Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the Ocean

Photographer Dao Dang Cong Trung has spent years capturing rare images of coral reefs and sea creatures while collecting trash on the seabed.

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The 42-year-old Hoi An native, who works at a resort on the Son Tra peninsula in Da Nang, is able to dive to depths of 10-12m and hold his breath for two minutes. He took many underwater photos off Da Nang, mainly around Son Tra. Photo by Kim Thu

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanOver 100 coral species are found around the peninsula.

Trung began taking underwater photos around five years ago. Every time he dives, he also collects trash from the seafloor and frees corals from nets, he says.

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Over 100 species of coral are found around the peninsula.

Trung started taking underwater photos about five years ago. Each time it dives, it also picks up trash from the seabed and releases corals from the nets, he says.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanA starfish latches on to a coral reef at around 10m depth.

Trung says there are a lot of corals around Son Tra, but the reefs near the Bai Nam area, close to shore, is vulnerable to people accidentally damaging them while sightseeing. Damaged reefs could take years to return to their original state.

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A starfish clings to a coral reef about 10m deep.

Trung says there are plenty of corals around Son Tra, but the reefs near the Bai Nam area near the shore are vulnerable to people accidentally damaging them while sightseeing. Damaged reefs could take years to return to their original state.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanA reef develops over hundreds of years with individual sections spanning 3-4 meters.

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A reef grows over hundreds of years with individual sections extending 3-4 meters.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanA jellyfish, whose tentacles are four meters long, floats in the water. Their sting is especially venomous and causes an intense burning sensation. They are also bio-luminescent.

"To take photos of jellyfish you need to approach them head-on and not chase after them. Their tentacles could injure you otherwise."

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A jellyfish, whose tentacles are four meters long, floats in the water. Their sting is particularly poisonous and causes an intense burning sensation. They are also bio-luminescent.

“To take pictures of jellyfish, you need to approach them head-on and not chase them. Otherwise, their tentacles could injure you.”

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanA sea fan coral photographed by Trung was recognized by the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute as the first of its kind identified in the waters around Son Tra.

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A sea fan coral photographed by Trung has been recognized by the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography as the first of its kind identified in the waters around Son Tra.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanRed coral found at 12-15m depth.

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Red coral found at 12-15m depth.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanPoisonous anemone often harbor certain creatures like the clownfish.

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The poisonous anemone is often home to certain creatures like clownfish.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanMany fishes feed in coral reefs.

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Many fish feed in coral reefs.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanA photo of a feather duster worm taken by Trung. He says they are hard to photograph as they tend to retract when something comes close.

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A photo of a feather duster worm taken by Trung. He says they are difficult to photograph because they tend to retract when something gets close.

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanA photo of the feather star, which Trung says is the hardest to photograph since they tend to flee when something approaches them. As Trung can only hold his breath for around two minutes, the small window of time only allowed him to take two photos of the creature.

"There are many other interesting sights and creatures under the sea, but due to a lack of equipment, I have had to give them up. I have never taken photos of species like sea eels and snakes."

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A photo of the feathered star, which Trung says is the hardest to photograph because it tends to run away when something gets close to it. Since Trung can only hold his breath for about two minutes, the small window of time only allowed him to take two photos of the creature.

“There are many other interesting sights and creatures under the sea, but due to a lack of equipment I had to give them up. I have never taken pictures of species like sea eels and sea eels. snakes.”

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanTrung has been collecting trash from the sea for several years. Every time he dives, he can bring 10 kg of things like bottles and nets to the surface.

"By telling the stories of collecting trash and taking photos of corals and the beauty of sea creatures, I want to spread the message of environmental protection."

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Trung has been collecting litter from the sea for several years. Each time he dives, he can bring to the surface 10 kg of objects such as bottles and nets.

“By telling the stories of litter collection and taking pictures of corals and the beauty of sea creatures, I want to spread the message of environmental protection.”

Da Nang Photographer Snorkels to Capture the Beauty of the OceanTrung showcases his photo book ‘Kham pha dai duong’ (Ocean discoveries). He won the first prize in a photo contest on the environment and biodiversity in Da Nang in 2020 for his ‘Nguoi luom rac’ (The trash collector).

Nguyen Quang, a member of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists, says taking photos under the sea is difficult since it requires diving equipment and knowledge of the sea and its creatures.

"Trung's entries in the contest in the last two years have brought a breath of fresh air to the photography art in Da Nang."

He captures the coral reefs and sea creatures, which not many people have done before, Quang adds.

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Trung presents his photobook ‘Kham pha dai duong’ (ocean discoveries). He won first prize in an environment and biodiversity photo competition in Da Nang in 2020 for his ‘Nguoi luom rac’ (The Garbage Picker).

Nguyen Quang, a member of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists, explains that taking pictures under the sea is difficult as it requires scuba gear and knowledge of the sea and its creatures.

“Trung’s contest entries over the past two years have brought a breath of fresh air to the art of photography in Da Nang.”

It captures coral reefs and sea creatures, which few people have done before, Quang adds.

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