The winning entries of the National Geographic Hong Kong Photo Contest 2023 have been unveiled across six categories that capture the essence of the city. The subjects of the photographs range from iconic buildings such as the International Finance Centre and International Commerce Centre, landmark sea crossings like the Tsing Ma Bridge and Ting Kau Bridge, and participants in the Cross Harbour Race.

hong kong photo contest 2023 the cross harbour race
The winner in the People category, ‘The Cross Harbour Race’ by Tsui Piu, is an image from the first post-pandemic edition of the annual swimming event.

Entries under five of the categories — Landscape, Ecology, City, People, and Historic Buildings — were meant to be shot on cameras, while those under the sixth category, Mobile Photography, were exclusively meant for images captured on cellphones. This is the seventh year in a row that the exhibition has been held, and the winners in each category will receive HK$10,000, as well as have their photographs published in the Traditional Chinese version of National Geographic magazine.

hong kong phot contest 2023 wings in waterfall
The winner in the Ecology section, ‘Wings in Waterfall’ by Lai Hei, shows a pair of Red-whiskered Bulbuls bathing in a waterfall.

Some of the most stunning images include the winner in the Landscape category titled ‘Source of Power’ that was taken by the side of Ting Kau Bridge, as well as the runner-up called ‘Through the Mist’ that shows vehicles crossing Tsing Ma Bridge on a misty Hong Kong day. The winner in the People category, ‘The Cross Harbour Race’, shows swimmers at the first post-pandemic edition of the annual sports event, while the top pick in the Ecology section titled ‘Wings in Waterfall’ features Red-whiskered Bulbuls bathing in a waterfall.

hong kong photo contest 2023 stairway to heaven
‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Wong Kin Wing was the winner in the City category.

The famous Wong Tai Sin Temple is the subject of the winner in the Historical Buildings category. Titled ‘The Path of Life’, the black-and-white image is a commentary on how no one can escape the inevitable cycle of life. Other images of note selected in this category include ‘Time Traveler in the Rain’ that shows a lone pedestrian walking up Pottinger Street, and ‘In Light and Shadow’ that shows a section of the façade of the historic Peninsula Hotel.

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hong kong photo contest 2023 the path of life
‘The Path of Life’ by Chan Kit Bing, the winner in the Historic Buildings category, is a black-and-white image of the Wong Tai Sin Temple.

Photographers who submitted entries under the City category had to ensure that their images depicted the pulse of life in Hong Kong, and the winning entry — ‘Stairway to Heaven’ — captured the buzz of living in the 852. ‘Playground’, the first runner-up in this section, can be interpreted as a commentary on the cramped living spaces in the city, while ‘Bustling Mong Kok’ is a peek at one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with its bustling with pedestrians and vehicles in its narrow streets.

hong kong photo contest 2023 source of power
‘Source of Power’ by Jin Guan Hua was the winner in the Landscape category.

This year, there were 9,205 entries for the competition. While the images had to be shot in Hong Kong, there was no restriction on where the entries came from. Therefore, there were participants from Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau, Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, the US, and many other overseas countries and regions.

hong kong photo contest 2023 dancing in the rain
This image by Shi Min Yao 石旻垚, titled ‘Dancing in the Rain’, was declared the winner in the Mobile Photography category.

The winning entries, along with the runners-up and merit recipients, are on display as part of a virtual exhibition until March 24, 2024. They will also be exhibited at SAVVY in Tsim Sha Tsui during the same period.

Image credits: National Geographic

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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