PRIVATE HONG KONG PHOTO TOURS AND STREET PHOTOGRAPHY COURSES WITH A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND LICENSED GUIDE

To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.”
— The Decisive Moment--Henry Cartier Bresson
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Private Hong Kong Photo Tours 

Hong Kong Island and Old Kowloon are both fantastic venues for the street photography genre. Cantonese street culture as it interacts with the modernism and hyper-materialism that are the hallmarks of modern day Hong Kong.

Although all of the Hong Kong SAR is currently undergoing a period of massive urban redevelopment and neighborhood gentrification, there are still vibrant pockets of old style Cantonese street life waiting to be captured by intrepid photographers of all levels.

These can be found on the urban streets and back streets of the city, on the nearby outer islands such as Lantau and Cheung Chau and in the New Territories. A treasure trove of quintessential photographic "decisive moments" are waiting to be discovered.

All one needs is a camera, any camera! They say the best camera is the one you have with you!

You won't need a Lenny Kravitz Limited Edition Leica MP when you go with me. But I will be duly impressed!

The landscape changes literally by the minute and it is my passionate undertaking to track the changes in order to optimize time spent on your personalized Hong Kong photography tour.

I am constantly out on the streets scouting 'cinematic' locations. History and culture form the natural contours of this Hong Kong photography tour, however, my professional attention will be 100% aimed at maximizing image capture opportunities for you! How will I accomplish this?:

-I will briefly share my thoughts on how to approach candid shooting in a bustling and/or quiet street environment, particularly with your gear kit;

-I will cover specific techniques as required, such as lens choice and camera settings, hyper-focal and zone focusing techniques, the Sunny 16 Rule, mastering boke and blur, the factors affecting image rendering, subject misdirection, hip shooting, framing techniques, street photography composition and black and white versus color;  

-I will share all the best angles and fertile street image capture zones in Hong Kong that I have literally spent hours discovering over the years;

-I will explain what to look for and why we are targeting various subjects (why this street, why that building, why this temple, why this neighborhood etc);

-I will set you off on a path to discover your own unique street style (it is certainly not a formulaic exercise); and

-I will walk with my camera so you can mimic all my own techniques which I am always eager to share freely.

If you are new to street photography (essentially candidly photographing strangers), on this personalized Hong Kong photo tour I will show you the best techniques for breaking the ice and getting started. This includes my advice on what gear to carry and how to set up for optimal results. I will also share with you the masters to study on your journey to developing your own unique photographic voice.

If you are a professional, give me your list and I will take you on a personalized Hong Kong photography tour that highlights whatever it is you want to shoot.

At the time of initial meet up we will review your personal photographic preferences and abilities. We will then determine an optimal plan for executing your personalized Hong Kong photography tour.

Think of it as a totally immersive visual jam session. Jazz with a camera!

Personalized Hong Kong Photography Courses

For those who are are interested in learning the basics of photography, I am happy to design a personalized Hong Kong photography course to meet your aspirations. I can offer assistance in deciding which camera is best for you, helping you to learn the basics of operating said camera confidently and finally, taking you into the field to learn how to work the camera and how to begin developing your own visual style or "camera eye". An undertaking likely to become a lifelong passion and pursuit. This is something I will typically do over a course of several outings. Please inquire for more information on my Hong Kong Photography Workshops

  This will not be just about taking nice snapshots on a friendly social outing, although there will be plenty of that as well. I have been a peer instructor all my life, and let me assure you, from me you are going to learn something new and practical to add to your arsenal of photographic skills, including where to find a great Hong Kong iced lemon tea!

This will not be just about taking nice snapshots on a friendly social outing, although there will be plenty of that as well. I have been a peer instructor all my life, and let me assure you, from me you are going to learn something new and practical to add to your arsenal of photographic skills, including where to find a great Hong Kong iced lemon tea!

Finally I will offer words of advice on curating your own works critically and the importance of digital image processing, which has replaced the darkroom in terms of importance. 

Along the way you will undoubtedly notice, I love and am very serious about what I am doing, particularly when it comes to photoraphy!     

