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How I Got That Shot: Pho Gia Truyen Canteen, Hanoi

 Pho Gia Truyen

Photo: Brown W. Cannon III

The Assignment: Shot Hanoi, Saigon, and Hue in 12 days (“Ultimate Food Guide to Vietnam”)

Trip Time: It took 30 hours—including a transpacific leg and layovers in Seoul and Singapore—to get to Hanoi, but I was invigorated upon arrival. Just stepping out to explore the city was energizing.

Pho Gia Truyen Canteen, Hanoi

The Scene: Pho with beef and scallions.

On Eating Soup with Chopsticks: It’s noodles first (using your right hand), then broth with the spoon in your left.

How I Got That Shot: I managed not to eat the subject before I took its photo.

The Key Here Was... Simplicity. I used a small f-stop (f/2.8), or a wide-open lens, to create a narrow plane of focus that brought only what I thought was important—the food—into the forefront. All other distractions, like the toothpicks and the condiments, fade into the background.

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