How Hong Kong’s Fading Neon Lights May Change the Way Photographers Capture the City

With Hong Kong’s iconic neon signs steadily disappearing in recent years, the city’s nightscapes have started to take on a different glow. Here’s what it could mean for photographers who are keen on documenting what’s left of it. 

Every city has its own landmarks and icons. For Hong Kong, among these are its neon lights. They don’t only light up the city’s bustling commercial centers, but have also been inspirational to creatives of various disciplines around the world. The vivid neon glow of the city was instrumental for both the iconic films of Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai, and the futuristic imagery of cyberpunk classics like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell. It is also constantly explored by photographers of all genres and visual styles, some of which you’ve seen us feature here. But with the steady decline of the artful neon signs, will these creatives — photographers, especially — also change the way they see and capture the city?

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Xavier Portela Paints Famous Cities with Hypnotic Neon “Glow”

All images by Xavier Portela. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Think your night photography could use some splashes of color? For today’s photography inspiration, we bring you the vibrant cityscapes of Brussels-based Xavier Portela, who sees and bathes cities around the world in neon hues. If vibrant colors and unique takes on photographing cities at night often catch your attention, you will surely enjoy his ongoing project.

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