I'm sure what you will think of this picture, but it's one that sends shivers down my spine everytime I look at it. Here's the story:
During a 4x4 trek in the north-west of Vietnam we made several improvised stops at 'minority' villages. While most of these villages would be considered poor by any standard, none seemed to be as poverty-stricken as this one.
High in the mountains, chilly even in midsummer, our car stopped, like a UFO landing from outer space. (Though I've travelled quite a bit, this is the only place where I really got this feeling.)
Three boys ran up from the village and stopped halfway. Afraid, as if in shock.
I tried to make it clear that I had only the best intentions and after a long, long while their curiosity conquered their fear and they moved closer, the bravest boy in the middle. Clasping each others' hands, still visibly afraid, they moved closer.
As I spoke a little Vietnamese, I tried to put their minds at ease, but with little effect. The boys just stared at me, a bearded creature from a UFO.
Eventually an older villager came up and explained that the boys didn't speak any Vietnamese yet. And when my own two travel companions walked down, the boys dashed off, taking the magic with them.
Exactly where this picture was taken, I wouldn't know nor do I remember - I'm ashamed to say - precisely to which minority the boys belonged (Muong?), but everytime I look at this picture...it's the shivers!
I tried a sepia version of the shot, see WS
scan from analogue print, overexposed sky in the top right corner, I know... lots of noise, dirt (also on the boys' clothes), I know...
Critiques | Translate
leo61 (0) 2009-03-19 13:18
A good traveler shot in the sense of TE and a good note.
They look a bit scared,maybe because of the black yet unknown "machine"in front of your face,but I like how they hold each others hands.
Thanks for scanning this good shot.
bukitgolfb301 (43028) 2009-03-19 16:25
Hello my dear Paul
I like very much this kind of photo which expresses their daily life. We can understand how they live thier lives.
Straight and nice composition and stable but a little soft color.
Thanks for sharing and best regards
kschanna (6) 2009-03-20 3:14
adidas got there though! spoils of consumerism make their way to the most improverished of regions...amazing isnt it :)
as for your picture Benny, its beautiful from all angles, who cares about the dirt and grime and the overexposed sky, you have got these beautiful characters in th eframe.
Thanks for sharing
marietom (34609) 2009-03-20 14:57
Quelles expressions, ils ont sur leurs visages. Ils n'ont pas l'air forcément ravis...
Photo65Net (43120) 2009-03-21 2:20
Great triple portrait.
I like the child attitudes, so strong... Great job,
Have a nice day,
mauro61 (52857) 2009-03-21 6:41
scatto naturale, molto ben catturato.
Espressioni ben definite e il tenersi per mano parla da solo.
adores (45895) 2009-03-23 17:21
next time I go to Vietnam I must visit this region! Very good portrait! I like their expression and the way they are holding hands for the photo. The "adidas" on the sweat shirt is a very good detail.
sunamoon (10) 2009-03-25 14:00
Siempre es entrañable el retrato de unos niños,
trasmite quizas pena por su expresion, al igual que unión por sus manos unicas, buenos colores, quizas tiene mucho ruido!
everlasting (15238) 2009-03-26 5:15
Not the best technically Benny but together with your note a great image, the boys clasping each others hands for dear life. A nice moment.
specialist (1181) 2009-03-27 6:39
a talking photo itself with real kids in a real setting. may
not be very trendy and aesthetic for most but very genuine.
Floydian (30970) 2009-03-31 0:50
Beetje aan het bladeren tussen je laatste uploads totdat ik deze zag. Niet zeker wat wij er van denken? Man dit is toch een geweldige plaat waar het gaat om vertrouwen tussen de fotograaf en de jongens. Bang, verlegen, maar toch stoer en zelfverzekerd proberen te zijn. En kijk eens, een drie-eenheid, hand in hand...together we're strong..!!!
Adidas, slechts 1 knoopje van het overhemd vast...man een foto die ik zelf ook wel had willen maken. niet zeueren over de zogenaamde noise, dit is geen high glossy landscape, maar een tijdsbeeld. Een foto die neit veel mensen zullen hebben en maken....want dat hand-in-hand gevoel maakt de hele foto tot een juweeltje...vakwerk..!!!
dvlazar (6662) 2009-04-21 3:22
Only after reading your note does this picture mean so much more. The expression now make sense, and i notice the detail like them holding hands.
Just an amaizing encounter, and it's great you got to capture it with this haunting photo!
erbiloguz (922) 2009-05-02 13:14
Nice interesting shoot..well done...
michelloupis (0) 2009-05-03 2:07
A fantastic tender picture with the most amazing colors. Love it! Beautiful rough processing. Puts me immediately in a documentary movie about some distant Vietnamese village.
And thanks for the great note... bearded creature. :-D
Have a perfect Sunday.
faubry (35447) 2009-05-05 3:30
magnifique photo avec ces enfants si tristes, c est fou comme il y a de nombreux enfants qui souffrent;j aime beaucoup leurs mains liées entre elles!
oneiro (413) 2009-11-13 5:56
The photo alone was worth checking already. Very deep in meanings, I have to say. Their eyes explain it very well. But in the end I liked your comments even more. It must have been such a fragile experience and it's surprising what you can experience sometimes with different people in the world.
Your photo and your comment together equal up to a powerful hit!
- Copyright: Benny Verbercht (BennyV) (18207)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2000-07-00
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon F-70
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Three of A Kind, JB's Daily Pick(s) From Your Pics III, Vietnam Miffy O places to go [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2009-03-19 12:40