Cold Urban Jungle
Fuji x100f, 28mm, f/11, 17s, ISO 1000
In Tokyo I was in the Shimbashi area by accident, but I loved the vertical nature of the city around there. Cold, to be sure, but multi-level with elevated pedestrian platforms everywhere and great perspectives…
Quiet Shimbashi Road
Fuji, x100f, 28mm, f/11, 26s, ISO 400
I went to Tokyo fully determined to do lots of light trails, but I realised that you rarely stumble upon the right locations without knowing ahead of time what might look good. Also: pedestrian overpasses: good. Glass railings: bad. This was the best I managed, with a tripod precariously perched on the tip of a glass railing…
Fuji x100F, 35mm, f/8, 1/320s, ISO 200
Even for really large buildings, they still use bamboo scaffolding here in Hong Kong (in Shanghai it was metal scaffolding made to look the colour of bamboo!) And in order to avoid dust flying all around they wrap the building in protective sheets. To great effect, as you can see, but as the advert says on top, « We Create, We Are Artisans! »
Fuji X-Pro2, 27mm, f/8, 1/10s, ISO 200
It won’t have escaped your notice that I’m fascinated with Hong Kong buildings. Having said that, admiring them and framing them in an effective composition are two different things. As I walk around the streets of Central or Causeway Bay, I try not just to see cool looking scrapers but to structure them inside a photo. Work in progress, as they say, but I think I’m getting there.
Sunset over Causeway Bay
One of the things I quickly noticed upon arriving in Hong Kong is the quality of light. In Shanghai the light was mostly flat, in France it often is too. Here the light is powerful and direct when the sky is bue, different but no less interesting when there are clouds. It’s a photographer’s delight as this sunset shot taken from the window of my son’s room hopefully shows.
In certain streets when you look straight up, you see the jagged edges of buildings nearly on all sides. It’s a very impressive sight and one that I’ve only seen here.
Slow Hong Kong
Fuji x100s, 50mm, f/11, 85s, ISO 200
50mm telephoto extension + in-built ND8 filter
I always meant to explore Bulb mode for really long exposures, but have rarely found the opportunities to do it. Monday night I realized my 21st floor hotel room overlooked a highway amidst tall Hong Kong buildings. I set up my tripod against the window sill and voila! This is a rough version as I’m posting this from the airport and haven’t had time to really tweak the colour temperature, but it’s interesting (I think).
The Three Towers
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/16, 30s, ISO 200
A few years ago I went to Shanghai on a business trip and took a photo that I entitled The Two Towers (in a not so subtle reference to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings) featuring the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Tower. Going back to a similar location last week, I realised that even if I’d wanted to, I couldn’t do the same shot again: there’s a third tower now, the nearly finished Shanghai Tower. Still, I stabilized my gorillapod, screwed on my ND 400 filter, activated the internal ND 8 filter (for a combined ND 3200) and fired for 30s in plain daylight. I quite like the results.
Fuji x100s, f/11, 30s, ISO 200
Another early morning shot in San Francisco. This is the view of the city from Pier 14. I like how the top of the Transamerican Building peaks above the skyline at the back. Processed with X-Equals XeL 2.0.
Canon 7D, 32mm, f/13, 1/400s, ISO 400
The view from the rotating top of the Auckland Skytower is stunning, especially on a bright day like the September day I went up there. It is however surprisingly difficult to take a good shot of that view in between the unusually high vantage point and the color cast from the windows. Still, I managed to produce this one. It’s not a work of art by any means, but it shows downtown Auckland, the harbour in action and Rangitoto. Better than nothing…