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EXAMPLES OF WILLIAM’S PHOTOGRAPHY

  THE NITTY GRITTY OF STREETS OF HONG KONG PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS:    Lately I have noticed there are a smattering of guides putting on photo tour hats. They are primarily amateur photographers posting snap shots on Instagram or Facebook, who happen to be tour guides (not that there is anything wrong with that). Does that make Sam the Instagrammer any kind of expert?    As I mention elsewhere on this web site, my approach to all my client service endeavors has been as a professional. If I do not have a truly professional service to sell, I absolutely will not put my time on offer.    Now when I take you on a photo tour, time is my principal obstacle or parameter. There is only so much that can be accomplished on a single tour. As a former lawyer, I consider myself an expert in time management, efficient communication and peer training. Combining those skills with my photographic skill is how I aim to deliver a premium photo outing for you. We won't waste any time and I will pass the maximum amount of information practicable along the way. And speaking of along the way, remember to wear comfortable walking shoes.    On matters of technique, I endeavor to transcend what can be readily found in books and websites by immersing you in a hands on experience. I have read loads of books and watched loads of web based instructional videos and you should as well. However, with me, you will get the street. The real live street that passes in real time. Every second is a photographic moment gained or missed. Hong Kong, Kowloon and Macau are extraordinary urban photographic settings. You will constantly see me pointing or hear me saying get that shot! Go for it!    As a film photographer I worked hard to master the ability to shoot quickly in stealth mode without using a light meter. Although this takes years of practice(principally by trial and error), I will try to show you the way to take pictures without setting everything on auto. I will also tell you what kind of light to expect on the day as well as why I can't stand Auto ISO and neither should you.    I also mastered prime lens photography primarily using rangefinder cameras but also SLRS. I will tell you which lenses you should bring and how to set up your camera for the kind of photography we will be doing.    I constantly study and re-study the works of many masters and settled on those whom I want to emulate in my own photographic style. I will share my ongoing journey with you and help you to begin your own. This exercise is very much like learning to be a musician. Before you start improvising, it is better to have a solid foundation based on technique and familiarity with prior works by your favorite players.    With regard to composition, I studied painting when I was a kid, my Mom was an  ikebana  flower arranger and my Dad was a great photographer. I know I was able to absorb plenty of in my formative years. Many folks consider the development of a "photographic eye" to be the most difficult part of learning photography. I have definite thoughts on how to get away from looking at it as a technical exercise (don't think too much) and turning it into a an endeavor of the heart, one dominated by your right (organic/holistic) as opposed to left (linear) brain lobe (the zen of the image). I will also explain what I think makes a pretty good picture and what makes a great picture.    I consider it imperative for the photographer to have a basic understanding of the subjects he or she is photographing and how best to portay them visually. This is where my cultural and historic expertise comes in. I structure my photo walks as I would a regular cultural tour. You are going to shoot better photographs when I tell you what it is you are looking at and why I think it is important. If you go on your own following an Instagram hit list, with all due respect, it will be a very tall order to replicate the added nuance I deliver. Your outing will informed by the detailed information that I will pass along to you. Your photographs will tell a story that you will be able to confidently relate following your departure.    In other words, I will provide you with the narrative to go with the slide show!    Finally with regard to post processing, I am happy to share with you my own stylistic approach. I have always loved the work of Ansel Adams, who was strictly a film photographer. He always said that time in the darkroom was more important than shooting the photograph. If you want to be serious about your photography, you need to learn how to process your images. While this is beyond the scope of a photo tour, I am happy provide a few pointers to help you get on your way. And if you would like to engage me for a hands on lesson, I am sure that can be arranged as well.    That is my approach in a nutshell. It is not the only approach by any means. But when you are with me you are not sitting in a class room. You are not just paying me for for a lecture. You want to learn hands on and that is what you are going to get!    Hopefully, after reading the above, you will quickly ascertain that I am not just another tour guide offering post card shooting tours as an add on.    What you can count on a premium private photographic tour that will be a memorable day with plenty of creative expansion and learning by doing!    WB7    PS: If you are interested, I can also arrange for your images to be printed by the best photographic print artist in Hong Kong, my good friend Danny Chau of Chau Digital.    PPS: For the record, I am currently shooting with the following equipment (depending on the subject, the lighting and my mood):    -iPhone 6S Plus With Olio Clip Lens System (remember the best camera is the camera you have with you).    -Fuji Film X-Pro 2, XT1 and XH1 (mixed lens kit including Leica M and Fuji X glass). Fuji mirrorless is easy on my eyes and delivers a pretty good film like jpg to work with straight out of the camera.   - Nikon D500 (I shoot a DX DSLR because full frame systems are too heavy for my neck) and I kept all my Nikon lenses.    -Sigma SD Quattro. Admittedly this is a highly specialised camera that delivers spectacular results at base ISO of 100-200. Not an all rounder.    -Ricoh GR Digital (for fast moving street photography).    -Leica M8 and Epson RD1 (for digital BW) and Leica M5 (film, yes I still shoot film!). Shooting with a rangefinder camera is like playing with a vintage Telecaster guitar or Alfa Romeo GTV6 and I have played with both.    -Yashica Electro 35GX (film) .  My first serious camera as a kid and the first with an electronic shutter. Remind me to tell you how I got my first job at 14 years old with this camera. Currently shooting with Kodak Ektachrome Color Reversal Film, just as I did in high school!    -Polaroid Pathfinder custom modified to accept Fuji Instax Wide film. This is a very arty setup.    -Too many lenses! My favorite focal lengths are 50, 35 and 28mm. But I also go super wide and and long depending on the situation. And after years of only shooting primes, I now use specialised zooms as well (the technology has advanced considerably).    -I am strictly old school, no drones, no Go-Pros.

