Moved by the rich culture of Vietnam and the life of hill tribe minorities treading the northwest market town of Sapa, travel photographer Darryll Rapacon decided to share his experience with his audience, releasing a photo series highlighting the town. When asked about his inspiration, Daryll shared that the unique and interesting identity of the place was enough for him to push through with the series. He also said that the style was greatly influenced by the documentary film Finding Vivian Maier, which also inspired him to adopt Maier's photography style of shooting at waist height, staring down onto the focusing screen from above, which allows him to avoid making eye contact with the subject and take more candid shots. Darryll shoots in Black and White and processes the colors later, so that he can focus more on the light and shadows. For the SAPA series, he intended for the photos to be dark and low-key to put emphasis on the mystery of the place and leave something for the audience to interpret.
Finally, when it comes to his experience of the place and its impact on him as an artist, Darryll commented, "The whole Sapa experience helped me improve my craft. Challenging situations came along - from meeting an accident on the first day to dealing with daily touts by the locals. The photo of a girl peeking through a door is one of my favorites from the set. It was taken inside a Shaman’s house while a woman was standing outside with a knife. I did a really quick shot and hoped everything turned out fine. Having a knowledge of the place you’re visiting allows you to take better photographs. I did a lot of research about the destination and checked out photos that other photographers have taken. The challenge is always on how one must showcase the place differently from others. And in this case, it is by showcasing Sapa not simply with 'what I saw', but with 'how I saw it.'"
View several photos from his collection below, and take a look at the complete set here. And you can follow him on Instagram at @legendarrylll.