Photo Spot Details
The Avenue of Stars is the Hollywood Walk of Fame of Kong Hong. A waterfront promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Avenue of Stars celebrates more than 100 celebrities of Hong Kong’s film industry with inlaid stars and concrete handprints. However, for many photographers I suspect the real “star” on this walkway is the view of central Hong Kong on the opposite side of Victoria Harbour. Downtown Hong Kong is separated by about 1000 meters of water; the two sides are commonly referred to as “Central” and “Kowloon”. The Central side is home to the famous Bank of China Tower, International Finance Center, HSBC Tower, and majority of the nightly light show, making the Kowloon side, and specifically the Avenue of Stars, the best vantage point for the impressive skyline.
Travel and Gear Tips
- The Hong Kong skyline is bright and colorful when lit and many buildings on the Central side partake in the synchronized light show, “A Symphony of Lights”, every night at 8pm. Photographers line up on the Avenue of Stars with their tripods as the sun starts to set, so arrive early for a good spot.
- Hong Kong is often covered in fog, so a clear day or night would result in the best photos, but fog can create some interesting opportunities too!
- The Avenue of Stars is much less crowded at sunrise. The skyline may not be as vibrant in the morning with all the lights off, but some great photos are possible as the city is just waking up.
- The InterContinental Hong Kong hotel sits right behind the Avenue of Stars. If staying at the InterContinental, request a Harbourview room and take skyline photos right from your room! The elevated view is a bit nicer than the water-level view on the Avenue of Stars, and you won’t need to worry about arriving early to set up your tripod! (The image at the top of this post was taken from a room at the InterContinental.)
- A normal zoom, like 24-70mm or 24-120mm, is perfect for skyline shots.
- During the day, many container ships, tugboats, ferries, and even cruise ships pass through Victoria Harbour. A moderate telephoto like 70-200mm lens is ideals for capturing them as they pass in front of the cityscape.
- When shooting on a tripod at night, use base ISO to reduce noise and long exposures to soak up all the city light.
- At day or night, aim to use your camera’s sharpest aperture, probably f/8. Only stop down further if you want a longer exposure.
- A Symphony of Lights includes searchlights and lasers from the rooftops of many buildings. Keep this in mind when framing compositions and experiment with different shutter speeds to expose them properly.
- Consider making multiple exposures (without adjusting your framing) to add together multiple sets of searchlight/laser configurations.
- Also consider HDR as the bright neon signs and city lights have a tendency to blow out.
- If shooting from your hotel room in the InterContinental, turn off all the lights in the room and get your lens as close as possible to the window to minimize reflections.