Stylish time-lapse shows another side to one of the world’s most built-up cities


posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 2:34 PM EST


Think of Hong Kong, and the picture in most people's minds is probably of the city itself: built-up, densely populated, teeming with life, activity and neon signs. There's another side to Hong Kong, though, one most tourists don't get to see. Almost three quarters of Hong Kong's land is made up of remote areas, mountains that are too steep to build on, or islands that are too small to be developed. Almost half of that area was given over to country parks in the mid-1970s, and they provide a much-needed resource for locals in their downtime.

The natural side of Hong Kong is beautifully illustrated in a time-lapse video shot by Francis So, a web designer and keen enthusiast photographer. The piece also shows off some interesting effects that add to the visual appeal, such as freezing lightning strikes, or labeling and tracking constellations as they sweep across the sky.

The video offers a heartfelt response to a controversial suggestion by Hong Kong development secretary Paul Chan Mo-po. Chan recently put forth the idea that Hong Kong could solve its real-estate worries by developing land currently inside the parks. So's message to Chan is clear, and it echoes that from the public at large: "Don't destroy our country parks!" 

"Our Naturalscapes, Our Hong Kong", by Francis So

Not only is it a beautiful piece, but So has also provided some technical info on how it was shot. (As certified camera geeks ourselves, that makes the video twice as interesting!) So shot the source footage with Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 6D digital SLRs. Three lenses were used: the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, and the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX Diagonal Fisheye. No motion control unit was used for the panning effects, and So shot in aperture-priority mode to capture the sunrises without the brightness of the clip changing. It took five months to shoot and edit the footage, with everything having been shot since last June.

Watch the video above, and visit So's website to see more of his photos, as well as some of his design work.

(via Hong Wrong)