Fuji XPro-2, 50mm, f/8, 1/160s, ISO 200
I suppose you could see a scene like this anywhere, but here in Hong Kong (and elsewhere in China) there is really the sense that people are constantly glued to their device to the absolute ignorance of anything going on around them. I must have been maybe three meters away from the lady when I shot this, took my time, framed… she never looked up.
Fuji X-Pro 2, 45mm, f/4, 1/10s, ISO 6400
Just next to where I live – in Tai Hang – is a tiny temple full of character. It’s very dark inside, and when I went there with my fastest lens (the 85mm 1.4) I realised I couldn’t shoot anything, it was too small ! So I used my stabilized 15-55 at the maximum workable settings (very slow, high ISO) and this is what came out. Quite proud of that one, and it really shows a side of Hong Kong that tourists rarely get to see.
When I’m an Old Man
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 2500
My friend Steve recently introduced me to a wonderful poem by Jenny Joseph entitled Warning. It’s about a woman describing all the wild things she will do when she is old. I thought about that when I saw this man in his boxer shorts in the middle of Danshui road with a fire in front of him when it was 32°C outside. Oh, and in case you wonder why this was shot at 2500 ISO it’s because I’m stupid: three weeks ago I shot portraits of my daughter in blinding sunlight and I had to switch the in-built ND filter on to cut some of the light out. I forgot to switch it off, and only realised after that whole set of photos on Danshui Lu. You can see the full set here, if you’re interested.
Dusk on Gotham City
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/50s, ISO 6400
Singapore under heavy clouds can look surprisingly like Nolan’s Gotham City at dusk. I shot this from one of the boat buses that cross the city on my way to a work dinner. I am once again stunned at the low-light performance of the Fuji x100s. Can you believe this is 6400 ISO ?
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 30s, ISO 500
There’s a certain amount of Disneyland artificiality to Singapore. It’s not quite Las Vegas levels of it, but still… One of the most famous hotels is the Marina Bay Sands which I managed to shoot one night on my way back. It was a tricky long exposure (without the in-built ND I was getting too short exposure times due to the ambiant light, but with the ND it was too long so I had to up the ISO!) Still, it’s quite representative of some of the architectural madness in Singapore.
Seven Eleven Heaven
Fuji TX2, 45mm, f/4, 1/30s, ISO 1600
Film: Fuji Superia 1600
There are a lot of 7 Elevens in Hong Kong. I mean, they’re just everywhere. When we went with my family, we had a running joke whenever we got lost in the streets (which kind of happens all the time): whenever one of us would see a 7 Eleven, he’d say: « Oh, I know where we are! Here’s the 7 Eleven ». Anyway, I quite like this shot because not only does it show Hong Kong by night, but it shows the differences in levels with every store a little higher than the previous one. That’s Central for you.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/4; 1/60s, ISO 1000
The first evening, at dusk, I was struck by the possibilities offered by the bright shop windows before closing time to do silhouettes. I have it a shot and was quite pleased with the results. Unfortunately, it requires time and patience, and with kids in tow I had neither, so this is the only attempt. Definitely something I will try again.
For the God of Knowledge
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2, 1/60s; ISO 3200
The first time I went to Hong Kong 7 years ago I was walking around Central and I kind of stumbled upon Man Mo temple on Hollywood Street. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, and is really tiny inside, but the huge incense spirals as far as the eye can see are a truly impressive sight. This place has a mood all of its own and this time I took my wife and kids there so they could share that experience.
No Rest for Street Vendors
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2,8, 1/100s, ISO 2000
If ever a city deserved the nickname City that Never Sleeps it’s Hong Kong. Even late at night there are still plenty of street vendors plying their trade (mostly in fake electronic goods, watches and food). I captured this one because the light struck me as interesting, outlining the customers as it does.
HK Taxi Stand
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2, 1/500s, ISO 3200
I spent a short week in Hong Kong recently, and went out nearly every night to try and capture the particular atmosphere of the city after dusk. I was mostly on Hong Kong Island around Central (my favourite part of HK anyway) and this week I will share photos from a series I entitled Hong Kong Mood, trying to express what makes Hong Kong what it is visually. I was greatly helped by the incredible low-light performance of the Fuji x100s with virtually no grain at ISO 3200. Liberating.