Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Vietnam Photo Tour: First stop - The city of Hanoi

I just returned home from our photo tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, and let me tell you, there is so much to photograph in these locations! This was the first time for me in these countries and I am excited to share the photos with you all.

We started our tour in the city of Hanoi, waking up to rainy weather. The great news is that the rain stopped almost at the exact time that we arrived at our first stop, the Tran Quoc Pagoda.

As you can see, the rain had stopped, but there were no blue skies to be had. 

The overcast skies did provide nice even light for close up photos, so I instructed the group to shoot more detail shots, isolating the buildings more than the sky. 

One of the things that I like to teach is to look for unique photos in each spot that we would visit. In this case, I found this small plant that was growing in the tiles of the roof. Using selective focus, I relied on the repeating pattern of the roof to draw your eye back to the plant.

I saw this lady praying at the pagoda, and took this photo as she prepared to put incense in front of an alter. 

As we exited the pagoda, I saw this area that would be perfect for a group shot. I took the photo, and then had our guide, Nguyen (3rd from the right), take another photo with me to the right and I combined the two images in Photoshop. 

As we drove through the city, we came upon this famous street where the train comes incredibly close to the homes and shops on the side of the tracks. If you look closely, you can see the yellow line showing the safe distance from the train. Recently there was a man killed here, so the police block the street (allowing only residents into the area) every time a train approaches.

While we waited for a train to approach, I decided to teach some motion panning. There are millions of motorcycles in Hanoi, so I wanted to capture that and tell a story with a photo. I took this shot at 1/10th of a second and panned my Canon R5 and Canon RF 24-105mm lens at the exact same speed as the bike.

As the train approached, the police pulled a barrier across the road and everyone scrambled to get a photo of the close proximity of the oncoming locomotive. In hindsight, I realized that the best shot would have been to lay the camera down on the street and use a wireless remote to fire the camera. Oh well...maybe next time.

As we cruised around the city,. I kept with the motion panning instruction, since everyone loves it so much. Myself included.

We went to the tomb of Ho Chi Minh. We did not go inside, but we did photograph the building and it's surroundings.

Next to the Ho Chi Minh is the Presidential Palace, where the president works but does not live. 

As I was walking back from the palace, I saw this woman posing for a photo and quickly grabbed this shot. I loved the way her red dress popped against the background.

As I was returning to our meeting location, some of us were lucky enough to see these soldiers preparing for a changing of the guard. 

One of our attendees was photographing this young lady, so I used this as another teaching opportunity, showing him how he could shoot through the flowers to make it a more interesting portrait.

That evening, before dinner, I took the group out for some night shots. I knew that, even with the cloudy weather, we were likely to still have deep blue skies during the "blue hour" in the evening. 

Our hotel was located 2 blocks from this lake, which made it an easy walk to our location.

It was a really long first day in the country, but a really great one too. Our next stop was to visit the area of Sapa, to see the beautiful rolling hills and rice fields. I will post those images on the next blog entry.


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