Almost a year after buying my DSLR, I finally learned how to use it on a setting other than auto (or auto without flash). The coolest part? I learned it all on a 4-hour photography tour of Hoi An, Vietnam.
When I read about Etienne’s photography tour, I knew I’d have to give it a shot (yes, pun intended). Etienne is a professional photographer, originally from France but has made Hoi An his home for the last 8 years. I signed up for the sunrise tour, which meant I had to be awake for a 5am pickup, but it was well worth it.
By 5:15am, our group is sitting on small red plastic stools, around a small blue plastic table, drinking Vietnamese coffee, waiting for the ferry while Etienne explains the basics of photography. The coffee hadn’t quite taken effect yet, so ISO, aperture and shutter speed all fly over my head.
After a quick ride on the ferry to fishing village, and some messing around on my camera, the concepts start to sink in. But one of the most important things Etienne shares with us is the three words you need to learn in any language to be a successful travel photographer: please, beautiful and thank you. That and act like a total fool.
At 6am, the sun is just starting to rise, and boats arrive at the docks from their night out at sea. Crowds of women line the docks to see what the fishermen have caught. The women purchase the fish and will take it to the market in Hoi An to sell. We wandered the village and met the locals, here are some of my favorite shots from the day.
Le Sa, or Bamboo Man as Etienne referred to him as makes these boats of bamboo. Read more about Bamboo Man on Etienne’s blog.
Hoi An, Vietnam // Hoi An Photo Tour