Today I have the great honour and pleasure to feature Alan P. in Hong Kong on my blog, who has shot some of the most amazing Hong Kong street photography pictures that I’ve seen over the last two years. He captures every day life on the streets of Hong Kong, and it is in such a quiet, peaceful way that it makes me forget how busy and noisy Hong Kong can be.
I really like that he starts each post with an introduction to the topic or an observation of something he witnessed during the time he took the photos, and after the words end – it’s time for a few, select pictures. He keeps his words as clean as his pictures, it is all separate – first black on white and then in colour. And suddenly, once I finished reading the post and looking at the pictures, it all comes together for me. I feel as I’ve been there, stood next to Alan and observed the scene.
He really has a talent. I love how he captures the expected and unexpected. Just look at his shots at the Bun Festival in Cheung Chau. Of course, there will be the obvious ones of the buns, but then there are also the performers, the kids and just a guy sitting at the side of the stage, waiting and playing with his phone.
Or the people surrounding him, when he walks through the streets of Hong Kong – it’s incredible what he sees that others overlook or just don’t find interesting enough.
For today, let me interview Alan P. about his love for photography in and around Hong Kong:
What made you start your blog?
I spent quite a few years in the US to finish my study and work. It wasn’t until 2010 I came back to my home. It was a bit of an adjusting period for me to orient myself back to this community. I then started to travel on weekends. I initially wanted to start a photo blog just to share a few odd places I’ve visited which normally tourists won’t travel to, places where people won’t normally see from their country. Then later, I decided to share not only the sceneries. I wanted to do something for myself, to dedicate more time on photography and blog. I wish to represent Hong Kong in any way. I guess the online blogging platform serves its purposes.
What camera and equipment do you use? When did you start taking pictures?
I normally shoot with a high-end compact camera and it wasn’t until recently I extensively display my work taken by my mobile phone. I began taking photos at the end of 2010. Then, I bought my first serious camera at the end of 2011. I had come a long way to finally settled with my current gear.
How would you describe your style?
I document people and things around me, daily life that people would live in general. Many refer it as street photography.
Where do you get your inspirations from? Are you continuing with your island getaway project?
I like a few of the working magnum photographers such as Alex Webb, Jonas Bendiksen, and more. Also, some indie photographer/blogger such as a terrific Swiss photographer Yannick, his ‘around the world’ project was inspiring. He actually offered me a few of his suggestions in photography to me in a few of my comments to his posts. They all gave me a taste of how they define photography.
Island Getaway was my first project of any kind last year. I have no plan to continue or for another one just yet.
What are your favourite places in Hong Kong to take pictures of the city and its people?
I like going to places where people would relax and enjoy life, such as parks, markets, waterfronts. Normally not in the city downtown where tension is highest and everyone is hurry away. However I’m kind of forced to shoot at wherever I’m near at after or between work.
What tips can you give to a hobby photographer on taking better pictures?
Try and try. Have fun. Do not worry about how others look at your photos. Be a tough critic on your own photos. Last but not least, settled with just one main camera. You can have a back up for rare occasions. But the one you work the most with will give you a sense of consistency.
Do you read other blogs – are they photography-focused? Which ones could you recommend?
I like photography blogs, they get to express, interact, update. Traditional working photographers do not have time to do these or they tend to hold their best work for an extended period of time. I understand that, but photoblog is re-shaping how we conceive photos.
Thanks Alan, it was nice talking with you. If you want to find out more about his great pictures, check out his Alan P. in Hong Kong blog or follow him on Flickr, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter or Facebook.
[All pictures in this post belong to Alan at Alan P. in Hong Kong ]
PS: Missed a previous interview with a Hong Kong blogger or expert? Check out my series here.