VIVIEN LIU

VIVIEN LIU be­gan her ca­reer in ar­chi­tec­ture be­fore she dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy about four years ago. She cap­tures the ur­ban den­sity of Hong Kong and other cities around the world. In founding Stu­dio UNIT, she con­tin­ues her work in ar­chi­tec­tur

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What do you do when you’re not pho­tograph­ing?

I work full-time as an ar­chi­tect. Pho­tog­ra­phy is my al­ter­na­tive out­let for cre­ativ­ity and ex­pres­sion.

What’s your favourite pic­ture edit­ing or fil­ter app?

My favourite mo­bile apps for edit­ing pho­tos are VSCO and Snapseed, while my go-to photo edit­ing app on the com­puter would be Adobe Light­room. I cus­tomise my own pre­sets, which are like fil­ters in Light­room speak. Each of these per­sonal pre­sets is de­vel­oped through an it­er­a­tive process that in­volves ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with tones and colours, and has evolved through my jour­ney as pho­tog­ra­pher.

Do you re­mem­ber your first post? Can you de­scribe it?

My first post was from April 2012 and was a shot of the Cen­tral-Mid-Lev­els es­ca­la­tor dur­ing my com­mute from work. I was drawn to the sym­me­try and the strong lines.

Who in­flu­ences you?

The work of those who are pas­sion­ate about what they do.

Tell us some­thing about you we wouldn’t know from so­cial me­dia.

I'm an ex­tro­verted in­tro­vert and an INTP.

What’s the most In­sta­grammable place in Hong Kong?

On board the Star Ferry. It's such a con­trast from the city by be­ing tem­po­rar­ily re­moved from it, but at the same time you are able to cap­ture the sky­line in all its glory. It's lit­er­ally a five-minute re­treat with mag­nif­i­cent views.

De­scribe your­self in one song.

Subter­ranean Home­sick Alien by Ra­dio­head.

De­scribe your­self in one movie.

Chungk­ing Ex­press.

What’s your guilty plea­sure?

Lis­ten­ing to 80s and 90s pop songs.

What’s on your bucket list?

China's scenic land­scapes: Zhangye's Danxia rock for­ma­tions, the Yel­low Moun­tains, Li River and Yuanyang rice ter­races.

Do you pre­fer shoot­ing peo­ple or inan­i­mate ob­jects?

They all have chal­lenges of their own and I love do­ing both. I started pho­tograph­ing build­ings, inan­i­mate ob­jects, and di­ver­si­fied to shoot­ing peo­ple.

What’s your best tip for tak­ing a win­ning photo?

Be alert in your sur­round­ings to no­tice spe­cial mo­ments. Be ready to cap­ture these mo­ments and, if needed, be pa­tient to wait for the right mo­ment.

The best ad­vice you’ve ever re­ceived?

Build your own dreams or some­one else will hire you to build theirs.

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