Liam Wong shares a new book of night-time cinematic cities

Then he adds, “That reflects on the kind of equipment I use. I am often asked whether I use tripods, and that’s one of the main reasons why I don’t because: I do not want to be noticed in a way that makes me stand out. When shooting in low light, one thing I became proficient in was the ability to utilize the arms of my body in a manner that acted as an actual tripod, but this let me shoot at a shutter speed that let more light in while ensuring that there aren’t any micro-vibrations in my shots… It was a lot of fun to be able to practice this. The only time I utilize a tripod is when I’m confident that there are no people present, regardless of whether it’s an intense monsoon or heavy rain. And I am sure that no one will show up randomly.’

Utilization of flash

Though his work is defined with the help of lights on the streets, Liam does sometimes deploy flash. Flash is a great option when you have a narrow alleyway that is lit. I own a wireless Cactus flash trigger, and for it, I have a GorillaPod, which I can put around the doorway or pipe. Then, I apply Gels onto the flash. However, it must be a narrow space that I can light using the bounce flash. It’s a means of introducing color into the scene that was not there.’

Liam has an Instagram following of more than 220,000 followers; Liam often makes use of social media to showcase his work and get feedback. “I consider the kind of life a photograph has after I upload it. I always tell people who follow my posts, if you’re experiencing trouble with your creativity, try one of my photos and do whatever it is you need for you to complete.’ Liam uses Instagram as an indicator. In one instance, he uploaded an image from Tokyo with three lenses: one 14mm, one 35mm, and a 50mm to see which one the people who followed him liked the most.

To post-produce his work, he employs Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. He says, ‘I’ve found that Adobe Bridge isn’t so commonly utilized. However, I use it to browse and examine all my files. In the program, I have a variety of presets for Camera Raw, which I’ve created over time. Then, I alter them according to the photo. The bridge is connected to Photoshop, which I’ve used since I became a teenager, and I find it much easier to work with as compared to Lightroom.

With Bridge, I am able to apply quick presets to several images simultaneously from one sequence. While editing photos, I always think, “Okay, what do I want this to look like? What could I alter?” Even for things like cropping, I’ll be thinking about “How do I improve the way I frame this?”. Once I’ve secured the composition, I’ll alter the color to create the mood I’m trying to make.

Inspiration for Instagram

To assist in choosing his images for the book, Liam has turned to Instagram. One helpful thing was deciding which photos people liked the most and responded to or interacted with. It really helps in being an aspiring photographer of the present and involved in the social media aspect that I am able to access statistics. I had a clear idea of what photos would be included in the publication.

It was “Which ones merit to be spread out? Which ones are more compact? Are they equal amounts in each town?” But I thought, “I’m not making a tour guide.” I was only interested in images which I felt an affinity for and also other people who were involved with and then tried to blend them all.’

Liam summarizes¬†“After Dark” as “Photographs of the city at night, framed in a cinematic manner and exploring the theme of loneliness in urban areas. The format he is referring to The book comes in a landscape format, and his photographs are presented in cinematic ratios¬†

He states, ‘Before I was bitten by the outbreak, I had visited Vatican City, London, Osaka, Kyoto, Chongqing, Hong Kong – all the shots were taken. Then the pandemic struck. To me, it seemed like of normal, however, people were saying “Wow, this is kind of weird,” however, I would always go away to discover an empty space. In the book, we see the concept of cities that seem to be empty, yet you can see the lights in operation. It’s got that feel that says “what’s the story there?” It’s just a flurry out of on the street.’

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