Holy cow, it’s been an amazing week or so since my last post! This blog post entitled Cat Ba & BaC Ha has been lingering in my “drafts” folder, for almost 10 days but I have not had even a moment to try and finish it up. Mind you, I’m not complaining because I would rather be out shooting than working on the computer but I feel strangely responsible to you, my viewers, and feel compelled to get some content uploaded for you.
At this point, the Vietnam portion of the tour has ended and our group reduced to only 6 guests who elected to continue on with the Angkor Wat extension, which I will be blogging soon.
Anyway, everything is going well and I’m finally happy to share some images from the past days, in an attempt to bring you all up to speed on what we’ve been up to.
So, now, please re-read the title to this blog post and try and say that as fast as you can, 5 times…Cat Ba, Bac Ha, Cat Ba, Bac Ha……
The two locations differ only by one letter, but they might as well be “worlds apart”, one a small port city on the Gulf of Tonkin, the other, a mountainous village near the Chinese border. Both Cat Ba and Bac Ha have tons to offer in terms of photographic opportunities.
After a night on Cat Ba Island, we returned to Hanoi in time to catch the over-night train to Lao Cai. From there, we grabbed a quick breakfast and headed up into the mountains to photograph several markets including the colorful Bac Ha Sunday market.
The early morning soup kitchens are a great place to photograph, and since our group stays over-night in Bac Ha, we are able to experience the market before the other tourists arrive from Sapa (another popular hill tribe market).
Marco Ryan, one of the instructors at my annual Angkor Photo Workshop, joined us for a few days in Vietnam, in order to shoot some stills and video for a promotional piece that Jim and I are putting together. Marco, who has shot extensively in Vietnam was “in his element”, enjoying the photo opportunities, when not assisting our tour participants.
Above, Marco Ryan along with Hung, our local tour guide, walk to a remote village between Bac Ha and Lao Cai. Be sure to check out Marco’s blog for more images and information about his experiences.
Marco let me use his Canon 85mm f 1.2 lens….I almost didn’t give it back! The shallow depth of field makes for some unique portraits (as seen above).
Along on this trip was Lew’s wife, Jan, who was our only “non-photographer”. Jan wasn’t shootin’ but that didn’t stop her from having a great time wherever we went. When Jan wasn’t helping carry tripods and extra lenses, she was handing out stickers to the little kids, smiling, laughing, meeting the locals and genrally having a blast. Her infectious spirit and unbounded energy (she’s an avid walker…in Hanoi she walked around Hoan Kim Lake 6 times!) made our trip even more enjoyable. Thanks Jan!
So that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed the images….more to come from the Angkor Wat extension in Cambodia.
Happy shooting, Karl