Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, October 2015

Sometimes we go through phases, where we do the same things over and over. And then, things change and you do something else.

A good friend of mine from university repeatedly suggested that I should go and visit. And every so often, I woudl say something like, “I really should come and visit”. But I never did. And years passed. And then a decade. And then and then. And then I got a job in southeast Asia – and then I visited Hong Kong. And then I met the woman who became my wife – and then I went to Hong Kong really quite a lot!

Sometimes, I wonder why it took so long to go there. Part of it was money, because flights and worse still hotels there are really expensive. But most of it, I think was because I didn’t think I could solve the problems to get there.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Hong Kong, my two favourite place to go are: Victoria Peak – walking right up to the top; and on the Star Ferry between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Both are lovely. Try them first thing in the morning or in the early evening, when Hong Kong looks particularly magical!

I made this picture by stitching together a series of photographs into a panorama. This is my new way of taking wide-angle photographs without a wide-angle lens. And as a bonus, it adds up to a really detailed file. I find I get the best results by overlapping each picture by about 25%. Using a tripod can also help with level horizons (which I tend to fuss about). In this case, I was using a Canon 6D and a 40mm F2.8 – and I think it came out quite well.

Mountains in Yunnan

Dali, Yunnan, China 2015

This is another photo from my trip to Yunnan in 2015. Yes, I have this as my banner, but thought I would write about it.

The path the photo was taken from led to a large lake. In the foreground, you can see paddies which were in cultivation. In the background, you can the mountains which surround Dali, casting shadows, which when mixed with a little dust make interesting patterns of light.

This all came about because we could see the lake and naively believed “it couldn’t be that far away”. Well, it could. It could be a good 2 1/2 hour walk, with the sun slowly setting behind us as we arrived. I remember thinking, “It’s a bit cold now”. And then it was night…..

Technical info. This photo is a composite of 3 pictures from the X100. It looks like a fairly faithful rendering of the view from the road. Perhaps next year, my New Year’s Resolution will be to carry a studio tripod with me (like one of those people who say: My sharpest lens is a tripod). Might not make it to make the next lot of resolutions!

Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong 2010

For almost the first 30 years of my life, I didn’t travel very far at all. What is even worse, was that my best friend from university lived in Hong Kong and every time we spoke, I would imply that it would be nice to visit – but I never did!

Which is all a shame, since now it is one of my favourite places to visit when I have any spare time.

Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong 2010

Before I went there, my mental picture of Hong Kong was of skyscrapers and densely packed humanity. While this can be true, there are also dense forests and steep, rocky hills which overlook the development below.

Holyrood Park, Edinburgh 2018

Holyrood Park, October 2018

Years ago Kodak used to promote their materials with amazing landscape photographs – all done with large format cameras – as huge banners in places Grand Central Station – I think they called them Coloramas. And I’ve always loved that sort of thing.

Anyway, took this picture last month month when I was in Edinburgh. I’d never been to the city before – and loved it. One of the things that strikes you as you walk around the city, is how close the hills look. So one day, when my wife was suggesting we have cake at the Himalaya Cafe (it is nice), I suggested we try walking to the park instead – and this was what it looked like. Worth the walk I think.

A View of Hong Kong Island

Stitched PanoramaI never really left the UK until I was well into my thirties. Never felt I had the money, or to be honest, the inclination. But then, I got a job working overseas – and it has never really stopped since then.

This is a composite made from about five photographs of Hong Kong. All hand-held with a DSLR and then stitched together in software. And I quite like it. Part of me wants to crop the bottom of the picture off, but I like the light on the waves. I also like the two ferries in the foreground, with the warm light in their cabin. For some reason, I always enjoy going on the Star Ferry, particularly at night and watching the lights across the harbour.