HCMC Dining Guide

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Power of an Image

Pictures and videos are among the most powerful forms of electronic communication. They can shock and devastate. They can inspire joy. They can ignite revolutions. They can transport people to previously unknown locations thousands of miles away, and so much more. Neil Armstrong standing on the surface of the moon. The Challenger disintegrating. An airliner roaring into the World Trade Center. A lone man defying repression in Tiananmen Square. Recent history is full of iconic events captured dramatically through camera lenses, and this year was no different.

I am a very visual person, so I am a huge fan of quality photography and cinematography. Whenever I travel, I do my best to capture images (and the occasional video) that will allow viewers to place themselves in my shoes. I have absolutely no formal photography training and only basic editing software, but I like to think that I've done a good job with my travel pictures. Now, I'd like to share some amazing images and videos from others.

Last week, I came across two striking videos posted on Vimeo, a great website that allows people to upload high-definition videos. I recommend you watch both in full-screen mode.

The first is a stunning collection of clips that puts a touching human face on Afghanistan; a country most people associate with death and destruction.

Afghanistan – touch down in flight from Augustin Pictures on Vimeo.

This second video recently exploded onto the Saigon web scene to widespread acclaim, and for good reason. Posted by a British photographer, this quick film shows Saigon at its chaotic best through time-lapse images of traffic, street life, and construction, from unique vantage points located in some of the taller buildings here. This amazing video is incredibly unique, and does a fantastic job of capturing the raw energy of this huge, hectic city. I only wish I could create videos like this.

Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.

Finally, The Atlantic recently added a three-part series to its stellar 'In Focus' section that shows the best photographs of the year. This powerful compilation documents disaster and death, revolution and war, rebuilding and rebirth, love and hate, nature and urbanity. Below is the link to Part 1, as well as a few of my favorite shots.

Tsunami in Japan
Revolution in Egypt
Docked at the Space Station
Awesome nature
Music as a weapon in Libya
People power

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