As I mentioned in the previous post I've been doing a bit of work for my fried Dieu. Last week we went to visit her grandmother, Ba Nguyen Thi Nhung, at her home on the outskirts of Hanoi. Dieu's grandmother is an inspiration to her and she learnt to cook by watching her grandmother in the kitchen. She's 88 years old now, although she looks much younger, and I'm told that if you were to give her a whole cow, she could cook every last bit of it.

I've been taking more and more portraits recently and, considering how much I hate having my own photo taken, I'm always struck by how patient people are with me and how obliging they are in what is, for many of them, perhaps a slightly awkward situation. Dieu's grandmother was no different; she waited patiently behind a window that I was a little obsessed with while I fiddled with my camera settings, shot, fiddled again, tested, fiddled some more, and then she strolled from background to background to help me get a variety of shots for her granddaughter to choose from. And backgrounds are important. As are foregrounds, or foregrounds that look like backgrounds, or vice versa. Or having no background at all. In fact physical backgrounds are as important as the subject, and as the background or personal story of the subject. Anyway, on that subject - the background - I post some photos. The first, above, is from the window I mentioned, and the rest are simple backgrounds from around the family home or, in the case of the last picture, a background that has disappeared.

Portrait - Portrat | Photographer - Fotograf | Berlin


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