Kien Dao

Year: Sophomore
Hanoi, Vietnam
Major: Communication Studies / Minor: Art

Visit his personal photo blog to view more of his work.

This was my first photo, taken with my own DSLR camera gifted by my sister on my 18th birthday. It sure was not perfect, the badger was blurry, the layout was tilted, the photo was originally pretty dark, but it was one of my favorites. It has captured one of the most Hanoi moments under an 18-year-old’s eyes: my hometown with 364 days covered by white clouds where you can hardly see the sun, the badgers with their bamboo food stalls, wearing the Vietnamese traditional nón lá (aka the palm-leaf conical hat), and the little scooters scooting on the streets. This photo has made me come to love photography more and realize that besides composition, ISO, lighting and all that, what I value in a great photo is the moment, the authenticity it can deliver.

If someone asks me what has photography given to you that you love it so much, I would not hesitate to give them all my sunrise and sunset photos. Indeed, photography has taught me much, but I would always appreciate all that time my camera allows me to capture the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. This photo was taken when I was on a boat near Lovina beach in Bali, ready to be taken out in the ocean. The windy day and the swinging boat made it challenging to take this photo, for I could not focus on taking the sunrise. My sister certainly made it worse by shaking the boat harder to prank me. What I love about this photo are the ombre color of the sky and the neat the composition of the boat with its lines on the water surface which makes us feel like the boat is moving.


Kien Dao walks outside during the fall.
This photo was taken in my hometown in Hanoi, Vietnam, on a typical rainy day, of a badger, with a scooter dashing through.
This photo was taken on an early morning on Lovina Beach, Bali, Indonesia when the locals take the visitors out in the sea to feed the dolphins.