A few weeks ago via a travel business connection, I was introduced by email to Dave Lemke, a Canadian photographer living in Hanoi, Vietnam. I’ve met a good number of professional photographers living in SE Asia over the years while running travel company Smiling Albino, and getting in touch with him wasn’t a priority due to a pretty awesome stack of stuff to do on my desk after returning from a recent trip to Canada. In the email there was a link to a story Dave did for the BBC and needing a break from the daily grind I clicked on it and was pretty impressed.
Having studied radio broadcasting after graduating high school, then completing a journalism degree with a major in television, I’m fairly well versed in narrating a story, shooting photos, basic cinematography, editing and have always wanted to produce a piece that incorporates them all. I’m sure many have done it before Dave, but his piece for BBC does a bang-up job. It helps that the subject is really interesting too – one Gunther Holtorf – who since 1989 has logged more than 800,000km in his Mercedes Benz G. Wagen traveling the globe. Gunther’s been pretty much everywhere, has colorful photos to prove it, but it’s Dave’s weaving of the elements that makes the piece stand up and shine.
Using a couple well-known songs, a collection of still images (both his own and Holtorf’s), some nice narration and smooth editing, Lemke takes the viewer on a journey around the world and in to Gunther’s. Five minutes and 11 seconds flies, and by the end you have a good grasp of the subject, what his journey’s entailed and looks like. It’s a nice, full, concise package with no ego from the reporter, focusing entirely on the subject. Not once do you know what images belong to whom, they’re just there to admire and guide you through the tale.
Lemke’s building a name for himself working mainly in commercial photography in Vietnam’s capital while raising a family but clearly has a talent beyond the lense. His sense for editing, timing and ability to tell a story should not be overlooked and here’s to hoping he puts these talents to work more often. Keep up the good work Dave.