StoNur on the Road – Hong Kong

Morning view of Tsim She Tsui | 2.5 sec - f/8 - ISO80
Hotel room morning view of Tsim Sha Tsui | 2.5 sec – f/8 – ISO80

These days it is the job that pays the bills that prohibits me to pick up the camera and head into town. Especially now, that the gruesome weather of the past days has given way to calm winter weather.

But it is also the same job that comes with some benefits, like traveling to places around the globe. And while those business trips for the most part are limited to seeing airport, office and hotel, sometimes arises the opportunity to sneak away for an hour or two to catch some more touristic glimpses of those fascinating places. Especially, when you are willing to fight the jet lag and wander around a foreign city all by yourself late at night or very early in the morning.

This is a kind of throwback post of a short trip to Hong Kong back in 2010. I stayed in a hotel on the Victoria Harbor waterfront, directly behind the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. And while the special corporate rates normally get you only the backside rooms (or those facing the 10 lane highway), this time I got really lucky with this million dollar view across the harbor to the Tsim Sha Tsui area on the Kowloon side.

Having finished the meetings and the evening to myself, I took the Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Island, with frost splendid view of the busy harbor. My travel camera back then was a Canon PowerShot G11. I generally shot on P-Mode with Auto-ISO enabled, something that I still do today with my Olympus cameras when travel-shooting in a city. I only go to more manual meetings when I want to maximize depth of field or want to achieve special effects like motion blur, or when I shoot from a tripod.

1/1600 sec - f/5.6 - ISO 100
1/1600 sec – f/5.6 – ISO 100
0.4 sec - F/2.8 - ISO 200
0.4 sec – F/2.8 – ISO 200

Next I took the historic Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak. From there a well lighted walkway runs around the hill sporting spectacular panoramic view of Hong Kong. For the photo of the tram as well as the panorama (stitched together of three single images) of the city I did put the G11 on a small Gorillapod travel tripod.

0.6 sec - F/2.8 - ISO 100
0.6 sec – F/2.8 – ISO 100

After taking in the breathtaking panoramic view from the peak, I decided to head back to the Kowloon side to take some night shots of the Hong Kong Island skyline. Also, the (cheap) ride with the Star Ferry is alway a great experience. The photo below I took hand-held, as setting up the tripod on the Ferry was not really feasible, but handholding 1/25 secs was ok on the G11 eight years ago (today I can handhold 1/5 sec on the Olympus and get sharp images).

1/25 sec - F/2.8 - ISO 800
1/25 sec – F/2.8 – ISO 800
0.6 sec - F/3.2 - ISO 200
0.6 sec – F/3.2 – ISO 200

From the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Terminal I walked along the waterfront. Behind me was the YMCA where the Significant Other and myself stayed during our first trip to Hong Kong in the early 90’s. As with all Asian mega cities, the skyline had changed totally. The Bank of China Tower with its characteristic bamboo structure (on the left) was the highest tower back then, now it is the International Financial Center Tower on the right.

0.3 sec - F/2.8 - ISO 200
0.3 sec – F/2.8 – ISO 200
2 sec - F/3.5 - ISO 100
2 sec – F/3.5 – ISO 100

When I saw the sightseeing junk “Aqua Luna” with her bright red sails pass by, I had to go for a long exposure 2 seconds shot, again using the tripod.

1/8 sec - F/2.8 - ISO 400
1/8 sec – F/2.8 – ISO 400
1/20 sec - F/2.8 - ISO 1250
1/20 sec – F/2.8 – ISO 1250

Although close to midnight, it was fun walking round enjoying the skyline. As in all Asian cities, it is totally safe walking around with a camera, also late at night. Returning to the hotel for a short night’s sleep, I set my alarm to catch the dawn from my room’s window. From there I took the panorama of Victoria Harbor, stitched together from 4 single images (2010 was the days before iPhone panoramas).

15 sec - F/2.8 - ISO 400
15 sec – F/2.8 – ISO 400
1/250 sec - f/4 - ISO 80
1/250 sec – f/4 – ISO 80

Later in the afternoon, before heading to the airport for my overnight flight back home, I had the chance for another stroll along the waterfront on Hong Kong Island, taking in the modern architecture of the convention center area and the financial district, and great views of the harbor.

