Morning in the Alleys

After trying for nearly two weeks and after being repeatedly washed out by rain, we finally took the Morning in the Alleys tour with Hoi An Photo Walks.  It was a great way to spend a morning in Hoi An.


This lady posed for us.  So photogenic.  Not shown in this photo is the hair that went down past her waist.

The day started with a mini lecture from our guide Pieter on camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.  In spite of the fact that I pretty much never take my camera off of the auto settings (sacrilege to a professional photographer, and something I need to change, I know), I learned a lot.  And, Robert didn’t mind the refresher — besides it reinforced his view that he is always right.


I’m pretty sure this guy was just pretending not to notice us.

Then, it was off into the alleys to explore and learn about composition and more about camera settings.   This is where the day really shined.


We both think this is just about the perfect shot.  Color, composition, and action all in the same frame.

First, although this has nothing to do with photography per se, we got to see a side of Hoi An that we hadn’t previously seen, even though we had repeatedly walked within a few feet of these alleys.  Sadly, with the recent proliferation of guest houses, I fear this side of Hoi An may soon disappear.  But it was wonderful to walk through the alleys and see how people really live.  Everyone has their doors and windows wide open — just a tiny bit different than in Chicago!


Sewing some of the clothes that make Hoi An famous.

Second, Pieter helped us get up close and personal with a variety of people in the alleys — hopefully we will both be a bit more confident about doing this in the future (note to self:  Vietnamese really don’t mind if you photograph children — in fact, sometimes like today an entire family will help make sure you get the perfect outfit and the perfect pose of their little one and sometimes like today little kids will run right into your shot to make sure you get their photo while their mom watches from the sidelines).


Look at that smile….

Pieter also spoke to us in the alleys about things such as how to tell a story and how to evoke feelings in your photos, and explained it with photos he took on the spot.  Now, if I could just manage to see the things he sees….


Butchering meat right on the street.

And, he also taught Robert numerous technical things, such as exposure compensation.


A little blurry, but so much fun.

All in all, we both felt like we learned quite a bit and got some fun photos to boot.


This little kid literally ran into the scene to ensure we got his photo.

(P.S., in spite of insisting on using auto settings, half these photos are mine…..).

About theschneiduks

Lisa has a degree in biology and another in law and has spent the last 20 years working as a patent litigator. She is a voracious reader of young adult dystopian fiction and watches far too much bad tv. She loves pretty much anything to do with zombies, and doesn’t think there is anything weird about setting an alarm at 6 am on a weekend to stumble to a pub to watch her beloved Chelsea boys. Robert has had many professions, including a chef, a salesman, an IT guy and most recently, a stay at home dog dad. He speaks Italian and hopes to learn Spanish on this trip. He loves nothing more than a day spent sailing, hopes to do more scuba diving, and rues the day he introduced Lisa to football (i.e., soccer).
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8 Responses to Morning in the Alleys

  1. I love these photos.


  2. I also did this tour with Pieter when we lived in Hoi An for 6 months earlier this year. Loved it, and nice to see these familiar faces again.


  3. Lance says:

    These photos are very interesting and reveal excellent photography skills. Thanks for posting them. Hope you are enjoying the holidays in Vietnam.


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