A week in the Mekong Delta in the build-up to the Tet holiday. A week of friendly people, fresh seafood, very few cars, floating markets and flower-lined streets. A week that wasn’t long enough.
This entry was posted on February 26, 2012 by Jon Sanwell. It was filed under photography, travel, vietnam and was tagged with mekong, mekong delta, photography, portrait, south east asia, travel, vietnam.
Timeless, priceless and wonderful – which are the photographs and people in portrait. Great series.
February 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm
March 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm
I love when pictures tell a story without any words. beautiful.
February 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm
Thank you! I had intended to write a little more in this post, but decided to let the pictures speak for themselves.
March 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm
All great. You must have a remarkable touch with people to put them so at ease with being photographed. Do you generally speak to them before shooting, or just take the shot and hope no one’s offended? Ken
February 27, 2012 at 2:18 am
Thank you! I nearly always speak to people first. I don’t use very long lenses (nothing over 105mm), so I’m physically quite close to the people I’m photographing. I like to establish some kind of connection, even if it’s only through nodding, smiling and my very basic Vietnamese. If someone says no or obviously isn’t comfortable, then I don’t take their picture. I’ll often hang around in one spot for a while, until people get used to me being there, realise that I’m just a harmless idiot with a camera, and start to relax.
March 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm
Thanks for the reply. I think you’ve inspired to get out and walk around. I mostly photograph food and the 24 – 105 is my go-to lens. I should spend more time wandering outside with it. Ken
March 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm
wow thanks for the tips, it’s something that I’m trying to get used to, to get people at ease with me (a stranger) taking their photos nice portraits the photos speaks by themselves
March 27, 2012 at 5:25 am
WOW! so vibrant and sharp, I wonder what lens and F stop you are using and do you apply some post effects? really nice shots and what make them great, they tell a culture and story.
February 27, 2012 at 2:59 am
Thank you! These were all taken with a 24-105mm f/4 lens on a Canon 5D, mostly at f/4. I process my pictures in Lightroom, just to add little oomph to the colours.
March 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm
thanks for your reply
March 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm
Beautiful photos – I was going to ask the same thing about how you got such depth and rich colour. Thank you! But of course regardless of Lightroom your subjects are fantastic!
March 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm
February 28, 2012 at 12:13 am
March 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm
Good environmental portraits here. Thanks for posting them.
March 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm
I can absolutely understand why the week didn’t feel long enough after perusing these images — spectacular!
March 27, 2012 at 12:45 am
Your pictures have such a wonderful dynamic. Beautiful.
March 27, 2012 at 12:59 am
March 27, 2012 at 1:26 am
The human animal is truly the most interesting species of all, right?
The little boy’s face is the most interesting. It shows a lot of worry. May God bless him. Connie
March 27, 2012 at 1:30 am
I love the photos. You not only capture the people, but pieces of their story as well!
March 27, 2012 at 1:34 am
My favorite one is the second one from the top – the woman of wisdom with laughing eyes. I like the fact that you did not just post pictures where everyone is happy and smiling, but a real slice of life. Thank you.
March 27, 2012 at 1:35 am
Each photo has so much, and the expressions you captured are wonderful !
March 27, 2012 at 1:41 am
Oh, these colors. These portraits are vibrant and beautiful. You’ve captured daily life and the spirit of this place within faces and smiles. Lovely work.
March 27, 2012 at 1:48 am
Beautiful portraits! also, jealous! I dream of a trip through the Mekong delta. Looks as beautiful as I’ve heard.
March 27, 2012 at 1:50 am
Am loving the colours in these photos and the people shining through.
March 27, 2012 at 2:15 am
March 27, 2012 at 3:11 am
Thank You – for all the Marvelous photos from Mekong Delta portraits – so Beautiful work.
March 27, 2012 at 3:19 am
cool colors and close-up!
March 27, 2012 at 3:24 am
Beautiful series! Feels like I got to know this people a little, great portraits!
March 27, 2012 at 3:31 am
Really well captured!
