This online shoebox contains random pictures, notes, whatever. I've been a professional writer-photographer for so many years now. It's a damn good excuse to carry a camera around.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma


#4) PhotoTreks: Hanoi




March 17, Vietnam: I may have been smiling when I faced this happy group, yet deep inside I was just a little bit terrified. I know my stuff when traveling on my own. But to take a group along with me - man this was something I had never done!


And so began the first ever Smile PhotoTrek. The idea here was to take workshop participants on a shooting adventure through North Vietnam, and show them my favorite aspects of this destination. Whether or not this idea would succeed, however, remained to be seen. As the days proceeded, I gave the PhotoTrekkers plenty of cultural immersion. We gorged on bun cha and cha ca and walked the narrow streets of Hanoi. We raided the floating villages of Cat Ba Island, and held photography discussions in the middle of Halong Bay. At the end of it all we were tired but happy, our cameras steaming from all the shooting we had done.


The group hug at the airport said it all - PhotoTreks was a rousing success!



#3) The Balinese Left Turn




February 3, Indonesia: Turn left. I just had to turn left. Driving a motorbike en route from Tegalalang to Ubud, I saw a narrow country road and felt sudden urge to make a detour. Maybe it was curiosity, or maybe it was something else. This was in Bali at the height of Galungan, the ten-day Balinese Hindu equivalent of Christmas. A time of spirituality and festivity throughout the island.


Ricefields and a dead end greeted me at the end of the road. And then from the paddies it appeared; a village procession in full swing. Garbed in traditional attire, the locals carried on their shoulders the effigies of their protective deities; Barong Landung, a black, sabre-toothed creature, and his fair-skinned wife. Accompanied by prayers and gamelan music, this unusual parade made its way down to the main highway. Of course I followed them, stunned, excited, awed by the splendid serendipity of this left turn.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
The 31st scan out of 6 rolls of Luckypan 100, shot in Hanoi:


Sellers await buyers while a chicken preens at the Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
This is what happened to photography in the last 50 years:


Shot in Hanoi with a Bessa R + Skopar 35mm lens on Luckypan 100 film, developed in Rodinal, scanned on a Kodak RFS3600, uploaded to my iPhone, transferred to Instagram then passed through Gotham filter to make it look like.... a film BW shot!!!! Wooooohooooo!!!

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Four months into 2012 and its already been a crazy busy year for me. Ten locations in 12 weeks, so many highlights, so many new experiences. So many new friends.

Quarter '12

And it's only April 2012!

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

See the sights, meet the locals and take tons of stunning photos with Smile Magazine's photo- editor and multi-awarded photojournalist, Lester Ledesma.

Vietnam's centuries-old capital brims with an exotic character that few other Southeast Asian cities can match. Get to see the city and the awesome UNESCO World Heritage landscapes of Ha Long Bay through the eyes of the multi-awarded Lester Ledesma. There’ll be excellent food, photo critique sessions, plenty of shooting tips and endless photo ops.

Lester has covered Southeast Asia for over a decade, and his work appears in numerous international publications. He is a two-time winner of the PATA Gold Award, an ASEANTA awardee, and an ATTA silver medalist for his travel photography.

★ Travel Dates: 17/March to 21/March, 2012

★ Flight Details:

Cebu Pacific Air
17/Mar (Sat) 10:30PM via 5J744 , Manila to Hanoi
21/Mar (Wed) 01:00AM via 5J745 , Hanoi to Manila

★ Offer:

- Three-day photography tour for 14 participants
- Photo workshop with Lester Ledesma
- Fun photo challenges

The best pictures will be showcased in the next issue of SMILE Magazine!

★ Tour Highlights:

Indulge in street, travel and landscape photography at these locations:

- Hanoi's picturesque old quarter
- Ancient temples like the One-pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature
- Picturesque landmarks like the Hoan Kiem Lake and Ba Dinh Square
- Traditional villages
- An overnight boat cruise along the UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay
- Delectable Vietnamese food

★ Inclusion:

- Two-way airfare (Manila-Hanoi-Manila via Cebu Pacific airlines)
- Transportation (incl. airport transfers in Hanoi)
- Twin-sharing accommodations
- Meals
- Photography workshops (incl. Hanoi shooter's handbook)
- Local guide
★ Minimum Requirements:

- Valid travel documents
- Basic photography knowledge
- DSLR or prosumer digicam
- A game attitude and a keen sense of adventure

★ TOUR PRICE: PHP 25,000

★ Inquiries, Reservations & Payments:

- Payment by bank deposit
- For more info, check out our FACEBOOK page
- The Hanoi PhotoTrek is limited to 14 participants only. Email us now to reserve a slot!



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