The lotus pond

It was towards the end of my Vietnam tour in 2017 - wait, my next post was suppose to be from the far mountains of Vietnam- well the story from the mountains are too long to be told in one post, Im still working on categorising it into little bits. Let me post an interesting shoot I did while in Vietnam. So towards the end of my tour I had this idea of visiting the perfume pagoda- one of the interesting tourist attraction where you basically travel by boat then climb few hundred steps to the ancient pagoda. But as I used to be away from the usual tourist tracks an alternative was to use the architecture, waterscapes of the area and to do a possible model shoot. Soon the day was fixed and models were hired along with their dresses. It was a day long shoot without much preparation as I had only a day to prepare everything in a rush. There was this beautiful river lotuses, an amazing sunrise, a quick shower and a fantastic temple complex covered with moss. It was a time to test my new Godox Witstro AD200- Which was a great travel photography companion during my 2 weeks long trip. Without further delay here are some selections.

Gears
Fujifilm X-T2, Fujifilm X-E2S, Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS, Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R, Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR, Godox Witstro AD200, Godox Witstro AD-S7 umbrella

Around the corners....Hello Hanoi...

Having lived in Sri Lanka and Australia, the "different world" experience of Hanoi, Vietnam started with opening the drivers side door of my Taxi. A smile is the only language without any barriers and I had a fair share of it. So I still don't know what exactly the driver told me, but at the end we both smiled.

It was an evening flight and arrival was almost at dusk. The taxi flew though- under the legal speed limits- small crops of towns and I can almost sense Hanoi. The Chaos started to built up. By statistics motorcycles were taking over the street by sheer force of numbers. The appearance of the centre of Hanoi was similar to the ant colony I disturbed when I was young. Motorcyclists running in every directions, people trying to lurk into the roads and hit the opposite pavement by grace of god, wide opened shops selling various stuffs I have never seen or never want to eat, street sellers with large baskets they can barely carry, diners sitting on those tiny red plastic chairs slurping the pho noodle soup with sips of Bia(Beer) Saigon and my driver who was navigating the same street once again for the Third time trying to find the hotel among all these scenes- Chaos, plus it was a Sunday- Contrary to a Friday in Sydney. It was indeed a culture shock.

Tired and straight to bed!!!

Next day, I was not expecting much of a difference between the night and the day. Everything was same except some locations of Hanoi Old Quarter particularly the Hoan Kiem Lakeside which had some morning ritual being performed- badminton, riverside open gym, Spanish dancing practices and various other community activities. Hanoi is a street and travel photographers paradise where the days can be endless- Enough said and well deserved. Negotiating this part of Vietnam while carrying multiple photography gear is always a painful process. However recent switch to Fujifilm made the process much easier. I was carrying a Fujifilm X-T2, Fujifilm X-E2S and a Fujifilm X100F which was generously sponsored by Fujifilm Australia for this trip, the latter is something special and it will make you feel special. Often I was carrying all three of them at the same time with different lenses except the Fujifilm X100F which has a fixed 23mm (~35mm equivalant) lens. Thanks to the technology behind all these new machines with great qualities and feather weights in relative terms. I got so much to share from Vietnam, so here are some pictures. In the Next post I will be trekking around the tribal villages in Northern Mountains of Vietnam.

Ladakh - Land of Landscapes

Ladakh, a majestic land full of sceneries. Its part of Jammu- Kashmir state in India. It would take a lifetime to see the endless magnificent views of the Himalayan region. Ladakh make it short by providing us a summary of Himalayan ranges – Valleys, rivers, crops of villages, man-made structures, etc. Both winter and off-winter seasons provide spectacular display of colors and the vicious cycle of life in this region. It was a 2 weeks trip into this region, which is sort of a rapid tour around the key destinations to act as a precursor for an in-depth tour in the future. I will write on “How to Cover most of Ladakh in 2 weeks” Travelogue in near future. This post is about some of the key landscapes I came across. There are plenty more which I didn’t cover due to the lack of time as my intentions were to admire Ladakh as a whole for the first time, then to jump in again to see everything in fine details.

It was also a time when I was testing out my new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM as a sole lens for the travel. Indeed it was great to use this lens and the Canon 6D during this journey. I would recommend this pair to any die hard fans of Canon who wants to travel light. However I also saw the potential of the mirrorless camera systems which wont break my back during my day long shoots and still maintain the best image quality like the bigger SLRs and huge lenses. After many months of research on various brands I settled with Fujifilm system recently. You can read on that here – .

Following images were cropped to 16×9 size for more cinematic like experience.