I love how the sensor of my Fujifilm X-T30 renders light and color. This late afternoon shot of a ramshackle home that backs into a small tributary of Thu Bon River is a good example. I made slight adjustments to exposure and contrast, but that was it for post-processing. My Nikon D750 would also produce an appealing rendition of the light and color in this scene, but it would be qualitatively different than the X-T30 image presented here. I must start taking both cameras on my photo trips in the days to come, so I can take some comparison shots.
I bought the X-T30 a couple of years ago, and recently have been trying once again to figure out the user-unfriendly, erratic software interface that comes with the camera. Although it is a beautiful piece of equipment, it has proven frustratingly difficult to use this little mirrorless camera, and it has spent a good deal of the time I have owned it sitting in a closet.
Long Xuyên is a city of some 400,000 people located on the banks of the Hau River (Sông Hậu). The Hau is part of the massive Mekong River delta system of rivers. Long Xuyen is 140km upriver from the coast where the Mekong and its tributaries spill into the East Sea. Even at that distance from the sea, the Hau River is not a small river on its own, but the delta’s main channel, the Mekong River itself, is still larger as it flows by about 20km to the north and east of Long Xuyen.
Long Xuyen is home to a floating market where sellers of local fruits and vegetables meet with buyers on boats in the middle of the Hau River. The man standing on top of the larger boat in the photo above is weighing large bunches of bananas to sell to the man in the smaller boat. He will transport the bananas he buys to the Long Xuyen shore of the river where the bananas will be cut into smaller bunches and be sold to retail buyers in a local wet market.
The floating market opens early and continues to 10 or so in the morning seven days a week. When my brother visited Vietnam in 2018, we made a brief stop in Long Xuyen and took a boat tour through the market. There were a number of boats on the river, though the market area was hardly crowded. We arrived at about 7:30 am on a Sunday morning, and it is very possible Sunday is a slow day.
The friendly young woman in the foreground of the photo below is going from boat to boat in the market selling bowls of noodle soup for breakfast to customers and sellers.
The woman in the next image is making her way to the market area with a selection of drinks for sale.
Hoa My Hung Island sits in the middle of the Hau River, dividing the river into two narrow channels that come together just as the river flows past Long Xuyen. Houses on stilts stand in the water near the river banks. Some households are engaged in fishing, and in addition to having flat bottom fishing boats, some river dwellers use ingenious arrangements of nets deployed below the house to catch or, in some cases, farm fish. Trapdoors in the porches of the houses make both the nets and the catch accessible. I assume most of the people living in these homes depend on the river in one way or another for their livelihoods. Other families may be involved in growing fruits and vegetables on Hoa My Hung Island.
Some houses have satellite dishes providing residents with television and, I presume, internet service.
In the picture below, a family is out fishing. It is Sunday morning so it makes sense that the boy is helping his mom and dad on the weekend. But let’s hope he is able to go to school come Monday morning.
I enjoy playing with filters in Photoshop or Affinity Photo to make photos look like paintings. Most of my efforts are pathetic failures, though every now and then, I come up with a “painting” I rather like.
Cherry Creek flows through Denver, giving its name to an upmarket urban neighborhood as it passes by. The creek is a tributary of the South Platte River, which eventually flows into the Missouri.
For those of you familiar with Hoi An, I am in the Cam An area looking north. The bridge is Hai Ba Trung road; the beach highway to Da Nang is to the right and downtown and Hoi An Old Town are to the left.
I am not sure what kind of fishing this boat is used for. It probably stays close to the coast, and may never get out of the estuary where it is resting in this photo. It’s rigged with at least one light, which suggests it is out at night.
Ban Gioc Waterfall – actually several falls – is a popular tourist attraction on the Quay Son River in the far north of Vietnam, along the country’s border with China. The falls are nestled in the rugged, lush mountain terrain of northern Vietnam. In fact, the border between Vietnam and China runs down the middle of Quay Son River. There are tourist centers on both sides of the river. Apparently, Vietnam and China had to negotiate a deal that allowed sightseeing boats to traverse the river border while they brought groups of Chinese and Vietnamese tourists to see the falls up close. Unfortunately, trails on the Vietnamese side that led to overviews of the falls were closed off and guarded by a couple of surly guys who snarled if anyone came to near.