The two photographs, "Washing harvested water lilies" by Pham Huy Trung and "Tea Drying" by Tran Tuan were among 14 finalists in the Travel category of the Open Competition for which the winners will be announced on June 9 this year.
Trung’s photo captures five women in conical hats washing pink water lilies in a flooded field in Long An Province, southern Vietnam. The bunches of pink flowers with long stalks together form an S shape as the women clean the flowers after harvesting them.
"Washing harvested water lilies" by Pham Huy Trung.
Water lilies are used for decoration and making tea in east and southeast Asia. Their stalks are edible and can be eaten raw with fermented paste or braised sauce as dips, or cooked in a sour soup or hotpot.
Women in the Mekong Delta use small boats to go pick these water lilies, wash and sell them at local markets. They have been doing this for generations.
The water lily season in the Mekong Delta lasts from early September to mid-November. Along with other aquatic resources, water lilies help people earn an additional income, especially during the flooding season which peaks in October every year.
Tran Tuan’s photo, another aerial shot, shows an amazing patchwork of tea leaves that are being spread out to dry on roughly square sheets of different colours in Moc Chau, a district in the mountainous province of Son La, northern Vietnam.
"Tea Drying" by Tran Tuan.
Held by the World Photography Organization, the contest has received 345,000 submissions from around the world, of which over 190,000 qualified for the Open Competition.
Each winner will receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony to develop their vision and will go on to compete for the prestigious Open Photographer of the Year title and a $5,000 reward.