Update: 09:22 | 27/12/2021
2021 has seen Vietnamese photographers make their mark in the world by winning top honors at prestigious international contests with scintillating shots taken in all parts of the country.
In January, lensman Le Viet Khanh claimed third prize in the architecture category in the Black & White photo competition of the annual International Monochrome Photography Awards for a shot of the bronze Buddha statue rising above the clouds on Mount Fansipan at a height of 3,143 meters above sea level.
"This photo caught an extremely rare moment when clouds follow the wind over the top of the mountain, but just enough to see this structure. It was taken on a very cold winter morning, after a whole night of heavy rain in this mountainous area," Khanh said.
Dubbed the "Roof of Indochina", Fansipan is located in the northern province of Lao Cai, nine kilometers southwest of Sa Pa Town, a popular tourist hotspot.
The award is a coveted one by both amateur and professional photographers.
This photograph of a woman putting out fish to dry under a scorching sun, taken by Khanh Phan in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, was named winner of the Travel category at the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards. The photo was taken at the Long Hai fish market in Vung Tau, the capital town of the province.
Organized by the World Photography Organization, the annual contest selects "the best single images" in categories such as travel, architecture and street photography.
In April, Tran Tuan Viet won the Readers' Choice Award in this year's Smithsonian photo contest with a shot that showed a worker preparing an 18-meter-long hot air balloon during a tourism festival at the Ba Vi National Park on the outskirts of Hanoi.
Viet said it took the worker more than an hour to complete the preparations.
"I spent many days attending the festival and got up around 5 a.m. and traveled more than 100 km each day, waiting for this moment."
The annual photo contest is organized by Smithsonian magazine, the official journal published by the U.S.'s Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum, education and research institution.
In May, photographer Ninh Manh Thang won a silver medal at the ‘Travel’ category of Photo Circle 2021 for this shot of a large flock of birds flying over a group of tourists enjoying a boat tour at the Van Long Lagoon in Ninh Binh Province, around two hours east of Hanoi.
The lagoon, famous for appearing in Hollywood blockbuster "Kong: Skull Island", is surrounded by karst limestone mountains and spectacular caves and is home to rare and endangered species listed in Vietnam’s Red Book.
The contest was organized by Photo Art Group Prilep in North Macedonia, enabling amateur and professional photographers to compete across nine categories, including open color, open monochrome, nature, photojournalism, travel, portraiture, wildlife, architecture, and street.
Also in May, Nguyen Huu Thong gained global fame with this shot of a flea market breakfast at a rural market in the northern highlands province of Ha Giang. He bagged first prize in the "Food on the Table" category at the U.K.’s Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards.
Another winner of the award was Tran Viet Van who claimed first prize in the Street Food category with a shot of four young girls enjoying che (sweet soup) on a street in Hoi An, a UNESCO heritage site and top tourist destination in Vietnam.
Nguyen Phuoc Hoai also won the second prize in the ‘Food in the Field’ category of the awards with his shot of a farmer feeding ducks at the Tra O Pond in Binh Dinh Province.
Founded by Caroline Kenyon and her team at The Food Awards Company, the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year is the world's leading awards recognizing the art and diversity of food photography.
In late May, Hoai won a merit award at the All About Photo Contest for his shot of a fishing net being cast from a boat off Yen Islet, around 15 kilometers to the north of Tuy Hoa, the provincial capital of Phu Yen Province.
Organized by online magazine All About Photo, the contest is dedicated to showcasing the work of photographers around the world.
In late May, Pham Huy Trung's shot capturing a woman harvesting water chestnuts in a field of Thang Binh District in central Quang Nam Province won the first prize in the drone photography category of the annual 35AWARDS 2020, an international event created in 2015 by the professional photo community 35photo.pro.
In June, Khanh Phan gained global recognition, winning third prize at the Malta International Photo Awards with €500 ($596) in cash for her shot capturing women in conical hats harvesting water lilies.
Taken in a pond in Moc Hoa District in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, the photo shows the women washing the flowers with long stems.
Founded in 2018, the Malta International Photo Award is a premier contest that seeks to share and promote the art of and passion for photography across the globe.
In September, Trung bagged first prize in the 'People' category of the 2021 Drone Photo Awards for this capture of a fisherman rowing his boat inside the Ru Cha mangrove forest in Tam Giang Lagoon on a winter day when the trees had shed their leaves, revealing strikingly white branches.
The Drone Photo Awards competition is organized by Art Photo Travel, a non-profit association that creates cultural initiatives aimed at spreading, promoting and enhancing art, monuments, traditions, cultures and natural beauty around the world.
Ly Hoang Long won a merit award at the 2021 Travel Photos of the Year contest in late September for this shot of a middle-aged resident of Tat Vien Village in Tien Lu District, Hung Yen Province crossing a bridge with a bicycle carrying several dozen bamboo fishing baskets.
The contest was organized by All About Photo, an online magazine dedicated to showcasing the work of photographers around the world.
In November, Bui Viet Duc won a $1,000 silver prize in the Beauty of Nature category at The First Half of 2021 Smile World contest with this shot of the Long Coc tea hills smothered by early morning mist.
The contest is annually organized by the Smile World International Photography Union.