Electric Photos Capture the Energetic Buzz of Hong Kong’s Nighttime Neon Streets

Hong Kong Neon Lights

Belgian photographer Xavier Portela is back once again with an electrifying vision of an urban jungle. A quick trip to Hong Kong turned into the perfect excuse for Portela to add the Asian metropolis to his ongoing Glow series. Under the watch of buzzing neon signs, the city streets pulse with the activity that Portela loves to capture. This time, his hyper-saturated imagery is combined with long exposures that allow him to use light trails for creative effect.

Inspired by the substance that the city offers, Portela's #HONGKONGGLOW series radiates excitement. By capturing the movement of traffic and flow of people in the streets, his Hong Kong is a city that bursts with energy and is always on the move.

These humanizing elements contrast with the eerie mood created by the saturated blue and red lighting. The color palette could give the series an almost sinister feel in the hands of another photographer. But through Portela's lens, it's as though people are living in a slightly heightened version of reality. One could easily imagine the atmosphere translating into a virtual video game world.

By playing with light and reflections, Portela continues to strengthen his compositions. This sets his work apart from other urban night photographers, as he continually mixes up visual elements to the delight of viewers. #HONGKONGGLOW is yet another triumph that makes us anxious to see which city will get the “Glow” treatment next.

Xavier Portela explores the streets of Hong Kong for the latest series of images for his ongoing Glow project.

Hong Kong Neon LightsHong Kong at Night by Xavier PortelaTaxi Cab in Hong Kong by Xavier PortelaPhoto of Hong Kong by Xavier PortelaPhoto of Hong Kong at NightTaxi Cab in Hong Kong by Xavier PortelaHong Kong at Night by Xavier PortelaHong Kong at Night by Xavier PortelaPhoto of Hong Kong at Night

Hyper-saturated neon lights and long exposure shots heighten the surreal atmosphere.

Hong Kong at Night by Xavier PortelaHong Kong at Night by Xavier PortelaHong Kong at Night by Xavier PortelaPhoto of Hong Kong by Xavier PortelaUrban Hong Kong PhotographHong Kong at Night by Xavier Portela

Xavier Portela: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Behance

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Xavier Portela.

Related Articles:

Nighttime Photos Capture Vibrant Pink Glow of Times Square’s Neon Lights

Photographer Captures Electric Views of New York City From a Helicopter

Glowing Nighttime Photos of Tokyo Saturated in Electric Pink

Vibrant Nighttime Photos of Bangkok’s Neon Streets

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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