Eighty-one-year-old Tan Vinh is a street photographer known for his images of Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi’s Old Quarter. But he’s not the kind of shutterbug who shoots photos for both local and foreign tourists. For this former military factory worker, photography is a hobby. So passionate is he about his work that for the past two years he has been the oldest contestant at the annual Canon Photo Marathon. His exertions have even seen him awarded a moniker — The King of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Vinh’s day starts at 5.30am. Together with his wife, they help take care of their 40-year-old son who is unable to look after himself. After having a shower and breakfast, at 8am he gets onto his computer, backs up files and prepares to go out taking photos.
His bicycle journey to the lake takes half an hour, and by 9am, together with friends, he starts shooting. For someone of his age he is very agile and alert, always ready to capture moments, always on the move.
At midday when the sun is at its highest, Vinh quits the lake and heads to the Old Quarter to have coffee with other photography friends, his camera always at the ready as he looks around for subjects. Then it’s home for lunch, often with friends. Together they compare photos and experiences.
After his early afternoon nap, he returns to the lake, usually around 4pm. But on the day we meet him he comes down with a fever. So, he stays in bed to sleep it off, in preparation for another day creating magic through his lens. — Trung Del
Photos by Trung Del / September 2015
Photos by Tan Vinh