Hi, my name is Christopher Tong. I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Sydney when I was eleven. Currently, I’m a high school student and I’m aiming to study media production in university. Other than taking photos in the city, I also love to make YouTube videos (youtube.com/c/ctong), ballroom dance and play volleyball with my friends. Of course, a bit of video games are normal for a teenager like me, but I’m more like a social media guy that loves to spend most of my time on my phone.
What gear do you use?
- Canon 7D with a EF 17-40mm f4 and a EF 70-300mm f4
- Canon M50 with a EFM 15-45mm f3.5 and a EFS 55-250mm f4
- Canon M3 with a EFM 18-55mm f3.5
- Zhiyun Crane M2
- Boya BY-MM1
- GoPro Hero 4 Black with a FeiyuTech G4S
What type of photography are you into?
- Long Exposure
- Event Photography
How did you start photography? What inspires you?
When I was young, my parents used to, and still, take me to different countries and take photos during the summer holidays. I’ve been to many cities/countries that I can’t even count with my fingers. Like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, New Zealand, eight cities in China, and of course – Sydney Australia. Since then, I’m in love with travelling and getting photos taken by my parents – mainly my dad. And with the trend of social media like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, I follow my dad’s footsteps by starting to take photos with my dad’s cameras – with all the Canon products that I’m still using today.
Not only that but with the influence of many YouTubers/Influencers that I’ve watched. I started to film videos and upload them online. Obviously the quality wasn’t as good as I expected. As I developed my skills and knowledge by creating more content and getting inspiration from other filmmakers like Josh Chin, I’ve become who I am today.
Speaking of Josh Chin, I really love his work, especially his DIY videos and vlog where he made his own shelf for his filming gear. Through his videos, I’ve learned that videos do not have to be cinematic all the time, and it can be very casual and funny with unexpected camera angles. But most importantly, the lighting and audio must be smooth and clean in order to make viewers like me keep watching haha.
Top 3 photo locations?
This is actually a hard question, to be honest. All cities have their own unique style that I love to take photos/videos of. But from my past travel experience, these three cities/countries are the most beautiful locations to shoot at:
Hong Kong – Symmetry buildings, neon signs, delicious street food, and the stunning view during the night at Victoria harbour.
Japan – Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto, which all have traditional Japanese buildings/temples and modern architecture around every corner of the street.
Singapore – No one is going to disagree with me about Changi Airport and Gardens by the bay are the best photo spots in Singapore right!
Top 3 photo/editing tips?
- Practise, practise and practise. You’ll never improve anything without practising your skills. This does not only apply to school but also applies to anything in your life. Even in photography/videography, you’ll need to practise in order to improve your content.
- Mistakes are ok. Mistakes can’t stop you. Mistakes are here to help you to improve your ability in taking photos/editing. The only mistakes you’ll have is being lazy and not doing anything about it.
- Be confident, although you don’t think you are. I know this is the hardest one compared to the other two, and life it’s hard sometimes. But if you keep practising and learn from your mistakes, you’ll become what you want to be.
What has been your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience got to be the time when I was hanging out with my friends in the CBD and had Korean BBQ, the time I was vlogging, and taking photos for them. That’s the moment where I felt proud of what I’m doing. Helping others and at the same time doing what I love to do.
If you had superpowers, what would yours be?
Teleportation – I mean who doesn’t want to save time and money on transportation like planes and cars. If I have the superpower to teleport, I could just travel anywhere around the world in a blink of an eye to take unique photos.
What have you been doing at home during this time?
For the past few months, I’ve been editing my photos and videos inside my room. Other than that, I’ve been playing video games with my friends and watched tons and tons of YouTube videos to keep myself motivated. Yeah again – Josh Chin’s videos keep inspiring me through his vlogs!
Anyway, through these times while staying at home. It made me realise how much we used to rely on going out. Not just going out to take photos or film, but also buying daily needs and eating at a restaurant. And also, how important my family and friends are in my life.