Sydney´s skyline (including Harbour Bridge and Opera House) is one of Australia´s most famous landmarks and is surely one of the most photographed sights in Down Under.
When I visited Sydney back in April and May this year, my main goal in terms of photography was to capture the city´s skyline from different locations during different times of the day. We began shooting in the night prior to sunrise, during the sunrise, before noon, in the afternoon and, of course, while the sun was setting again in the evening.
A first glimpse at this beautiful city and its iconic skyline while arriving into Sydney at night.
For sunrise we found an excellent position near Luna Park. We could observe the Harbour Bridge with the Opera House underneath as well as the skyline in the background. About half an our before the sun was up, the sky and clouds changed colour and compared with that view it was surely of the most magical moments ever.
There are a lot of of harbour sightseeing cruises, but the easiest and best (as well as cheapest) way to get a nice skyline view from the water is to catch a regular ferry service from Circular Quay, the main ferry terminal. The Circular Quay – Manly route is ideal for this purpose.
Furthermore Manly is quite interesting as well. There is a bus connection from the ferry port to Sydney Harbor National Park. From the last stop the North Head with its Fairfax Lookout is within walking distance. The view from there looking south is amazing with the skyline in the background and the endless Pacific Ocean on the left. It is also possible to observe the cruise ships from there as they will directly pass in front of North Head.
Another good opportunity for some unique skyline shots is a helicopter flight. I chose a company based at Bankstown Airport, which is located in Sydney´s western suburbs, about 20-25km from the city centre. They were very customer-friendly and even fulfilled my wish to remove one door of the helicopter, so I was able to photograph without having problems with annoying reflections. Before we departed, the pilot did a briefing with us and together we worked out our flight path above Sydney. This experience was surely worth the money and the pilot did an outstanding job.
One of Sydney´s most famous spots for sunset is Mrs Macquarie´s Chair, which is located on a peninsula next to the Royal Botanic Gardens. A negative aspect is that it is always overcrowded, but that does not change the fact that this location offers an incredible view, especially in the evening. The skyline is located on the left, not visible in this picture.
On another day we searched for a more quiet place and found a suitable one near Watsons Bay. From there we could observe the skyline together with Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the eastern harbour area. The orange coloured sky caused a beautiful contrast with the illuminated skyscrapers.
Luna Park offers a good perspective as well when you want to combine Sydney´s most famous landmarks into one picture. We chose this spot for the blue hour, which lasts for about 30 minutes after sunset. It belongs to the prettiest times of the day for creative photography as the blue coloured sky creates an own special atmosphere and just looks beautiful with all the city lights.
The last part of our photography tour was visiting Circular Quay at night. As it is directly located in downtown, it is surrounded by lots of high-rise buildings. Although it is only busy during the day with all the ferries, it can look stunning at night as well.
If you have any questions about locations or how to get there, feel free to contact me.