March 27, 2012 at 3:42 am
What wonderful photographs! I love the wide range of generations and facial expressions. Portrait #2 (woman in the green & white top) rather reminds me of the famous “Migrant Mother” photo by Dorothea Lange — she looks like she could handle anything. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
March 27, 2012 at 3:43 am
Thanks for sharing- every capture is beautiful
March 27, 2012 at 3:47 am
amazing!! U got a new follower! :O
March 27, 2012 at 3:59 am
Stunning portraits,all telling a story, excellent!!!!!
March 27, 2012 at 4:03 am
March 27, 2012 at 4:42 am
Hi John, wonderful photos you have here! I cannot wait for more! By the way, what are the specs of you camera to produce such work? Thank you!
Thank you! These were all taken with a Canon 5D with 24-105mm f/4 lens.
March 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm
March 27, 2012 at 4:51 am
You have talent in taking photos of people. You’re photos really tell quite a story. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to more of your work. Cheers.
March 27, 2012 at 4:53 am
Truly great and spectacular photographs! You did such a wonderful job!
March 27, 2012 at 5:07 am
Some great shots! Really looking forward to returning to that corner of the world again.
March 27, 2012 at 5:16 am
your work is wonderful and so filled with characters…
March 27, 2012 at 5:28 am
Wonderful photos. As someone said they are timeless, as I recognise some of the scenes from my mother’s paintings, from when she lived in the Far East 60 years ago!
March 27, 2012 at 5:38 am
Wonderful photos! Packed with oodles of oomph!
March 27, 2012 at 5:40 am
Beautiful pictures. I spent two weeks in Vietnam last year and that was nowhere near long enough. Such an amazing country, bit sad my happy snaps don’t look much like yours though.
March 27, 2012 at 5:46 am
i adore the pictures! great work!
March 27, 2012 at 6:11 am
Very nice work, I am Vietnamese so a personal thank you for these wonderful portraits!!
March 27, 2012 at 7:07 am
Interesting portraits! Thanks for sharing!
March 27, 2012 at 7:22 am
March 27, 2012 at 7:27 am
Very moving work. After traveling overseas during the past year, seeing and photographing the story-filled faces of such people myself for the first time, I can really appreciate your art!
March 27, 2012 at 7:59 am
What vibrant photos! Crisp colors and awesome shots. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations for being Freshly Pressed!
March 27, 2012 at 8:02 am
Oh, I love the deep colors. I like how the skin color of the people are highlighted as such. This is really beautiful.
March 27, 2012 at 8:05 am
Wonderful, wonderful pictures!!
March 27, 2012 at 8:21 am
You have such an impeccable eye, Jon, truly…such exceptional work! Thank you so much for sharing!
March 27, 2012 at 8:25 am
Truly gorgeous. Such humanity shining through. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed- glad I found these photos.
March 27, 2012 at 9:02 am
Lovely portraits! It is the one subject matter I can’t seem to get right… so I envy those who do portrait photography very well. Yours are inspiring!
March 27, 2012 at 9:06 am
What amazing pictures!!
March 27, 2012 at 9:33 am
Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
March 27, 2012 at 9:36 am
March 27, 2012 at 9:43 am
March 27, 2012 at 9:44 am
Stunning images, you have captured some amazing moments!
March 27, 2012 at 9:50 am
Wonderful photos, really iam enjoying…
March 27, 2012 at 9:59 am
Beautiful pictures…and yes, for some reason holidays are never long enough!
March 27, 2012 at 11:29 am
March 27, 2012 at 11:56 am
glorious pictures…I’ll b in that area in May
March 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm
I love these shots! They are beautiful. Do you ask them to pose or just click random shots of them?
March 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm
Thank you! I think the best shots are where people feel comfortable with having a photographer there. I usually like to have eye contact, but try to capture something natural, rather than someone’s “camera face.” This often involves hanging around in one spot for a while and taking a few shots – when people feel relaxed, that’s often when I get the pictures that work the best.
March 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm
March 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm
wonderful collection of pics…
March 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm
Like the warm colors!
March 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Captivating “people photos”! Thank you for sharing! . . . Hope to go to Vietnam next year, and want to put the Mekong Delta on the list of places to visit after seeing your pictures.
March 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm
Vibrant colors and great use of natural lights => Awesome shots! I Last three pics are just wonderful!!
