Ke Ga is a fishing community that lies some 3 hours drive from Saigon. Those of you who have travelled in Vietnam will recognise the name Phan Thiet or Mui Ne. Ke Ga lies some 30 minutes drive south of this area. Although less developed than Mui Ne, Ke Ga has already started to feel the heat of local, poorly designed and obtrusive resorts. However, saying that, the development does seem to come to a halt near the fishing community itself and is relatively un-spoilt from there on in. Some of the coastal scenery in these parts is quite beautiful and relatively deserted.
As always, dawn provides the greatest scope for photography and the above image of a fisherman coming ashore in his bamboo coracle boat was taken a few moments after the first burst of sunrise over the horizon. As a photographer I am all for breaking the rules and the slant of the horizon, to me, adds far more drama than that of a standard straight line without any tilt. I applied this same thought process to another such image of a woman sitting on her coracle boat at the fishing port as seen further below.
The above rising sun shot with the silhouetted man in the coracle boat is a bit cliched I know, but I simply couldn’t resist to capture such a scene. It looks somewhat photoshopped actually, but I can honestly say this was taken as a RAW file direct from the camera without any colour saturation or manipulation applied. This was exactly how I saw it at 5.30am!
One sees these fishing communities all along the coast of Vietnam, however, many of their original communities are being bulldozed to open up the coast line that they occupy in favour of new roads, resorts or residential developments. The fish markets that are sometimes found directly on the beaches where the boats come ashore are also being ‘cleaned up’ so these are images again of a life that may not be around for much longer, or at the very least far more constrained than in the past.
This is a favourite from the shoot. I love the sharp focus on the texture of the conical hat and the framing of the hands and the colour coordination of the netting she is attending to with the coracle boat behind her. Working in this kind of light something good is always going to come out of it.
The final shot below of a coracle boat on the sands at dusk is one I took hand held when the light was just about to disappear altogether. Even blown up, the boat remains sharp at f5.6 so I managed to achieve what I set out to. There are many more shots I took of the activity of the fish market at Ke Ga but I may leave that for another time. All of these images of course are up and searchable on the image bank so feel free to take a look if you are interested in seeing more from this series.
It was only a short assignment and not particularly focused, although I was pleased with what I was able to obtain, all certainly helped by the light of the day.