Friday, December 16, 2011

We've Moved!!

This is the last post on You can now find future updates at simply! The website itself is still under construction, but most of it is already done.

From the Pompidou series in Paris, France 2010

You might remember this couple from a series I did in Paris. What you might not have seen is the picture below. Apparently they were sitting right in front of me (while I was shooting with my 70-300mm lens) before they got up and contributed to my series!

Paris, France 2010

Monday, December 12, 2011

Update Suspention

Hello Readers!

I'm slowly in the process moving to It's not even close to ready yet -- a lot of dead links and whatnot. I'll let you know when the blog is back up though! I suspect within a few days :)

Hai Ngo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

DeKalb, Illinois

Paris, France 2010 

Wilmington, North Carolina 2010

Sprinted to the Megabus, yelling out for them to hold the bus yesterday as I frantically scrambled around downtown Minneapolis trying to figure out where the Megabus stops. This morning I'm in DeKalb, Illinois going through old photos (again) trying to pick out which ones I like and want to present as my body of work. Right now I'm not sure whether I want to show personal work on my website or to mix commercial work and fine art. All decisions that will have to be made in the next couple days. These two pictures are ones that I think would go in personal work. Film: Ilford HP400+

-Hai Ngo

Saturday, December 10, 2011


 Saigon, Vietnam 2011

Saigon, Vietnam 2011 

Saigon, Vietnam 2011

First one is a hand-crank-powered bike. Its usually used be people who have some sort of disability. The girl on the back is selling lottery tickets. People who carry around lottery tickets and sell them on the streets typically are not in financially stable homes.
Second picture is one of my many cousins. He's adjusting the seat height before biking -- he shares the bike with his older sister.
Third picture is two men waiting for business. One transports goods, the other transports people.

Soldered some wires together at my internship yesterday to get some photography equipment to work. Burnt myself (a little) in the process cause I forgot the soldering pen was hot... But the burn is almost already healed!

Hai Ngo

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hans Breder

 Saigon, Vietnam 2011

Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011 

Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011 

Went to the Walker Art Center for the first time in a while yesterday. Check out Hans Breder's work! (The link is just to a Google search).

-Hai Ngo

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Northfield, Minnesota 2010

After a week of informational interviews with alumni and working professionals, the whole art thing (including commercial photography) is starting to seem pretty scary. Even becoming a successful freelance photographer doesn't seem nearly as appealing anymore. I suppose we all knew the fiscal risks of the field, but its the added marketing and business part of it that really does not seem fulfilling. I just want to be a dreamer, but I'm becoming awfully scared to dream.

I was putting together pictures of Carleton at someone's request, and found the above photograph. I had cropped it really wide originally, but now looking back at it there was no need for the crop. So here it is, uncropped.

Also, I realized I should probably try to optimize search results for "Hai Ngo" a little more, so I'm going to start signing off of every post :)
-Hai Ngo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Coffee

Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

In the past few days I've probably averaged 2 coffee shops a day with alumni and working professionals for informational interviews. So far my favorite coffee place (for their coffee) is Tarracino in Minneapolis. The atmosphere there is a mix between edgy art hipster and subtle classiness. I'm not really sure how well those mix, but its a nice enough place.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Most Intellectual Colleges

 Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

 Saigon, Vietnam 2011

Da Lat, Vietnm 2011

This popped up in my Facebook news feed this morning: Huffington Post ranks Carleton College 2nd most intellectual college in the nation. Actually I'm not sure if it's second most (it just appears second), but its top 10 anyways.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coffee Break

Northfield, Minnesota 2011.

This is a really random post. 1) Above is a picture of Reed, my freshman, sophomore, and senior year roommate. 2) I'm going out for coffee the next four days for informal interviews with various photographers or photography-related people.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ross Andersson

Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

Picked up a winter break internship with Ross Andersson today. 8 hour work days. Learned a few things about lighting, got some hands-on experience with some more lighting/studio equipment. The internship is unpaid though...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Step II: Cut and Stitch

In case you missed it, here's the post for Step I. Step II involved cutting off white boarders from almost 100 tabloid sized sheets...

... and then stitching them together using scotch tape.

