Sunday 1 April 2012

Reining in the Photography Tour

For the rest of the tour we were under grey skies. We had to skip some of the items on the itinerary and do something else. From Lak Lake we traveled to Nha Trang via Buon Ma Thuot, where we spotted these ducks from the bus and had to stop to shoot them …

Feeding time. Farmers herd ducks to feed amongst the stalks leftover after rice harvest - Somewhere between Lak Lake and Buon Ma Thuot
Many people don’t like to shoot in the rain, but I have this saying that if you want unique photos you need to head out when others don’t want to. It can be a challenge keeping your lens free from water droplets but really the photography is no more difficult than in perfect weather, possibly even easier. It’s not so important what time you shoot as the sun has less effect (so you can sleep in). Plus the light can be better as it is much more defused.

Certain subjects get a massive boost in rainy weather, waterfalls for example. We went to Dray Sap waterfall near Buon Ma Thuot. I was super excited which usually indicates that I’m getting some good stuff. I wasn’t disappointed when I returned to the dry computer.

The full scene at Dray Sap Waterfalls - Buon Ma Thuot
Dray Sap Waterfalls - Buon Ma Thuot
If you have a dynamic sky like a storm then it is even better. Seascapes during a storm are not something to miss. No longer does it have the calming, relaxing feeling; instead an angry, powerful energy is felt. As we were driving into the beautiful beach resort town on Nha Trang, I spotted a crazy house built on a rock far off the shore. We arrived at the hotel about 3kms from the house and I was very keen to head back to capture it. I was surprised when Kiwi couple Alan and Karen wanted to join in the wet fun, so we split a cab and headed straight there. Standing in the rain must have looked rather funny from a non-photographer's point of view, but the results speak for themselves.

Why Build a House Here? - Nha Trang
The walk home became interesting as the rain started coming down in sheets and we had to find some cover. All we could find was a small backyard coffee shop down a small alley. The people noticed our problem and invited us in under their holey tarp. Soon we were drinking coffee and trading stories in a mix of broken English, hand signals and our limited Vietnamese. We were surprised with the crowd that had formed, many locals were standing in the rain just to look and laugh at us. The rain eased and we took our leave to walk back to the hotel.

Portraits look a whole lot better in defused light than harsh direct sunlight. We had plans to head out on a boat to see the beautiful islands around Na Trang but decided to see a Raglai village and a waterfall instead. The mood in the village was friendly with many smiling children and laughing adults.

Raglai Ethnic Minority Village - Not far from Nha Trang
Raglai Ethnic Minority Village - Not far from Nha Trang
Raglai Ethnic Minority Village - Not far from Nha Trang
The waterfall was raging, which sometimes looks really impressive but not this time, the falls were a mess. But the jungle above them had that real tropical feel to it.

Raging River after Rain - Not far from Nha Trang
That concluded the tour for us. We'd had a ball and were even thinking about spending big and continuing the journey with them, but we missed eating street food and finding our own way. Thanks to everyone on the trip, and thanks to Malcolm for a well organised tour.

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