March 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm
great portraits! Nice work
March 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm
March 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm
amazing amazing pictures
March 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm
These photographs are beautiful. So rich with culture and warmth. I love them all but the third picture of old man at counter is my favourite. They all tell a story without saying a word. You’ve captured awesomeness. Thank you
March 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm
Such character in those faces, really great shots!
March 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm
Wow! Great photos. All these colors, the smiles, the people – make me feel happy and warm. Thank you for sharing!
I live in HCMC myself, but you’ve definitely made many ordinary sights look less common and much more fresh and interesting! Love the contrast, great photography.
March 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Reblogged this on Un Québécois à… and commented:
De belles photos, nice pictures!
March 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm
These are incredible! The detail, the sharpness and the colour! So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
March 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm
love the humanity in each shot, true moments
March 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm
Incredible photographs. You capture so much depth but also vibrancy and culture. You take extremely stunning photos, therefore I must now follow you!
March 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm
Beautiful pictures! Camera? (:
March 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm
Thank you! I use a Canon 5D.
March 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm
Lovely pictures! I travelled in the Mekong, then I wrote this book
Last Clean Shirt Volume 1
March 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm
Colors are so vivid! Would love to go there one day !
March 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm
All portraits are looking more than alive. Great piece of work.
March 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm
March 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm
wonderful candid shots.. tell a thousand stories.. great photos.
March 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm
Reblogged this on bretls and commented:
Some lovely shots!
March 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm
Wow ! Brilliant pictures! Would love to see some pictures with many boats in the river!
March 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm
Wow! such wonderful portrait photos! and I love the vividness and contrasts of these photos! Btw. do you ask for their permission before you take their photos!? I’m a bit afraid of taking photos of strangers as I’m not sure if they like to be photographed…
March 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Thanks! In pictures like these, where a person is the obvious subject of the picture, yes, I do ask for permission, usually just by holding up the camera and smiling idiotically. If someone says no or obviously isn’t comfortable, I’ll move on.
March 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm
WoW! Awesome photography! Thanks for sharing.
March 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm
I was there in december last year. The people are indeed very nice and friendly. Great portraits!
March 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm
Reblogged this on bronwynschroeder and commented:
love is bliss
March 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm
Beautifully capture the expression of the people and there life.
March 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm
I love these portraits! Thanks for sharing. I also have some photos around South East Asia but not a lot of portraits. Here is my blog: http://thetravelinghavaianas.wordpress.com
March 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm
Just beautiful man, I’ve been to Vietnam and this brings back more memories than a bunch of scenic shots, very nice job!
March 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm
That shot with all the red peppers in the scales literally stopped me in my tracks! Inspiring.
March 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm
Great shots! Did you flash for this portraits? In case you did, what kind ?
March 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm
Thank you! No, no flash, these were all taken in natural light.
March 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm
I like it. Very creative and realistic.
March 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm
What expressions on those faces full of life! You have done an amazing job of capturing them.
March 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm
Very evocative potraits, with people and their everyday context. Brings out the human essence in each of them. Thanks for sharing!
March 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm
These are an absolutely amazing set of portraits! Well done and thanks for sharing
March 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm
what a lovely pictures you have capture, love them, miss home already
March 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm
The Mekong River of Vietnam is a wonderful place. Have you visited or taken any pictures on the river? I first visited in October 2010. My personal fave pictures that I’ve taken are those of the floating market and the boats.
March 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm
I spoke too soon! I didn’t realize the boat pictures–love them all! Great work
March 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm
Subject are ordinary folks but the
presentation is extraordinary.
March 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm
These are great! I love portraits and seeing the person’s expression and details.
March 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm
Reblogged this on Craziness Is Necessary and commented:
I just had to reblog this post. The portraits are amazing!
March 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm
March 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm
I am in love with this entire portfolio. The poses almost look as if this was a deliberate editorial, but at the same time they have a candid feel to them. It makes this look very well structured and rich – wonderful storytelling through solid composition and knowing when to capture just the right moment. Keep shooting! This is fabulous.
March 28, 2012 at 12:19 am
This is really a good work. I appreciate your efforts behind that. Have a great day!