We're not done yet. The final product doesn't look anything close to the images above. Special thanks to Linda and Stephen --  Art professors at Carleton -- for letting me use their equipment and facilities!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Blue and Yellow Skies

Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

You might think the blues and yellows/oranges in this photograph look fake. But its not. This photograph is processed though -- some boosted contrast and a lot of highlight control around the sun.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

1st of December

Saigon, Vietnam 2011

I don't have many of these types of shots -- non-macro abstract geometric shots -- but I find this one is particularly soothing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Step 1: Prepare the Digital Files

Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

This the product of the highlights and shadows masks you've seen in this and last week's blog posts:
1) Highlights
2) Shadows (Sneak Peak)

This was shot on 120mm Ektar 100 film. If you're on campus winter term, expect to see this image transferred on to a 45"x45" piece of wood in the library. So far on this project, I've scanned in a lot of film, looked through it all, selected three photos, re-scanned them at super high resolution, and processed them. Step 2 is print, cut, stitch together, and prepare the wood medium. I'll update you as I go :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

Here's my dad, watching over the bike as I explored the beach with my cameras, lenses, and tripod.

Monday, November 28, 2011

1 Terabyte

Paris, France 2010

If all goes well, all my pictures will have been successfully back'ed-up when I wake up. And its official. I have over 1TB photos and photoshop files.

The picture above is a portrait of Brian from my Lighting Seminar class in Paris. Shot on Ilford 400 B&W film.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday Cards

Paris, France 2010

I was cleaning out my basement the other day (only because I needed to move a desk from the basement into my room.) I haven't worked on a desk at home since... well, I don't think I've ever worked on a desk at my house. I've always worked on the couch, on the floor, and sometimes the kitchen table. But now that I'm suppose to work on my senior thesis, I figured I should set up desk space.

Anyways, I found a bunch of blank holiday cards around the house. I never really understood pre-made holiday cards... doesn't have much sentimental value, doesn't say "I tried", doesn't really seem to add any value to one's gift. At best it says, "I saw this specific joke/picture on the shelf and it reminded me of some memory we shared." I guess I'm one of the few though cause Hallmark seems to be pretty well.

More (bad) Photos

 Paris, France 2010

Paris France, 2010

A little bit of a continuation from yesterday's post. Very bad touristy photos, I know. I promise I'll start shooting again! Unfortunately I'm shooting on film ... (so there's a very long turn around time.)

Office Depot

Paris, France 2010

Fanciest looking Office Depot ever? Was going through some old Paris photos to find a specific one to print for someone as a gift. It's the last picture in this post.

Also, I have a new email address!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nha Trang, Vietnam 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! My family's having roast pork and roast duck for Thanks Giving dinner. (We're not big on turkey.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Here's the other half of yesterday's image. This one is the image's highlights, yesterday's is shadows. Both were manually drawn.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sneak Peak

For those who follow hai-lights regularly, you've probably noticed a few similar images to this one. Here's another sneak peak at what I'm working on for my Winter exhibit. (Still a work in progress.)

Also, to the alumni who will receive the Winter addition of The Voice, note that while I am grateful to have my pictures in the issue, I did not have much of a say in the photos that were selected. Also note that the artist-side of the project is not well represented (to my knowledge). But I'm sure the people who are in charge of The Voice will make it great nonetheless :)

Monday, November 21, 2011


 Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

  Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

 Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

Now that I think about it, this is one of my first times shooting waterfalls. I recall wishing I had some ND filters because these tourist spots were only open during the day when the was too much sun. The ND filter would have allowed me to slow down y shutter even more to have even a greater softening effect on the water.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011 

Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011 

When I saw this sight in Vietnam, I ran down to the edge of the beach and casually pulled out my camera (I didn't want to scare anyone away). Unfortunately by the time I did this, the fisherman (top picture) was already returning to shore.

Here at Carleton College, finals are starting to wrap up. I figured out what to write for my Kant essay and Aristotle is almost done. (All stuff I'm sure you don't care about.) :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011


 Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

Saigon, Vietnam 2011 

Saigon, Vietnam 2011 

Here's some random film shots ...(I'm really running low on quality photos to share.) Its finals right not at Carleton College though and I'm struggling to figure out what to write for my Kant essay due in a couple days.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

This guys sharpening his knife to cut up the pig's ribs (or legs?).

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

Finals time at Carleton College.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

I processed the above image and this image in a very similar manner. Looking back at it, I'm starting to wonder if the skin looks too fake -- if I added to much micro-contrast. What do you think?

For those who are familiar with Photoshop, yesterday's post will be illuminating to how I created this micro contrast.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fovea Centralis Sneak Peak

Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

Qui Nhon, Vietnam 2011

Here's a small preview of my winter exhibition in the makings.


Da Lat, Vietnam 2011

Sorry I've been so bad with updating everyday. Ultimate and finals (essays) have been keeping me occupied. I also don't think I've taken a picture in quite a while...