I intended to buy a new camera for about a year, but for different reasons - a temporary lack of financial means, the camera I had selected was not available, I was not exactly sure which one I wanted instead, I simply did not give it much priority for a while - I continuously postponed the purchase. Two weeks ago, I decided that it was about time to finally get myself the present I had wanted to buy for a long time. The main reason was the fact that I was not exactly satisfied with most of the pictures we had taken on our last trip to Toraja. So we went to the MediaMart - yes, it exists in Vietnam, and it is doing well as consumerism is by far the country's most popular secular ideology, and electrical appliances the main objects of desire - and had a look at the available cameras. Following my intuition, I chose the Nikon Coolpix P90 - a lovely compact camera with a good lens (24x optical zoom) and a great number of options.
The result is wonderful. I have rediscovered my former love of photography. Despite my lack of knowledge of its technological aspects, I enjoy making compositions, photographing buildings and daily life, and wandering around looking for interesting images. It has changed the way I look at the city in which I live. Suddenly, Hanoi turns out to be full of hidden gems - a peculiar temple, fishermen in a lake, a vendor on a bicycle - waiting to be discovered by my camera. The camera does not make me forget my antipathy completely, but it does make me rediscover some of the city's hidden beauty, thus improving my overall opinion of the city.
Needless to say, I have not had time to discover all of the camera's options and functions yet, so my pictures are by no means as good as they could (and, hopefully, will) be. But just to give you an indication of what Hanoi looks like in early summer, here are a few of the pictures I have taken so far.