Draped around a magnificent natural harbour with world-class icons the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House on its left and right, Sydney is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is also one of the world’s top ten most liveable cities in 2017.
Yet what sets Sydney apart is not merely its natural beauty, cultural institutions, or waterfront hubs. Sydney’s effusive charm lies in its laid-back glamour – the city is effortlessly photogenic and it knows it.
Whether you are capturing photographic mementos of Sydney’s buildings and bridges, sprawling urban parks, cutting-edge buildings, or grungy underground art, "a good photograph," to use the words of US photographer Ansel Adams, "is knowing where to stand."
Let the team at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour bring you on a tour of the city’s prime photography spots as you train your lenses to capture Sydney's "wow" side.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
||Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney NSW, Australia|
Sydney Opera House
||Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately named the “Coathanger,” is the city’s crown jewel and one of the most photographed structures in Australia. Containing almost 53,000 tonnes of steel, it holds the record as the world’s largest steel arch bridge.
The best vantage points to capture it in its full glory is from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair—particularly scenic at sunset—and Milson’s Point, which provides a wealth of interesting angles from the left and right sides of the bridge. (You can also achieve similar effects from Hickson Road Reserve.)
Another vantage point that is usually overlooked is from under the bridge itself, which is perfect for capturing photographs of the bridge’s structural brilliance. Don’t forget to explore the bridge itself by walking across—it’s completely free (at ground level) and you‘ll reap splendid views of the entire Sydney Harbour as well as the Opera House during the walk.
And the Sydney Opera House needs little introduction. This grand dame of an icon is effortlessly photogenic from many different angles. According to photographer Pat Kay, one of the best vantage points is at the Overseas Passenger Terminal located next to the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Home to a variety of cultural, sporting, and family-friendly activities, as well as destination restaurants and cafes, Darling Harbour is one of the most-visited attractions of Sydney. To capture breathtaking views of Darling Harbour in style, opt for the Club Darling Harbour Room at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour. And while you are here, be sure to catch the world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition that will be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum from 13 April to 14 October 2018.
Photo tip: To bring back dramatic and moving shots of your favourite icons, remember to play with perspective, and vary your shots. While shooting with a wide-angled lens may be a no-brainer, don’t be afraid to go up close to capture the minuscule details.
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|Address||Grosvenor Place, 225 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
Central Park Mall
||Central Park Mall, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
||+61 2 8096 9900
||10:00 am to 8:00 pm daily
||Wynyard Railway Station, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Grosvenor Place is a prestigious office complex designed by celebrated Australian architect Harry Seidler. Situated in the heart of the city, and close to some of Sydney’s most important cultural institutions such as the Museum of Sydney and Museum of Contemporary Art, the building’s curvilinear walls are lined with mirrors, providing playful shots of the city’s skyline.
Another engineering marvel to behold is Central Park Mall. With a hovering cantilever made up of motorised mirrors that capture and reflect the sunlight, and foliage-dripping balconies, it represents eco architecture at its finest.
The brainchild of Pritzker-award winner Jean Nouvel, its interiors does not depart from the theme of nature. Its East Lobby has bamboo gardens and curved bamboo panels on its walls, the Atrium has an underground garden lit by heliostats, while the West Lobby has a monumental image of a Eucalyptus forest.
When you are here, take your time to wander around the building and shoot whatever captures your fancy. Thereafter, drop by the White Rabbit Gallery to admire its extensive collection of contemporary Chinese art.
If you never thought a train station could be a must-see site for public art installations, think again. A major new work called Interloop was installed at Wynyard Station in late 2017, created by Sydney artist Chris Fox who used more than 50 metres of heritage wooden-stepped escalators built for the station in 1931.
With a history that dates back to 1932, Wynyard Station straddles past and future effortlessly. The view from inside Wynyard Walk, a pedestrian tunnel connecting the Station to Barangaroo lined with geometrical patterns, is particularly futuristic. Both Station and Walk are not to be missed by photography enthusiasts.
Photo tip: When shooting architecture, remember to research the building first to understand its history or significance. You’ll be surprised how this can inspire you and help you to frame your shots.
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Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest park, and perhaps its most luxuriant. A 16-hectare oasis of green in the heart of Sydney, you should definitely pack a picnic, kick off your walking shoes, and take a breather here.
It is also one of the most popular wedding photography sites in Sydney, so don’t be surprised if you encounter a wedding entourage during your photographic sojourn. There are beautiful tree-lined pathways to amble down, and the ANZAC memorials sit stately at the Liverpool Street end of the park.
A green sanctuary east of the Sydney Harbour area, the Royal Botanic Garden is one of the best photography spots for Sydney’s CBD. Go in the early hours of the morning and head to the main pond in the middle of the garden. Just after sunrise, the city will be bathed in a golden glow, giving you the perfect sun-kissed canvas.
Opening hours to the Garden vary, so be sure to check its website before you visit.
Photo tip: When photographing gardens, take time to craft your shot. Find something strange or eye-catching to anchor your image—a solitary figure, a prominent feature, or an array of colours.
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||Newtown, New South Wales 2042, Australia
Newtown is all about its hipster cafes, bookshops, cool bars, and grungy clothing stores. A short bus or train ride south of the city, a trip to Newtown will be worth your while, both for its variety of international cuisines and eclectic graffiti-lit walls. The suburb is a hotbed for street art, and you’ll have to take your time to wander around its main thoroughfare as well as laneways to find these artistic gems. Or just follow this self-guided street art walk.
Be sure to check out other Sydney treasure troves such as Bondi Beach, Foley Street, and Darlinghurst for Sydney’s best street art.
Photo tip: When photographing street art, weather and time of day can play a big part in determining the mood of your photographs. Feel free to experiment and incorporate other elements of the neighbourhood into the frame.
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