Art

Visions of Vietnam

The best experience was when I took a bus with some local Vietnamese people, most of them where going back to their homes after a day’s work.

Images by Oliver Astrologo - Interview by Teo J. Babini

Just when we thought we had seen all the possible images on Vietnam… Here comes Oliver Astrologo video and photography portfolio documenting a wonderful journey through one of the most fascinating places on earth.

Reverie of Vietnam from Oliver Astrologo on Vimeo.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional experience in videography.
During the week, I am Digital Director at Studio Hangloose, a creative agency in Rome. It was here that I learned the techniques of video editing while producing commercials for our clients. During the weekend, I become a photographer and embark on various photographic outings. The great thing is that they have many aspects in common and in a sense complement each other; the attention to composition that I undertake at work is related to photography and vice versa.

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

Regarding your Vietnam video, was this business or pleasure? How did u end up in Vietnam?
Leisure. I’m always attracted to Asian Countries, but I think that Vietnam is one of the most fascinating. A country of a thousand faces and laden with millennia of history. Despite being one of the most photographed places on earth, it still has many secrets left to discover. This is what drives my photography: revealing locations and stories that are still unknown.

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

Tell about some of the specific places you visited.
The most interesting aspect was not so much what I visited but how. I travelled using any kind of vehicle: train, boat, airplane, motorbike. The best experience was when I took a bus with some local Vietnamese people, most of them where going back to their homes after a day’s work. They where very friendly and we spent some hours enjoying and talking together! I think this was the best moment! I got a photo! Regarding specific places, Ninh Binh impressed me the most. It represented the classic image of Vietnam: rice fields and rounded mountains. It’s amazing. Everything looks so peaceful.

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

The video features some advanced shooting and editing techniques… How do you achieve this look/style?
I used the speed ramping technique, a process whereby the speed rate of the video changes over time. The images are mixed with real sound effects that I captured with my iPhone. I was inspired by the masterpieces “Watchtower of Turkey” by Leonardo Dalessandri, a very talented Italian video-maker, and Matty Brown with his “Dreaming It{aly}” https://vimeo.com/35270855 The meaning of “Reverie” is a daydream, a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing. That’s the sensation I felt when visiting some places in Vietnam. The concept behind the video is a sort of flashback, this explains the editing.

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

How were you (and your camera) received by the locals?
I always try to be discreet; my intention was to capture real images of people intent on their work. The Vietnamese people are very friendly and rarely objected to being filmed. Often I had the opposite problem; people struck unnatural poses once they realized I was taking their picture.

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

What are your thoughts on the culture in general; music, food drink, etc.?
When I visit a country there is usually one particular feature of the culture or in the landscape that stands out. Vietnam was different. It is so varied that it becomes difficult to select just one feature… They are all beautiful!

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

You’ve made several videos like this from cities and countries around the world, how was your experience in Vietnam different? Any insight on its unique aesthetics?
When I traveled to other countries, I had an idea at the start of my trip of what I could expect. Vietnam was different. It was a wonderful discovery. It will be hard to make a better video on my next trip!

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

Did you keep the hat?
No, unfortunately I lost it during a transfer by boat… However, I jealously guard a message that I was given by a woman during a visit to a temple. I do not know what is written on it, but she said that it would bring good luck. In fact, maybe it’s because of her that the video has had this success.

Instagram: https://instagram.com/oliverhl/
 Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oliver80/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oliver.astrologo
 My website: http://oliverastrologo.com

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

©Oliver Astrologo

 

 

 

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