Faces of Vietnam with the Nikon D750 by Klaus Tan

Today's guest post "Faces of Vietnam with the D750" is by Klaus Tan (Instagram | Flickr) who is 15 years old:

Faces of Vietnam with the D750
Home to over 92 million people, Vietnam sure is huge. For us photographers, that would mean 92 million unique portraits. So I set off, waiting to discover what Saigon had in store for me. My gear set up couldn’t get more simple than this: The trusty D750 + a 50mm f1.8 G.

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After a 1.5 hour long flight from Singapore, I was greeted with street-fulls of motorcycles as I roamed around the city. Yes that’s 50 million motorcycles in Vietnam. People were everywhere. On motorcycles, on roadside stalls, on pavements. Simply everywhere.

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What I love about Vietnam is presence in the diversity of colour. Hues and shades of every kind can be found anywhere. Naturally the portraits would be more vibrant too. The AF-C mode for continuous autofocus proved very useful indeed. Coupled with the Quiet Shutter, I’d been able to capture many candid moments of people all around. At aperture F2 the faces of strangers are isolated with beautifully smooth background blur.

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Here’s a few useful tips:

1. Shopkeepers would willingly oblige for a portrait if you’ve purchased something from their stall!

2. At all times,hold your camera at eye level. This’ll give people around the impression that you’re simply looking around for interesting subjects, and they’ll be more off guard then if you were to draw your camera up to eye level for a shot. While they’re still unsuspecting, click away!

3. Taxi rides are golden opportunities to capture intimate portraits of motorcyclists. Windows of taxis in Vietnam are extremely well maintained, free from dirt. Given a close proximity, you’re able to capture their faces in great detail.

4. Find a spot along the street for creative panning shots. Nicely designed scooters and motorcycles do pass frequently; Don’t be disheartened as you’d encounter more soon enough.

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As seen in the images taken at night, the D750 holds up pretty well at ISO3200 and even ISO10000.

If I’ve captured all these images at the age of 15, so can you! All it takes is patience and an eye for unique personalities; You’re all set to capture wonderful scenes on the streets.

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If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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  • J.Coi

    What is the process effect in here? It appears high color saturation, low luminance contrast, and with true black. I like it very much!

  • Aldo

    Very interesting images. Thanks for sharing. They look about 2/3 stop overexposed in my monitor… but I’m assuming is the look you were going for.

  • Spy Black

    Nice work kid! Yeah, this stuff looks overexposed to me, but it may very well be what you’re looking for. I’m curious what made you stick with the 50, although it’s not a bad thing at all. Personally I also would’ve brought a couple of extra primes, something along the lines of a 20-28, as well as something 85-135, but that’s just me.

    Good work. Keep it up.

  • Kevin D

    i am glad you still have your camera . Vietnam is famous for robbing things and ripping off foreigners.

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