Photos from the beautiful landscapes of Northern Vietnam

Hello good people,

This is Diana and today I am standing in for Anthony as he is deep into teaching our workshop in Vietnam. It’s got off to an amazing start, and the group are loving the experience.

I am always learning things from Anthony about being a creative person, and he vice versa I would say. One thing that I feel is so significant is that he never stands still with his photography, there is always a process of evolution.

Now it’s a very slow, long process of evolution. His photo obsessions and projects can take a year, or even a decade. But evolve he always does.

And even within a project like his Cities at Dawn, on which he has been working in different cities since the early 2000’s, the way he shoots and what he shoots, and how he shoots is always developing and changing. Slowly but surely, it’s like a very long, windy road leading from one place to the next, landscapes slowly changing.

So I suppose what I have learnt from this way of working – is the importance of being committed to things you love, the subjects that make you feel excited and passionate, but gently keep pushing yourself to learn more, see more, and do more with that subject.

Keep asking questions, keep looking to get deeper into your subject.

This morning Anthony sent me some new photos he’d taken of the little village of Du Gia in Ha Giang. After our most recent post all about photography in COLOUR they were surprising – because all of these photos were in monochrome.

Anthony does occasionally take photos in monochrome, but never a series. So I was delighted to see them.

When I asked him why he chose monochrome for this selection of images he said:

“I went for the monochrome because after travelling through miles and miles of green – and shooting this dense, verdant green – I wanted to experiment with a new look. Something with a heightened and exaggerated texture.”

I thought this was very cool because it’s this idea of always gently developing one’s photography. Always pushing a little envelope.

So here are some more photos from this beautiful little village in the mountains of Northern Vietnam.

I’ve interspersed it with some extracts from poems by famous Vietnamese poets, which I thought would be wonderful to share.

“The grieving willows droop in deep mourning,

Their sad hair streaming like teardrops falling.

Here comes autumn, here comes the autumn cold

In its faded mantle woven with leaves of gold.Various blossoms have fallen off their branch

Amidst a garden where the red mingles with blue.

The trembling breath of breeze shakes the leaves and

A few shriveled limbs like fragile bones in somber hue.”

From Here Comes Autumn by Xuân Diệu, translated by Thomas D. Le

“Drop by drop rain slaps the banana leaves.

Praise whoever sketched this desolate scene:

the lush, dark canopies of the gnarled trees,

the long river, sliding smooth and white.

I lift my wine flask, drunk with rivers and hills.

My backpack, breathing moonlight, sags with poems.

Look, and love everyone.

Whoever sees this landscape is stunned.” Hô Xuân Huong, Spring Essence: The Poetry of Hô Xuân Huong

“Life has just begun to burst forth.

I want to seize the clouds and wind,

Drunk with love on butterfly wings.

I want to embrace in an ardent kiss

The mountains, streams, trees, and bright grass

To delight in this world of perfume and light,

To satiate my soul with the prime of life.

O, vermeil spring! I want to bite into thee!”

From Haste by Xuân Diệu, translated by Thomas D. Le

“The russet and the brown of distant woods of maple trees seemed like a background frieze, new-painted by the autumn sun in colours drab and dun to symbolise their parting woe, towards which, sad and slow, the horseman rode in robes of rust, wreathed in red clouds of dust, and slowly disappeared from sight…” The Tale of Kieu, by Nguyễn Du, Huỳnh Sanh Thông (Translator)

We’d love to know what you think about Anthony’s new images – please comment below.

Have a wonderful day everyone,