ART & CULTURE

“Water chestnut harvest” © Pham Huy Trung

Capturing Great Heritage of Vietnam From Above
Seen through the lens of distinguished photographer Pham Huy Trung, Vietnam is remarkably otherworldly and dazzling.
“As long as the image captures the beauty that most people easily overlook and provides unusual perspectives on ordinary life events, it can represent the “language” that I want to transmit.”
Pham Huy Trung, Photographer
Here, we have someone who creates unfamiliar beauty using familiar subjects as a material. The natural environment of Vietnam, a long-accumulated culture of people working that land, an ordinary life and livelihood of a Vietnamese are all captured by photographer Pham Huy Trung who is not afraid to bring an unprecedented composition and color scheme to his storytelling. Pham is without any doubt the leading photographer of Vietnam today.
After a sudden emergence into the photography circle in 2016, Pham Huy Trung repeatedly grabbed first and second-place prizes back to back in prominent international photography competitions, such as Sony World Photography Awards. The entire industry turned its attention to Pham. His works offer a bizarre moment of ecstasy as the breathtaking landscapes of Vietnam captured in his lens are eye-opening, and yet the striking beauty that flows over his frames is so blinding that it makes you instantly close your eyes.
Pham Huy Trung has a grand ambition of revealing the hidden splendors of Vietnam by turning those precious moments into works of art with his camera and every bit of his ability.  He continues to explore all corners of Vietnam, actively pursuing his career.
‘그물 바느질(Sewing Nets)’ © 팜쭝

“Sewing Nets” © Pham Huy Trung

Q. How did you get into photography?
A. I didn't know anything about photography, or even art in general, from the start. I studied Electronics and Telecommunications, and even obtained my master’s degree at a graduate school in Sweden. I returned to my hometown to work, but lost my way in business when I first relocated to Ho Chi Minh City. There was no clear or consistent direction for my future. At the end of 2016, I realized I was meant for a career in photography. Deep in my heart, I felt true passion growing, and I began working in photography in earnest.

Q. You are well-known for your aerial photographs of Vietnam using a drone in the sky.
A. The first thing that drew me to drone photography was a desire to study many different elements of what everyone is familiar with. Furthermore, as a Vietnamese, I wished to show the international community the most beautiful sites of Vietnam. Thanks to its wide angle of view, drone photography provides individuals with a perspective ranging from the most thorough to the strangest aspects of the scene. Taking pictures with a drone makes it easy to choose the subject, but instead poses a challenge in the matter of deciding what to highlight. Capturing emotion and expressing it through images for viewers to feel is a big challenge. 
“There is so much to discover in this S-shaped area in so many different aspects. That is also what motivates me to embark on new experiences and create memorable memories.”
Pham Huy Trung, Photographer
‘까오방 응옥꼰의 풍경(Landscape of Ngoc Con, Cao Bang)’ © 팜쭝

“Landscape of Ngoc Con, Cao Bang” © Pham Huy Trung

Q. Your work has taught many people about the splendid beauty inherent to Vietnam.
A. Vietnam has a unique allure that appeals not just to tourists but also to Vietnamese citizens. Each location features a well-balanced mix of human and natural components. While there is balance, there is a distinct difference between nature and the Vietnamese people. People in my photographs are usually tiny and alone in comparison to the vastness and spaciousness of the surrounding scenery. 
Vietnam may go from soft, gentle, and picturesque, to secretive, cryptic, and overpowering in an instant. The five areas such as Ha Giang, Hue, Quang Nam, Da Lat, and the Mekong Delta are breathtakingly gorgeous. I cannot tell you all about the beautiful scenery of Vietnam, so I am still on a journey to experience and explore the land with all my abilities.
“A good image is influenced by composition, lighting, weather, and the photographer’s perspective and sensibility. I want each individual to look at the work and have their own sentiments or, even better, their own way of conceiving the piece’s storyline. In certain ways, I’d like my work to be felt with both mind and emotions.”
Pham Huy Trung, Photographer
‘맹그로브 숲에서의 낚시(Fishing in Mangrove Forest)’. 하얀 차나무 숲 한가운데서 낚시를 하는 사람, 잎을 다 떨군 나뭇가지가 제멋대로 얽혀 있다. 미스터리하고 한기가 감도는 아름다움을 표현했다. © 팜쭝

