A few days ago I had some friends in town visiting, and while Saigon sees millions of tourists a year, to be honest, there’s really not a whole lot of great sights to see. Maybe it’s just me having lived here for too long, but apart from the daily street life, and a few buildings and museums, I’m at sort of a loss when people ask what they should see while they’re here. The one place I consistently recommend though is the War Remnants museum, otherwise known locally as the American War museum. I think it holds some important reminders of history, and provides a perspective that can be quite different than what we were exposed to growing up.

As I have been a few times, and even photographed here a few times for various magazines and things, I thought about bringing a camera, but I didn’t really envision any typical images that I’d like to make that day. Enter the Lens Strap, a recent invention by friend and photographer colleague, Kevin German. The idea is deadly simple; put a colored filter in front of your cameraphone and shoot, but it can actually be a lot more powerful than that when used by experienced hands and eyes. Kevin has figured out some pretty awesome tricks to do with it, but the proudest I’ve been for now is this first image below. The scene was actually just a white star on the side of a black army tank, but when  using the red filter, and tricking the camera’s sensor a bit, you can get a nice yellow if you take the shot at the right time before the camera has properly metered the shot.

Anyway, below are a few of the scenes that can be found at the museum, and I just thought it could be interesting to see them through different eyes as it were. If you’re a fan of mobile photography, and maybe reaching your limits of retro filter use, check out the Lens Strap and see how you can make it sing.

 (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

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