Just a thousand words - taking pictures in Vietnam

I read an article in the most recent Non Sông issue as my wife was preparing lessons for her summer tutoring program. It was the first time Non Sông editors have published a feature on a few of the young Vietnamese American photographers in socal, and each picture seemed to speak to me. I'm kicking myself for not bringing the article home, or finding that issue on my bookshelf because I know I took one at Hội Tết last February, but I do remember one photographer and his websites so I'll post him here and do the rest later. If I get around to it, that is.

Loc Nguyen is the only photographer I know personally, we both went to UCI and worked with VietACT when it was just taking off. I love his nature shots. I see him as a down-to-earth person, never talking too much but packing meaning into his words, just like his pictures. He can be found at http://locnguyen.smugmug.com/

A feeling I've been tossing around resurfaced while looking at those pictures last night. My last trip to Vietnam was strictly for leisure, đi chơi according to my Viet friends. This time around, we'll be visiting relatives and stuff like that, but I feel like I need a purpose to be there. Vietnam is a world too full of meaning for me to just take another "fun trip." Part of me wants to sit on the street corner every morning and just take pictures of people walking by, but I'm not at a zoo. Last time, a minority woman took advantage of my desire to candidly capture her daughter's face(this link will take you to my photo album) by charging me a dollar after the shutter clicked. Who said Vietnam isn't capitalist! Anyway, I do think focusing my lens on the more mundane side of Vietnam, the stuff that walks or rides or crawls by me everyday, may appease this underlying urge to "capture Vietnam." If that's even possible.

UPDATE - 06/16/07

Ok, I've got the issue here so I'm going to write up about a few more of these people:

Phi Dong has a very cool website (it's called "phidong.com" if that's any indication) with a blog and everything. Lots of photos of cars, but I like nature better so I'm posting this one. Take a look here: http://www.phidong.com/gallery/

Denny Le has a knack for catching the beauty in architectural forms as well as nature. Although his site doesn't have a huge number of images, the ones there are worth a look (the one to the right is actually a picture of Cat Ba Island in Northern Vietnam): http://www.dennyphotography.com/Portfolio

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travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)