Vietnamese shrimp farmer’s son holding lunch.
Looking at the schedule I have five more days here in Vietnam. If you told me that yesterday as we hiked through a cocoa plantation in the mid-day heat it would have sounded like an unbearable sweat sentence. This morning however, as I sit on the deck of our hotel in the highland city of Dalat, I’m looking forward to the the last few days of my assignment here.
Why Vietnam? The World Wildlife Fund (Panda) brought me here for 2.5 weeks to photograph a wide range of subjects that are all part of their Greater Mekong ‘Focus Region.’ It has been a whirlwind tour with lots of traveling by car and plane. Some of the subjects we’ve covered: Catfish (Pangasius) farms, catfish processing plant, shrimp farms, developing national parks, furniture manufacturing plants (x4), forest plantation, sustainable cocoa agriculture.
The photos are destined to be part of WWFs photo library where they will be used for education and outreach materials as well to market the work that WWF is doing here in Vietnam. Virtually all of the photography has been documentary style, showing what is really happening with no set-ups besides the occasional WWF logo cap appearing on a fish farmer. There is no shortage of conservation projects ongoing in Vietnam, I could easily spend several months here to do the conservation work justice photographically.
The remainder of my time here will mostly be spent at Bach Ma National Park where we’ll be looking for healthy forests and the wildlife that is supported there.
Of the roughly 10,000 photos taken so far I picked out a few that caught my eye:
A pangasius farmer holding a fish on harvest day.
Wood planks stacked to dry near a live tree at a furniture manufacturing factory. This is probably where your deck chairs came from.
Furniture waiting or the next step in the manufacturing process. The thing to note here is the notes that track the source of the wood used in these chairs.
Grapefruit? Vietnam is a fruit paradise. I think I’m running an unscientific test on how much fruit and vegetable matter one white-boy from AK can digest in 18 days. So far it’s been nothing short of astonishing. When the grapefruits are as large as my ‘big melon’ it’s not easy to just have a little.
Looking through the photos I realized that they contain many stories to tell, hopefully I’ll be able to make the time in the next couple weeks to write them down before the next memories are made in their place.