• Annie Yuen

Long Exposure Photography at Cheung Chau Island

According to Wikipedia, Hong Kong comprises the Kowloon peninsula and 263 islands over 500 square meters, the largest being Lantau Island and the second largest being Hong Kong Island. To escape the urban jungle, I have chosen Cheung Chau, an island that's 10 kilometers southwest of Hong Kong Island.

I went to Central Pier 5 to take the ordinary ferry to Cheung Chau on a Friday. The plan is to take some night shots as well, so the trip started at 2:00pm.

Central Pier 5
View from the ferry looking at the Central Pier 5

Once we arrived Cheung Chau, we ate some famous Cheung Chau Mango Mochi and walked towards the beach. When we are walking towards the beach, we walked by a basketball court that has the best sea view. I believed it's a basketball court of a school.

Then we arrived at a gigantic rock called "Fa Peng (Vase) Rock".

I didn't explored on the rock at much during day time as I would go back at night to take some long exposure shots.

During the day, I tried a ND 32 filter to try some day long exposure shots. Here are the shows I have tried.

The long exposure effect on the water will be much better if I had done a longer exposure. Unfortunately, my ND filter is not dark enough so the result is not as dramatic as I imagined. I used a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens for these shots. For the first shot, I had used 29mm ISO100 F22 1.6sec. F22 is the smallest aperture this lens can go. If I had a darker ND filter, I could have taken a longer shutter speed. For the second picture, I have borrowed my friend's lens that is Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens. I used 59mm ISO100 F22 3.2 sec. I can used a long shutter speed although I used the same IOS and aperture is because I use a zoom lens which I can get more rocks and water and less sky, so the entire composition was comparatively darker.

Then, we went to some abandoned houses. Although these houses are being abandoned, but they look amazing and great for fashion shots. Definitely in the bucket list to go back for some fashion shots one day.

Heels at abandon house
Does someone have the same idea and already did a fashion shoot here already?

Posing in the jingle
Lighting of that day was amazing

Nature scene you can rarely find in hong kong
Am I in Hong Kong? Or, I went to one of the scenes in the Hobbit

Before some night shots, of cause I have to take some romantic sunset shots.

It was close to Chinese New Year, so many household had hanged Chinese lantern at the entrance. It added a lot of color on their street. By using long exposure, I got crisp shape and color at night. This picture is at 35mm, ISO 100, F22 at 30 seconds long exposure. I wondered how the picture would turn out if I did a 2 min or even a 5 min exposure for this photo. Unfortunately, I had not tried to use my new EOS-R in bulb mode before this trip, so I did not know that EOS-R had the bulb setting that allowed me to set the time of exposure. (I figured out the bulb setting when I was taking the boat back to Hong Kong Island.)

After a bunch of shots on the street, we took the same path as the day. Passed the beach and walked a little bit uphill, we saw this stunning view. This one was at 35mm ISO 200 f14 with 30 second shutter speed. Due to the limit of the EOS-R at a non-bulb setting, I can only use the maximum shutter speed of 30 sec. The reflection on the water was good enough to reflect the city. But I will try a longer shutter speed next time to get a longer reflection. I wonder if I can get a mirror image of the city if I use a shutter speed of 5 minutes.

When we arrived the Fa Peng Rock again, Adam and I were so excited as we were lucky to get the clear sky and thus be able to see a lot of stars. This picture I had used 25mm ISO250 f/2.8 at 30 seconds. I love this perfect light trail of an airplane on top of the rock that just made this picture unique.

I had climbed inside the rock and saw this perfect V shape that my immediate instinct was to frame the sky and city view with stars in the middle. The pollution of the city made the scene more dramatic and add more gradient between the sky and the city.

To wrap-up the shoot, this hero shot of Adam is the perfect one. It gave me the Marvel cinematic feel that I am always a fan of.