23-year-old photographer Jimmi Ho moved from Guangzhou to Hong Kong in 2008. In his new adoptive home, he soon discovered a unique vibe, brimming with human energy, bustling streets, and small turns surrounded by new high-rises and old style buildings. “They became my favourite subject to shoot – as more of these places began to present themselves, I began to really love the shooting process,” he says. “In the past few years, I have witnessed the rapid development of Hong Kong. The combination of Chinese and Western culture presents an interesting contrast between traditional and modern architecture. Hong Kong’s unique real estate and bulging population has forced it to evolve at a truly alarming rate.”
Hong Kong’s buildings vary widely – each building differs in historical background, size, shape and structure. The old buildings go through refurbishments over the years to make way for all new multi-functional streets. “I use my lens to bring the density of my surrounds to life, to highlight the various spaces around me,” he explains. “Hong Kong is a crowded city, highly compressed and irregular, which can give off a sense of claustrophobia.” 2016 was an illustrious year for the young photographer who was named a Sony World Photography Awards winner in Hong Kong, as well as runner-up for National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year in the Cities category. More recently, he was also awarded the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year award for the People and Space category.
香港的建筑物千差万别，不管是历史类型、大小或比例都不尽相同，老区的建筑经年累月地修筑和加建后，打造独特多功能的街景，形形色色的风格相互汇集，“我将镜头聚焦于密集都市的元素上，拥挤的城市衍生出独特、高度压缩且不规则的空间，高楼林立的环境中使他们更显突出。” 在2016何颖嘉曾获索尼世界2016摄影比赛香港赛区冠军， 2016 年国家地理旅行者摄影大赛城市组亚军，Insight Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2016 冠军等等。
“For the budding urban photographer, knowing where to begin can be overwhelming,” he says. “It may be difficult at first to hone in on your target as seeing the works of other photographers may bring you a sense of pressure. Or you may have been an experienced shooter for many years, hoping to find a breakthrough on the photographic path.” Below, he shares with us some of the tips that helped him along the way.
1. “Steal” like an artist.
People say that the first step towards creation is imitation. This is not a call to imitate or plagiarize, but a reminder to study the work that inspires you. Wonder, ask questions, research, compare photos, seek to absorb every shooting experience and improve yourself until you find your own breakthrough.
2. Change your perspective.
When we get all too familiar with a certain point of view, its difficult to keep challenging ourselves. Something as simple as changing the height in which you look through your viewfinder could make a huge difference. Think of the way children see things, the way that birds see things from above. Don’t forget that there’s always more than one way to see the world around us.
3. Wait for “the moment.”
Be prepared. Take your shooting arsenal out with you everyday and record the sights and sounds that you see everywhere you go. If you want to shoot a standout picture, you’re going to have to wait for the right moment. Sometimes, you may even need to go to back to the same place, again and again, to find the right light and capture the ideal moment.
4. Find balance.
Give your images a sense of hierarchy, balance your composition on the screen, and find a balance between your foreground and your background. When composing two subjects in one image, consider their proportions and adjust their placement in your frame in order to get different results. To avoid confusion, don’t draw too much attention away from the focus of the photo.
5. Smartly make use of light.
Photographs are like paintings drawn with light – even if the frame is the same, a change in the light’s direction can produce an entirely different result. Experiment!
You aren’t what you shoot with. Good equipment, of course, can aid your photography endeavours to some degree, but high-end tools are not essential. What is more important is having a solid foundation in understanding how to use your camera and developing an eye for creating images.