I can’t resist the opportunity to get back to Hong Kong, I got some great street shots last time but the ultimate cityscape eluded me. I am determined to get it this time.
Waking up at 4am for 3 mornings in a row I jumped in a cab and went to the peak, it’s the best time of the year to shoot the city because the angle of the sun is perfect as it rises giving the best chance for a great shot. The first morning the peak was covered in mist which gave some great dynamics to the shot below masking the sun and darkening the sky. I had got the perfect shot the first day but maybe it could get better which is why I went up the next 2 mornings.
By 6.30am I am finished but Yann is still sleeping in the Hotel so I decided to kill some time and wander the Victoria Peak gardens, I didn’t expect to see much but was amazed by them, especially with the mist that frequents the area giving it a magical feel. It’s almost like I am in the middle of a jungle somewhere rather than a city path.
After each sunrise I head back to the hotel for a big breakfast and a few hours sleep before getting up to explore some more. I decided a good way to see the city would be a big red bus tour, I’ve never done one before and maybe I’ll find something new as it takes me all over the Island. It was on this that I discovered they have a shanty town!
I found one location on the ride but sadly it wasn’t a horizontal panoramic, but a vertical one. I normally shoot Slide film but contrasty scenes like this need negative film and its wide dynamic range to capture everything.
One the bus I also spotted a hill to the west of the Island that looked like it may be a great sunset spot, and after some google maps research pinpointed it to be near North Point and a trail up to it, so at 5pm I headed that way. I eventually found the start of the trail and only by luck spotted where to go through some thick bushes which took me out to the rocks for the view, sadly though everyone else seems to know about this as there was hardy anywhere left to set my tripod. Normally I would leave with this many photographers as I don’t want the same shot but it had taken over an hour to get here and I had no where else to go for sunset so decided to stay and see if something spectacular came. It was good but nowhere near as amazing as the Peak from the mornings, the scene is too far away and no interesting buildings nearby.
I even tried to better my shot of the Peak Tram from the first trip, but it just looks too plain without the thick mist, still a nice summers day version that I can try to sell to the tram company.
On friday Yann and I headed for Macau, only an hours ferry ride and if you didn’t know the gambling capital of the east. It is also a Unesco World Heritage City so there is lots to see however I didn’t find any great scenes to shoot walking around. We ate some great Portuguese influenced food though and gambled away some hard earned money.
We planned to visit the Big Buddha on the way back to the airport, however that plan was ruined as we took the ferry to the Airport Ferry Terminal thinking we could go from there to the Buddha as it’s closer then the Central Terminal. The terminal connects directly to the Airport and once we were there they wouldn’t let us leave for the 5 hours we were there which I thought was crazy and very annoying. Surely it’s my right to do what I want?!
It’s just lucky Yann is a BA miles Gold member and we got to use the Cathay Pacific lounge and it’s private rooms with big tubs. The best lounge I’ve been to with great food and cocktails. I even used the time to find a shot of the airport.
Arriving back in Singapore I realised it’s probably the most efficient airport in the world, we touched down at 7.57pm and were in a cab with our luggage by 8.15pm. Crazy, of course the automated passport systems we can use help avoid the normal queues.