Van Buskirk, considers this one of his best shots from all travel. It is very representative of his style. Their is mystery, it’s “street photography,” it’s taken within 30 minutes of sunset for maximum contrast and warm colors, and it is akin to some of the techniques the painter Vermeer employed better than any other artist. In our photoshop day and age, it would be easy to manipulate light and dark to create a photo like this. However, as with almost all photos on this site, the image was taken with an SRL camera. The warmth of the darkroom prints would be difficult to match without a very high-end digital camera and printer.
As for the location, Da Nang is a beach get-away capital of the country. When the shot was taken, in 2002, there were syringes on the edge of the sand…a mixed bag of a destination. with the influx of tourism in the country, the government has no doubt “cleaned up” the bad elements. When Van Buskirk spoke to a wounded war veteran in Na Trang, he didn’t have a single bad word for the photographer’s home country, the US. Like most Vietnamese, his focus is sharply on the future and away from looking at the many outside countries that have brought or escalated war in their country.