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.
Hyper-saturated neon lights and long exposure shots heighten the surreal atmosphere.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Xavier Portela.
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