Saigon Photo Tour – MOTO FOTO SAIGON
Saigon has soooo many photo opportunities I wish I had a camera implanted behind my eyes. I never seem to be ready when the pictures present themselves and I’m a long way from being considered a great photographer. As I’m the primary content creator of two travel sites, that’s a little bit of an issue. Thankfully my husband Tim has a decent eye for a pic but he’s not always around to do the honours. Thank god for digital, as I usually just snap away hoping that I’ll get at least a few good ones I can use.
Being new in town there’s also a matter of knowing where and when to get a the best photos. I figured it there would be quite a few of you who would love to find out some great locations, what time to get there as well as how to take the actual pictures. Consequently, I went looking for a Saigon photo tour, for my tours page. My first stop was the guys at Saigon Unseen. Firstly because I’ve been on their Urban Kaos 1/2 day Moto Tour and it was awesome secondly; one look at Adam’s portfolio at Asian Images – Adam Martin make it pretty damn obvious he knows his way around a camera and street photography.
Adam is one of my favourite photographers based in Ho Chi Minh City. His beautiful pictures seem to draw the subjects into a story without making it look posed. He tells me “his personality really emerges once he has a camera in his hand.” It’s evident from his pictures he has a way of interacting with his subjects that wins them over and keeps things real.
So luckily for those of us who need a bit of help getting that perfect shot in Saigon, Adam is happy to teach us those skills through a unique photography tour, that takes you around the streets of Saigon. He’s chosen a handful of the best GREAT locations around town for taking awesome photos, each allowing the participants to explore a different facet of street photography. The MOTO FOTO UNDER EXPOSED covers the basics of photography and your camera, portraiture, architecture, street scenes and local life. Each different setting has a distinct mood, lighting and subject matter from peaceful and serene to bustling vibrant to dark and atmospheric. He also runs a second tour, DRIVE BY SHOOTING, for more experienced photographers looking for great locations around town.
The day starts at a unique cafe, situated on the edge of of one of Saigon’s most beautiful green spaces. I’ve recommended it as a starting point in my walking tour around Ho Chi Minh City. I chose it for the same reasons Adam does. In the early morning, the park is filled with all types of activity from crazy Aerobics sessions through to fan dancing classes. Throw in a temple, several themed gardens and a peaceful haven from the surrounding chaos and it’s the perfect place to discuss your skills levels, knowledge and expectations so Adam can tailor his instruction.
As you move through the day, Adam gets into the finer points of photography including how to use light, different perspectives and how to capture that perfect moment. He’s a firm believer that photography, especially street photography, is not about having the best equipment but is instead about being able to tell a story with your picture.
One of my concerns was for the locals. How did they feel about having groups of people thrusting cameras in their faces? Remember this tour visits “Saigon Unseen,” not the usual tourist haunts. These folks are not used to having busloads of snap happy tourists wandering through their daily lives. Generally, Adam says people don’t mind at all. He likes to connect with his subjects so that they are drawn into an interaction with him. If one person doesn’t want to get involved there’s usually two or three nearby that want to be centre stage. Provided you included them in the process, are open about what you are doing and show them the pictures afterwards, many of them think it’s a real hoot.
Reviews on Trip Advisor give the tour a resounding thumbs up. 5 stars all the way The guys have won certificates of excellence for the past 4 years and that’s not surprising when you see the feedback and read the comments.
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