There are countless ways for a photographer to expand their portfolio and show their keen eye for capturing stunning images in nearly any atmosphere; One of the most adventurous ways to pad your gallery is by arranging a travel photography trip. You might be thinking that planning a trip like this might be a bit overwhelming as there are countless incredible locations all over the world that you might love to see one day. However, you must begin by deciding what sort of images you are trying to capture, and in what ways do you need to expand your portfolio of work. Perhaps you need a few more shot’s of a perfect sunrise or sunset, or maybe you would like to try your hand at long exposure night shots in a busy center city? No matter what kind of pictures you are looking to take, Hong Kong gives every photographer the opportunity to catch magnificent seascapes, beautiful locations for sunsets and sunrises, perfect places for those excellent light-streak photo’s, and so much more. You will find that many of the sites in this article will suggest planning to visit during the spring or summer months of the year. This is because Hong Kong tends to have severe Winter conditions and the smog buildup in the city, as well as cloud cover from the mountains, can make it very difficult to capture any decent images of the area. It is because of these facts that you will want to consider arranging your photo trip to Hong Kong in the Spring and early summer months of the year for the best photo opportunities.
The first kind of image that is popular for photo’s in Hong Kong is night photographs taken either from a mountain overlook or in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The top location for photographers to take stunning pictures of the city, as well as Victoria Harbour, is at the top of Victoria Peak.
This mountain has a beautiful panoramic vantage point over Hong Kong and the Victoria Harbour, but it can be a bit crowded if you are unsure of where to go for the best shot. Instead of going to the overlook and paying a hefty fee to join the other hoards of travelers for an obstructed view of Hong Kong, head down Lugard Road and walk about fifteen to twenty minutes and you will find several spots in that location that offer unobstructed and beautiful views of Hong Kong. The best time to come to Victoria Peak to take your photos is during the early hours of Summer to catch the Sun rising for the day, or just after twilight when all of the city comes to life with the glow of lights.
Central Business District
The Central Business District of Hong Kong is one of the best places to be just as all the lights are coming on in the town and headlights are beginning to shimmer in the streets through the traffic. This is a particular time of day known as the blue hour; The blue hour occurs when the sun is just low enough on the horizon either at the beginning or end of each day, and it’s like is mainly blue in color. You will want to adorn your camera with a wide angle lens and set it for a long exposure shot if you’re going to magnify the effect of all the lights moving through the streets of Hong Kong, giving you that intriguing light streak effect.
Although it might have a luxurious name, Montane Mansion is the standing definition of how closely Hong Kong natives have to live in the vastly populated city. Standing in the center of Montane Mansion and peering up to the sky gives one the feeling of being trapped in a tightly fitting box without a lid. The residential complex is made up of a block of five tightly arranged buildings in the area of Quarry Bay. To capture the most ideal image in this location, stand at the center and look up at the night sky for an eerie, ethereal image.
Shek O Village and Big Head Island
Once you have had your fill of images within the city and capturing it from mountain peaks, turn to nature and grab pictures of the beautiful seascapes and astrological photos you can take of the milky-way on a warm summers night. One of the most stunning locations in all of Hong Kong to capture any of these images is from a beach to the Southern side known as Shek O. The Beach of Shek O is connected to nearby Shek O village with a beautiful blue bridge which is a smart first location to take a few pictures. The beach offers many fantastic places and photo opportunities for photographers taking a photography tour of Hong Kong. Shek O is known to be one of the best places in Hong Kong to capture the image of a perfect sunrise over Hong Kong. The way that the clouds can be caught from this location with a DSLR camera set to a more prolonged exposure can really make a perfect photo for your portfolio. The way that the clouds seem to smear like paint across the sky with this method is a stunning interpretation of the moment on Shek O beach. If you happen to be in the area of Shek O at nighttime in the early months of the summertime expect to capture some stunning images of the milky way as it rises across a starry sky. This is another opportunity to gather light streak photographs if that is something you are looking to build more of in your gallery or portfolio. Again, by setting up your digital camera on a tripod, armed with a wide angle lens and set the shutter to a deficient speed, you can get an interesting effect with star streaks in the sky. Perhaps you have come to Tai Tau Chau, Big Head Island, in the springtime to visit Shek O beach? It might be too early in the season to snag any good pictures of the milky way in the sky, but have no fear of missing out on some fascinating phenomena in the waters below. Algae flock to the area in the spring and emit a blue glow in the waters known as Algae Bloom or Sea Tears. This phenomenon is not entirely useful for the environment or the sea life per se, but the beautiful effect the algae take on in the water is something any photographer would hate to miss on their photo tour. In summation, the best times of year to visit Shek O Village and Big Head Island is during the spring and summer months of the year.
