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Explore Hong Kong

How to craft the perfect Instagram photo of Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s towering skyscrapers and rugged mountains make it one of the world’s most photogenic cities. We invite three top Instagrammers to share their shots and give tips on how and where to capture them

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 February, 2016, 11:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 February, 2016, 1:13pm

Hong Kong may trail behind New York, London and Paris as the most Instagrammed destinations, but with its towering skyscrapers and rugged mountains, it has some of the world’s best scenery for Instagrammers, according to the latest report released by airport transfer company Hoppa.

To highlight our cityscape, the Post has invited three of this city’s most popular Instagrammers, Jethro Mullen, Edward Barnieh and Elaine Li – who between them have more than a million followers – to show that there is more to ’gramming than just shooting the city’s skyline.

“We don’t have snow or cherry blossoms like Japan, no gorgeous autumn colours, but we do have great urban and natural photography and sometimes both together,” says Mullen, a Hong Kong-based journalist and avid Instagrammer with 805,000 followers. “There’s just so much going on, so many possibilities.”

Together, the three picked five Instagram shots that are uniquely Hong Kong, along with tips and tricks of the trade so you too can shoot the city like a pro.

1. HIGH-RISE LOOK-UPS

Just look up – that’s the advice these Instagrammers have for Hong Kong’s tribe of “smartphone zombies”. You might not see the stars, but the dense urban architecture creates cool, geometric cutouts against the sky.

“There are two ways you can go: you can totally replicate the shot by standing in the middle and looking straight up. I would always try to find a new angle,” says Barnieh, who suggests lying on the ground and putting a hand over the lens, or using props like toy planes or umbrellas to make the shot more interesting.

Locations:

China Hong Kong City, 33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Lai Tak Tsuen, Wan Chai

Ping Shek Estate, Choi Hung

Beverly Gardens, Tseung Kwan O

Nam San Estate, Shek Kip Mei

Bedford Gardens, North Point

Yau Lai Estate, Yau Tong, Kowloon

2. CONCRETE JUNGLE VIEWS

There is a great juxtaposition between the city’s dense urban architecture and striking natural views.

Getting a shot of someone standing at the edge lends a sense of scale and makes the picture more dramatic, says Barnieh.

Locations:

View from Lion Rock

Lugard Road, Victoria Peak

Braemar Hill, North Point

Devil’s Peak, Yau Tong

High West, near the Morning Trail at Victoria Peak

3. SUNSET SNAPS

To capture some of Hong Kong’s spectacular sunsets all year round, head to Sai Wan swimming shed just off of Victoria Road in Kennedy Town.

After a rainy day, get really close to the ground at Sai Wan cargo pier – affectionately known as Instagram Pier because of its picturesque views – for a perfect puddlegram (reflection in water) sunset shot.

Make sure you turn your phone upside down so the camera lens is almost touching the puddle and you’ll be able to get a sunset reflection in it, says Li, who has more than 95,000 Instagram followers.

Locations:

New Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter

Hoi Fai Road Garden, Tai Kok Tsui

4. CROSSWALK SCENES

Board a tram on Hong Kong Island, or get on any elevated walkway to get a good shot of Hong Kong’s buzzing street life.

Pay attention to the light and shadows coming through two buildings, or wait for the moment when one person crosses the road for a classic urban shot.

“There’s no magic trick to it, it’s just being out there and looking for that cool moment. a person in the right place in the right setting, a taxi, a bird, a boat or just the light,” says Mullen.

Locations:

Des Voeux Road, Central near Hang Seng Bank headquarters

Mong Kok Road

5. EAGLE-EYE LOOKOUTS

Anything taken from a high vantage point makes a photo look impressive and dramatic.

“I always use a grid when I shoot to make sure I get everything perfect,” says Li.

She suggests using apps like Average Camera Pro for great night photography and cool light trails of cars passing by.

Locations:

Tott’s and Roof Terrace, The Excelsior, Causeway Bay

37th floor, One Island East, Quarry Bay