Sydney, the usual suspects

I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Period. But okay, let’s assume for a minute that you didn’t believe me that I am really in Australia right now. The snapshot I posted from the airport a couple of hours ago could have been just a boring, meaningless pic downloaded from the internet.

Now let’s assume further that I (for whatever strange reason) felt the necessity to convince you that I REALLY, REALLY am down under. Another photo could have proven my point, such as this one:

Also downloaded from the internet, I hear you mumble. Alright, alright, you asked for it!

So let me tell you how I spent my first afternoon and evening in Sydney. Then it will be up to you to believe me or not.

I left my hostel (YHA Hostel Sydney Central) at around five o’clock PM and walked towards the Royal Botanic Gardens. This is a wonderful place that I remember well from my first and extremely brief visit in 2014. Lovely birds there (the feathered kind), and breathtaking views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. I grabbed most of my photo equipment plus my sturdy tripod in order to be prepared for every photo opportunity that might occur unexpectedly… 😉 Well, to be honest, of course I knew exactly what I was doing. I had checked my TPE app beforehand (= The Photographer’s Ephemeris) for the exact time of the sunset and for the best angles and perspectives. Although strictly speaking I do not keep a ‘bucket list’ of places that I want to photograph (I’m way too old and old-fashioned for that kind of thing), taking pictures of the opera, the bridge and of downtown Sydney was high on my agenda for my stay here.

At first I was a bit disappointed by the somewhat murky light and by the sky which lacked totally in clouds or any other kind of structure. Boring, I thought, but decided to take some pictures nonetheless.

I have to admit, they come out better than expected. (With a little help from Adobe Lightroom)

The longer I stood there between the Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, the better the conditions became. Only two things were annoying: firstly, the strong wind (wich later died away, fortunately), and secondly, all those boats and ships which kept spoiling my view. Not because they were ugly (okay, one of them was, a revolting black vessel, probably a party boat for the rich and beautiful), but because they were moving slowly but steadily in all kinds of directions. This looks utter crap on a long exposure shot!

And I wanted long exposure, the real McCoy! Why? To make the water surface look calmer, thus improving the visibility of lights and colours reflected on the bay.

The following two pictures were taken right underneath Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.

A foreground, a foreground, yay!

The light kept fading away, and more and more other photographers (I was not alone there in the beginning!) packed their gear and went off. But I wanted to stay as long as possible, hoping that the scenery would become more and more beautiful. Which it did!

We’re in the heart of a major city, and there is tons of artificial light around. This can also look really nice in photos (as long you’re not into astro photography…)

So there you are. Believe it or not!

Published by Sebastian

Geographer, naturalist and photographer (www.schroeder-esch.de). Based in Germany, but always keen to travel and explore

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