In the photo, the fields are awash with bright yellow flowers, adding a pop of color to the countryside. An elderly man ambles by, guiding his bike full of bamboo fishing baskets, staring directly into the lense.
This is Vietnamese photographer Ly Hoang Long’s stunning image, which earned a special mention in the 2015 Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) competition, according to CNN.
A veteran photographer, Long has been showing his work around the world since 1997. Just last year, the Vietnam native took the runner-up spot in TPOTY’s 2014 competition in the “One Shot – One Moment” category. Along with his 2015 accolade, it is but one of many successes the self-taught photographer has had in his career.
“I was naturally drawn to [photography],” Long tells Saigoneer via email. “At first, I got into photography as a hobby, and then the more I did it the more my passion grew and it became a profession. I studied through friends, books (in 1994-1995, we didn’t have internet yet) and…through photography competitions, especially international competitions.”
As a travel photographer, Long prefers capturing daily life in Vietnam and around the world, as it offers the most diversity and “always has the element of surprise”, he says.
In the new year, Long plans to set off to Myanmar, his favorite travel destination, to find more images of everyday life in the country. He urges aspiring photographers to focus on their own inspiration above all else. “Use the camera to tell the stories you have seen and felt,” he explains. “Never think of taking photos just to enter a competition because then you are only shooting for the judges.”
Here are a few of the other shots which put Long on TPOTY’s finalist list:
(Source: saigoneer/ Photos courtesy of Ly Hoang Long)