Vertical Hong Kong

ByRosa de Acosta

Hong Kong is famed for its skyline, but graphic artist and photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captures a different vision of the city: looking up.

In his “Vertical Horizon” project, the 26-year-old Frenchman photographs the city’s vertical angles through a wide-angle Sigma lens with a 10 mm focal length. The lens, he says, avoids distorting the urban landscape’s straight lines.

“Fisheye lenses bend the edges of the photos to make it curvy, while my lens doesn’t,” he said. “I think it fits better architectural shots and it’s more faithful to reality.”

Mr. Jacquet-Lagrèze arrived in Hong Kong in 2009 and bought his first single-lens reflex camera the following year. He started shooting vertical images in 2011, and in early 2012 decided to capture as much of the city as possible.

The project, now a book, comprises 80 photos taken between January and July of that year. A dozen of them are currently being displayed in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district as part of Le French May cultural festival.

Images were taken from the ground at eye level, a height that reinforces the viewer’s feeling of immersion and verticality. But, the photographer notes, looking up at the sky sometimes has its risks.

“Many times I have to stand in the middle of the road, but I’m cautious and haven’t suffered any accidents,” he said.

When he needs to hold his camera still, for instance for night shots, “I use what I find around me: a sign, a chair, a sidewalk fence,” he added. “I try to avoid using the tripod.”

As for what motivates him to take pictures?

“Hong Kong is an incredible source of inspiration to me,” he said, adding that photography is “the best way to share my feelings.”

“Vertical Horizon” is on view through June 24 at Hotel Panorama by Rhombus

via  Scene Asia – WSJ.

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