A World of Photo Opportunities!

In April 2016, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, I had the pleasure of leading a team of Canadian photographers on a four-day PHOTO News “Image Hong Kong” tourism adventure.

Photographers Michelle Valberg, Kristian Bogner, Michael DeFreitas and I set out to capture images while Hayley Ohlig, our logistics and technology consultant, coordinated the schedules and equipment that we would need to capture four key aspects of the Hong Kong tourism assignment. Our goal was to capture the visual essence of the attractions, the culinary experience, the outdoors, and the living culture of this magnificent destination.

The PHOTO News team compiled a portfolio of spectacular images that will be exhibited throughout the year by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. The following pages include a selection of images from our expedition, which we present in conjunction with the PHOTO News 25th Anniversary “The World Through My Lens” photo challenge. Please take a few minutes to discover Hong Kong with us, as we reveal the tips and techniques that the pros use to cover a major travel and tourism assignment.

Hong Kong is one of the most dynamic cities in the world and one of the easiest to visit. After more than 150 years of colonial immersion and 5000 years of Chinese culture, this city offers the opportunity to experience a vibrant culture displaying a unique fusion of "East-West" elements.

Dining in Hong Kong is a very special experience. You can excite your taste buds and sample the dim sum and a host of regional specialties at an endless variety of locations, or enjoy a gourmet experience at one of 57 highly rated Michelin restaurants. It is not surprising that Hong Kong is often referred to as the Culinary Capital of Asia.

Hong Kong is an outstanding destination if you enjoy shopping. One moment you walk in front of a row of traditional Chinese medicine shops and then you suddenly find yourself in the cool splendour of an exciting shopping centre.

The Challenges of Travel Photography

With only four days on location, we took advantage of every opportunity to take pictures. When the weather was rainy and cloudy we created a different range of images than what you usually see in the travel promotions. Our team quickly adapted to the challenge of overcast skies, using the soft light to create beautiful photographs.

Photographing a very large and bustling city can be quite a challenge. With more than 7 million residents, Hong Kong is one of the busiest places on Earth, yet it is a clean and safe city with an incredible bus/train/subway transit system. We found the people to be extremely polite and helpful - they love welcoming tourists, and seem to be especially fond of Canadians!

Hong Kong is the #1 city in the world for architectural images. With 7,685 high-rise buildings, and more than 300 skyscrapers (buildings over 150 meters), you often find yourself looking up. The tallest of the skyscrapers is the 118-storey International Commerce Centre, which stands 484 metres (1,588 feet), the ninth-tallest building in the world.

You could take pictures in Hong Kong 24 hours a day - and we certainly did! The Hong Kong skyline is spectacular - widely considered to be the finest in the world. The architecture stands in harmony with the surrounding mountains, with Victoria Harbour gleaming in the foreground.
Every night, more than 40 of the skyscrapers and surrounding buildings coordinate their lights to create a visual attraction called the Symphony of Lights. The Guinness Book of Records applauds this lighting spectacular as the largest permanent light and sound festival in the world.