Braemar Hill and Sea Clouds
Algae Bloom is not the only intriguing phenomenon to occur in Hong Kong during the spring and early summer months; Sea Clouds are a beautiful occurrence that generally takes place after a heavy springtime rain. The clouds roll in low and thick over the mountains and the coastline of Hong Kong Island giving the city a veil of dense fog which can be captured from several locations around the area. One of the first places you should arrange to visit, perhaps with a professional photographer or local guide, is Braemar Hill. The district of Braemar Hill is found just south of Northpoint and gives a magnificent vantage point of the city meeting the sea for a great panoramic shot from a unique point of view. If you happen to find a guide, it is best to follow someone familiar with the area as it is not a simple task to get to the area’s to take the best photographs. When planning to visit some of the next few areas, you must consider thinking ahead to arrange for a professional guide to lead you as they are not easily found. To get to the highest point on Braemar Hill, you must trek through thick jungle for roughly thirty minutes. Although there is reflective tape on the trees to assist travelers in finding their way to the peak, it can be a dangerous affair to travel through areas like this alone; Not only due to wildlife and poisonous insects but because of getting lost in unfamiliar terrain. When you are confident, you have found a safe way to the peak, follow your guide to the top to capture your unforgettable panoramic shot of Hong Kong and Victorica Harbour.
Tao Mo Shan and Sea Clouds
To capture the magnificent Sea Cloud phenomenon at the best time, you must observe the weather, and time your photo tour to the top of Tai Mo Shan, or Big Hat Mountain as it is translated too, to attempt the perfect shot of this eery looking fog cover over Hong Kong. The peak of Tai Mo Shan is even harder to reach perhaps than the mountain of Braemar Hill. This is because the ideal way to get to the top is by taxi as it is quite a distance away. However, there are not many taxi drivers who are willing to take passengers to the point you will want to go to get the perfect shot. This is another case where you will have to think in advance and plan for someone to take you to the top of the mountain where you will, again, have to hike for about thirty minutes straight to the top of the hill to get the vantage point you need. Luckily, when you reach the top, after a hard springtime rain, you will see the sea clouds creeping in over Hong Kong and hovering over the city. Planning this trip at nighttime is even better if you can capture it with the sea clouds. As the clouds loom over the city at night, the glow of the lights catches in the fog in such a way that makes for a fantastic shot. Perhaps the phenomenon of sea clouds and the rolling of the fog is not as appealing to you as capturing the perfect sunrise or sunset? Plan to visit the top of Tai Mo Shan in the summertime, and you will be able to capture stunning images of both the sunrise and sunset from this same location at the peak.
Travel Tips for Your Trip to Hong Kong
When planning your travel photo tours to Hong Kong, there are just a few vital tips you will want to keep in mind. The first thing you’ll want to consider when planning your trip is whether or not you want to see the springtime phenomenon of Algae Bloom or Sea Clouds, or whether or not you wish to capture the rising and setting of a summer sun over Hong Kong. Perhaps you are just looking to create some interesting shots of the traffic lights in the bustling center city district? Nailing down precisely the kind of photos you want to capture is significant to when you will plan to travel to Hong Kong. Once you have the time of year prepared, you will need to assemble the tools you need to capture stunning pictures for your portfolio. One of the significant things you will want to acquire is a reliable compact digital camera that includes all the features you will need for the kind of pictures you want to take. This will be a choice made by your artistic preferences and budget of course, and many of the top names in photography have high-end as well as affordable options to choose from, so whichever model speaks to you and offers all that you need to capture the images you’re looking for, have at it! The next item you will need is a wide angle lens if you plan on taking any long exposure shots while you are in Hong Kong, and they are highly recommended as you can get some really fantastic images this way. Finally, if you plan to take these kinds of photo’s where the shutter aperture is turned down low, you will want a sturdy, reliable tripod in which to mount your camera for the perfect shot. Now that you have all the information you need to create an exceptional portfolio of images from Hong Kong start making your plans and gather your materials for a trip you will not soon forget!