First impressions are important

We all know that first impressions are important, but today I wanted to share with you my first impression of Hong Kong, and how it affected my photography in the city.

It was 2009 when I made my first visit to Hong Kong. I had never been there before and my exposure to this city was limited to what I had seen in the news and on the Internet. I was expecting a sprawling city with people all around, much like you see in Tokyo, Japan.

Nikon D200, 1/25 sec., f/5.6, ISO 640, 22mm
Nikon D200, 1/25 sec., f/5.6, ISO 640, 22mm

When I arrived there, however, I couldn’t have been more wrong with my expectations! The city was so much smaller, less populated, and less chaotic than I was expecting. It wasn’t a giant city with an exploding population, grid locked cars everywhere, and smog. It was a very clean city, quiet with people walking about minding their own business.

Had I been right with my expectations, I may have been more inclined to take more photos of the city. I would have been in the middle of all the chaos, confirming all of my beliefs of the city, trying to see every angle of every photo opportunity that arose.

Instead, I may have been slightly surprised and/or disappointed with my discovery, thereby reducing my motivation to shoot as much as I would have otherwise.

Several years later, I looked at all the photos that I took in Hong Kong and thought to myself, I should have taken more—and had I gone now, I know I would have taken a lot more!

The takeaway here is that you shouldn’t let your expectations get in the way of your purpose to shoot. Your inspiration/motivation should always be with you regardless of your state of mind!

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