1/800 sec - f/4 - ISO 100
1/800 sec – f/4 – ISO 100
1/320 sec - f/4 - ISO 80
1/320 sec – f/4 – ISO 80
1/800 sec - f/4 - ISO 200
1/800 sec – f/4 – ISO 200
1/500 sec - f/4.5 - ISO 100
1/500 sec – f/4.5 – ISO 100
International Financial Center | 1/800 sec - f/5.6 - ISO 100
International Financial Center | 1/800 sec – f/5.6 – ISO 100
1/800 sec - f/4.5 - ISO 100
1/800 sec – f/4.5 – ISO 100

A trip to Hong Kong for a two-day business meeting is not easy on the body, with those two twelve-hour flights, but at least that time I got the chance to see a bit of my fascinating travel destination.  I happily trade that for the days and long hours that sometimes prevent me from shooting in the streets of Nuremberg.

Wish you a great Wednesday!


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51 thoughts on “StoNur on the Road – Hong Kong

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  1. Such an intriguing city. I only spent a few but unforgettable hours there on my way to Australia back in 1997. This was when the planes still landed and started directly over the city. Breathtaking memories. Thank you for sharing your impressions.

    1. Thanks for sharing your own memories of Hong Kong. When we traveled there the first time we also arrived at the city airport Kai Tak with its spectacular approach between the skyscrapers and hills.

      1. Time to dig into that archive then 🤔🧐? Don‘t you sometimes wish you had ALL your photographs in ONE place? I have them on negatives, slides and hard drives. I find it annoying at times 😏. Have a wonderful week!

  2. Amazing shots Marcus! I really enjoyed these and all the colors! I imagine 2 days on the other side of the world is difficult. As least some beautiful photos came out of it!

  3. I love all the different elements of design in your photograph. Great compositions! I almost feel like I’m there looking towards the nature of the skyline!

  4. Faszinierende Bilder aus einer faszinierenden Metropole ! Glückwunsch ! Insbesondere gefällt mir der Blick für Räume und Linien – und ich bewundere die Klarheit und den Farbklang .

  5. Nice post and photos. You still remember so well after all these years. I had a G11 and then I switched to Olympus after that too : )

  6. This a truly stunning set of photos, Marcus — even the view from your hotel is breathtaking! I’ve seen photos of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline before, but never so vibrantly and clearly as you’ve shown us here. Give yourself a big congratulatory pat on the back on my behalf, please. 🙂

  7. Of all the things, a star ferry ride is something I deliberately chose every time I had to hop between two sides (over MRT). The reason is simple. Opportunity to photograph the HK skyline and also people. It is definitely one of the top interesting places for photography in Asia. I would rate it higher than Singapore foe street photography.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Arv! Last time I was in Hong Kong (and Singapore for that matter) I wasn’t yet into Street Photography. But I would definitely agree! Marcus

  8. I have been shooting with a Canon 7D for 9 years! Before that a Canon 400D. I am 70 years old and am looking for a light travel camera (maybe even pocket-size) with not a lot of loss in quality. I do rarely print photos, though sometimes a 11×14. I am not a professional photographer. I also would like a camera with a zoom (probably a bridge camera), for birding, basically for later IDing of bird, and posting on social media. I don’t want you to take a lot of your time for this response.

    1. I would only recommend what I use myself. As a lightweight pocketable travel cam I use a Panasonic TZ-61 that I bough some years ago. The current model is the TZ-91. It sports a high quality Leica lens with 30x optical zoom – F3.3-6.4 / 24-720 mm full frame equivalent, and a 5-axis image stabilization system that does a great job. The mighty 720mm zoom should do great for your bird photography. Image quality is great as long as the light is decent, obviously not on par with a DSLR or mirrorless camera in low light. It does shoot RAW, in case you want that. I can really recommend the Panasonic as pocket travel camera.

      If you look for something lighter than a 7D but with interchangeable lenses and still great IQ similar to that of the 7D, I can recommend the Olympus mirrorless micro four thirds system. If you want to start on the lower end, check out the OM-D E-M10 Mark II or for a bit higher end system the E-M5 Mark II. As light all-round travel zoom I can recommend the Olympus 14-150mm F/4-5.6 (which is a 28-300mm in full frame).

      I can’t really say anything on Bridge cameras from my own experience, as my last one was a Minolta back in the last millennium 😉

      Hope this helps!

      1. I purchased a Sony Alpha6000 with 16-50mm lens, for my travel/street photography. I will eventually buy a camera specific for birding!

      2. I haven’t got much past manual shooting. A whirlwind with preparing for a month long Asia visit! Relaxing for the first time in two weeks, and with access to wifi with my computer! Appreciate your comments, as always! Have a great weekend, and a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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