Old Hong Kong on Flickr

Submitted by David on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 11:27

If you enjoy photos of old Hong Kong, Flickr is a great place to look. But there are so many photos - how to find the good stuff?

Photo pools

If I could only recommend one place to start, it would be the 'old hong kong lovers' pool. It has 5,998 photos in it today, and no doubt it will be over 6,000 by the time you read it. The members of this group do a great job of finding all the best old Hong Kong photos on Flickr. Thanks to the administrator of this group, 'fong.laikuen' [1], for setting it up, and encouraging people to contribute their photos.

Also try its RSS feed. New photos are added several times each week, and if you've subscribed to the RSS feed you'll be notified as soon as they appear.

Highly recommended.

Albums of collected photos

As you look through the photo pool, you'll soon notice several people regularly contribute interesting photos:

  • Kerosenian. Many of his entries are mini articles, with a collage of several photos of a location over the years, then a description of the history in the text below. His first account is at kerosenian2003, and I see he's recently filled that up and started a new account kerosenian2009.
  • HKMan. His speciality is 'then & now' photos of Hong Kong. He takes great care in matching the viewpoint of the old and new photos. Note that his comments are in Chinese, so here are his original photos if you can read Chinese, or here's the Google-translated version if you prefer English.
  • Eternal1966. Where does he get these photographs from? If you've looked at your fair shre of old HK photos, you'll quickly recognise the same photos that get copied again and again. But every photo from eternal1966 is one I haven't seen before! See for yourself, with his first account eternal1966, and the current account eternal1966b.

Personal albums

These are smaller collections, but they are invaluable resources if the date and topic matches what you are looking for. Here are a few we've noted:

  • 1910s, a European family (Grendel) in Kowloon. Mostly portraits, but also a few views of Victoria and Chatham Road in Kowloon. "Marie-Félicité Grandel (1870-1950) , husband Jean-Baptiste Jules Semichon (1867-1915) plus two daughters and an amah. Very nice pictures from old glass plates. All together 28 shots. Quite animated too which is also unusual for photos from the Victorian/Edwardian era."
  • 1945, Japanese Surrender. Arthur Ball's photos include several taken when the British returned to Hong Kong, and the Japanese surrendered.
  • 1967, Central. 59 colour photos from Cliff Dive. Mostly taken in the Central district.
  • 1972, many locations. Over 1,500 colour photos from Nick DeWolf's visit to Hong Kong. They are spread over three sets: 1, 2, 3.

What next?

If you see any photos on Flickr you think we'd be interested in, why not add them to Gwulo? It's easy to do.

And what other pools / collections / personal albums on Flickr should we know about?

Regards, David

PS [1] Fong Lai-Kuen is a pen-name, taken from Miriam Yeung's character in the movie Love Undercover. (Or maybe Miriam Yeung collects old HK photos in her spare time...?)



Pictures and Memorabilia from 1960s Hong Kong.  Mostly screen captures of home movies from 1968 plus pictures of memorabilia such as bus and tram tickets, and tins of such Hong Kong favorite snacks as Golden Cups 金杯, Sugus candy 瑞士糖, and Kjeldsens Danish Butter Cookies 丹麦蓝罐曲奇.