Cityscape – Downtown Hong Kong in B&W

The following definition of Cityscape is taken from Wikipedia.

A cityscape is the urban equivalent of a landscape.  In urban design the terms refer to the configuration of built forms and interstitial space. In the visual arts a cityscape (urban landscape) is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print or photograph, of the physical aspects of a city or urban area.

Hong Kong is basically a vertical city with skyscrapers everywhere. The city is so familiar to me that, very rarely, I take pictures of it.

Depending on how and where you look at the city, you get a different sense of the place.

In this post, I am trying to show the cityscape by taking pictures of the soaring skyscrapers at varying distance from the buildings in the business district.

The top photo was taken from Victoria Peak,  552 m (1,811 ft) high, towards the harbor.DSCF3202

The second photo was taken high up on a restaurant located on the 62nd floor, also towards the harbor.DSCF3242

The third photo was taken from the same restaurant, using the zoom function.CIMG3433

The image shows the lines and form of the many curtain windows commonly found in Hong Kong buildings.

Behind all the glass and steel are some of Asia’s most powerful people, high-rise neighbours in one of the city’s most exclusive communities.

Finally, I have converted the last one into  a sketch which clearly shows the vertical and horizontal lines of the curtain wall.CIMG3433A

Have always wondered how a city like this can exist!

87 thoughts on “Cityscape – Downtown Hong Kong in B&W

    • I am just wondering whether there are just too many skyscrapers; however, with the limited land we have, there doesn’t seem to be an alternative. Have a lovely week too 🙂

  1. Lovely photos and they work so well in Black and White. I really like the clouds in the first one. It must have been a lovely day there in Hong Kong.

    • We are affected by the polluted air from industries just north across the border with Mainland; although situation has improved. The best time to get good photos at the Peak is in Summer, after a few days rain. Regards, Michael

  2. Hi Michael, Bob and i always look forward to the opportunities of visiting your hometown … always, our days there have been fruitful, however, we have gone up the peak thrice and was never ever able to take such beautiful photos of the city. thank you for living that moment for us. Hongkong will always have a special place in our hearts … and also, thank you, Michael for your support at encouraging me with the things i share, you are very kind 🙂 — April

    • Hi, sorry to hear that you didn’t have a good / clear view of the city even going up thrice to the Peak. As a resident, we have better control of the timing we go there – we were there only last week and the view was very good, but only two days later, the sky turned hazy again! Glad that you love my hometown. I have been reading you blog and there are many things there that just resonate in me. You are always welcome 🙂

    • Hi, we always had good view before factories were built further inland in China. Now Winter days are hazy because the wind blows from the Mainland bringing the polluted air with it. When the wind reverses the direction, mainly in Summer, the onshore wind disperse the pollutants. The hour of the day doesn’t make too much a difference – just like in Beijing, they are hazy all day!

    • You never know, the weather may turn out alright or you may be able to shot a few photos of hazy HK looking somewhat mystical! As you said, there are more in HK other than the scenery. Regards, Michael

  3. Amazing photographs, Michael! The architecture of the buildings is fascinating but, as you say, there is a whole community of people within. I love the countryside, but cities are wonderful places too.

    • yes, there are lots of vertical and horizontal lines making up the photo. The sketch let readers to have another perspective – this is the way I draw my pictures when I was a child 🙂

  4. An intriguing look at architectural form, i rather like the last where you have rendered it down to vertical and horizontal lines. It has it’s own intricacy, as delicate as a spider’s web.
    BTW i was intrigued by a photo exhibition in Tokyo by Katsumata on Skylines…. the “Myth of Height” that border between buildings and the sky. That’s a space (in artistic terms) i hadn;t ever considered…. where towering buildings meet the clouds.

  5. Hello Michael, thank you for putting your like on my photoblog. Just in case you’re interested, I also posted a row of pictures from Hong Kong in july of this year.

    Regards, macingosh photography

  6. Aloha Michael, thanks for visiting my blog. It seems that I am the only one who doesn’t quite know what ‘curtain windows’ or a ‘curtain wall’ is. Most of our newer condo high rises have no lanais anymore where you can step out, and some luxury buildings are floor to ceiling glass with central air. I suppose there are no large windows to speak of that you can open up very wide and fall out. So I’ll let you explain.
    ~Liz

    • Hi Liz, From Wikipedia : A curtain wall system is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, but merely keep the weather out and the occupants in. As the curtain wall is non-structural it can be made of a lightweight material reducing construction costs. When glass is used as the curtain wall, a great advantage is that natural light can penetrate deeper within the building. Most of the curtain walls in Hong Kong cannot be opened, maybe apart in a case of an emergency. Visually, they look like a big glass – although it is not a good solution for energy conservation as too much light penetration requiring the use of a lot of air conditioning. Regards, Michael

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