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Fortnum & Mason’s Harbour of Light Exhibition by Alan Schaller

Fortnum & Mason’s Harbour of Light Exhibition by Alan Schaller

Following a successful showcase at their flagship store in London’s Piccadilly, Fortnum & Mason is currently hosting their very first photographic exhibition at 181 restaurant in Hong Kong by renowned monochrome photographer Alan Schaller. The series of 8 never-before-seen black and white photographs will be on display to the public until 25 June.

Famous for his unique high contrast approach to the world around him, Schaller‘s photonoir pictures capture the essence of light bursting through darkness. His work has been published in various international publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Time Out and The Evening Standard, and he’s held exhibitions in galleries around the world, including the Saatchi Gallery, The Leica Galleries in London, Boston, Washington D.C. and The Edit Space in Milan.

Influenced by the likes of Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ernst Haas, Mary Ellen Mark, Elliott Erwitt, Sebastio Salgado and Fan Ho, Schaller uses Leica M cameras – most notably the Monochrom Typ 246 and the Leica M10-P, with a variety of Leica M lenses.

Harbour of Light exhibition by photographer Alan Schaller

And while Schaller is highly respected for his work, his journey started rather organically, with no formal training. “It’s never too late to start something new,” he says. “I didn’t study it. I taught myself, so I had no one telling me what to do apart from myself. As I got better at photography, I started trying to hone in on a specific style in black and white.”

Best known for his street photography, it’s no surprise Schaller’s work eventually brought him to Hong Kong. “Hong Kong, a city as dynamic as its skyline, is a testament to resilience, prosperity, and a vibrant tapestry of life,” he says. “Amidst the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, the spirit of this metropolis pulsates with energy, embodying a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.”

His favourite spot to photograph in the city? The Avenue of Stars, of all places. “I’m not afraid of tourist areas,” he admits. “Photographers often say you shouldn’t go to Paris because Paris has been photographed a billion times. But if you can get a unique picture of the Eiffel Tower that no one in history has thought of, it shows what you can do. And for me, I love that challenge.”

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Alan Schaller

And while Schaller himself is self-taught, he’s certainly not afraid to share any of his wisdom with budding photographers. “If you’re truly following what it is that you love to do, you will create something unique if you follow to the end,” he says. “That’s what I tell people – everyone can do it. My early pictures were terrible, just like everyone else’s. Being successful is something that I’ve made happen by thinking a lot about It and practicing.”

But according to Schaller, it’s not only about your photography skills. “How you edit, how you want to curate your pictures, which ones to present – that’s just as important as going out there and shooting,” he says.

Alan Schaller’s Harbour of Light exhibition is on display until 25 June at Fortnum and Mason’s 181, K11 Musea, Hong Kong

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