“Fishing in Mangrove Forest”: The mysterious and cold beauty, with the image of a boatman standing out in the middle of the surroundings, is a forest of white tea trees that have lost all their leaves, and the branches are interwoven. © Pham Huy Trung

Q. Tell us about your work ‘Fishing in Mangrove Forest’ which won the first award at 2021 Drone Photo Awards.
A. The scenery of the Ru Cha mangrove forest changes dramatically with the seasons. When the seasons change to fall in September, the tea tree leaves turn a warm yellow. However, in winter, the bare branches with characteristic white color bring a feeling of cold, a little melancholy. 
The introduction of the fishing boat with people is also the intention to create vibrancy for the context and reduce the cold in the space. Although the shot itself is not particularly cold, I treated it in cold tones in post-production to accentuate the scene of Tam Giang Lagoon in winter. Post-production is required to bring the image and the photographer's point of view to life.
‘수련 수확(Waterlilies Harvesting Season)’. 9월 초에서 11월 중순까지 롱안과 안장 지역의 농부들은 우기로 불어난 강물에 피어난 수련을 수확한다. © 팜쭝

“Waterlilies Harvest”: From early September to mid November, farmers in Long An and An Giang provinces spend their days harvesting these water lilies which bloom due to the result of flooding. © Pham Huy Trung

‘바다 위에 핀 꽃들(Flower on the Sea)’. ‘2019 소니 월드 포토그래피 어워즈’ 여행 부문에서 수상한 작품이다. © 팜쭝

“Flowers on the Sea”: The photograph was shortlisted in the Travel category at the Sony Awards 2019. © Pham Huy Trung


A famous photographer once said that people witness humanity through photography. Through the works of Trung Pham, we have a privilege of witnessing the beauty of nature and culture of Vietnam, and contemporary human beings.
‘멜라루카 숲의 한 가운데(In the Melaleuca Forest)’. 동탑의 염분 호수, 말라서 하얗게 변한 나무들. 팜쭝의 첫 번째 사진 대회 수상작이다. © 팜쭝

“In the Middle of the Melaleuca Forest”: A saline forest in Dong Thap and the trees that turned dry and white. Trung Pham received his first-ever photography award with this piece. © Pham Huy Trung

‘로브스터 양식장(Lobsters Farm)’. 뚜이호아의 로브스터 양식장 일꾼들. ‘2017 스카이픽셀 포토 콘테스트’ 아마추어 포토그래퍼 풍경 부문 1위 수상작. © 팜쭝

“Lobster Farm”: Lobster farmers in Tuy Hoa. It won the first prize in the landscape category for amateur photographers at the DJI Skypixel Award 2017 © Pham Huy Trung

Q. Is there a particularly memorable moment during your production?
A. Actually, in the process of creating the works, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience many things, especially the process of taking pictures of harvesting water lilies. The Mekong Delta is beautiful all year round but it’s really hard to reach because it’s surrounded by water. Each fall, from early September to mid November, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is loaded with gorgeous, long-stemmed lilies as a result of floods that replenish the river. It’s a wonderful sight to behold. To get these pictures of the flower harvest, it was necessary to overcome the high water and extreme heat in the Mekong Delta. Fortunately, I could capture these stunning scenes and show people both familiar and new images of the Mekong Delta’s farmers.
‘무캉카이의 황금기(Golden season in Mu Cang Chai)’ © 팜쭝

“Golden season in Mu Cang Chai” © Pham Huy Trung

Q. Please tell us about your future goals.
A. In the coming year, I aim to broaden my understanding of landscape photography in a range of elements and locales. Exploring natural wonders from fresh viewpoints has long been a photographer's dream, and I am no different. Hopefully, in the near future, I will discover all of my S-shaped country's hidden riches and start on a new journey in other nations.

Pham Huy Trung Homepage 
www.iphotos.vn
 
December 2021 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Writer:Jeon Haein
Cooperation: Pham Huy Trung

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  • December 2021
  • Editor: Kim Hyewon
    Writer: Jeon Haein
  • Cooperation: Pham Huy Trung
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