The theme for this year's Geography photo competition was ‘Water in our world’ to coincide with the United Nations World Water Day. The competition attracted a fantastic selection of photos from all year groups, with house points awarded to all entrants and bonus points for the winners.
1st —Mai Thi Nguyen (9N) | 2nd—Kenneth Saw (9B) | 3rd—Cielo Miguel (7H)
1st —Nathaniel Vo (10) | 2nd—Nghi Pham (11S) | 3rd— Ieva Dimsaite (11N)
Geography Photographer Of The Year 2015
- 1st place—Nathaniel Vo
- 2nd place—Mai Thi Nguyen
- 3rd place—Kenneth Saw
Winning photograph: The Canoe Lady in the Thu Bon river – Hoi An, Photograph and text by Nathaniel Vo
'Viet Nam is blessed with an abundant of natural and beautiful water bodies – from Ha Noi with her many stunning and serene lakes to the intertwining river network of the Mekong Delta. Since ancient times until the present days, water bodies play a vital role in the livelihood of the Vietnamese people. However, none can match the historical, geographical and commercial characteristics exhibit by the Thu Bon River which runs through the town of Hoi An in central Vietnam. Despite its strategic importance for the people of Hoi An, the Thu Bon River is not as well known or famous as some of it peers, the Mekong, Perfume and Red Rivers of Vietnam. I would like to enter this competition with intention to promote the Thu Bon River by submitting one of her photographs that I captured during our family’s holiday last summer.
Geographically, the Thu Bon River originates near Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam. It flows Northwest through a number of small towns and districts then it opens out to the East China Sea at Hoi An. From the 16th to 18th Centuries, Hoi An was considered to be one of the most important ports in South East Asia as it is centrally located between the economically powerful Asian countries. Merchant ships from China, Japan, India and Portugal had traded here, especially for the ceramic industry. Japanese people believes that the heart of Asia lies beneath the earth of Hoi An. Symbolically, they built a wonderful covered bridge in the centre of Hoi An and it is still there today. Through many years of mismanagement and wars, Hoi An was forgotten and it was only rediscovered recently.
Today, Hoi An is one of the major tourist attraction in Vietnam and the Thu Bon River continues to provide for the local people. Numerous hotels, bars and restaurants were erected along the banks of the Thu Bon River which brings needed income for the town and its people. The Canoe Lady in the submitted photograph would provide anyone a scenic river tour for very little money and one can purchase a lantern or two from her as well and float them in the Thu Bon River. Fishery is still an important source of income for the people of Hoi An and fleets of fishing boats can have easy access to the East China Sea via the Thu Bon river.
I was lucky enough to capture this photograph at just the right time of the day. The light was naturally soft as it was late in the afternoon when I took this photograph. The soft and natural light helped to accentuate the beautiful deep blue sky and created dreamy shadows on the water surface - it was an ideal time to take photographs. Photographers often refer to the hour before sunrise or after sunset are the magic or golden hours of photography. I was standing right in the middle of the Thu Bon Bridge as the Canoe Lady was approaching leisurely toward me. I set the ISO to 800 to compensate for the relatively small aperture of F8 ensuring that the entire frame was in sharp focus. I had to set the shutter speed to 1/150sec to overcome camera shake and slow moving speed of the canoe. This is one of my favourite photographs taken in Hoi An! I liked the Canoe Lady’s unusual sitting posture; the calm expression on her face, through the viewfinder of my camera, seemed as though she was meditating. I believed that the Thu Bon River and the serene surrounding just made everybody felt so relaxing.
Hoi An and the Thu Bon river are one of my most favourite places to visit of all time and I wish to return to Hoi An and spend more time there to photograph the Thu Bon River at night and the Hoi An’s wonderful and accommodating people.'
2nd place photograph and text by Mai Thi Nguyen, 9S
'I saw this man catching fish in the river near my house one morning. And he is not the only one. These men have half of their bodies under the water for a whole day trying to find some food for their families.'
3rd place photograph and text by Kenneth Saw, 9B
'The brown chocolate coloured paddy fields surround the land with mountains taking the view over the horizon. I took this picture on the field trip in Mai Chau because I thought the scenery was good and I chose this picture for the theme of water because it had the feeling of nature and the fact that the paddy fields are filled with water and that it shows a sign of life in mother nature.'
The Geography department would like to congratulate all the students who submitted photos, and especially thank all those who have helped this competition to be a great success!
Mr Mark Hadley, Head of Geography