March 28, 2012 at 1:37 am
Fantastic people shots, very colourful…
March 28, 2012 at 1:39 am
those pictures are far beyond wonderful! the lights are incredible, the expressions are amazing, there’s just so much in them!
March 28, 2012 at 3:17 am
Love your portraits. I love the detail in the people’s faces. Thanks for sharing!
March 28, 2012 at 3:26 am
Beautiful portraits Loved it !!
March 28, 2012 at 4:16 am
These are absolutely wonderful!! It’s hard to pick favorites as each face tells such a great story. The two that really caught my eye at the moment – the gal in pink with the red fruit and the girl on the boat eating and gazing off into the distance. Can’t wait to look around some more.
March 28, 2012 at 5:27 am
These photos are beyond phenomenal! What an amazing way to capture culture within these portraits! Thanks for sharing!
March 28, 2012 at 5:55 am
Amazing work! Incredible color. I am a sucker for portraiture, I love the fact that each image comes with it’s own story, it’s own energy.
March 28, 2012 at 8:07 am
these are incredible. i went to vietnam in college one summer. these photos really bring back memories of my trip and all the amazing people we met
March 28, 2012 at 8:39 am
You are a master at photography! Wow! All your pictures are stunning! Have a great Wednesday!
March 28, 2012 at 8:42 am
My country! Love it so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 28, 2012 at 9:36 am
Last picture reminded me of the green eyed Afghan Girl.
March 28, 2012 at 10:30 am
That’s a hell of a compliment! Thank you
March 30, 2012 at 6:12 pm
Truly enjoyable…love the boy in the hat! You really got some fantastic people in this series. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.
March 28, 2012 at 11:49 am
Reblogged this on stevenwadeedinburgh and commented:
Steven Wade Edinburgh and Dundee
March 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm
Steven Wade Edinburgh and Dundee
These pictures are so inspiring. I often wish I could get up so close to people. I see the shots but lack the courage to approach people. These have given me motivation to put myself out there!
March 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm
these are nice captures of human *.*b
March 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Reblogged this on Theelectriccane's Blog and commented:
Very nice! And a week definitely isn’t long enough.
March 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm
Great photos and you’ve captured their expressions.
March 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm
Thank you everybody for your positivity and encouragement – it really means a lot to me.
March 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm
Reblogged this on lou28 and commented:
All the sides to Vietnam that I could never capture for you with my limited photographic experience
March 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm
Great captures of life!
March 28, 2012 at 8:32 pm
Hi Jon! Your photos are wonderful! I’ll be on the Mekong Delta next week or so, to make even just one shot nearly close to one of yours would made my day! Thank so much for such beautiful poetry!
March 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm
I loved seeing all of your photos! Wonderful job at capturing the emotions. Congrats on being freshly pressed!
March 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm
Damn this stuff is hot.
March 29, 2012 at 12:02 am
Amazing shots! The color saturation is what caught my eye at first. Then, when taking a closer & slower look at each pic I love how they felt so intimate. You can really pick up a sense of connection between you & your subjects who chose to face the camera directly. I find it interesting how hardened the look of the young man on the bike (pic #6) was compared to the elders who more readily & openly smiled. Made me think with age comes wisdom & acceptance. ^_^ Congrats on being FP! Have a great day!
March 29, 2012 at 12:05 am
A wonderful series of photographs showing wonderful people. Thank you for sharing this with us!
March 29, 2012 at 12:18 am
Beautiful portraits! I love it!
March 29, 2012 at 12:24 am
Beautiful and vibrant! The little boy’s face is priceless. Thank you.
March 29, 2012 at 1:24 am
Great photos – this is something I’d like to do as well but just can’t get the courage to speak to the people!
March 29, 2012 at 2:03 am
What beautiful portraits. You have a way with the camera. I love the colours and the connection you seem to have with people.
March 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm
Love the pics! The colours are so vibrant and the people’s expressions are great.
Would love to visit Vietnam one of these days.
April 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm
Very beautiful photos!
April 2, 2012 at 8:41 am
These are stunning!
April 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm
and welcome to my blog:http://yingyingxue.blogspot.com/
April 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm
September 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm
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