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Best of 2017

I know the year is not over yet, but as I am sitting home with the rain hitting the windows I can’t help but feel melancholic about all the great adventures that happened earlier in the year.


After running almost 200 photography tours around Hoi An with Hoi An Photo Tour & Workshop, 6 3-day workshops in central Vietnam, 2 tours in North Vietnam, Iran, Myanmar, Bangladesh and exploring Sri Lanka, I came up with a selection of my favorite images taken this year.


It all started in March of 2017 when I was really getting a hang out of my Xt2. This is still the best camera I have ever owned and I still believe it made me a better photographer. Being able to “see what you get” thanks to the electronic viewfinder and tilt screen is such a game changer. By the way, my Canon cameras are still taking up the dust on my desk at home…

silhouette of Vietnamese fishermen



Then came June, always a more quiet time in Hoi An for the photo tours. Some good friends and I decided to go explore new fishing villages in the area. I must say that was a great idea as we discovered one of the best fishing villages I had ever seen before: Tam Tien.

This fishing village is so amazing that I have built 2 new photography tours that will take us there in 2018!

Fishing village in Vietnam at sunrise



July and August were blessed with a superb weather, allowing us to capture amazing lights and colors on the 3-day tours in central Vietnam.

Vietnamese couple


Sunrise on Tam Giang lagoon


Vietnamese fishermen



Ban Bao seller in Lang Co


This summer has also been a great opportunity for to walk the streets of Hoi An old town with my friend Phong trying to learn a bit more about street photography. I can’t say I succeeded but it has been a great learning experience, and I am very much looking forward doing more of that when the sun is back!

woman walking in the old town

Sunrise light into a man's house


Then came September, the time for me to start hitting the road and run all my longer photography tours in the rest of Asia. I had the chance to have my mate Drew Hopper and his partner in crime Jess coming along in the North for an, even more, epic time and superb coaching for all the students.

Boy and his buffalo in Northern Vietnam


Then things got really serious! It was time to travel to Iran and explore several new areas there. It really blew my mind! I couldn’t imagine discovering such amazing landscapes, going from bright red mountains to turquoise rocks and thousand years old sand formations coming out straight from outer space!

I have completely modified the Iran Photography tour itinerary for 2018 to include all these amazing places, allowing us to camp in the desert for a few nights for some great nice photography during the full moon!

Rock formations in the lut desert in central Iran

Sunset in the sand dunes in the Lut desert

Streets of Yazd at night, Iran


Then came the time to explore Sri Lanka and build an itinerary for my upcoming photo tour there. I really fell in love with the South Coast and the endless fishing villages and markets! Sri Lanka is also a great place to photograph people, with everyone really comfortable having their photo taken.

Mirissa fisherman at sunset



fisherman in a tea shop in Sri Lanka


2017 has also been the year for me to slowly reconnect with taking portraits. For almost a year I didn’t shoot any portraits due to the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed using my 23mm on the Fuji and composing the scenes around me. I also didn’t have the right lens until my good friend Duncan brought me the superb Mitakon lens from China. Back with a manual focus lens equivalent to 50mm, I was back into my element!

portrait of a man in Sri Lanka

Worker in Bangladesh portrait


Then came Myanmar and Bangladesh, some photo tours that I have been running several times now and feel very comfortable with. Such a pleasure to travel to places where everyone is super friendly and photo keen!

Yangon market reflections


The vegetable fields in North Bangladesh

Rice farmer in Bangladesh


Old man in a field near Bogra

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Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.


  1. Paul Ratje on December 20, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Fantastic work, Etienne, your images are truly inspiring.

  2. Garry Chapman on December 21, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful images, Etienne. I love the way you view the world through your lens. The fishing and farming village tours I did with you in June were highlights of my time in Hoi An. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

  3. Leah Hinds on December 21, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Thanks for sharing. I loved the tour I did with you in Hoian, the fishing village was AMAZING. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Hope to do another tour with you in the future.

    • Etienne on December 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks a lot Leah! I am opening new locations every year for new photography tours and workshops, feel free to be in touch 🙂

  4. Nancy Brandt on December 21, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Very glad you returned to portraits! Beautiful. Also found the shot of the Vietnamese woman walking with the bicycle (partial) in the foreground absolutely breathtaking. Hope to travel with you sometime.

    • Etienne on December 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Nancy, the pleasure that comes to me when taking a beautiful portrait is just irreplaceable! If you’d like to travel with me, check out the new 2018 tours that will be published within a week.

  5. Sylvain on December 21, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Good stuff as always! I’m glad you had fun doing some portraits later this year! They look good!

  6. Bridget March on December 22, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your work Etienne. There are some very interetesting studies in this collection. I look forward to hearing about next year’s adventures.

    • Etienne on December 26, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Bridget, we need to catch up for a coffee I really enjoyed our little talk yesterday 🙂

  7. Walter Muelken on December 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Very nice. But I would add one more – the shot taken inside the ship hull in Bangladesh (taken within the past 6 weeks).

    • Etienne on December 26, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Walter, I didn’t include it as I wanted to limit the number of images… If I think about it too long I would add way too many images in this selection 😉

  8. Xenia on January 12, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for the traveling inspiration Etienne!
    Wishing you all the best with your upcoming tours, and looking forward to more great images and stories.

    • Etienne on January 12, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Thanks a lot Xenia!

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