By Mark McConville
THESE STUNNING images from an Irish photographer may look like abstract art but they are in fact one of the world’s most densely populated city districts shot from above.
Bird’s eye view pictures show the sky scrapers that adorn the country, apartment blocks in squared patterns and the swirling roads that make up the country’s motorways.
Other stunning shots show there’s more to Hong Kong than the urban landscape with football pitches, basketball courts and other green spaces all pictured.
The spectacular photographs were taken by heavy equipment operator Gary Cummins (36) from Waterford, Ireland.
“Hong Kong is such an engaging place,” he said.
“Stacked, busy, sleepless; I wanted to show a different story, a different angle. Being inspired by other photographers and my general curiosity, I took this project on.
“This is a view not regularly seen. So often we are on the ground looking up or looking down at our feet as we walk. In my images I want people to see what the birds see.
“I want to show people that exploration, interest, and engaging the world around us is. We take this amazing place we call home for granted so much. Get out there and explore, before your passports expire.”
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in South China.
With an average of 130,000 people packed inside each square kilometre, Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district is the most densely populated place on Earth.
While a unique place to explore, living in Mong Kok is another story. The noise, crowds, light pollution and cramped living space don’t make it the most desirable location. Space is at a premium here. Recently, nano-sized flats, some no bigger than a parking space offering 157 square feet, sold for HK$3 million (£289k) each.
Hong Kong was formerly a colony of the British Empire, after the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from Qing China at the conclusion of the First Opium War in 1842. Originally a lightly populated area of farming and fishing villages, the territory has become one of the most significant financial centres and trade ports in the world.
With the exception of the Second World War, during which the colony was occupied by the Empire of Japan, Hong Kong remained under British control until 1997, when it was returned to China. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system apart from mainland China.
Gary, who took the images with a Phantom 4 Advanced Drone, explained how he finds the perfect location.
“My method for getting these types of shots usually involves a lot of Google earth and location scouting,” he said.
“I don’t just show up and send my drone up anywhere. Planning a shoot, making wise decisions and plans in case of an emergency are important.
“I love that you get a new angle, a new story. People can have their interest reignited by new perspectives.
“People are generally surprised and drawn in right away. With every new angle comes a new reaction. It’s a great feeling to know that my photos can have that effect on people.”
Gary Cummins is a creative photographer from Waterford, Ireland, living in Toronto, Canada.
Gary specialises in high-speed photography, urban/street photography and landscape photography. He has lived all over the world, taking photos in over 30 countries. He has been featured on National Geographic, BBC and Lonely Planet.