Photographing your Town or City

posted on 30th of april, 2010

Home is often a house, an apartment or a city. It is a place where you feel at ease and comfortable and yet its also one of the places where photography is tough. You see the same sights every day, go to and from the same places on the way to and from work and everything seems to blur into a mundane routine where you don't feel an urge to take out the camera and start making images.

On the opposite end of the spectrum though, images of your home, whatever it may be, are usually the ones with the most meaning and creativity. Because you see the same subjects every day you try to make them more inspiring, more interesting, and your camera is a unique tool to do this with.

For me "home" is now Hong Kong. Up until a year ago I had always lived in the States, so when I first moves across the ocean I found Hong Kong to be an exotic and exciting place. A year later everything has calmed down despite the crazyness of it all. So I took out my camera for fun instead of for assignments at work and found the new images to be much better than the ones of my initial impressions of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong skyline is probably the most photographed thing in this country. It is absolutely beautiful and is one of the things that I'll never get tired of. Having imaged it from the standard points though I wanted to do something different. Something to show the intricacies of the city and what goes on here instead of just showing a pretty picture. While this picture does show the skyline it also shows the dozens of cranes as well. Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are some of the most densely populated places in the world and there is always construction going on. Old buildings are torn down and replaced by bigger and taller ones. In this picture the construction is for a new express rail link that will connect Hong Kong to the rest of China. Right now it takes three hours to go to Guangzhou in Guangdong Province but after the rail link is finished it will only take 50 minutes.

From a popular tourist spot known as "The Peak" there are millions of pictures. But most of them only show the city and not the mountain sides. Hong Kong is a very mountainous country and the city sprawls upward everywhere there is open space. Instead of showing just the mangled beautiful mess of the city I also added the sides of Victoria Peak for context and a greater understanding of what Hong Kong is.

This third image in the blog post is also taken in Hong Kong. Believe it or not, 70% of the country is uninhabitable land and there are hundreds of great hiking trails running through the New Territories farther away from the city and on the outlying islands. Hong Kong is not only a sprawling metropolis but is also a place of wonderful mountain peaks and fairytale sunsets and sunrises (massive pollution does have its bonuses!)

So if you feel uninspired, grab your camera and walk around your town or city. Try to capture a better essence of the place and show it in a much more enlightening manner!

Comments (14)

Posted by Frantab01 on May 02, 2010
great shots, congratulations and good luck :)
Posted by Jonvitalija on May 02, 2010
Nice pictures !!
Posted by Rosedarc on May 01, 2010
Beautifully written blog illustrated by awesome shots. Very inspiring!
Posted by Trvljunky on April 30, 2010
I agree with this. After living in Miami for nearly 5 years now, although I love the beach and the Everglades, from a photographic point of view, I am tired of those topics. As well, being in South FL makes it hard to find new scenery. As a result it has forced me to look at the city in a different light. I have moved from the beach to the streets and traded sand and water for graffiti and neon! It has really helped my creativity and offered me a new perspective of the place I live. While I am not yet sure if this translates to stock (of which I am new at) it has sparked my photography in general.
Posted by Justmeyo on April 30, 2010
The photos looks awesome:)Congratulations!
Posted by Cmarshall717 on April 30, 2010
What GORGEOUS images!
Posted by Joezachs on April 30, 2010
Yes the mountain side and the country side is what makes up for that city.
Posted by Mariaam on April 30, 2010
Great photos! Thanks for the tip! That´s a good idea:"Try to capture a better essence of the place and show it in a much more enlightening manner!"
Posted by Wildmac on April 30, 2010
Love your images! They are very different to the Hong Kong I'm used to seeing in pictures. Hope you have great sales with them too :)
Posted by Thanatonautii on April 30, 2010
Great pictures! I would like to visit Honk Kong some day, but for the moment it seems so so far away :(
Posted by Jdanne on April 30, 2010
Congratulation! Really good photos.
Posted by Marilyngould on April 30, 2010
Wonderful images - love the city construction! Thanks for the inspirational boost to take another look at what surrounds us on a daily basis.
Posted by Maczuga on April 30, 2010
thanks for the inspiration! love the photos.
Posted by Bradcalkins on April 30, 2010
Love the third shot - I've been to Hong Kong a few times and definitely didn't stumble upon anything without people around!

Comments (14)

This article has been read 1360 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Tim Martin.

About me

I am one of Dreamstime's remote editors. Cycling junkie, avid photographer and will go anywhere to get that perfect shot. I've traveled to 80+ countries for work and pleasure, worked for newspapers, magazines, NGO's and corporate clients. I currently live in Bangkok, Thailand.

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