In the grand scale of the world, Hong Kong is a blip on the map, or so Andrew thought. Having become a travel junkie in Europe, upon his return to Hong Kong he thought it might be impossible to discover new places in such a compact city. It was only until his friend invited him on a hike did he realize the vast expanse of nature that is waiting to be seen.
Part of a photography group called ‘AllionZ’, the members backpack, explore and capture the best moments of their travels up hill. With hiking being such a popular pastime in Hong Kong, it was easy for Andrew to scout out new walks and scenic trails online. The tricky bit comes with unpredictable weather and routes that may be considered dangerous.
“Weather is always unpredictable. Sometimes it rains heavily during our journey up, or most treks do not have any proper shortcut to leave the trek. The road conditions can turn bad so even a simple route could become slippery and dangerous. I have several experiences where I was soaked in heavy rain, but this our mother nature.”
Sze Shan, Lantau Island, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, ISO100, f/4, 1/800 seconds, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
Sunrise at Tai Leng Tung, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, ISO100, f/5, 1/100 seconds, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
Sunrise at Tai Leng Tung, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, ISO100, f/3.5, 1/1600 seconds, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
View from Kai Kung Leng, Kam Tin, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, ISO100, f/5.6, 1/320 seconds, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
View from Kai Kung Leng, Kam Tin, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, ISO100, f/3.5, 1/1600 seconds, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
View from the top of Lion Rock, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, ISO100, f/1.8, 1/3200 seconds, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
In times like these, Andrew is prepared for the best and the worst of the weather, bringing his rain cover along on every shoot. Hiking up to such great heights clearly has its advantages; from where he stands he is often amongst the clouds, staring into an abyss of green or boundless cityscapes.
Whilst Andrew loves to capture nature, he often features people in his imagery. With pure scenic landscapes it is often hard to figure out the grand scale of things, his trekking companions act as a marker for comparison, whilst also adding contrast to lush sceneries.
“One of my favourite photos is a sunrise photo in early summer, we had to hike from midnight and stayed at the top for few hours. Luckily we got a beautiful sunrise as a reward. But I know my best/perfect photo is yet to come…It's hard to define what the perfect photo is. For me it needs to be the right place at the right time. A special, unique moment that can’t be recreated. You need to be very lucky to have such moment.”
Sunset at Devil’s Peak, Lei Yue Mun, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO100, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
View from the top of Sunset Peak, Lantau Island, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, f/4.5, 1/1250 sec, ISO100, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
Seaside of Tai Tau Chau, Shek O, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, f/5, 1/1600 sec, ISO100, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
View from Cha Wu Tsui, Lantau Island, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, f/5, 1/800 sec, ISO100, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
On the way to the top of Lantau Peak, Hong Kong - Nikon D800, f/6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO500, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
It is no surprise that with a steep uphill walk, Andrew keeps his camera kit as light as possible. His camera of choice is the Nikon D800 with the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. Paired with his sturdy tripod, this set up is all-rounded and hassle-free.
Andrew usually switches his D800 to A-Mode, giving aperture a priority when shooting landscapes. “Normally we need to have smaller aperture such as f/8 - f/11 for landscape shooting. I would use ISO100 when it is a bright sunny day, ISO200-800 for a cloudy day. This typical set up is easy to handle and very convenient to shoot during hiking.”
With a big social following, Andrew has grown and fostered his skill set by promoting followers to join him on his hikes, allowing him to learn from photo-lovers much like him. Bringing this social aspect into his photography has become a driving point for his passion, building his own community who collectively share this interest.
“I try to meet up with as many photographers as possible. Nowadays it's getting easier to meet other photographers from social media. Once you meet up with them you find they will widen your view and change your mindset, which helps you to improve your skills and creativity.”
Hong Kong based Andrew Yung is a member of Instagram based adventurer photography group AllionZ. He is a landscape & nature photographer, a backpacker and a hiker. Having studied in the UK for 5 years and he fell in love with backpacking around Europe, his photography would become a footprint of the places he had encountered. In recent years his photography grew from a casual hobby to something more serious, it was then he bought his Nikon D800.