Culture Culture

02/10/2019 - 06:50

Le Tan Thanh & beautiful moments through his lens

Despite a relatively short time in photography, young photographer Le Tan Thanh has soon made his mark through photos capturing beautiful moments of nature and life.

Le Tan Thanh

At the 6th Ancient Capital’s Literature and Arts Awards ceremony (2013 - 2018), to many people’s surprise, Le Tan Thanh won the A Prize in photography with his work “Đồng hỏa Hoàng cung” (Fire dance at the Royal Palace).

The photo was the moment Thanh captured the artists performing fire dancing for "Changing of the guard" ceremony at the front court of Thai Hoa Palace, on the occasion of Hue Monuments Conservation Center organizing the programs for "The Royal Palace by Night" in 2017. This work also won the second prize at the photo contest "Hue – The new perspectives" in 2017.

The photo made a strong impression with its originality and exquisite beauty from the bright flames and lights. In that moment, the fire dancers were blurred against the stark background of the shimmering Royal Palace. Thanh said he took this photo by sheer luck, but in fact, it was a difficult technique in photography from a 2.5m high photo shoot angle to record this moment.

“The silent man”

Born in 1987, Le Tan Thanh has only taken up photography since 2017 but achieved considerable success. Photography came to Thanh only by chance, but soon his passion urged him to spend more time learning the techniques online and from his predecessors before he embarked on photography.

Thanh shared: “When I first came to art photography, I had to learn by myself just like many others to know how to think rationally about lighting, composition, and the focal point in a photographic work. Fortunately, I was guided by many experienced senior artists who generously helped me in mastering the techniques. In photography, choosing a camera angle with a creative mind is very important.”

“Đồng hỏa Hoàng cung” ("Fire dance at the Royal Palace")

Le Tan Thanh is particularly keen on capturing his homeland’s natural landscapes, the ecosystem, the people’s daily life, and their activities in Tam Giang lagoon. The breathtaking lagoon scenery at early dawn magnetizes him to plunge out of the house at 3-4 a.m. for stunning photos.

Thanh is exploring a series of thematic photos about the life of lagoon people. To choose a satisfactory photo of the sunrise on Chuon lagoon, Thanh spent over 1.5 months and took nearly 2,000 photos. Besides, the scenery of Hue by night is another subject Thanh is pursuing.

With practice, Le Tan Thanh gradually improves his skills by having more photos with sophisticated shooting techniques and angles. He meticulously polishes each image while knowing clearly how to break the principles of composition to create impressive photos. “Ra đầm” (Heading out to the lagoon) won the bronze medal at the 10th International Artistic Photo Contest in Vietnam in 2019 (VN-19) and was like a deft brushstroke on the background of the charming Lang Co sea. Amidst the floating fluffy white clouds lie towering mountain ranges and the beautiful Lap An lagoon; all create a captivating and picturesque landscape that makes everyone want to hold on to these peaceful moments in the dreamy land.

In a downpour, Thanh caught the beauty of a street sweeper’s silent sacrifice in the photo "Silent Man," depicting the ordinary but painstaking work of those who keep the city clean. The photo won the first prize at the photo contest "People and Environmental Life" organized by the Magazine of Environment and Life in 2018.

Being a graphic designer and taking care of his own family leave Thanh with little time for photography, but he often took advantage of the early morning hours to roam the dreamy streets of Hue and patiently wait for precious moments.

His passion for photography and experience has always urged Thanh to save the beautiful fleeting moments of nature and life in his own way. The simple joy to promote local tourism and people’s image using photography encourages Thanh to compose every day.

Story and photos: Trang Hien