THE NITTY GRITTY OF STREETS OF HONG KONG PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS:

Lately I have noticed there are a smattering of guides putting on photo tour hats. They are primarily amateur photographers posting snap shots on Instagram or Facebook, who happen to be tour guides (not that there is anything wrong with that). Does that make Sam the Instagrammer any kind of expert?

As I mention elsewhere on this web site, my approach to all my client service endeavors has been as a professional. If I do not have a truly professional service to sell, I absolutely will not put my time on offer.

Now when I take you on a photo tour, time is my principal obstacle or parameter. There is only so much that can be accomplished on a single tour. As a former lawyer, I consider myself an expert in time management, efficient communication and peer training. Combining those skills with my photographic skill is how I aim to deliver a premium photo outing for you. We won't waste any time and I will pass the maximum amount of information practicable along the way. And speaking of along the way, remember to wear comfortable walking shoes.

On matters of technique, I endeavor to transcend what can be readily found in books and websites by immersing you in a hands on experience. I have read loads of books and watched loads of web based instructional videos and you should as well. However, with me, you will get the street. The real live street that passes in real time. Every second is a photographic moment gained or missed. Hong Kong, Kowloon and Macau are extraordinary urban photographic settings. You will constantly see me pointing or hear me saying get that shot! Go for it!

As a film photographer I worked hard to master the ability to shoot quickly in stealth mode without using a light meter. Although this takes years of practice(principally by trial and error), I will try to show you the way to take pictures without setting everything on auto. I will also tell you what kind of light to expect on the day as well as why I can't stand Auto ISO and neither should you.

I also mastered prime lens photography primarily using rangefinder cameras but also SLRS. I will tell you which lenses you should bring and how to set up your camera for the kind of photography we will be doing.

I constantly study and re-study the works of many masters and settled on those whom I want to emulate in my own photographic style. I will share my ongoing journey with you and help you to begin your own. This exercise is very much like learning to be a musician. Before you start improvising, it is better to have a solid foundation based on technique and familiarity with prior works by your favorite players.

With regard to composition, I studied painting when I was a kid, my Mom was an ikebana flower arranger and my Dad was a great photographer. I know I was able to absorb plenty of in my formative years. Many folks consider the development of a "photographic eye" to be the most difficult part of learning photography. I have definite thoughts on how to get away from looking at it as a technical exercise (don't think too much) and turning it into a an endeavor of the heart, one dominated by your right (organic/holistic) as opposed to left (linear) brain lobe (the zen of the image). I will also explain what I think makes a pretty good picture and what makes a great picture.

