1. The Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun neighborhoods
I love shooting in these neighborhoods because of the many contrasts: new and old; modern and traditional. There are so many great side streets and alleys full of color and life. There really is a bit of everything for the street photographer, whether you’re into street art, architecture or simply interested in documenting daily life on the streets of Hong Kong. Take a right on Staunton Street off the Mid-Level escalators and keep walking as Staunton turns into Bridges St. After you pass the YMCA you can start exploring the many side streets and small alleys for the latest bit of urban beauty.
2. The intersection of Jubilee and Des Veoux in Central
I love this spot and revisit it often. I usually shoot from either side of the pedestrian walkway right by Hang Seng Bank above Des Voeux. It’s a great vantage point for shooting city life below and can be especially cool to capture long shadows and take advantage of the softer light if you are there in the morning or late afternoon. It’s also a fun place to play with panning and after-dark long exposure shots.
3. The area around Chung King Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui
Another area that I go back to time and again. Day or night, there is a great energy in this part of Kowloon. In terms of people it is one of the most diverse areas of Hong Kong and a multitude of characters abound. The gritty and grimy alleys are definitely worth exploring but if you don’t feel that adventurous, just camp out at the main crossing in front of Chung King Mansions. If you’re there after dark, bring a tripod and capture the never-ending movement and motion under the the neon lights.
Michael Kistler (michaelkistlerphotography.com) is a photography instructor at HONG KONG PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP and a Hong Kong artist specializing in fine art urban photography and photography education. Originally from Minneapolis, he lived in Tokyo for 10 years before moving to Hong Kong in 2014. In addition to having his work exhibited in Tokyo, NYC, Astoria, Minneapolis, London, Dublin, Porto and Hong Kong, Michael offers urban photography courses regularly in Hong Kong and is co-founder of Finding Yourself in the Streets, a series of international street photography workshops. Michael has conducted workshops in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Dubai, Minneapolis and Yangon.