I spent last weekend in Hong Kong. It has a lot going for it: a business, financial and currency hub; a tourist launch pad but also a vibrant tourist attraction in its own right; an iconic skyline to compare with any other as far as highrises go; mountains, a wonderful bay, a mix of tropical weather and London/SanFran pea soups; great food establishments that include a very large number of Michelin starred restaurants; and enough attractions to consume both a weekend and a whole week depending on your inclinations.
But Hong Kong is also a street photographer's paradise, competing with the likes of New York, Tokyo and London for sheer diversity of experience. There are the lanes like beckoning warrens of exploration, the myriad-hued light that challenges you at every hour of the day, the four seasons accompanied as they are by the unpredictability of the weather, the street lights after dark (both sulphur vapour and bright white), the shadows, textures and colours ... and of course the characters that enter the frame at every crossroad and street corner.
New use for a mobile phone
Some of the best places for candid street captures include Soho (also a food haven), Kowloon, Stanley Village, Ocean Park and the length and breadth of Hollywood Road. Sometimes you really have to get in close. It's at times like this that the compact and unobtrusive Fuji X70 shines. It's silent, fairly quick and allows for both one-handed and hip-level captures.
There's a whole city underground
Contemplation at Blake Pier
The old man near the sea
Except for Sunday the weather was a bit of a disappointment, but the wet and cloudy days provided a diffuseness all of their own that was pleasing in its own way, providing a somewhat filmy look to many of the captures.
The absence of junks was also a little disappointing
Glass, steel and concrete make for great reflections
Trump is as popular here as the fell hand of the PRC
Some nice bokeh at the Man Mo temple
The Fairies in the forger's glass
There is a pulse in Hong Kong, a real city vibe that mixes the confidence and glitter of affluent modernity with the starker realities of coexistence, struggle and individual angst. You can feel in on the streets, in the pubs and cafes, in the buses and tram cars and even in the malls! But this only adds to the excitement and enjoyment of the street photographer, providing immediacy, uniqueness and narrative which, with a little luck, can be captured through the lens of the camera.
We also serve who only sit and wait
View from the Peak
The eternal selfie is never far away