JUNE 2014
Shooting the Sunrise
Computer engineering student Hon Nam Cheung’s winning photo, “Sunrise and Stars in UST”, was shot with a Canon 550D (30s, f/6.3, ISO 200) and tripod.

Whether getting up at 5am to capture the sunrise on campus or spending the night in the wilds to wait for shooting stars, HKUST Annual Photo Competition champion Hon Nam Cheung is happy to undertake the challenge to reveal the wonders of Nature through his camera.

Before taking his winning photograph, “Sunrise and Stars in UST”, recording the brief moment when night clouds, stars and the faint glow of the sun share the skyline, the second-year Computer Engineering student spent a month planning the camera settings and equipment needed, and checking out the location from which to take the shot – the small hillside shelter outside the HKUST Bistro Restaurant.

The photo contest, which is open to all University students, faculty, staff and alumni, aims to showcase both photographic skills and the beauty of the campus, generating a host of stunning shots.  Hon Nam was participating for the first time.

New dawn 
Hon Nam took up photography as a major interest after his Form Five examinations.  With more time to develop his skills, he swapped his point-and-shoot camera for a digital single reflex lens and refined his knowledge through reading articles, watching online videos on techniques and software, and self-evaluation of the outcome of every trip. 
In working with cameras to create art, Hon Nam feels a sense of control.  "Every photo needs careful consideration.  Through fine-tuning my camera settings or where I stand, I can usually produce results that I feel satisfied with after several attempts," he explained.  "I can capture the moment I want."

Instances in time
He particularly enjoys highlighting fleeting instances that may otherwise pass unnoticed.  In the past, this might be the flare of a match being struck and the glistening spray from ice being dropped into a glass of water.  More recently, hiking and creating an album of Hong Kong’s natural scenery have become Hon Nam’s favorite pastimes.

He has recorded striking images of The Peak, Tsing Ma Bridge, Tap Mun and many other local landscapes, but a dawn shot was missing until his winning photograph last May.  “I have always wanted to take pictures of the sunrise,” he said, “and living in a student hall on campus, surrounded by striking scenery, provided just that opportunity.“ 

Entries for the HKUST Annual Photo Competition are usually sought from September.


Moments that might otherwise pass unseen.

Hon Nam capturing views near the Tsing Ma Bridge.