Text and Image Photography

New Images Photography

West Lake Neon in Hanoi

West Lake in Hanoi at night

Nighttime reflection of text on Lake West in Hanoi, Vietnam

As a lover of signs, the ultimate in text and image, one of my goals is keeping the sign alive forever (or at least a couple of lifetimes). Text and signs go hand-in-hand in terms of one of the most necessary elements, that of lighting, in order to create a colorful, attractive city symbol.

Photographing architecture and architectural elements such as signs requires that you have a camera with you at all times. When you see the sign, stop and shoot it without fear. Get it from all angles and directions so that the text is stretched naturally. There’s no saying in regards to signage preservation better than “here today; gone tomorrow.”

This preservationist approach to photography is a factor that plays into  many of my photos. Before shooting, I think about how would people in the future know that a piece of text history if it burned down or was demolished.

At that moment I found that I had an image of mine, the Hapro sign, reflecting on a lake with colors you’d see in a dream.

The photo shoot had me riding on the back of a motorcycle, stopping every time I saw neon. The driver took me all around Lake West and other parts of the city to catch some great Vietnamese neon.

That was in 2002. Today, sadly enough, much of the neon is gone, taken over by the less attractive yet cheaper option, LED lighting, which is now ubiquitous all over Asia.


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