Interview

March 14, 2021

Natalie Lau Interview – “Glow in the Dark” Exhibition: Walk around Hong Kong at night

FabCafe Hong Kong Editorial Team

FabCafe Hong Kong just launched the new creator community “Creator’s Spotlight“, which we aim to support and grow the local creative community in Hong Kong. This exhibition is presented by Creator’s Spotlight.


FabCafe Hong Kong collaborated with local photographer Natalie Lau to host her first solo photo exhibition “Glow in the Dark” from 6 – 19 March 2021. As a night photographer, how did Natalie start capturing night view in Hong Kong? What messages would she like to deliver through this exhibition? We interviewed her to know more about her background and stories.

Explore the beauty of Hong Kong at night

F = FabCafe
N = Natalie

F: Can you introduce yourself and how did you start shooting street photography?

N: I am currently a full time graphic designer, and photography is my spare time hobby. I started this hobby 6 years ago, then I developed my interest in shooting night street view of Hong Kong 2 years ago. I was the kind of person who always wore my headphones and did not really care about my surroundings when I was on the street. But after I started shooting on streets, I paid extra attention to street views and this has enabled me to explore a lot of beautiful spots in Hong Kong. I did not really receive any professional training on photo-shooting. Most of my photo-shooting techniques were self-learnt and I keep practising to train myself. I also self-learned different programmes such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Adobe Illustrator, which helped a lot in building my own photo style.

F: I can see most of your photos are night views of Hong Kong. Why did you choose to shoot Hong Kong at night?

N: Actually I started shooting day views at first, and only took some night views. But I personally prefer shooting at night, as the night view of Hong Kong is really unique, like the neon signs are the signature of Hong Kong night view. The glowing lights of Hong Kong night view is stunning, and this makes me really into shooting the night street view of Hong Kong.

F: What messages would you like to deliver through the “Glow in the Dark” exhibition?

N: Under the pandemic, people keep saying that they really want to travel abroad. But I believe there are still a lot of places in Hong Kong that are worth exploring. I hope my photographs can let people rediscover different sides of Hong Kong, and encourage them to visit different places to better understand the uniqueness and beauty of Hong Kong. Meanwhile there are 4 photographs hanging on another side of the venue, and those were edited by Photoshop to demonstrate the surreal night view of Hong Kong. I hope to show the contrast between the real and surreal night view and allow people to imagine something new.

  • Window display of “Glow in the Dark” photo exhibition.

  • There are 17 photos exhibiting at FabCafe Hong Kong.

  • Photos printed in different sizes, and available to order during exhibition.

  • 10 different photo postcards are selling in-store.

F: Can you choose your favourite photograph from your 17 exhibiting works?

N: I will choose the one titled as “Wait”. It’s titled as “Wait” because it took me an hour to capture the final work. This is a special piece that I did not add any Photoshop effects. I used long exposure to capture the light trails, and there were 3 cars drove past at the same time so you can see the special light trails without any extra effects. As a photographer, it might take hours or even years to capture the best moment. I believe this applies to real life as well because good results are always worth waiting for. 

“Wait” by Natalie

Preparation works are important to street photographers

F: Can you let us know the process of shooting one street photo?

N: I realise there are 2 types of street photographers. One type would take snapshots on streets anytime to capture the immediate street view. Another type would add more Photoshop effects to their works, and I am the later type. To capture one street photo, I need to do a lot of homework to study the shooting spot, to consider which angles I should take, research on how others capture that spot and how I could make my work unique. All these preparations are important to ensure I can bring the right camera and lens, and plan for the shooting schedule. Even though I will edit my works afterwards, the preparation works are actually more crucial for photographers like me to create the best work.

F: What do you want to achieve in the future in your photography career?

N: I hope I can open my own photography studio in the future. There are a lot of rooms of improvement for myself, and I would like to equip myself better such as learning more about lighting, to make sure I have acquired enough knowledge and qualifications to start my own company. And I would like to meet more people in the industry and build closer connections with different parties to develop my career. I hope this exhibition can be a starting point for my photography career.

F: Any advice or suggestions you can share with those who want to do street photography?

N: I would suggest beginners can buy a less expensive camera to start practising. Someone might feel that a high quality camera is the best starting point, but I believe learning the basics about photography such as the photo composition is more important than getting a high quality camera. When you already learn enough about photography, it’s never too late to upgrade your camera afterwards. I always browse on Pinterest to study other photographers’ techniques and there are a lot of insights you can get from them. 


Standing on a big size photo mat feels like you are standing at the edge of the building.

 

There are souvenirs including postcards and camera straps selling in-store. FabCafe Hong Kong also provide customized service for you. You can choose your own messages and drawings and we can laser engraved your messages on the camera straps! Make your unique camera straps at FabCafe Hong Kong and come visit us from 6 – 19 March!

Customized camera straps available at FabCafe Hong Kong.

Address:

FabCafe Hong Kong
G/F, 10 New Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (5 mins walk from Sai Ying Pun station)

Time:

Mon – Fri: 08:30 – 17:00
Sat – Sun: 09:00 – 18:00

Author

  • FabCafe Hong Kong Editorial Team

    This articles is edited by FabCafe Hong Kong.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
    Contact us

    This articles is edited by FabCafe Hong Kong.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
    Contact us

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