Our second tutorial with Elia Locardi: Photographing the World: Cityscape, Astrophotography, and Advanced Post-Processing was all about different types of cities. We started in Cinque Terre, a region of Italy where cities are basically built into the side of a natural landscape. We then moved on to Rome to shoot ancient architecture. Next we moved on to Singapore and Hong Kong for something a little bit more modern.
In episodes 11 and 12 we photographed Singapore, which is an ultra modern city. Singapore gained it's independence in 1965 and much of the city center has opened in the last 6 years. This week's episodes we filmed Hong Kong, and felt very different. Hong Kong is much larger and compact and there is a mix of new and old. It felt very similar to New York City to me.
Photographing The World Behind The Scenes Episode 13
The first image that Elia wanted to photograph was in a local apartment building. The building itself is in a square formation with a open market in the center. By looking straight up, you can create an extremely unique looking shot. Elia blended the natural light from two shots that were taken about 30 minutes apart.
While we were photographing this shot we were approached by some residents and were asked to leave. Apparently this location has become overrun by photographers after a recent Transformers movie was filmed there.
Elia showed the locals that he was shooting extremely wide and couldn't see into anyone's windows and they allowed us to stay for a few minutes to finish our lesson. For some reason this shot never made the behind the scenes series.
Photographing The World Behind The Scenes Episode 14
The next day we photographed an interesting vertical cityscape which included five lanes of traffic. To photograph this shot, Elia focused on capturing an image of the buildings and sky first. After the sun completely set we focused on capturing car trails with different shutter speeds. Afterwards in post, Elia put the two shots together.
During our entire stay in Hong Kong, the city was covered by a thick layer of smog. Day after day we hiked up to the top of Victoria Peak, but the city looked horrible. For the tutorial Elia decided to include our best attempt at photographing this location and he made it as interesting as he could in post.
Elia also decided to include the raw files from one of his most famous shots that he had taken in this same spot a year before.
On our way out of Hong Kong, we were stopped by Vietnam Air for not having our original credit card in our possession. I had four different types of proof that I was who I was claiming to be and I owned that credit card, including bank records showing that I purchased the tickets and even an image of me holding the old credit card with the full number in view, but the manager was unwilling to help us.
I would love to go into an anti-Vietnam air rant but it won't matter. All airlines are terrible and we will always buy whatever flight is cheapest or most convenient. The next day we had to buy an identical flight with the same airline for 5X the cost. There were no other options.
I loved visiting Hong Kong. It reminded me so much of New York City and I know I have so much more to see around the city. Elia kept saying that Hong Kong is the best place in Asia for westerners to visit first. It's easy to get around and there isn't a huge cultural divide.
In next week's episode we fly to Cambodia, and that is where I had my first true culture shock.
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