Hong Kong has been on my list of cities to explore for many years. Inspired by Trey Radcliff’s photograph, seen on his blog over 10 years ago. I’ve wanted to go to Hong Kong and get my own take on this cityscape photograph. I’d planned to visit the city on my backpacking trip through South East Asia in 2012, but it never happened. So last year I spent a couple of nights exploring this amazing city and planning this photograph. Taken from the top of the Peak Tower. I had scoped out of the location in the day. Taking the iconic Peak Tram early one morning. When it came to it, the tram wait times were over two hours. I had given myself plenty of time before sunset. So I purchased a bottle of cold water and walked up from Hong Kong Park to the peak. In the 30°C heat it took me about an hour. It was well worth the effort as this is by far my favourite photograph of 2017.
Cityscapes at night are one of my preferred subjects to photograph. Some of my favourite landscapes combine interesting foregrounds and backgrounds. The Lion’s Pavilion at the top of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong is perfect for this. As you can see it does get very crowded with tourists, especially at night. It’s quite small and on two or three levels. Being free there’s no restriction on coming and going. Two advantages over the far more popular Peak Tower. Whilst Peak Tower is 8 floors higher so the view is a little more spectacular, this view is well worth seeing. It’s amazing how many people seems to ignore or miss Lion’s Pavilion. It’s only about 50 metres flat walk from the tower and tram stop.
Astrophotography is something I have been trying more in the last couple of years. I’ve always wanted to capture the northern lights or aurora. When I was in Iceland I looked for them but didn’t see them. This year a friend asked if I wanted to go out looking for them in Wellington. I’d seen photographs taken in the South Island but rarely here in New Zealand’s capital. Known as Aurora Australis or Aurora Borealis it’s one of the hardest things I’ve photographed. Even though we knew there was a solar storm and it was a moonless night, we couldn’t see them with our eyes. Only through the long exposure of the camera could we start to see the light display.
Spending a night in the Amora Hotel I captured this view of the Skytower from the balcony. I didn’t have my tripod with me so this was taken hand held. From this height you can only just make out the harbour between two of the buildings. I’d need a drone or at least a room on the top floor see more of the beautiful harbour behind the skyscrapers.