1. Hai Van Pass in Color and B&W - Hue Province, Vietnam

    The Hai Van Pass is 21km of pure asphalt heaven. Filled with tricky turns and banked hairpins, the pass is one exhilarating way to literally climb a mountain on two or four wheels. However, this post isn’t about the Pass, this post is about the mystery of black and white. I was post-processing this image in Lightroom and there was just something missing. By accident, I hit the b&w conversion option and something just clicked in my head. This didn’t really make sense to me as I think the colors of this photo are gorgeous with the deep blues of the sea and the greens of the mountain’s trees. There was just something so atmospheric about presenting the image in black and white. To be honest, I’ve been pretty reserved about doing B&W conversions in the past but I’ve been doing it more often lately. While I’m not saying that everything should be in B&W, there’s just some shots that are so perfect when you view them solely in luminance. 

    PS Visit the Hai Van Pass if you’re in the area. You won’t regret it. I apologize for my pointless rant on B&W conversions.

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  2. Unexpected Bliss - Hue, Vietnam

    To be honest, I’m not quite sure where this place is. After scaling the Hai Van Pass on our scooters, the guide asked us out of the blue if we wanted to go to the beach. Feeling spontaneous, we said sure. About half an hour later on the way back to Hue, he turns into this small road which lead into this dingy little “resort”. There seemed to be a big lobby and a bunch of restaurants along with some villas that were being built. We headed down to the beach, finding only another group of three and a bunch of guards/caretakers who promptly collected our fee to use the tents and chairs. While the water wasn’t the cleanest, it felt liberating to be on a beach occupied by only six others. It was a slice of paradise, in a place we would least expect. Moral of the story, agree with your tour guide if he suggests you go to a beach.

    http://500px.com/KennethChong

     

  3. Heading Home - Hue, Vietnam

    Despite the sometimes unbearable heat, there’s something magical about heading home in the middle of summer. I think it has something to do with the sun’s rays. The days last longer in the summer so the “magic hour”, the time of day when the light is the best for photography is stretched out longer. As such, when you’re on your way home, everything looks beautiful because it’s painted by this gorgeous light. Combined with the ecstasy you get from being done with your day, the feeling is just pure bliss.

     

  4. Boys - Hue, Vietnam

    Curiously enough, the so-called death of film was made most apparent to me when we were travelling through the more rural parts of Vietnam. While most photo labs in the big cities had a ready supply of film, the ones in the countryside were completely devoid of it, even though they had empty boxes of it proudly on display. It seems then that film had become nothing more than a decoration. When I tried to buy film at one particular shop, the shopkeeper offered me memory cards and kept on trying to sell them to me when I refused. Eventually I just showed him the screen-less back of my beat up 35mm Nikon Action Touch and he stopped, flashed a smile and let me go on my way.

    http://500px.com/KennethChong

     

  5. In the Rain - Hue, Vietnam

    There’s something so liberating about taking photographs in the rain. When its pouring outside, everyone seems to be seeking shelter, lost in their own world with the only objective being to get under cover. I think it is in this moment that people let their guard down against cameras because they’re so preoccupied. Speaking of cameras, the one that I took this photo and the next few that I will be posting with is not my trusty M8 but a cheap Nikon Action Touch that I found on eBay. It doesn’t have a megapixel count because it uses film but the most important thing about it is that its completely waterproof (to 10 meters!). I’ll write more about it and put up a picture some other time but for now, enjoy the photos!

    Film - Fuji Superia X-Tra 400, PP in Lightroom and Silver Efex

    http://500px.com/KennethChong

     

  6. Tomb of Tu Duc - Hue, Vietnam

     

  7. Coconut Express - Hue, Vietnam

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  8. Easy Rider - Hue, Vietnam

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  9. Pushing Ahead - Hue, Vietnam

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  10. Cafe Liberty? - Hue, Vietnam

    http://500px.com/KennethChong