Three tips for shooting street photography with a Leica or rangefinder in Hong Kong

Three tips for shooting street photography with a Leica or rangefinder in Hong Kong


If you’re interested in shooting street photography with a Leica or rangefinder, test it out first to make sure you’re comfortable with the camera, film, and the way it handles. Then, get out there and shoot! The streets of Hong Kong are filled with interesting people and places that make great subjects for this type of photography, especially in Causeway Bay. This post will introduce three tips to help you become comfortable shooting street photography with your Leica or rangefinder camera in Hong Kong—a city known for its liveliness and abundance of characters.





Four Common Mistakes I Made When Starting With Leica

I decided to test out Leica by picking up a M9-P, which is relatively affordable compared to other models. I picked it up with three different lenses and shot exclusively on film—meaning I had no digital backup. While testing out Leica, here are four common mistakes I made: 1) not being able to find enough information on what kind of film camera to buy; 2) not realizing that you need an extra ISO dial; 3) trying too hard to be different from others (and ending up overcomplicating things); 4) trying too hard to get everything 100% right before going out and shooting. If you’re interested in starting with Leica, follow my advice above and make sure you avoid these common mistakes. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration! And if you have any questions about Leica, feel free to contact me at sakuknight@gmail.com . I’m happy to help!

1. Not Being Able To Find Enough Information On What Kind Of Film Camera To Buy Leica cameras can seem intimidating when you first look into them, but they actually aren't that complicated. There's a lot of variation between models though, so making sure you're getting one that fits your needs can be difficult. Some Leica cameras require more manual dexterity than others as well—for example, some require rewinding after every photo while others don't have rewind knobs at all. The best way to figure out which Leica model will work best for you is to do some research online beforehand and try to narrow down your options based on your needs/wants. 2. Not Realizing That You Need An Extra ISO Dial Leica cameras are built very differently from other film cameras, and one thing I didn't realize before buying my M9-P was that it required an extra ISO dial (which costs around $100). If you're interested in buying a Leica camera, make sure you factor in an extra ISO dial before purchasing anything else! 3. Trying Too Hard To Be Different From Others (And Ending Up Overcomplicating Things) When I started using Leica, I got very caught up in wanting to shoot everything differently from everyone else—meaning I spent too much time trying to find different subjects to shoot rather than just going out and taking photos like normal people do.






Four Tips For Shooting Street Photography With A Leica Or Rangefinder In Hong Kong

I’ve been shooting Leica Street Photography in Hong Kong since 2012. Here are some tips that might help: Find your style & shoot it Shoot what you love first, if you don’t know what to shoot then try something new. Don’t worry about not liking it when you look at your photos later. Shoot anything and everything Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just get out there and shoot anything and everything no matter how weird it is. Over time you’ll start to understand which things really turn you on (and those probably won't be predictable). If something doesn't work, try something else. It's all part of developing your own style. Be patient Leica cameras aren’t cheap so make sure you take care of them. A Leica isn’t a point-and-shoot camera so don’t treat it like one, because they do require more care than most other cameras. Once you have mastered these skills, go test them out in real life! Learn from other Leica shooters Get inspired by photographers who inspire you and learn from their techniques, but always remember to stay true to your own style. Try searching online for Leica photographers who shoot similar subjects as you and see how they handle different situations. You can also check out my website here where I post my latest Leica Street Photography images taken around Hong Kong! Happy Shooting :) - Dovilio Li / Leica Ambassador - Leica Store Causeway Bay

Have you written any articles for websites? Are you interested in writing content for us? Let us know below!







Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to dip your toes into Leica rangefinder photography, Causeway Bay is a great place to start. Shoppers flock to busy malls and restaurants at lunchtime and evening hours, providing numerous opportunities to make candid photographs of people as they go about their daily business. One point to keep in mind though: due to its proximity to mainland China, Hong Kong sees an influx of photographers from across the border. Be careful not to get overly focused on making personal images of shoppers that you take for granted local photographers are already capturing. And never feel pressured to shoot street photography on Leica M-series cameras—all it takes is one shot to know if it’s for you. If you do find yourself hooked, there are plenty of used Leica M9 cameras available online from sources like eBay. With prices starting around $400 USD, Leica rangefinders have never been more affordable! You can even find many second-hand models for less than $500 USD and often bundled with a 35mm f/2 Summicron lens (Leica's equivalent of 50mm). But if cost is still prohibitively high or just something that doesn't appeal to you personally, I'd suggest renting first. There are many places in Hong Kong where you can rent Leica rangefinders for short periods of time. Some even include lenses and memory cards so all you need to bring is a camera bag and extra batteries. Many shops also offer classes on how to use Leica cameras so don't be afraid to ask around before buying one off Craigslist or other sites. After all, it’s always better to learn what you need beforehand rather than paying thousands of dollars only to realize later that it wasn’t right for you!





What Equipment Do people Use?

I shoot on a Leica M6, which I bought secondhand (I wanted to test out Leica before making such an investment). I carry it around with me nearly everywhere I go; my only other accessories are two lenses—an Elmarit 35mm f/2.8 and an Elmar 90mm f/4.0 Macro. The former is mostly used for capturing strangers on the streets and mid-range shots of groups of people, while they latter is used mostly to capture close-up shots of objects and people’s faces. Both are manual focus lenses that allow me to control every aspect of my shot without relying on auto-focus technology. My favorite thing about Leica is that there’s no need for extra equipment: everything you need fits into your pocket. You don't have to worry about carrying multiple lenses, tripods, flashes, etc., because you can get by with just one camera body and one lens if you really want to! Of course, Leica does make excellent zoom lenses and high-end bodies if you're looking for something more advanced.

The city's architecture is another great subject to photograph. A lot of photographers say that Hong Kong's high density makes it hard to find interesting scenes—but I think it's actually easier than most places! There are always so many different things going on at once, especially in areas like Causeway Bay where there are lots of shops packed together in small spaces. There's always some sort of scene happening nearby; whether it be a group of people eating lunch at a restaurant or someone taking photos outside their shop window. Just look around and you'll probably find something worth photographing somewhere within your line of sight.

If you're looking for inspiration, check out Leica's Instagram account: they post images from all over Asia by both amateur and professional photographers using Leica cameras. You can also visit Leica Stores throughout Hong Kong to see examples of what other people have shot using Leica cameras. If you’re still not sure if Leica is right for you, test one out before making an investment—Leica has stores throughout Asia where you can try out their cameras and lenses before buying them (Hong Kong has two stores: one in Central and one in Causeway Bay). If nothing else, walking into a store will give you an idea about how expensive they are!


My Own Leica Photography Journey So Far

I’ve been using Leica cameras and lenses on both a personal and professional level since 2011. I began as an amateur enthusiast, and now find myself gradually turning into more of a pro. I use my own Leica M6 now as part of my pro set-up because it fits me perfectly. I used to shoot a lot of street photography when I was at university, but hadn’t really tried out Leica since then—until last year! In February 2017, Leica invited me to their store in Causeway Bay to test out some cameras. The staff there were extremely helpful and friendly. They helped me pick out a Leica M (typ 240) camera body, which is what I still use today. My first Leica lens was a Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH., which is a great all-rounder for most situations you might encounter while shooting street photography in Hong Kong. The staff also recommended that I purchase an old Leica Summaron 50mm f/2 lens from them so that I could experiment with different focal lengths. It’s fun to switch between 35mm and 50mm depending on how close you want your subject to be framed. For example, if I want my subject framed closer than usual, I would opt for a 50mm lens over a 35mm one. If you don't have any Leica gear yet, check out Leica's online shop . It's possible to rent Leica equipment through various outlets around town too - just ask around!

19 views0 comments