Street Photography in Hong Kong: Inspiration and tips
1. Go to this street
Where to do street photography in Hong Kong? In Nathan road. Click here for Google maps. Just going up and down this road is enough for many stunning shots. I’ve been up and down that road and back again until my feet begged for mercy. If you are visiting Hong Kong for street photography, you MUST go to Nathan road, it’s where you’ll get most of your shots.
2. Pay attention to the diversity
Hong Kong is incredibly diverse. There’s a melting pot of cultures that reminds me a bit of New York. You’ll find all sorts of people there and from all races, and it makes for rich picture opportunities. There are Jewish and Muslim communities there and because these cultures dress differently, they make for interesting subjects. Like above was a Muslim man holding his hands in his back, dressed all in white.
3. Don’t forget the alleyways
There’s something about the alleyways of Hong Kong. They are gritty and dirty, and I found myself shooting every single one I found because they all have a peculiar charm. This is also one of the places where I switched my wide angle 28mm for a telephoto. I am a huge fan of cyberpunk anime and shooting the alleys with a wide angle allowed me to compress the perspective and bring the background close to the foreground.
4. Incorporate signage
While Hong Kong has a particular “look” to it, one of the ways to signal where your images have been made is with the signage. Incorporate it into your images for that foreign-city stamp. A word of warning however, you will be dating and giving a location to your work, that might be something you want or not,
5. Shoot the buildings
Ah the buildings. Don’t forget them. Hong Kong is MASSIVE. I’ve lived in New York and I felt like a country-boy going to the big city, part of the culture-shock was the buildings. Don’t forget to incorporate them into your shots, or like the image above make them the subject of your frame.
6. Public transportation
Since HK is a big city, there’s loads of buses there. And where there are buses there are open windows, making loads of opportunities for street photographers to shoot images of people riding the bus, like above a kid that seemed lost in his head while riding the bus.
7. The side of the road
There isn’t as many as Vietnam but the side of the Road of HK streets has a few bars and food stalls where people sit down. Keep your camera close as you see these coming down the road to shoot a few frames here and there.
8. Interesting Murals
Again, part of the diversity of Hong Kong means a richness in murals, drawings and interesting paintings. Here’s an example above i found as I walk walking down the road. Seems like various presidents yelling at each other playing Mahjong.
9. Photograph the street vendors
While on Nathan road, you will find a bunch of random markets that offer loads of opportunities for images. Each stall can make a nice image, or the overall market itself can. All of the images on this page (besides the cyberpunk one) have been processed wit these street photography presets for Lightroom.
10. Look for the odd characters
You know what happens in a big city? Your chances of encountering “odd characters” go up exponentially. Only you can define what an odd character is, for me it’s the guy or gal that is eccentric, looks different than other people or simply grimace like one of the images above.
Hong Kong is absolutely a fantastic city to do street photography in. Use these 10 tips and the inspiration examples to make the most out of your street photography. Speaking of which, you are interested in street photography, right? Then check out my street photography course that reveals a step-by-step system to making stunning street photography. I also have a book and street photography magazine that comes out monthly (with a companion video)