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photography in hk

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posts: 3
photography in hk

Hi everyone,

I'll be taking a camera with me on my trip to hk (november).. but who doesnt? :-)

What I want to find out is how to the locals react to having their picture taken? HK is such a bustling place I think it would be a good place for some candid shots.

What are your thoughts?

On a side note, how do the camera accessories prices compare to the rest of the world in stuff like lenses etc?

Many thanks

Wien, Austria
Destination Expert
for Vienna
posts: 2,736
reviews: 44
1. Re: photography in hk

hi I didn´t have any problems taking pictures of people.

About the prices, be sure you know the price from home, there isn´t much difference.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
posts: 6,965
reviews: 88
2. Re: photography in hk

Taking photos of people passing by, and those you don't know.... it's not a big deal in HK, people usually are in such a hurry, and too busy to care or notice what you are doing anyways. However, if you DO come across some "sensitve" people, they might ask you, "why are you taking my photos?" ..... however, I would say this chance is quite minimal.

Candid shots would be very nice..... no worries.

Camera accessories, I don't know what you are comparing to. Just for your reference:

I can get the Canon EF-S lens 17-85mm about $ 3000 HKD, and the battery grip for Canon 30D is $ 1000, while the camera Canon 30D is $ 9400.00 HKD, last month was $ 8900.

Canon Ixy 65, I bought it this week for $ 2100.00HKD.

2 GB SD card Eagletec, $ 400.00 HKD.

You can try www.anewdigital.com, but email them for better prices, but their website would give you an idea.

Hope this helps.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 1,361
reviews: 34
3. Re: photography in hk

HuSanNiang is right in noting that you really won't find much better pricing than at home and as Katetam notes, much depends on what you are comparing to.

Read this post and follow the link contained in that post for some helpful information:


If you are into photography, for some info. on sites and taking photo's see:


I expect you appreciate that you should always be discreet when taking photographs where people are going to be in the view and if you are taking photographs of individuals (as the subject) especially outside of those employed in tourist locales (eg. Disneyland employees) it is mere common courtesy to ask their permission in general (when they might otherwise not notice you), and downright rude to simply point your camera in their face and snap away (especially when it is obvious to them what you are doing). My experience has been that most individuals (street vendors, etc.) will consent when you politely ask.

posts: 3
4. Re: photography in hk

Thanks for all the help guys, your info is much appreciated.

I understand where you are coming from about pushing a camera in someones face and snapping photos of them without asking them, of course it's rude.

Unfortunately as soon as you ask someone to take their photo and they agree, you end up with them posing for the camera, making it not so candid as taking a photo without them knowing. Candid photography isn't about capturing someones face, but their actions and expressions,. I live in UK and have had no problems taking candid photographs of people. You can get some great photos, say of a taxi driver having a quick sleep in his car etc.

Of course if they notice me I'll happily explain what I'm doing and delete the photo. As long as they dont chase after me with knives I'll be happy :-)

Destination Expert
for Tokyo
posts: 18,647
reviews: 27
5. Re: photography in hk

Compared to UK, prices would probably be better. Shop only at reputable places, like Fortress, Broadway located everywhere, or at the "camera street" (Stanley St.) in Central for more professional equipment.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 1,361
reviews: 34
6. Re: photography in hk


As someone who likes to take photos when travelling, the issue of when you can and when you can't without asking is one there are no hard and fast rules for. But I've "lost" very very few opportunities when asking permission and always feel better in the end when I do. Taking a photo which I know has offended the subject by my taking it doesn't give me any pleasure in viewing it later.

Not to tread too far off topic, but I agree there is always the concern about losing a candid shot; when asking permission you do run the risk of your subject becoming self-conscious. But, if you are taking a shot of someone on the street, for example a street vendor, I always find that if you really want the shot, they aren't going anywhere and will soon get preoccupied with their job plus you get the benefit of actually observing them and what they do for a while. Sometimes that "would've been interesting photo" turns into a really great photo because you had more time to study what the subject was doing. "Posing", however, can actually give you a better shot, for example, the fruit vendor surrounded by fruit holding out a handful of fruit toward the camera. My second theory is, that for the obvious fleeting moment or inattentive individual (like your sleeping cabbie), the street is a public place and people in public places expect that they will be observed and potentially photographed as there will be photographers out and about (expecially in a tourist city like Hong Kong). And, of course, there are times when you know you simply can't ask for permission (the raid by police on illegal sidewalk vendors in Saigon, for example, which qualifies for me an "o.k. to go without permission" on two fronts -- the moment is fleeting and the individuals are clearly preoccupied (ie. inattentive) and won't notice what you are doing and hence, are not likely to be offended by what you are doing.

Every photographer will determine what is right for them and where the boundaries of courtesy and consideration lie.

Interesting post and one I haven't seen addressed before on this forum.


7. Re: photography in hk

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