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Our first Photography Tour in Asia in 2022

2022: the year it all starts again

Goodbye confinement, goodbye travel restrictions! 2022 is the year we begin running our photography tours in Asia again, bringing our students to the best locations for some awesome photography! This week we have been running the first Pics of Asia photography tour in central Vietnam. And it felt like a rebirth! 

Like all our photography tours in Asia, this tour brings our group to the best locations for people photography to offer us the best photo opportunities at the best time of the day. All of these while teaching our students how they can improve their photography skills. Only for this tour, we went straight into the more advanced people photography composition techniques as the participants were already experienced travel photographers. Amy and Angela are part of my regular students (also called VIPs!), and after discussing with them the day before the tour begins, we set some goals for both of them.

3 days of travel and people photography in central Vietnam

We began our photography tour in a fishing village outside of Hoi An. On that morning we did benefit from some lovely sunrise colours in the sky, but the clouds quickly came and hid the beautiful morning light. 

As I was saying, not a problem for our group of advanced photographers! 

After a little while along the river, capturing the fisherman’s action and the women selling the fish, we ventured into the village to meet the people. As I had not brought a group of people to this village for some time (we went there to film some episode of our online photography course) it was a great opportunity to come and visit all our friends there. And because it had been a while, everyone invited us to their houses and wanted to chat with us. Which allowed us to capture some great images of the people.

I noticed that unlike in 2021 when people were still worried about seeing visitors coming to their villages because of the Covid pandemic, people this year are super keen to have travellers come to visit them. The fear of the pandemic is definitely behind everyone here, and it feels like nothing happened! 

After a day of fishing village and fields around Hoi An, we left for the amazing lagoons located between Danang and Hue. And were very lucky to enjoy the beautiful sunrise on the last day. We did treat ourselves to a very nice hotel (for a change!). This is definitely something I will be adding to the itinerary!

Dealing with the bad weather for People photography

That was probably the most difficult part of this tour! For the most part of the tour, the weather was very cloudy and we had to deal with this type of light. By the way, I already wrote a tutorial about how to deal with bad light. 

I can tell my students have very good photography knowledge when they can take great photos in bad weather!

For these particular scenes what we tried and do is position ourselves so we would be using the darkest parts of the sky as our background. This way we would avoid overexposing our skies and we could still capture many details in our subjects. 

We also spent quite some time in people’s houses, visiting the people we know and meeting new ones. Playing with indoor light on a cloudy day is a great way to recreate interesting light situations and compose better images. 

Enjoying every single photo opportunity

Not only did we work on our travel photography skills and techniques, but we also applied Street Photography techniques to our scenes. Because the weather was not fantastic, and we could not rely on the amazing light to create beautiful images, street photography skills becomes very handy. It allows us to create more striking images by capturing a special moment or a more elaborate composition and making the image interesting.

On our way back to Hoi An, we heard that there was a movie being shot in Hoi An. We did see on our first day that people were installing a lot of lanterns above the streets. So we decided to end with a cold beer and another visit to the old town at sunset. 

Before the movie set moved into the street, we had the opportunity to capture these new decorations in Hoi An old town with some sunset vibes. Technically a bit challenging, we did succeed in our task and ended up with very nice photos of Hoi An, followed by a few more beers and a great dinner.

Kicking off another fantastic year of photography tours in Asia

This tour marks the official beginning of our photography tours in Asia. We have several other central Vietnam photo tours planned for 2022, as well as North Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

I am personally very excited to go back and revisit my favourite locations for people photography in Asia, bringing my students to the best spots and sharing all my photography knowledge.

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

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