Directing Sunlight by Cao Dien


CAO DIEN was born and raised up in Vietnam but he just moved to the United States a couple months ago to study screenwriting. In Vietnam, he did color grade for MVs and short films and he began to take pictures when he studied in high school but that was just for fun.

About two years ago, he became really passionate in photography. His photography style mainly focuses on fine art and his philosophy is ” Beauty is not necessarily about the face “.

He said that he does not make a photograph with just a camera. He brings to the act of photography all of the pictures in the movies he has watched as Fer Juaristisaid said  “ Photography is like sex. You know the ending. So how can you make it interesting  ? ”. The photo that he took of his mom by using sunlight and lace. That photo was his first BEST OF on photo Vogue-Italy. That’s how he began to take an interest in sunlight and shadows. A few days passed, he began to realize ” Directing Sunlight “. Opening project is photos that he took self-portrait at his house then he invited his friends to be model in this project for him.

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He left Vietnam to US on winter season. First, he visited his cousin at Arlington, he was surprise, because the bed rooms all had windows with blinds. Seeing this made him realize he could use the sunset’s shadows in his photography. He said to his cousin that he wanted to shoot her and she agreed . He took five photos there on sunset. A month later, he had to move Kansas city to begin his program at school. He just realized his room is great place to shoot with sunset .The room had two windows with blinds and was designed to let the sun through in a way that fascinated him. But at that time, it was winter so he waited until early spring and he had no acquaintances, so finding models to shoot with was very hard. On one day, when the sun was down late, that’s phenomenon of  natural change Winter to Spring. He could not wait until someone was able to model for him so he took self-portrait again . This photo that be named ” Thinking ” was choose Pic Of The Day on photo Vogue-Italy and also Winner Honorable on Life-Frame Award . He was lucky, one month later, he had a roommate, his roommate name is Quoc who help him to be a model. Quoc ‘s photos were chosen BEST OF and Front Page on photo Vogue. Four months later, he came back to Arlington, he met friends who just graduated in high school. He tried to focus on his theme, which is they just graduated high school, go face to face with life , far away from home. That emotions were described  by shadows from trees. [Official Website]


For him, shadows look like tattoos ,but they work in a more fascinating way than a regular tattoo.Directing Sunlight project is never end , that’s his journey and he is also continuing to shoot day by day.

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