Thursday, June 22, 2017


My friend Elton and I regularly hit the streets of Saigon. We both love street photography and are always open to a new adventure. To be sure street photography has its challenges. With snatch and grab theft increasing here it is reassuring to have a shooting partner to watch your back. Similarly we don't need to explain to or worry about someone else (like wives and girlfriends). It's difficult for me to shoot with my wife. She does not have the passion for street photography. When two photographers get together worldly concerns get pushed away for a few hours allowing us to concentrate on our art. I always learn from Elton. As we shoot I get to see his “eye”, how he works a scene, and I get the chance to see what I miss. I rarely shoot the same scene. I prefer to let Elton have the shot as I know I will also get shots he misses. Its fun to discover after the shoot that we often shoot the same subject but differently. I believe this makes us both better street shooters. I highly recommend finding a shooting partner. It will make you a better photographer.

I love the expression on the flower lady's face. I think I surprised her and got a “peek-a-boo” image.

I met this gentleman in a neighborhood temple. What a great experience. He spoke English and I spoke Vietnamese! Two human beings connecting in a most surprising way.

This shot is an example of Elton and I shooting the same subject but with different angles, composition and post production. (color and B&W)
Checkout his images at:

Find a friend and hit the streets!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Phone or camera?

We live in exciting times. Technology is leaping ahead as a revolution of new and fascinating ideas
create new instruments for unleashing our creativity. The quality of smart phone cameras leaves my head spinning. About a year ago I bought a motorola x-play phone. By far the best phone I have ever owned, and yes I have owned an iphone. The images this “phone” makes is outstanding. The detail in this shot of the Bitexco Financial building shocked me.
Bitexco Financial Tower Saigon, Vietnam
Then even this low light image produced a decent image. Use your phone to practice composition, to mark locations you want to return to for a “real” shoot or to challenge your creative eye.
Low light interior staircase

It all leaves me wondering what's next? The new mirrorless cameras are lighter, smaller and more easily transported. They are producing amazing images and are quickly becoming the camera of choice for many very talented photographers.

Next time you are out for coffee or a walk take your phone. Don't miss that shot! Take the time to experiment with your phone camera and let your creativity loose!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


If you can't begin your day without your jolt you are in good company. Luckily for me I live in the coffee capital of the world...Saigon, Vietnam! Hands down the finest coffee in the world and the best coffee culture anywhere. Coffee is persuasive here, it drives this country. Everything seems to revolve around this culture. Business, networking, socializing and relaxing. Morning, noon and night the shops are filled with coffee revelers! Iced coffee dominates. Café sua da: ̣(coffee-milk-ice)... with condensed milk and ice and café den da (coffee-black-ice)...strong black coffee with ice are the two most popular. Café pha phin (coffee-drip) is the preferred method. While the water slowly drips through the filter you relax in anticipation. 

Saigon is hot, stifling hot and humid. Lunch breaks are long, a siesta time to recuperate and wait out the worst of the heat. Coffee shops fill, some continue to do business thanks to smart phones and free internet. Others socialize, relaxing before returning back to work. Everywhere you go you see people carrying coffee to go (café mung vệ). Vendors on street corners, sidewalks, portable carts and even the backs of motorbikes offer coffee for sale.
Coffee is sold in great open air venues. Each with it's own style and design. A never ending variety of quiet, cool and eye pleasing digs. With a little bit of research or walking you can easily find a venue that fits you. The internet is full of articles of where to go.
My wife and I enjoy exploring new shops. Along the new walking street is one old and delightful building that houses a plethora of coffee shops mixed in with trendy stores and eateries. If you stop by here be prepared to climb stairs. The building still houses families who live there but be warned the elevator is slow, very very slow. So lace up and check out each floor. Surprises await!