Caption: I didn’t exactly make it easy for Eric to get the quintessential picture of ‘a photographer in Hong Kong’ or any picture of me for that matter. Hong Kong is a laid back city as far as the pace goes. Even in markets or public transport, people aren’t flying around ad nauseam…. Just me. Photo: Eric Leone
A couple of years ago, Hong Kong wasn’t really on my radar of places that I wanted to shoot or venture to. But with a couple of friends living there and a commercial production putting me in Dongguang China I took the opportunity to extend the trip and explore Hong Kong with a small personal camera kit a couple of friends.
It turns out, I love Hong Kong and thanks to Eric Leone, I have shots of me getting crazy humid while slinging around the DryZone BP40L. It saved the day repeatedly and while I was drenched from the rain, at least my equipment was dry. Here is what I brought and my favorite images from the unique city. Enough to entice you to visit yourself without creating a travel brochure – the kind of things you see inquisitively walking around opposed to linking up with festivals and special events or shots from Google Street View.
Caption: I would caption everything, but you will have to check out my Instagram for more…
Caption: In a temple all alone, with the environment of calmness, I took a moment to myself to have a thought or two and be still. Still, wet from the rain outside, I didn’t bother to take my pack off. Photo: Eric Leone
Caption: The large inscriptions on these pillars are a treasured text known as the Heart Sutra. The text is admired by Confucians, Buddhists, and Taoists and arranged here into an infinity simple matching the topography of the land.
Caption: No shortage of incense in Man Mo Temple.
I can sneak extra clothes, sliders, and tripods on in the top of the DryZone or expanded pocket and straps on the Whistler. It allows me to maximize my carry on the amount. We were loaded to the gills as a three-person team heading to our primary production in China with over $100k in gear. We move fast and with a couple of pelicans, we needed packs. Mix and match, but those bags always make the cut, and they pair well.
If you happen to go in June, bank on rain and insane humidity. Condensation, humidity, and temperature shifts were more destructive than any jungle or mountain that I had ever been to. It also rained almost every day – TONS of rain. I will mention rain and humidity 1000 times in a conversation about Hong Kong – I got used to it and grew to love it. Unlike the locals who seemed to keep composure, I was a wet mess and just went with it. Weather changes, but I wouldn’t travel to Hong Kong without a waterproof bag situation. Even a pack cover could fall short if you’re serious about staying out.
In addition to needing a bag that was monsoonproof (we had emergency alerts for monsoon winds), accessibility, comfort, light straps, and something that could be set down in confined spaces having a bag that could be cleaned and sterilized helps. Urban travel can be nasty as a photographer. Not all floors are clean eh…. including fish and meat market floors for a lens swap. The DryZone is a click and a zip to get open, but when you do it 100 times a day, and the weather is THAT insane, you love that yellow bag like it’s a mug of hot chocolate.
Bringing the DryZone BP 40L and Whistler BP 350 AW bags was the
difference between having gear out with us to shoot with or not. We were into and out of the subway, hiking, taking buses and boats, planes, trams, trolleys, and taxis, walking through incense clouds and into monsoon winds. Meanwhile, I’m just chilling there with the DryZone.
I also didn’t want to lug around sticks but knew I would want long exposures and steady video shots…. In came the JOBY. Traveling this light, on the daily, this is what’s in the DryZone
What’s in my pack as I’m walking around with the DryZone.
- Rainjacket (stopped using it – too humid)
- Three buffs
- Julbo Vermont Classic Glasses
- Sony A7sII with Metabones
- JOBY Ball X and DSLR GorillaPod
- Canon f2.8L 1635mm Lens
- Canon f4L 24105mm Lens
- Canon f2.8L 70200mm Lens
- Canon f1.4L 24mm Lens
- Variable ND Filters 77mm and 82mm
- Circular Polarizing Filters 77mm and 82mm
- Memory cards
- Rain cover for Camera
- Umbrella for when the rain cover won’t cut it
- Defog spray
- Silica gels
- Three types of lens clothes
- Lens and sensor cleaning tools
For someone who usually avoids cities a little Hong Kong’s food, friendly people, and the juxtaposition of temples, rolling green mountains and skyscrapers with nightly light shows was vitalizing.
Hong Kong is clean – unbelievably clean – super safe, and the MTR is something to admire. Public transportation is a dream – plan on getting around, check out all of the islands, and villages, support the tourism, do something off the beaten path, enjoy the public areas, and
don’t shoot people’s portraits unless you ask? That is a debated one, but if you can’t get a shot without being rude and you want to share it publicly, best ask.
With only a quick stint, I didn’t want to shoot the typical frames you might see from Hong Kong. The perspectives and framing are unique, influenced by the weather and my mood. Most of the known attractions are worth checking out, but a broad view not only would kind of take out the discovery for someone who is considering traveling to Hong Kong.
Caption: The inclement weather we made for unique and fleeting lighting conditions in the city. Photo: Eric Leone
Caption: I can’t just turn off the urge to run around and jump up on things to get shots just because I’m in a city. The guys walked to the crosswalk and met me a couple of blocks later.