Taking photos of people on the streets of Hong Kong proved to be both enjoyable and rewarding. My usual scene for street photography is San Francisco. People in this city tend to become angry when they see me taking their photo. I usually have to either ask for permission in advance, or be very discreet. The entire time I am out taking photos in San Francisco I am a bit stressed and anxious, and worried that I might upset someone or be attacked. My photography experience in Hong Kong was the exact opposite.
I was able to get as close as I wanted and take my time when using my camera, without anyone yelling at me, threatening me, or complaining. Most people who saw me take their photo did not seem to care.
Hong Kong is an ever-changing and special city, with a great deal of diversity and character. You will see things in this city that you will not see in any other city. For example, the mashup of the British and Chinese culture as illustrated in the next photo. A quintessential British fellow juxtaposed with Hong Kong native Chinese lady, crossing paths and heading in different directions.
Hong Kong seems to constantly negotiate the tension between Communism and Progressive Democracy. The city attitude seems to be both open and modern, with a desire to hold on to some traditions.
People in Hong Kong, young and old, seem to work a lot more than people in the United States. You can hear and see the constant movement of the economic machine everyday, day and night.
I saw this hard working lady each morning when I left my hotel and walked to the fresh juice vendor. She was usually dealing with the empty boxes from the fruit and vegetable street market. This photo was taken before the market opened and the lady was taking a power nap.
I was happy to see so many elderly people on the streets, and not spending their lives inside a dreary home for the aged. I was inspired by their drive, and reminded that getting old doesn’t have to be dreadful and boring.
I will end this article with two photos that illustrate the presence of working class immigrants in Hong Kong, a hot topic of discussion and debate in my home country (the United States of America). Many citizens of the city employ and rely on nannies or caretakers who come to Hong Kong from neighboring countries. During my visit to Hong Kong, about 4 years ago, I saw a lot of working class immigrants from the Philippines. This time I saw a lot of immigrants from Indonesia and Malaysia. Sunday is the day when you will see such immigrants in the open markets and public spaces.
I took my Sony a6500 and Zeiss E-Mount 16mm-70mm F/4.0 Lens with me to Hong Kong. The relatively light and small camera + lens, with an incredibly good focus capability, were perfect companions for my trip. I look forward to returning to Hong Kong and taking more photos of people on the streets.