This old woman was selling little pottery whistles from a flat-bottomed boat in the river in Hoi An (Vietnam) just near the famous Japanese bridge. I bought one, and mimed asking permission to take her photo. She seemed happy for me to do so, and in fact gave me another whistle, with much hand-clasping and smiles.

FEATURED in Real Life Photography, August 2011
FEATURED in Around the The World, August 2011

440 views, August 17 2012


eyes, vietnam, please, pottery, hoi_an, whistle, denzil, vietnam_faces, faces_of_asia


  • Torfinn
    Torfinnover 5 years ago

    Wonderful shot with beautiful colours, details, and expression.

  • Thank you Torfinn … she had a very special face!

    – Denzil

  • Barssel
    Barsselover 5 years ago

    Great capture D……………………… the framing

  • Thanks Adrian – I really wanted this one to be good, she was so engaging :)

    – Denzil

  • lefty1
    lefty1over 5 years ago

    magnificent work Denzil, one can read the wisdom of time in this lady’s face

  • Thank you so much John, I was really desperate to capture her face as I saw it … and if it works, that’s excellent :)

    – Denzil

  • Babbler
    Babblerover 5 years ago

    wonderful image

  • Thanks for looking :)

    – Denzil

  • Barb Leopold
    Barb Leopoldover 5 years ago

    always nice to hear the story behind the piccie….. lovely stuff Denzil!!

  • Thanks Barb, she really DID have a special face! Her teeth wer stained almost black from betelnut, but I couldn’t catch her smiling!

    – Denzil

  • missrachel1
    missrachel1over 5 years ago

    Now this is truly beautiful and heartbreaking. You’ve done this great justice Denzil. xx

  • Thanks :) She would only smile when she saw the dollar – after that she just looked piteous!

    – Denzil

  • Gisele Bedard
    Gisele Bedardover 5 years ago

    Amazing portrait,those eyes are incredable!

  • thank you so much – I’m happy to have captured the light in her eyes, when her face was really in the shade :)

    – Denzil

  • Colinizing  Photography with Colin Boyd Shafer
    Colinizing Ph...over 5 years ago


  • Thank you:)

    – Denzil

  • Christopher  Ewing
    Christopher E...over 5 years ago

    Excellent image!! wow, out did yourself on this denz, excellent image

  • Thanks Chris, I’m very happy I caught this – it’s a real moment in a fairly touristy town :)

    – Denzil

  • tracyleephoto
    tracyleephotoover 5 years ago

    Great shot Denzil, i have just returned from a trip to Hoi An and i think i have a photo of the same lady!! wasnt the town amazing!

  • Wasn’t it amazing indeed! We should trade stories! We were there in mid Jan this year.

    I loved Hoi An, after arriving late one afternoon and being hyper-exposed to street touts and general botherers, and thinking I’d hate it… spent the next day wandering around, taking it all in, seeing some of the beautiful old buildings, finding this whistle woman, taking a boat trip that included being dropped on a desolate bank miles form nowhere, and our boat person taking us probably half a mile back to our homestay place through back streets and out-of-the-way places … ooooohh, I could go on for hours!!!

    – Denzil

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