The 4 Corners of Hong Kong

1. May Wah Mansion, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Wan Chai, Hong Kong by Belinda Jiao Photography

The other day, I was taking a solo photowalk around Wan Chai. Already a well-known street photo spot, May Wah Mansion has been visited by many photographers on various occasions. While I strolled the streets aimlessly, I noticed, at some point, the sight of May Wah Mansion. I knew immediately by heart that it was one of the corner buildings that I have always wanted to photograph. And so I took out my camera, crossed to the other side of the pavement and started photogrpahing.

There are a few positions you could photograph from, but the sweet spot is the tip of the  pedestrian island that is closest to the building. That is a position where you can get an undisturbed shot of the entire building– away from lamp posts, trees, passers-by etc. There may be electric cables up high, but they will always be there wherever you take the shot from so I’d just let them be.

If you are slightly more observant than the average person, you would notice that right opposite to May Wah Mansion is another corner building. I seem to be spoiling all the fun by disclosing every detail here for the keen adventurers! I will leave it to you to find out what is on the other side, but trust me, it is worth the hunt.

2. Man Fung Building, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

Man Fung Building, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong by Belinda Jiao Photography

This is yet another building that photographers can’t be more familiar with. The shocking yellow color of its exterior really made Man Fung Building stand out among its counterparts, set in an old district like Sham Shui Po.

Wondering why is there a bear next to the yellow building out of the blue? They are the masterpiece of artists who collaborated with Hong Kong Walls, which initiates art movements all over Hong Kong. They have made numerous attempts to lighten up the atmosphere in old districts, adding to the vibrance by painting exterior walls at certain spots.

3. Ma Tau Kok, Hong Kong

Ma Tau Kok, Hong Kong by Belinda Jiao Photography

I have always wondered why do corner buildings have no corners? I have yet to find out why; do let me know if you have any thoughts!

This was taken at the point where Un Chau Street meets Yen Chow Street. Despite already using a wide angle lens, the building is so massive that I could only capture a part of the curvature even from a distance. But since there are other main roads converging into the same point, traffic is pretty heavy and there are many traffic lights around. The best compromise would be to stay far enough to capture more of the building, but close enough to avoid as many traffic lights as possible so as to minimise the distraction in the photo.

4. Carnarvon Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Carnarvon Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by Belinda Jiao Photography

I hope this picture convinces you of the diversity of Hong Kong — a minute ago you were walking by a skyscraper that has its head in the clouds; the next minute you found yourself  lost in a jungle of old blocks of varying shapes and sizes. Taxis and trucks made their way through the irregularly laid out roads, occassionally sounding their horns irritably at people and each other.

This corner building is located right at the middle of such a dynamic area. Since it is not a huge conjunction, the streets are not wide. There isn’t much room for me to step back from the building so as to include more of its surroundings into the frame, although I would very much love to. In order give it my best shot, I sat on the pavement shamelessly and waited for the traffic to be exactly how I wanted it to be– by now you should know that I have the habit of waiting for a taxi to come up next to the building I am photographing (See #3 of Top 5 straight facade shots in Hong Kong). Although I attracted some weird stares and probably was secretely judged, I got a decent picture and that is what counts at the end of the day!

Isn’t Hong Kong lovely? Go hunt for these unique corner buildings today!

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