Hoang Phuoc is taking photos
The beauty of the homeland in photos
In Sept. 2020, after many days following the storks residing in the Imperial City, Bao Minh contributed to Thua Thien Hue Online his unique series of photos named “Bird Reside on Good Land.”
The photos of the storks arriving at the Imperial City to shelter in the storming season, flying freely over the palaces, taking a rest on the walls, mirroring themselves on the water… bring viewers the feeling of peacefulness beyond description. His series won Prize C at Hai Trieu Journalism Award this year.
“I have been working with Thua Thien Hue Newspaper for many years now and most of my photos are to honor the heritage in Hue. Winning the Hai Trieu Journalism Award for the first time, I feel very happy and proud because my efforts are finally recognized. But more importantly, I have opportunities to promote the beauty of our homeland on the newspaper,” said Bao Minh.
“Golden Melons Grown in Hue" is the latest series of photos by Nguyen Khoa Huy on Thua Thien Hue Weekly. In order to introduce the process and techniques of growing this kind of melon in Huong An (Huong Tra), Huy has been lingering at the melon garden for more than 2 months to keep track of the process from planting to harvesting.
Nguyen Phong is one of the hard-working photographers who contributes lots of his photos to Thua Thien Hue Newspaper
Being interested in taking photos about agriculture, new models such as afforestation, harvesting, making traditional fish sauce, and new check-in points and historical sites that few people notice, Nguyen Khoa Huy often travels to the countryside or mountainous areas. He wants to portray new things and changes of the homeland. “I want to honor the farmer through photo stories, describing the hardship as well as the value of labor.
Without going into artistic photography, Nguyen Phong focuses on documentary photos of the heritage. Phong's photos on Thua Thien Hue Newspaper are quite rich in theme, showing the beauty of the landscape, the heritage, and the changes of his homeland.
Phong owns a “library” of photos of relics in Hue. He collects and researches old photos then takes pictures of those very relics now to compare them. In that way, he helps viewers see changes and the development of Hue over time.
“I have many documentary photos of the heritage in Hue and I want to re-explore them from my perspective. But not only the heritage, the daily life of Hue people is also a beauty that needs to be exploited as well for tourism. Recording the beauty of the heritage and of the daily life, I want to introduce and promote the beauty of my homeland on Thua Thien Hue Newspaper,” confided Phong.
As an avid contributor to Thua Thien Hue Newspaper for more than 2 years now, Hoang Phuoc has many series of photos about the daily life, labor and production, landscapes, tourism, festivals, etc., published mainly on Thua Thien Hue Weekly.
Hoang Phuoc travels extensively from the boundaries in mountainous areas to the sea to record the excitement of the boat racing festival, the rustic beauty of a village, or the hardship of soldiers in boundaries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, etc. His photos give viewers a realistic look at the social life of the province through his unique viewing angles.
The joy of bringing their photos to readers
Together with news contributors, photo contributors play an important role in the success of Thua Thien Hue Newspaper, especially Thua Thien Hue Weekly and Thua Thien Hue Online as examples of the modern newspaper. Among many photo contributors are names which have made an impression on viewers such as Doan Quang, Bao Minh, Hoang Hai, Dang Tuyen, Van Dinh Huy, Trung Phan, etc.
Familiar scenery, traditional craft villages, modest people viewed through photographers’ new angles become typical characteristics and show the changes of the province. The cover photos by Bao Minh, Le Huy Hoang Hai and Dinh Phuoc helped Thua Thien Hue Newspaper win A and B prizes at the National New Year Newspaper Competitions in the years from 2016 to 2019.
Nguyen Khoa Huy always tries to find new themes suitable for the newspaper
When the newspaper needs photos from contributors, they work with enthusiasm despite long distances or day or night to contribute their photos to the newspaper.
“Whenever the newspaper needs photos, I am ready to go out to take photos despite distances. In return, I have lots of joy contributing my photos to the newspaper. When my photos appear on the newspaper, it means my efforts have been recognized. That encouragement urges me to work harder to contribute to promoting our homeland,” said Nguyen Phong.
“Journalism photos are different from art photos. Photos for the newspaper must be both beautiful and realistic. They must relate to the content of the article and each photo has a story in itself. At first, I was worried. But with the guidance of the newspaper office, I soon grasped its “taste” and got used to it. My photos are better and better,” said Hoang Phuoc.
In order to have satisfactory photos for the newspaper, photographers have to invest a lot of time and effort. Some series of photos took photographers many days to finish. Sometimes they have to wait for months to “catch" beautiful moments as well as to meet the criteria of the newspaper. Despite sun or rain, biting cold or 40 degree Celsius heat, it is the passion that encourages them to work from early in the morning until late at night.
“The newspaper office often keep in touch with us, sending us guided themes so that we can work better. That interaction is very useful because we ourselves get “stuck” at times,” said Hoang Phuoc. “Through Thua Thien Hue Newspaper, we are able to share our feelings and impressive images that we see on our photographic journey with readers. When the newspaper attracts more readers, our photos are promoted too. It is our happiness.”
Story: Minh Hien
Photos provided by people mentioned in the story