A Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper journalist is among three winners of a photo contest held to celebrate Vietnam – U.S. ties with a photo he took of former President Bill Clinton in Hanoi 15 years ago.
Viet Dung won the highest prize at the politics – diplomat category of the contest and exhibition titled “Images of Vietnam – US relations and the United States of America through the lens of Vietnamese photographers” for capturing the moment in time.
The photo shows smiling Clinton, who was in Hanoi during a historic visit in November 2000 as the then U.S. President, stands on a balcony of a house and friendly shakes hands with a group of young Vietnamese, who peek out from a window next-door to reach him.
The Tuoi Tre journalist said he took the picture while hustling with five seasoned American photojournalists.
Pushed by a security staff, Dung managed to take three shots at that time, he recalled.
“I was scared that my photos would be blurred since I was pushed,” he said. “I then took the photos to a studio for processing with butterflies in my stomach.”
Fortunately, one of the three came with “quite good quality,” he added.
The Vietnamese journalist also shared his tip that to catch such a moment, the photographer must focus on his object and should not let things around affect his mood.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Michael W. Michalak hailed Dung’s photo as expressing the friendliness of President Clinton to Vietnamese people. It also showed the attentive welcome of Vietnamese people to the U.S. President, he told Tuoi Tre.
Dung also won a consolation prize with his photo “Đoàn nhạc công New York ở hồ Gươm” (New York musician troupe in Sword Lake).
Two other consolation prizes were also awarded to Tuoi Tre correspondents, including the “Thêm 20 năm thành công hơn nữa” (Another 20 years of more success) photo by Nguyen Khanh, and the “Lễ hội người Indian tại Mỹ” (Indian festival in America) photo essay by Hoai Linh.
“Images of Vietnam – US relations and the United States of America through the lens of Vietnamese photographers” is the first photo contest and exhibition to be held on the two countries’ relation.
It was jointly organized by the Vietnam-US Society, the Vietnam-US Magazine and VTV4 on the occasion of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries (July 12, 1995 – July 12, 2015).
Launched in October 2014, the competition received 2,016 photos from 82 authors in Vietnam and abroad after six months. Fifteen winning works were cherry-picked by the contest’s jury consisting of reputable and experienced diplomats, historians, journalists and photographers.
The photo entries tell a broader story about Vietnam, the U.S and peoples in both countries, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said at the award ceremony at the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) in Hanoi on Friday.
He also expressed his hope that works chosen for the exhibition on the 20th anniversary of ties will contribute to strengthen the bilateral relations between Vietnam and the U.S.