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Friday, 2 November 2007

Two sisters. Saigon. 1950s. Memories of Vietnam


There was a quality to portrait photos taken years ago that permitted them to survive.
I either sent my photos to the states to get them developed and therefore had no control over editing or I had them done localy. Or at least the black and white. I don't remember being able to develop colour photos in Vietnam at that time.
In the war the quality of paper used wasn't always good when I took my negatives to be developed.
But when the Vietnamese were taking studio portraits they really excelled. They were truly artists. The above photo of two sisters must have been taken in the 1950s, perhaps not long after Dien Bien Phu and so after the French withdrawal. I think the Ao Dai survived because it went through so many fashion changes. For me it reached its peak in that period between the departure of the French and the fall of Saigon. But then I was a young man at that time.

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