Photo Essay – A Vietnamese Fishing Village

During my time in Vietnam I took a photo tour in Hoi An, the tour was great and you can read my review here. From the tour I captured some great shots of a rural Vietnam fishing village which is severely under threat from a new road being built in their waters. This new road would leave this tiny village open to the rest of the world and risk being overdeveloped. At the moment it is only accessible by ferry and so no one comes to visit. If there was a road people would be able to head off in to the towns and purchase their own food instead of relying on the fishermen. There could be a big change about to happen for this little village (well when they finally finish the road) so I felt very privileged to view it now, in its current state.

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This photo shows you some of the bridge construction work as we rode over on the ferry as the sun rose. The net in the foreground is one the fishermen frequently use, that morning it had all ready been pulled up and emptied.

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These boats were try docked which allowed us to get up close to them – I never realised how big there were out of water. The positioning of the boats also allowed me to take an angle which would make you assume the boats were in water. I am glad we hung around here for the morning sun to come up as it allowed me to capture the bottom photo which I love.

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By now it was nearly 7am and most boats had returned from their night of fishing. Each boat we saw was covered in Vietnamese flags and seemed to carry a lot of equipment. I managed to capture this boat on its own but as we moved towards the centre of the village there were dozens clustered together.

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If you have ever been to Vietnam you will understand the vast amount of motorbikes there are. For the people here it is an essential mode of transport as they can pop their bikes on to the ferry and head over to the town of Hoi An if they need to. The motorbikes are not only for transporting people but goods as well. I have seen bikes carrying all sorts so this shot really sums up the importance of bikes in Vietnam.

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As I spoke about in my review we were encouraged to go and ask people if we could photograph them, when the women approached me I thought I had got lucky and my job made easy. Little did I realise they had approached me hoping I would pay them for posing for my photo. Although I was happy with the shots I took I chose not to pay the women because I didn’t ask them for the photos. It is a personal choice and something you really have to think about when going in to these areas. Having photographed in townships in South Africa and never being asked for money, I was a little surprised by the situation I ended up in here.

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As a chance to practice low light photography on the tour they took us to a ‘fish farm’ it smelt so bad and I was covered in bites by the time we left. However I did capture some images with very different lighting to the rest of the shoot. I especially love the bottom of these two images, using a chair and other items I could find I propped my camera and captured the scene using a long shutter speed minus actually having a tripod.

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I think this is possibly my favourite image, as we walked around the village we came across these two boys, who did not want to play ball! Instead they moved around quickly and pulled faces. Most of my images of them ended up blurry because of this. I was lucky enough to capture this one which sums up their behaviour and I love how his finger on my lens draws you in to the photo even more.

If you liked the images from this shoot you can view more on My Week In Photos 47 blog.

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