Sunday 20 November 2011

Hà Giang Portrait

I spent a week on a phototour in Hà Giang province, in the far north of Vietnam. This area is very remote, very poor, has impressive scenery, and is not at all touristy. The most amazing aspect for me were the people though. So I'll start my Hà Giang series with a portrait.

Hà Giang Portrait

This man waved us in when we walked past his shop and invited us to a cup of green tea. (This turned out to be quite common - we had lots of green tea. And rice wine.) I asked him in my best Vietnamese whether he grew the tea himself. He said so, and then showed us the tea in a big store bought container. I'm still unsure whether he misunderstood me due to my bad (and Southern) pronunciation or simply recycled the container for his own tea.

After we drank the tea, I asked him whether I could take his picture. He smiled and looked into the camera.

Often, the first shot is a stiff unsmiling pose, requiring more attempts before I get a smile or relaxed pose (of which more later). Not so in this case. One shot, and I knew I did not need more.

Edited to add technical info: natural light, short telephoto. He is sitting in the shade, just inside his shop, facing the very sunny street. The shop entrance acts as a huge soft box.