We have just returned from a wonderful holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia, our first major holiday since I became really passionate about photography. This has presented me with a number of challenges, the first being why I am taking photographs? What is the purpose of it? The 1,800 or so pictures I’ve taken they can probably be broken down into the following categories:
Photographs of things I want to remember I’ve seen.
These come under the heading of traditional holiday snaps, not necessarily things that are intrinsically beautiful or fascinating, but things that appear ‘different’ or unusual that I want to record so that when I get home I know I haven’t imagined them.
The photos were taken at the tomb of Tu Duc at Hue where dressing up clothes are available for anyone who wants to play at being emperor and concubines. We were lucky enough to arrive just as this group were ready to have their photo taken.
Photographs of famous monuments / beauty spots.
Tricky this on several counts, when you're on a group tour, as we were, you don’t get to pick the time of day or light in which you see places. Plus I’m still saving up for a wide-angle lens. Plus you can almost always get a postcard that is better than anything you can take yourself unless you can inject another point of interest into the photo (other than yourself!) to make it a little different.
The top picture is one of the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the bottom one is from our cruise on Halong Bay - both of these are UNESCO World Heritage sites
Flowers, colours, shapes that may or not speak directly of the place you have been visiting but have a universal appeal
I love these lotus flowers for their colour and shape as they unfurl - they also happen to be the national flower of Vietnam as well as India
People, the life of the country. Photographs of people wearing local dress, national costumes, doing every day tasks or on special occasions
Luckily for photographers most people in Vietnam seem happy for you to take their photo and will often smile and wave to show their approval if, for example, they are passing on a motor scooter (more about traffic in a later post)
The first of these pictures was taken on the Meekong Delta. The other two of women tending rice paddys and a herb garden were taken on the drive to Halong Bay from Hanoi.
‘I woz here’ photos
I’ve never taken very many of these and have always felt slightly baffled by the number of people who seem to feel that a photo of a monument isn’t valid unless they are in it as well, to prove they’ve actually been there. That said, I did take a few of this type of photo this time mainly with my iPhone to pop on to Facebook.
These were taken outside Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum in Hanoi, at the Cu Chi tunnels in Siagon, demonstrating exactly how small a space the Viet Kong were living in during the war, and enjoying a fresh coconut drink whilst travelling on the Mekong Delta