Last month, I traveled to Vietnam during the Lunar New Year. I took some of the best pictures of my life during this trip. Unfortunately, so many of them are pictures of my wife’s family. Out of respect, most of those photos are private. It really is a shame because I’m really proud of those photos and want to share them with everyone. Regardless though, there are some shots I do feel comfortable sharing that I’d like to use as a moment to reflect. Showcased in the post are my top photos from Vietnam. You can see the entire public facing album on Flickr. There’s also a simple slideshow below with all of the photos.
After selecting some of the images and typing up their captions, I just feel like the Olympus 12-40 mm Pro is such a versatile lens that I take for granted. If I had to name my favorite lens, I wouldn’t have named the 12-40 mm Pro. I’m glad I’m doing these exercises in looking through photos though – it’s really opened my eyes on which equipment I get the best shots with.
Slideshow with all images
Leisure time at the park
First thing – I totally missed focus with this shot. If you look at the full-size image on Flickr, it’ll be much more apparent. It’s a shame because I really like how the composition captures the life in Vung Tau during the New Year.
The way the different tables of people slowly lead you into the middle of the shot just looks really pleasing aesthetically.
View the Leisure time at the park on Flickr.
Welcome to the Grand Hotel
This photo, Welcome to the Grand Hotel , was listed as one of my top-five photos as of this post’s publication. You can read more about my top five photos here. Vietnam was the first time I traveled internationally with my Panasonic Lumix G9. It marked the first time I had traveled to another country with intent to document not only the tourist events, but take scenic and creative photos too. It was also a family milestone with my in-laws. I spent a lot of time with the immediate and extended family and really felt at home thanks to all of them. Last, this was also one of the vacations were I felt really relaxed (after overcoming some terrible flight delays).
I didn’t nail the focus but I feel like the scene itself is really beautiful. There are a few parts of the composition I’d like to redo. For example, there is a random curved overhand in the right side of the frame and there might be more cloud and sky than necessary at the top of the shot.
View First morning at the Grand Hotel on Flickr.
If you look too closely at it, it’s a bit over-processed. I really wanted to bring out the pink in the flowers though. Some day I’ll dig up the RAW file and give another shot at it – maybe go for a vintage feel rather than such a loud looking aesthetic.
This tree was actually covered by a wooden pyramid which you can see in the upper-left of the frame. If you take a look at an earlier photo, you’ll see more of the wooden pyramid. It helped cut down the amount of light during the mid-day sun so I was able to get the exposure right. Some may argue another shot of the same tree may look a little better. It has a lot more open space in the other photo but it might highlight the tree as the subject better than the photo I’ve chosen above.
Regardless, I Really like how it fills out a little more than two-thirds of the frame, leaving a enough of the wood pyramid it’s shaded under as a leading line.
Relax by the beach
This is one of my favorite photos I show during the trip to Vietnam. It’s one of the photos I tried to handhold a bracket shot. I took five shots together with different levels of exposure and later merged them using Photoshop CC (not classic edition). I recently wrote an article about handholding bracketed shots here.
I tried to use the plants as a natural frame for the beach scene. I feel like some human presences would significantly improve this photo. As stated earlier, it really was deserted.
It was mid-morning by the time we arrived to this beach cafe. This was the view from outside the main entrance. We were very lucky that no one else was there – apparently during New Years, many of the locals stay nearby family and don’t go out leaving the entire beach and cafe to ourselves.
Next travel photos
Traveling internationally with my photography equipment really helped fill out what I was doing. While it wasn’t at all a photo oriented trip, it was nice being able to fall back on photography whenever I wanted some downtime. I realized just how much I enjoyed editing photos too. If I ever felt drained or too tired to go out, I took the time to process some photos on the mobile app Lightroom CC.
I can’t wait to travel again soon. I also printed a physical book with all of the family photos included along with some of the best shots in the album. Sharing them in printed media has really gotten me energized in a way that Instagram and Facebook haven’t.