Fireworks over Sydney harbour

Earlier this month, Sydney Harbour hosted naval boats from all around the world as part of the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review. The event was held to commemorate the centenary of the Navy’s first arrival into Sydney Harbour, and thousands of people flocked to vantage points all around the harbour to see the boats sailing in through the heads.

On one of the final nights, a spectacular fireworks show was staged, with several barges in the harbour setting off simultaneous displays of colourful sparks. I am biased of course, but I truly believe that there is no better backdrop for fireworks than Sydney Harbour.

sydney at night

It was my first time trying to photograph fireworks, and after doing a little bit of research, I knew that I needed a sturdy tripod and an exposure of around 1 to 2 seconds. Another article mentioned focusing manually, since the automatic focus would find it very difficult to find a focus point.

The result was a lot of duds, some of which were over-exposed at first before I pulled back the shutter speed. Others were poorly timed with the setting off of the fireworks, so I didn’t capture the full explosions. Many weren’t quite as sharp as I’d like. It’s rather difficult trying to manually focus through a tiny little view finder!

These were some of the better ones.sydney fireworks sydney fireworks

After around half an hour of fireworks display, the air was thick with smoke, but it beautifully reflected the colours in the air.sydney fireworks smoke

Sydney puts on a good show, doesn’t it?

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Vivid Sydney’s festival of lights

After a few years regrettably missing Vivid Sydney, this time I made a concerted effort to check out this year’s transformation of Sydney’s iconic buildings into canvases for lights and art.  [Working out in the suburbs, rather than the city, means that this sort of stuff requires a special effort!]

With nice balmy evenings and a festival vibe not far off new years eve, it was good fun wandering around and checking out some of the light/art installations dotted around Circular Quay and the Rocks.  Many of them required audience interaction, and the lights would dance to human movement.

vivid sydney harbour bridgeVivid Sydney Opera Housevivid sydney opera houseThe event was truly a photographer’s paradise, and I joined many others with their big tripods jostling for a good position to capture the spectacular light displays.

vivid sydneyvivid sydney customs house vivid sydney customs houseSometimes I forget how wonderful it is to live in this artistic city.  Sydney knows how to rock a festival!