Ho Thuy Tien waterpark Self-Portraits
The Ho Thuy Tien waterpark Self-Portraits project was one of the highlights of my trip to Vietnam. As usual I found this place through blog posts of others like myself that enjoy exploring abandoned properties. This one was the most interesting to date, with the exception of the abandoned mining town in California.
HDR Self-Portrait Process
These are all HDR (high dynamic range) self-portrait images. This means that each image is composed of three images shot at varying exposures then merged together in computer software to bring out a more interesting range of tonality. Self-portrait means that I am both the photographer and subject. For this trip I splurged and purchased a carbon fiber tripod that could be easily carried in my backpack. Previously I have generally rigged something up from what is available. The camera was set to bracketed shooting, then the self-timer employed to shoot the three images closely together. It is critical to remain very still during this process or the computer will have a difficult time with the merge. I used the NIC collection by Google to merge these images in Photoshop.
I can’t explain why exactly I like doing this, but have always had a fascination with abandoned properties. Within the last couple of years I have had an increasing fascination with colorful designer underwear as well. What I am shooting for generally is doing these shots with underwear with colors that compliment the background and pose myself to compliment or contrast the shapes in the background if possible.
Ho Thuy Tien waterpark
Ho Thuy Tien waterpark is located about 8 kilometers outside of Hue, in central Vietnam. From what I understand the park was only open briefly around the year 2000. It is laid out around a lake and each attraction is a decent distance from the other. My theory is that it failed because no one wants to walk ten minutes through the woods from one attraction to another and also that it is not located near any densely populated town. The park is surrounded by a series of lodge type structures as well. It appears that construction on these units was never finished. A local friend of mine told me that after the place failed as a waterpark they tried to open it up as a campground but two teenage boys drown and that was the end of that.