City Weekend

Putting in the hours, and the miles, for the perfect shot in Hong Kong

By placing himself in some of the city’s most remote corners, Ng Tai tries to capture moments that show off the city’s raw beauty

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 4:45pm

The morning sun will only just be filtering through the mist on Tai Mo Shan, but Hong Kong photographer Ng Tai will already be there, camera positioned, ready to capture the spreading rays of light and cloud.

Ng has a keen eye and the determination required to capture the city’s breathtaking natural landscapes. He’s spent nights camped out in Hong Kong’s most remote corners, such as the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve; mornings trekking arduously up to the peaks of Ping Shan; and evenings waiting patiently for the sun to lower itself over the mountains and seas that surround the city.

“I really like nature, and I think Hong Kong’s nature is especially beautiful,” Ng said. “The skyline is nice, yes, but there is just so much out there that no one ever thinks about.”

The self-taught photographer first bought a camera in 2013, initially intending to take photos for himself or on his travels.

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But he noticed the work of other photographers on the internet and thought he would try posting his photos online for all the world to see.

Ng now has an account on Flickr, a popular photo-sharing website, with more than 1,000 followers and more than 554,600 page views.

“Every day, people go to and from work, or school, or whatever their business is, and they just stay amongst the density and high-rise buildings,” Ng said.

“All they see is streets and concrete, and Hong Kong’s natural scenery never crosses their minds.”

I want to always be able to remember what Hong Kong’s natural wonders looked like
Ng Tai, photographer

Ng has a penchant for photographing the interaction between nature and the city, like when he captured the descent of a blanket of fog over Hong Kong’s nighttime skyline, concealing the bright lights that normally emanate from the densely packed buildings.

“I want to preserve moments,” Ng said. “Hong Kong is developing so quickly; you can go to a place, such as Tai Mo Shan, one year, and the next year it will already be completely different.

“I want to always be able to remember what Hong Kong’s natural wonders looked like, and share their beauty with others.

“My favourite time to capture photos is Tai Mo Shan at sunrise. I wake up really early and hike up Hong Kong’s tallest peak and capture the dissipation of the morning clouds in the faint orange glow of the new morning.”