Fair warning: this one’s gonna be a bit long, so bear with me if you can 🙂
Just over a month ago, I made my (always attempted at least) annual pilgrimage to northern Vietnam in the fall to photograph the rice harvest, and just generally shoot my favorite region of the country. This year, I got a bit lucky and was able to combine some work with the travel I already had planned. A week or two before heading up, an email came in asking if I’d like to photograph on a new smart phone — and where did they want to do this? Right where I was going anyway! Of course I jumped at the offer, and after a few days stuck in customs and me stuck in work, the phone reached me and I wrapped my shoot, grabbed a car to the airport and I was off toward the north!
For a few of the days I joined my friends Etienne and Drew on a tour they were leading for Pics of Asia. We met in the rural outpost of Y Ty, nestled right up against the Chinese border, and dove right into rice wine, beers and local food!
For the next few days, I shot both on the Huawei P10 Plus, which has a Leica camera built right into it! I have to say I was pretty impressed. Normally, I’m not much of a mobile photographer, but this thing really made it easy and fun. It even had a dedicated monochrome sensor, pretty awesome for a BW junkie like me!
A big thanks to German arts and culture publication Ignant for the assignment and opportunity. You can have a look at what they published here. I’ll share a few more images below that were unpublished and a few from my ‘real camera’ to boot.
*All images are available as prints. Just send me an email if you’re interested.
Huawei P10 Plus
Leaving Hanoi, a typhoon chased until the end of the highway. It had me nervous for a bit, but as soon as we hit the mountains, it subsided and the scenes I wanted to shoot were starting to appear.
The camera has a built in simulated depth of field mode, which worked quite well for the most part, but took a bit of figuring out after this first shot with it. (Notice the funky blur on the pole on the right side)
I’m not always much of a landscaper, but when things look like this, it’s kinda of hard not to snap a few!
The same for still lifes, but shooting with a phone gives me a different feeling and motivation to shoot things I wouldn’t necessarily take my camera out for. The scene on the wall of a small guest house in Muong Hum. I actually stayed here a few years ago, but just passed by for a coffee this time.
The messy chaos of rice thrashing!
Trying out the dedicated monochrome sensor on the phone. It can produce some pretty nice tones!
More still life, sort of…
Kids play on home-made stilts in the central square of Y Ty.
Thrashing rice by hand in Ta Van.
An elderly man I encountered while exploring Ta Van.
It’s snowing (rice)!
And the last one from the phone, a bit of serenity outside of Ta Van.
And a few from my Sony camera
A few scenes from a Hmong funeral I happened to stumble into near Mu Cang Chai.
The buffalo boys are easy, but always fun to shoot!
Harvesting tea on a hillside in Lai Chau Province.
The younger crowd plays an electronic game in a barn in Y Ty, which I’m pretty sure was the only form of entertainment to be found in the town, beyond drinking and eating!
And finally, one of my favorite shots from the trip I think.
Reminder: All images are available as prints. Just send me an email if you’re interested!
Thanks for sticking with me to the end! Until the next trip…