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Trading Cattle wins 3rd prize in Photo Competition!

Trading Cattle wins 3rd prize in Photo Competition!

Our trip to Vietnam…

When, this spring, Brad and I went to Vietnam, I did not expect it would result in winning a 3rd place in any photography competition at all. It was a small group trip with 3 other, pretty ‘serious’ and well-respected, photographers; Brad, Rob Collins and Michel LeFebvre, and then there was me. We spent about 9 days in Vietnam in total; a night or two in Hanoi, followed by a pretty shaky overnight sleeper train up to Northern Vietnam, then a 1-hour van ride to Sapa, where we would spend about 5 days, checking out the town and surrounding tribal villages. This area of Vietnam is known for its rich tribal culture, with Red Hmong, Black Hmong, Flower Hmong, Karen, and many other indigenous tribes that sill reside all throughout its countryside. The other wonderful thing about Sapa and surrounding areas is that it is great for hiking; rolling hills and small villages dot the landscape. Our trip concluded with another 2 nights in Hanoi before flying back to Bangkok.

I packed very little in my photography bag: a Fujifilm Instax camera, an Olympus OMD-EM1, with a couple of lenses and the chargers of course. In fact, I even managed to add my iPhone and iPad in there, my passport and a small wallet, so I did not even bring a purse (I am trying to pack lighter and lighter these days, but it is a learning curve). I was just hoping to get a few decent shots, but mostly enjoy the trip and get some ideas for some paintings.

How you never know who gets the ‘money shot’…

We were at the Sunday cattle market, about 3 hours’ drive outside Sapa, and all kinds of things were being sold there: incense sticks, knives, colourful robes and clothes that the Flower Hmong favour, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish at the fresh market section, and livestock. There were ladies with woven baskets with live ducks and geese, chickens hanging upside down changing from traders’ to customers’ hands, and a whole football field sized live cattle section. This is where we found water buffaloes, cows, donkeys and there happened to be 1 white cow being traded just as I got up there. A lady from the Flower Hmong tribe was just checking the cow over, and as she touched its fur, I snapped a couple of shots.

Coming back to the lodge where we all stayed that night, we compared ‘money shots’; who had the best shot of the day? Well, the guys all loved the shot I took. I had the least sophisticated and probably smallest camera of all, but in the end, it just mattered that I happened to be at the right place, at the right time, and everyone looks at a scene differently. This is why it is so much fun to go out on photo walks with other photographers (or en plein air painting sessions with other artists!); while we all look at the same thing, we all see something different.


The Competition was stiff…

Since I had never entered in any photography competition, I thought I’d better go out guns blazing; with a photo that I was very happy with. Well, the competition was stiff! The room of the Sun City Community Center, where the Tri-Club Photography Competition was held was brimming with talent, and there were a LOT of great images, in ALL categories (novice, intermediate, advanced, expert). I competed in the Intermediate category, and shared my 3rd place with 3 others; we all scored 21 out of 27 points. I highly recommend you check out the Photography Club of Beaufort‘s website with a gallery of all the winning images; they are beautiful!  Brad competed in the Advanced category and unfortunately just fell out of the prizes, so he got to be designated driver, while the other winners and I toasted to our ribbons! 😉

To see the winning shot, check out my Photography portfolio here.

Next goal: win a pastel competition! 😉


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