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‘Everything can happen very quickly in LA.’

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Feature by Michael Canning

Karl Hab is a French photographer and certified aerospace engineer who has a passion for travel and aviation. The combination of the two has formed a unique theme in his work and allowed him to leave a remarkable imaginative footprint around the globe.

Known for his low-profile approach in the creative industries, Karl prefers to keep himself in the background, documenting life as it unfolds in art and events, on the fashion runways of Paris or the airport runways of LA. His passion for exploring new cities has led to the creation of popular limited-edition books like 24h Los Angeles and 24h Hong Kong. Karl took us inside LA and Hong Kong, and some of his favorite discoveries along the way.


On where you’re from

Paris, France.

On when your passion for photography began

It really began something like 15 years ago, when I took a digital camera from my father. At that time, I wasn’t really into photography yet. But my grandfather was a photographer.

On an upcoming project

I’m working on something about airlines and airports, but can’t say more.

Above: '24H Los Angeles' exhibit and book launch in LA presented by adidas. Below: Images from '24H Los Angeles'. Images courtesy of Karl Hab.

On the inspiration behind your '24H' book series

The original idea has changed through the years in order to only show a pure vision of cities during a shortened time of 24 hours. It’s about what I see in a city, but is also a souvenir to remind me of the experience of it. The places are somewhere I have a connection with. There are no page numbers, but hours corresponding to these times: morning, noon, afternoon and evening. You’ll also find GPS coordinates that represent the captions of a few pictures in the book.

On how travel inspires you

Watching different things has always captured my creativity in many ways. I’m always interested in seeing something different, and travelling is the base of this for me.

'It really began, something like 15 years ago when I took a digital camera from my father. At that time I wasn't really into photography yet. But, my grandfather was a photographer.'

On something inspiring you in culture right now

A lot of things are going back to their origins in culture. I mean, I see a lot of stuff that has been released years ago, but now it’s back again for the new generation.

On something you always travel with

My camera, of course, and a good playlist.

From the skies of Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Above: A plane sits ready for takeoff at LAX. Below: High above a sunny day in Hong Kong. Images by Karl Hab.

'Hong Kong is a real mix, like Los Angeles, of different kinds of density, from extremely high to almost empty depending on the time and the season.'

On challenges shooting in Hong Kong

I think the main challenge is to see things that people don’t usually see; shooting with a different perspective has always been challenging. Hong Kong is a real mix, like Los Angeles, of different kinds of density, from extremely high to almost empty, depending on the time and the season.

On one thing to do if you’re in HK for 24 hours

I would go to the famous tourist place at Victoria Peak, to remind me how wide Hong Kong is spread, in terms of a city.

Above: Futura2000 written introduction to Karl Hab's '24H Hong Kong' book. Below: Double page spread of Culver City inside '24H Los Angeles'. Images by Karl Hab.

On one thing to do if you’re in LA for 24 hours

I would take a helicopter and do another ride.

On something unique to Hong Kong’s creative scene

The melting pot of different cultures.

On something unique to LA’s creative scene

The fact that it’s where almost everything first pops up. And also, everything can happen very quickly in LA.

On creative inspiration in Hong Kong

I would say, Tin Hau, Choi Hung Estate, and the craziness of the Kowloon side.

From the skateboards of Venice Beach Los Angeles to the taxis of Hong Kong. Images by Karl Hab.

On creative inspiration in LA

LACMA and Griffith Observatory.

On good food in Hong Kong

Elephant Grounds and Sushi Hana in Tin Hau.

On good food in LA

Urth Caffé and République.

On stores to check out in Hong Kong

Juice Store by the homies of (streetwear label) CLOT.

Above: Image from the exhibition of Karl Hab's 'Ice Cream Shots' series and limited edition book. Below: A stunning moment of flight. Images by Karl Hab.

On stores to check out in LA

Union and Juice

On window seat or aisle

Always window seat, because it offers me the unique chance to see what’s outside, and it’ll be useless not to see what’s outside, right?

On Hong Kong in one word


On LA in one word



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‘Hong Kong is boisterous, colorful, neon and noisy.’