Originally published on PassionPassport.com
Edward Barnieh sold his camera before he moved to Hong Kong four years ago.
He didn’t know that he’d need it when he got there.
He didn’t know he’d want to send photos back to friends and family in London to show them what it was like in Hong Kong.
He didn’t know that, during his first week of work at Cartoon Network, well-known photographer Tyson Wheatley would invite him out on a photo walk.
He didn’t know that on those photo walks, alongside Hong Kong residents and expatriates alike, he’d become a better photographer, explore Hong Kong in its entirety, or make new friends.
He didn’t know photography would help him adjust to expat life.
He didn’t know he’d learn so much about his new city with a camera hung around his neck, didn’t know he’d end up taking lessons in architecture, city planning, and urban renewal through his lens.
He didn’t know he’d end up searching for tall buildings, sunsets, and vantage points and architecture unique to Hong Kong.
He didn’t know that, less than a year into living in Hong Kong, he and a few friends would take over organizing the photo walks.
He didn’t know that he’d notice when the neon lights, iconic in Hong Kong, started disappearing from the streets for “health and safety” reasons.
He didn’t know that his photos from Hong Kong would make him so well known that people would eventually offer to show him around his hometown, London.
He didn’t know that he’d begin photographing people when he’d seen most of the city, and would begin to see certain places differently when he photographed someone there.
He didn’t know that, during the Christmas holiday in 2016, he’d break a bone in his foot and need surgery. And he didn’t know that he’d use the six weeks he couldn’t spend walking around the city with his camera to reevaluate his relationship with photography.
He knows that the metal pin comes out of his foot in a few weeks and that, when it does, he’ll have a new perspective on photography.
His style and subject matter might change, but Edward knows he has no plans to leave Hong Kong anytime soon.