Tag Archives: Skyline

Capturing the City: Return to Action

During a time of holidays and some special times, my long-dormant urge to get out and capture images has thankfully risen to the surface, and the photographer’s itch has become pervasive.

I have been wanting to get out and shoot, and of late I have been more drawn towards cityscapes and architecture than any other subject matter.

On a rare mid-week session, I headed to Circular Quay, a very busy precinct which I have not photographed much for quite some years now.

In the mid-to-late afternoon, I scouted for some vantage points along the western side of the Quay, and finally settled on the observation deck of the International Passenger Terminal, which affords a higher view, and additionally was empty and free from passers by.

I waited for the blue hour, and captured this view of Sydney which I have not seen (or photographed) before.

Circular Quay West

Circular Quay West

My effort was worth it, and it was good to capture a view of the city not often seen, which I found surprising, as the International Passenger Terminal provides a good vantage point.  I am sure other photographers have used it.

During my time scouting for a location, I had difficulty finding a pleasing composition.  I tried a few spots along the western side of the Quay, including the circular area seen at the centre of the image.

The problem I encountered there was that while the view was good, the tallest building in the scene (the darker skyscraper near the centre) would not fit into the image in landscape orientation (even with a 16mm lens), which is what I wanted for my image.

When I captured this image, it was my second visit to that particular spot.  The ideal location would have been right in the middle of the water, on an island, of course.  Unfortunately there is not such a location, so the view I captured was the most pleasing from the west side of the Quay.

Feeling Itchy

From a photographic perspective, things have been quiet.  A combination of a busy schedule, a change in priorities, and a general lack of motivation, has meant that I have not shot an image for months.

Here we are, over four months into 2015, and photographically I have nothing to show for it.

Until now, that is.

Tonight for the first time this year, I published a new image, one captured this year.

We have family in town, and our visitors are staying in an apartment close to the city of Sydney.  From their balcony, there is a magnificent view of the Sydney skyline, from the Anzac Bridge across to much of the city.

Tonight while visiting, I decided to shoot some twilight images of the city, and here is what I shot:

The View Sucks

The View Sucks

This is just a small part of the view from the balcony, shot with a telephoto lens to hone in on some of the skyline as twilight descended.

Over the past few days, I have been starting to develop an itch — the kind which makes me want to get back into photography again.  It is all a balancing act, but I have some time off, and soon I plan to start experimenting with something I have not done before.

I am successful, it will be a new style of photography for me.  It is something I have seen and quite liked, and while it hass been done before, and done very well, it has not yet been done by me.

So, perhaps a new photographic project, combined with some time to re-engage, will get me back into the process of image making.

I might even find the inspiration to shoot a seascape again, too!

It is Worth Looking Back Through Your Archives

Last night I attended the Focus Photography 2014 Annual Awards with many photography friends and associates, and being in the company of such people and such images can often give one a bit of a kick-start.

While my photographic output in 2014 has been very low, after hearing the winner of one of the awards relating how the image had sat idle for many months after shooting it, I thought I would look back at some of my own work and see if there was a hidden gem.

Sure enough, there was, and this image was it.



I shot this image towards the end of 2013, a year in which I had spent time photographing scenes in England and Israel, yet a year in which I had also found the time and inspiration to photograph my own city.

I do not know how I did not recognise the potential of this image; it was completely overlooked in favour of other images I captured during the same shoot.

But today, looking through inspired and perhaps different eyes, I saw something that I had missed earlier, and here is the result of taking a second look.

Based on this experience, I would encourage all photographers to go back through their archives and just see what is there, waiting to be given the attention it deserves. I have found that after some time away, it is possible to find a gem which for a long enough time was hidden in plain sight, or spotted once but since forgotten.

As Night Approaches

I captured this uncommon view of the Sydney skyline during a nice day out in the autumn of 2011.

As Night Approaches

As Night Approaches

At this time, there was a hint of golden hour light hitting the buildings as the day began its progression into night.

The Changing Face of Sydney

I captured this twilight view of Sydney on 18/12/2013, which was the first photography outing for me in over six months.

The Changing Face of Sydney

The Changing Face of Sydney

It has been an even longer time since I photographed the Sydney skyline, and the presence of a substantial number of cranes at Barangaroo, which is now a major development site, is testimony to the changing face of Sydney.

Long Day in Sydney

Yesterday I went for out a shoot for the first time in six months. Yes, it has been that long!

For quite a while I had wanted to shoot the Sydney skyline from a different vantage point to the usual places, and Ballaarat Park on Darling Island in Pyrmont was the place I had in mind.

I set out to capture the golden hour light, and later, the blue hour light of twilight, which was my original intention.

However, having arrived early, I decided to shoot a long-exposure image using my ten-stop ND filter.

Here is the result:

Long Day in Sydney

Long Day in Sydney

In post-processing, I decided that a moody, punchy monochrome version in 2:1 aspect ratio looked best.  Besides, at the time the light was flat and dull, and not ideal for photography.

I am pleased with the result.

Re-visiting a Six-Year-Old Brisbane Cityscape

On a wet and cold Sunday, I decided to re-visit a six-year old image and process it quite differently.

Firstly, here is the result:

Brisbane City from Kangaroo Point

Brisbane City from Kangaroo Point

In this version, the distortion has been corrected, and the contrast is much less aggressive.

As a point of comparison, here is the original version:

Brisbane City from Kangaroo Point

Brisbane City from Kangaroo Point

Naturally the perspective correction resulted in the loss of some subject matter — notably a building on the right side which has been completely eliminated from the new version of the image.

If I were to shoot the same image again, I would ensure that I would keep the axis of the lens parallel to the ground to avoid introducing perspective distortion in the first place; but otherwise I am pleased with the new version of this image.