Roaming in Causeway Bay at night with a Leica M10
Leica Causeway Bay Street Photography
With its wide boulevards and rows of towering skyscrapers, Causeway Bay at night looks like an entirely different place than it does during the day. One of the most densely populated districts in Hong Kong, the area’s bustling business center area has an energetic buzz at all hours of the day and night. To capture this energy, you have to shoot quickly and keep up with the pace. Here are some tips to get you started on your way to
street photography success in this highly-photographed part of town.
Night photography presents a unique challenge for street photographers. With good reason, street scenes are most often photographed during daylight hours. But when faced with night photography, how can you get great shots without so much as a flash? As it turns out, there’s no magic formula to using street lights. The best ways are all about careful planning and perceptive editing; but if you know where to go, what gear to use and how to compose your shot, then any city at night can be made beautiful by Leica M10's full-frame images. Here is some tips on Leica causeway bay street photography
How To Capture The Essence Of A City
When you’re roaming around a city, take note of vantage points that might offer unique views of landmarks or interesting street scenes. You can get some really unique shots by using parts of your surroundings as frames. One thing to keep in mind is to avoid taking pictures from places where everyone else seems to be standing. If you look at professional photographers who capture street life, they often use elevated positions or different angles in order to get an image that looks like it was taken by someone who wasn’t just another tourist snapping away with their smartphone on a crowded street corner. For example, take a shot from below an overpass or find a tall building with an open balcony so you can hang out there for awhile and shoot down on pedestrians below. While many people focus on colors when trying to describe what something looks like, textures are equally important. Even if two objects have similar colors, those colors will feel very different depending on whether they’re smooth or rough, wet or dry, hard or soft. Try exploring a city during various times of day and see how light changes everything: wet cobblestones glisten after a rainstorm; reflections off glass storefronts make other buildings seem less solid; twilight makes shadows seem long and deep while midday sun casts short shadows across concrete floors. Take a few minutes to observe your surroundings before picking up your camera. Spend time looking at things up close and from afar. See how sunlight interacts with things differently than moonlight. Study people's faces and body language, both of which tell you more about them than what they're wearing or carrying (or not carrying). Take note of details such as cracks in windowsills, graffiti on walls, broken tiles on sidewalks—all these things could potentially become compelling subjects for photographs later on. Taking photos of people is always a tricky proposition. If you don't know your subject well enough to ask permission, then try shooting discreetly from behind or above. Also, try being aware of how much space you're occupying in relation to others around you and don't invade anyone's personal space without asking first. Don't forget that even though Leica cameras are small, they still make noise when operating (and especially so if there isn't any film inside) so be respectful of others who may not want to hear all that clicking going on right next to them.
Leica street photography is all about anticipation. When you find yourself in an interesting location, it’s important to sit back and watch what goes on around you for a bit—absorbing your surroundings and waiting for something worth photographing to pop up. This is how you uncover those incredible little details that make extraordinary moments so special. If you don’t have time to do that, just take some time to walk around and look at things more closely. You never know when a great photo opportunity will appear! It might be in plain sight, or right under your nose. It could even be right above you if you wait long enough...you get my point: pay attention to everything around you!
One of my favorite techniques is to try different focal lengths as I wander through an area. Changing my perspective by zooming out or zooming in can really change things up—I can sometimes capture new perspectives or catch people doing new things by simply changing where I stand or moving a few steps over. When it rains at night, Hong Kong becomes a city full of lights. There’s something so unique about capturing those little details with your camera that make life so interesting and beautiful. You don’t have to travel far either; you might find something worth photographing right outside your window! It may not be the most popular photography style around, but rainy nights at street level are one of my favorite subjects to shoot on when I visit Hong Kong. The streets are empty during rush hour and filled with activity after midnight—but what happens between those two points is truly special: in some areas, rain brings people together, lighting up even more neon signs than usual (making them extra-bright), while other areas get lit only by streetlights and moonlight.
Leica Camera Settings
In terms of equipment, Leica is all about getting as close to manual-mode as possible. The company’s philosophy, especially when it comes to street photography, is that manual control gives you better shots by forcing you to slow down and think about every moment. In order to take photos in M mode (manual), you’ll have to adjust your shutter speed or aperture with each shot—leaving little room for error. That said, you can use shutter speed-priority or aperture-priority modes if manual mode proves too cumbersome. However, some aspects of your camera’s settings will be outside of your control. For example, artificial lighting often comes in a wide range of color temperatures. A tungsten bulb might cast a yellowish light, while fluorescent bulbs typically emit a bluish light. To account for these differences, you should bracket your exposure. Take three pictures: one at +1 stop over (i.e., 1/1000th of a second at f/8), one at 0 stops over (1/1000th of a second at f/8) and one at -1 stop under (1/500th of a second at f/5). By taking three exposures per scene, you ensure that you'll capture an accurate representation regardless of what happens on set. You'll also want to frame your subject carefully so they don't end up hidden behind something like an object or other person in their environment.
Taking Pictures At Night in Causeway Bay
Night photography is a tricky business, and you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid reflections and flare, as well as other image artifacts. Luckily, those problems are relatively easy to solve. To reduce lens flare and reflections, try using your camera’s hood or even draping your jacket over it. You may also be able to use Photoshop or another editing software program to minimize any unwanted light streaks in your images after they’ve been taken. With that said, if you plan on shooting at night (and most photographers would recommend against it), then exposure is key. Start by setting your ISO between 100-200—if possible, keep it at 100. Next, set your aperture to f/8-f/16—this will ensure that your shutter speed stays at around 15 seconds or longer (depending on how bright it is). This mix of city lights with longer exposures of night photography offers a variety of opportunities for capturing stunning shots of cityscapes and architecture, which could make for some incredible pictures! At night, streetlights become an interesting source of illumination because they illuminate specific areas but leave plenty of dark shadows. And while people tend to look towards a city's center for interesting nightlife activities, it's often much more rewarding to photograph urban sprawl and big box stores like McDonald's than bars or clubs. When you're out taking pictures at night, just remember that focus should always come first. While framing is important, if your focus isn't sharp there's no point in spending time composing something beautiful.
Capturing the "Neon" in Causeway Bay
One of Hong Kong’s most popular districts is Causeway Bay, a hot spot for shops, bars and restaurants. It's also a good place to start learning how to take good pictures with your Leica camera. Whether you're into street photography or prefer candid shots, there are several ways to capture those neon lights and bustling streets in your Leica photos. Here are three tips