Captivating Beauty of Hong Kong Washed in Neon Lights

After working as a multimedia developer for the better part of his life, Xavier Portela decided to quit his job in 2012 and become a freelancer. This helped him turn his passion for photography into a full job and allowed him to express himself creatively.

Among his many projects, this Brussels-based photographer and filmmaker started an intriguing series of photographs titled “Glow.” The series features vibrant street photos of cities like New York, Tokyo, and Bangkok that look like they were washed in neon lights.

Portela manages to create this effect by manipulating color in his images and playing with saturation, which results in impressive photos that are something you don’t see every day. 

“When you are taking photographs on the streets you have way more than just a frame, you have variables like temperature, noise, people, smell,” said Portela in an interview with Colossal. “You have tons of details that make our senses and brain record a specific ‘scene’ of that moment. When you got home and you look at your photographs on screen, you only have a frame in two dimensions. It’s frustrating how much information you just lost… I wanted my shots to look like as if they came straight out of a manga. Vibrant and electric.”

Recently, Portela traveled to Hong Kong and figured it was a perfect opportunity to add this city to his “Glow” series. It turned out this was a great decision, as he managed to amplify already captivating beauty of Hong Kong and bring back truly amazing works.