I consider it imperative for the photographer to have a basic understanding of the subjects he or she is photographing and how best to portay them visually. This is where my cultural and historic expertise comes in. I structure my photo walks as I would a regular cultural tour. You are going to shoot better photographs when I tell you what it is you are looking at and why I think it is important. If you go on your own following an Instagram hit list, with all due respect, it will be a very tall order to replicate the added nuance I deliver. Your outing will informed by the detailed information that I will pass along to you. Your photographs will tell a story that you will be able to confidently relate following your departure.

In other words, I will provide you with the narrative to go with the slide show!

Finally with regard to post processing, I am happy to share with you my own stylistic approach. I have always loved the work of Ansel Adams, who was strictly a film photographer. He always said that time in the darkroom was more important than shooting the photograph. If you want to be serious about your photography, you need to learn how to process your images. While this is beyond the scope of a photo tour, I am happy provide a few pointers to help you get on your way. And if you would like to engage me for a hands on lesson, I am sure that can be arranged as well.

That is my approach in a nutshell. It is not the only approach by any means. But when you are with me you are not sitting in a class room. You are not just paying me for for a lecture. You want to learn hands on and that is what you are going to get!

Hopefully, after reading the above, you will quickly ascertain that I am not just another tour guide offering post card shooting tours as an add on.

What you can count on a premium private photographic tour that will be a memorable day with plenty of creative expansion and learning by doing!

WB7

PS: If you are interested, I can also arrange for your images to be printed by the best photographic print artist in Hong Kong, my good friend Danny Chau of Chau Digital.

PPS: For the record, I am currently shooting with the following equipment (depending on the subject, the lighting and my mood):

-iPhone 6S Plus With Olio Clip Lens System (remember the best camera is the camera you have with you).

-Fuji Film X-Pro 2, XT1 and XH1 (mixed lens kit including Leica M and Fuji X glass). Fuji mirrorless is easy on my eyes and delivers a pretty good film like jpg to work with straight out of the camera.

-Nikon D500 (I shoot a DX DSLR because full frame systems are too heavy for my neck) and I kept all my Nikon lenses.

-Sigma SD Quattro. Admittedly this is a highly specialised camera that delivers spectacular results at base ISO of 100-200. Not an all rounder.

-Ricoh GR Digital (for fast moving street photography).

-Leica M8 and Epson RD1 (for digital BW) and Leica M5 (film, yes I still shoot film!). Shooting with a rangefinder camera is like playing with a vintage Telecaster guitar or Alfa Romeo GTV6 and I have played with both.

-Yashica Electro 35GX (film). My first serious camera as a kid and the first with an electronic shutter. Remind me to tell you how I got my first job at 14 years old with this camera. Currently shooting with Kodak Ektachrome Color Reversal Film, just as I did in high school!

-Polaroid Pathfinder custom modified to accept Fuji Instax Wide film. This is a very arty setup.

-Too many lenses! My favorite focal lengths are 50, 35 and 28mm. But I also go super wide and and long depending on the situation. And after years of only shooting primes, I now use specialised zooms as well (the technology has advanced considerably).

-I am strictly old school, no drones, no Go-Pros.

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Don't forget to ask me about a raw street photography tours in Old Macau. Macau is a wonderful city rich in history, street culture and stunning photographic opportunities!

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  Husband and wife team enjoying street photography on on the “ding ding”.

Husband and wife team enjoying street photography on on the “ding ding”.

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Streets and alleys, I will be there watching your back...

  Look Mom, I shot it with my iPhone!

Look Mom, I shot it with my iPhone!


Penne is an awesome landscape photographer and hopefully, following our walk together, she will add street photography to her standard repertoire!

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  Documenting the streets of Sham Shui Po...

Documenting the streets of Sham Shui Po...

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Stalking the decisive moment on the Streets of Hong Kong!

  I photograph to see what something looks like photographed.--Gary Winogrand

I photograph to see what something looks like photographed.--Gary Winogrand

  On Night Photography Tour...

On Night Photography Tour...

  Shooting from the "Dark Side".

Shooting from the "Dark Side".

 Image mashup by WilliamBanzai7

Image mashup by WilliamBanzai7

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Every image of the past that is not recognized by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably.
— Walter Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History"
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  There’s nothing like noodles with cameras!

There’s nothing like noodles with cameras!