Pentaxian Profile: Nguyen Nam
Professional photographer from Vietnam
By PF Staff in Pentaxian Profiles on Oct 25, 2017
"Nguyen Nam" is the signature you'll find in all of my photos, and that's what Pentaxians in Vietnam call me. I graduated as a civil engineer, which taught me a lot about different building materials, but not much about creative art. Honestly, becoming a photographer was not my first idea after university. Before the crossroads that led to my photo career, I spent my days working with technical drawings and engineers at project sites. This trained me to effectively cooperate with others while working, which in turn, surprisingly, taught me how to capture emotions in photos.
I discovered the Pentax world somewhat accidentally. In Vietnam, there are many Japanese factories, and I worked for a Japanese construction company which contributed to the modern-day Pentax factory. (If you encounter any manufacturing issues with your lenses, please don't blame me— my colleagues and I have done our construction jobs very carefully!)
Early on in this project, I had no idea what Pentax was. The factory staff (workers in white coats) looked just like those in other industrial factories where I had worked before. My first impression was simply of how clean they were. What I didn't know at the time was that all this would lead to a big change in my future line of work.
Film shooting with the MZ-S
After 2 years of traveling between many brands of DSLRs, I met my first match– the Pentax K10D. This camera allowed me to take on many jobs, including travel, wedding, and product photography. To this day I remember the unique rendering that the K10D's CCD sensor delivered.
The merry-go-round of destiny turned me to my next body. This was the charming, super-rare silver edition of the Pentax K200D. Half of my product photos came from this camera. At times I questioned whether it was right to stick to Pentax, since the focusing was definitely slower than other brands. I had to fight to persevere and learn how to control the camera optimally.
Luckily, these grey days didn't last long. When Pentax K-5 IIs was released, I was proud to be one of the first users of this flagship body. I realized that the focusing performance had been very much improved. I could effectively capture photos of my daughter as she played in the yard. With her hyper character at her age, the older generation of Pentax DSLRs really struggled to keep up.
My FA* workhorse lenses
Next, with the release of the K-3, the white balance performance made a giant step forward in tough lighting. Even more satisfaction came when Pentax released their first digital full-frame, the K-1. I found the focus point display to be very useful. I do hope that my journey with Pentax will continue for many years to come, and I will also try my best to share my inspiration with Pentaxians my area.
My trio of Pentax K-1's
I currently specialize in product photography and portraiture. I am most interested in low-key photography, where I can leverage the light to create subtle effects. Besides this, I'm focusing on gym, fitness, and yoga photography. I've invested in a fitness center and I became the exclusive photographer in my own studio where I shoot promotional photos for marketing campaigns. The full-frame K-1 is perfect for this. In my free time, I shift over to the close-up world with my treasured FA* 200mm F4 Macro, a lens with tremendous potential. I'm fortunate enough to have access to many limited, rare, and high-end Pentax lenses. But you would be surprised that I'm an even bigger collector of boxes. If you were to give me a gift, I'd prefer to get a rare box than an expensive lens.
Below you'll find some of my favorite photos (click to enlarge), and you can browse my most recent work on my Flickr page.