Category Archives: hongkong

More from Hong Kong, Summer 2010

As Yuling and I gear up to head to Cambodia and Thailand, I’ve decided to organize a section of images on this site that take place outside of Taiwan. The “Josh in Hong Kong” section above will soon be changing to a more general title and will link to our coming adventures in southeast Asia.

With this decision, I decided to go back and reprocess some of the images that I had from the last trip to HK. Starting off is another look at the famous Hong Kong skyline, seen originally in many images in this post. Saving RAW files is a lifesaver when it comes to making progress with my postprocessing. I’m very happy that I’ve got nearly every shot I’ve taken backed upon on an external hard drive.

Next off is a second attempt at the famous Tian Tan Giant Buddha. I took many images of this statue while visiting the first time and also followed up with a second post not too long ago. I prefer this version over the others as it uses contrast and color a bit better than my attempts beforehand.

The rest of the images are some leftover from the streets – the first two from Central District and the last from near Tsim Tsa Tshui, Kowloon.

   

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More from Hong Kong

Last August, I went to Hong Kong with Yuling and posted about it quite a few times.  You can see my previous posts here:

This was taken at a pretty famous temple and I just got around to processing it with an Aperture 3 filter I thought brought out the photo best.  I like how it seems to texture the smoke and tries to capture the mood.

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Po Lin Monastery (Hong Kong Post 5)

This is ACTUALLY the last Hong Kong post… these photos come from Po Lin Monastery, which is located right next to the Tian Tan Buddha.

The monastery was interestingly void of most foreign tourists, as I was the only non-Asian I noticed inside the actual temple complex.  In what I noticed as a Hong Kong fashion for temples, there was a place to grab a bite at a vegetarian restaurant – which I’m guessing is directly connected to the temple as opposed to the Starbucks and Subway less than a kilometer away.

One of the first things I noticed were these GIANT incense sticks.  Yuling actually took one and compared it – they were bigger than her arm… while she doesn’t have huge arms, this is still impressive for an incense stick.  If I remember right, they were for sale for about $35 USD, which makes the following photo NOT cheap for the people who placed these…

As you may/may not have noticed through my photos, I’ve always been intrigued by this temple incense.  It really draws you in to this world that is outside the hustle and bustle of daily life and more focused.  I have visited a lot of temples between here and the US, and I can’t count how many people I’ve accidentally run into who were carrying this around some altar.  Something about it fascinates me as being very similar – but very different – from the Christianity I know.

In addition, they provide the perfect subject for a photographer – something still yet moving… something you can focus on… something that is both not too colorful and full of character.  You’ll see more of these in my blog.

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More Hong Kong Photos (HK Post 4)

Getting into the fourth of five Hong Kong posts here – even though I have had a chance to check out some more of Jhubei as we went to a night market last night and I got some good sunset and train shots at a nearby park last night.  They’ll be coming soon.

The first today is a shot of some lion statues at Wong Tai Sin temple.  This Hong Kong temple was packed with people practicing 求籤, or (Catontonese) Kau Cim.  This, as the Wikipedia article mentions, involves getting a number from a small cup of sticks.  You then take the number to exchange it for a piece of paper which is interpreted by a temple fortune teller.  I’m not sure how useful this is for the money you pay, but it was interesting to see… the temples in Hong Kong definitely seemed to be more money-oriented than Taiwanese temples.

The next set of photos shows some Falun Gong protests.  This group seemed to have a heavier presence in Taiwan, especially at spots where Chinese tourists would visit.  In addition, they definitely had English-language literature on-hand, as I noticed when a woman shoved some brochures into my face.

I’ve found it important to keep people – whether they be onlookers or protesters – outside of these shots.  While even I might see this “new religious movement” as something hard to understand, I hardly think it requires persecution or banning by the government.  This has been one of many issues that does not make me eager to visit the mainland any time soon.

And to finish the post off, some photos of daily life in the (very nice, but slightly confusing) subway:

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From the Peak (Hong Kong Post 2)

On the second day of our Hong Kong trip, we took a walk around the city as I searched high and low for a Nikkor 70-300mm lens, the second of my collection since purchasing my DSLR.

While I didn’t get the lens at first, we did get to tour the Lower Manhattan-esque Central District of Hong Kong. I honestly wasn’t enthralled as other than the fact that I was walking up steep hills and sharing narrow sidewalks, it felt as if I’d seen it all before. However, we did get to a series of ridiculously long escalators, which took us most of the way up the mountain. Closer to the top, we eventually encountered the “Peak” cable trolley – which took us to the top of the city for a spectacular view. Photos below.

The two above photos show our trolley on the way up (first photo) and the way down.  You can see the grade on this hill – it was actually very steep… I tried not to think about that too much…

…an HDR of a lion “guarding” the city…

…and the city itself, with a regular single exposure.  Too bad it was a dreary day, as it didn’t help my lighting at all…

…and the trolley going down the mountain.

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Hong Kong Skyline (HK Part 1)

While I included a photo of the Tian Tan Buddha in the last post, I’ve decided to just do this trip in chronological order, so that basically means starting with some city-scapes I took during the first night Yuling and I arrived in this massive city.

We ventured out on a few boatrides, and I had the chance to see a beautiful sunset along with a nice, partly cloudy night for getting photos of the city itself.  Of course, I had to be careful – these long exposures are not my thing and they are especially not my area of specialty on a moving boat.  The good news is that I did have a small tripod for night landscapes, so I did get some usable shots.

First, starting off early-evening with a shot of the famous Peninsula Hotel.  This is an HDR image, and I see why the only thing most people can afford is a hoity-toity tea party during the day:

…the photo above is what I’m sure is a hotel near the Peninsula – not sure on the name, but I liked it.

In the above, a ferry much like what we took is heading across the harbor.  I was happy to get the focus on the boat, but would’ve been happier to have my newly-purchased 70-300mm Nikkor lens with me to get some shots of the old-style Chinese “junks” also sailing in the harbor.

…as to why that building on the left is bending, you can blame my camera lens.  While there are special lenses for architecture shots, I’m not rich enough to worry about it – I almost like the slight fisheye effect we get at wide angles such as this.

…and on the other side, looking at Kowloon at sunset.  Our hotel was in Kowloon and was VERY nice compared to what we payed – located in the Tsim Sha Tsui district.

The Golden Bauhinia, a golden representation of the flower on Hong Kong’s flag, was a gift by the Chinese government to the city of Hong Kong as a result of the 1997 declaration of sovereignty from Britain.  I could tell the Chinese see this as a symbol of pride, as tourists were taking photos of it and paying for professional photos of the statue.  Along with this were some Beijing 2008 logos, interestingly enough… good marketing for a Communist country!

The above is an HDR of the HK convention center.  Overlooking the harbor, its area provides great views of the main island’s skyline AND Kowloon.

…which is where I got this shot.  I set up my tripod on a very convenient base for a floodlight.  I really need to get a bigger tripod though – I could have gotten more direct shots of the city itself.

…and the last was taken during our harbor boat ride.  Notice the glassy water – I had to take at a longer exposure and took a LOT of photos trying to get this to match a crisp-looking city.  Of course, the city isn’t perfect, but passable, and I got the colors I wanted.

More HK photos will be coming in the next few days.  As you can see, it’s a beautiful city… and I haven’t even included photos of mountains yet.  At the same time, Yuling and I are both glad to be back on Ilha Formosa – the Portuguese term for Taiwan… which perfectly translates to “beautiful island.”

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