Snapshots of Hong Kong from back in the days when photography was hard work

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 August, 2010, 12:00am

A set of 100 photographs taken in the 19th century will go on display at the Central Police Station Compound in November to open the month-long Hong Kong Photo Festival.

'It's a perfect match because the venue itself was built in 1864,' organiser Leong Ka-tai said.

The opening exhibition, 'First Photographs of Hong Kong', will feature images of the city in its former glory, including one taken by Swiss photographer Pierre Rossier in 1858.

'Back in the old times, taking photos was very difficult. The photographer needed at least three assistants just to carry his equipment,' Leong said.

The veteran photographer, who has been in the profession for 37 years, believes technology has been a mixed blessing. 'Technically, everyone can be a photographer today,' he said. 'We hope the photo festival will show the public that the art form has much more to offer than just snapshots.'

The festival, which opens on November 27, will also feature an exhibition of pictures by contemporary photographers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and the mainland at Wan Chai's Arts Centre, and another chronicling the country's transformation over the past three decades at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei.Check www.hkphotofest.org for the event schedule and updates.