener – in landscape photography there’s more emphasis of planning and taking the time for perfect composition and exposure, whereas many of my photos involve quick reaction, confidently approaching situations and waiting to capture real moments that can come and go in a split second.