Playing around with black & white and shadows.
It seems much of my life in Hanoi revolves around cafés. In this case, I was on my way to a café (any café) on the south side of West Lake when I decided to explore an unknown road. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon this alley. The yellow wall to the left is the front of a temple. At the end of the alley is West Lake.
I mentioned in the last post that West Lake provides some scenic views. As a result, it is one of the two most popular places in Hanoi for couples (the other being Hoan Kiem Lake). From what I can gather, sitting on a bench (or motorbike) and staring at water is a common thing to do on a date in Hanoi.
You see a lot of these guys wading into the murky waters of West Lake. Personally, I’m not sure I’d want to eat any fish caught from this lake. It’s one of the most polluted lakes that I’ve seen. I frequently see dead fish floating in its water. But, like most things in Hanoi, in spite of its shortcomings West Lake can provide some charming views. Hopefully, when we get some blue skies, I can capture some of these views.
Vietnam is a country of young people. The median age in 2012 is 27.8 and approximately 80 percent of the population is under the age of 40. That said, one cannot help noticing the number of elderly women walking the streets selling food, gum, or other sorts of knick-knacks. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that this woman hasn’t led an easy life.
As I said in the previous post, there is so much going on all around you in Hanoi that it’s pretty hard not to find interesting shots. I like to drive around on my motorbike looking for people and things to shoot and then, time permitting, pull up at a roadside café to sit down and drink my Vietnamese coffee while taking the occasional photo of passing traffic. That’s exactly what I was doing this late afternoon when I noticed this woman to my left smiling and talking with her friend – presumably about me since they kept looking at me. Using body language, I asked her if it was alright to take her photo and she said yes. I like this pic a lot, though it would have been slightly better if the woman in red hadn’t stood up just as I was pressing the shutter-release button.