On our way back home after a few weeks of travel through Myanmar, my wife and I added a two-day stopover in Hong Kong. While I’ve been to this iconic city many times, this was the first visit in more than 30 years during which I had some time to really explore and make some nice images. Read on to sample a few of my favorite images.
My wife Mary poses along the lovely Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Promenade in Hong Kong. There are so many images of this stretch of harborside land that it’s a good idea to differentiate yours by including a person, object, or activity in the foreground. Here, I metered off Mary’s jacket and used a touch of balanced fill-in flash so that both she and the skyline would be properly exposed.
Hong Kong’s take on the Hollywood Walk of Stars features a mix of western and Chinese movie stars. This piece of street photography includes a live human cleaning the mural between the images of Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.
Nearly every visitor to Hong Kong takes the Peak Tram railway to the top of Victoria Peak. But almost all of them spend their entire time atop this hill in the well-known shopping center, the Peak Tower. We chose instead to hike the 3-mile Peak Loop around the entire summit of Victoria Peak, where we were treated to some jaw-dropping views of the city. This image was made with a wide-angle lens fitted with a polarizing filter and using a narrow aperture and moderately fast shutter speed. The circular polarizer should first be rotated to provide its maximum effect, then dialed back a bit to allow some of the beautiful reflections to be included.
Hong Kong is a beautiful city that is at its most gorgeous at night. To capture this nighttime cityscape without a tripod, I rested my arms on a fence to steady the camera, used a high ISO sensitivity setting to allow for a relatively fast shutter speed, and employed the lens’ built-in vibration reduction feature to reduce camera shake.
On our second day in Hong Kong, we traveled to Lantau Island to gain a different perspective on the city’s past and present. A highlight of the day was our visit to a traditional fishing village, with houses built on stilts.
Hong Kong has had a severe housing shortage for centuries. In a modern attempt to alleviate the crunch, city planners have been building huge housing developments in the New Territories, like this complex on Lantau Island. I shot the housing complex from a cable car from the Giant Buddha statue in the mountains down to the harbor. I used a long telephoto lens to frame the structure in such a perspective as to show its interesting textures and patterns. In post-processing, I converted the image to black-and-white for a graphic arts look that emphasized the recurring patterns, increased the contrast, and adjusted the color curves to make the image pop.
Hong Kong is a world-class dining destination. On our last night there, we dined at the two-Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Yan Toh Heen. In my food photography, I like to include complementary or contrasting elements, so in this composition I included both the crispy barbecued duck and the house signature cocktail, complete with gold leaf adornment. The color palette is similar between the two elements, but the textures are very different. I prefer not to light food images with flash because the color balance imparted by the flash unit is often unappetizing, so this image was made using available light only, with a fairly wide aperture setting to soften the background and a medium shutter speed to allow hand-holding. To learn more about my approach to food photography, see this post: Post on Food Photography.
All of these images and many more are available to view and perhaps purchase on my website. Simply click on any image here to visit the full photo gallery.
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Want to see more posts about wonderful travel photography destinations? Find them all here: Posts about destinations.