2013 Sydney – so vivid

Sunday – A long weekend to celebrate the Queen’s birthday – what better time to go into the city and  practice some night photography.

For the past couple of weeks Sydney has been resplendent in bright colours and activities and of course, I have left it to the last moment to go and see it.  BIG MISTAKE!

On a cloudy Sunday morning I pack the cameras, lenses and tripod and begin my journey.  First stop Taronga Zoo before coming back to the Quay in the late afternoon for Vivid Sydney.

Of course photos of the usual suspects are taken and Taronga here I come.  The ferry ride to the zoo early in the morning is fabulous.  The sun is starting to welcome the day and the harbour is fabulous. Well, that goes without saying doesn’t it?

I love the zoo.  It may not be the biggest or the best in the world but it is in my city and I love it.  There are always loads of tourists on the ferry but once at the zoo they go their own way and it is usually comfortable to walk around to see all the animals.

Being a Zoo Friends member I don’t have to rush around to see everything.  I usually just single out certain groups of animals and spend more time with them.  Patience goes hand in hand with photographing animals and I can see the others on a later trip.

First stop – the gorillas.  Always a favourite with everyone, I arrive just in time for the feeding and a ‘gorilla lecture’.

To see mum Kriba and her two year old daughter Kipenzi is wonderful.  They are happy to wander around the enclosure together until Kipenzi decides to do a little exploring on her own.  During this time mum still keeps a watchful eye on her toddler.

Up at the other end of the group Kibali the silverback has his hands full when one of the others decides to voice an  opinion. Talk about a ruckus.  Lots of noise and charging around and male hormones showing off but Kibali has had enough and soon puts an end to this nonsense.  Everything settles down again.

Let’s go see the orangutans.  Unfortunately they are not out in the enclosure but there is a viewing room of the inside area.  Willow is just lying around in the corner, most probably thinking ‘I am not going out there, it’s nice and cosy here’.

Hard to get good photos with the reflections in the glass so I do the next best thing – a close up of Willow’s eyes.  Looks very melancholy if you ask me.

Time for lunch.  I always find that having lunch at the Cafe Harbourview is the best way to go.

The pricing is very reasonable, the food is good and you can relax without having people shoving and kids screaming around.  Don’t get me wrong, kids are great but not while I am trying to eat lunch!  Lunch consists of Grilled fish with mesclun salad and herb aioli (translation – grilled fish, baby leaf salad and tartare sauce) and of course a cold glass of Sem Blanc.  Delicious and a great view, what could be better?

Now for some animals that I haven’t seen in quite some time – the sun bears.  Mr Hobbs and Mary are just about to be fed so should be able to get some good photos.  The keeper places bits and pieces around their enclosure and also puts yoghurt inside pipes and balls so that they have to use their skills to get it.

When they come out of their pens they immediately start ruffling around for the goodies and seem to take delight in slurping the yoghurt in the pipes.

A quick visit with the tigers that I saw when they were cubs and also a visit with the Fennec foxes is next on the list.

So many people are all barging to see the tigers – even to the point where the kids are being pushed out of the way.

Sometimes I think that everyone including visitors to Australia should be given lessons in manners before being let loose upon public places. Spoiler alert – this will be a sign of things to come tonight.

It is now late afternoon and time to make my way back to the Quay to get ready for the light show on Sydney.  Getting back to the ferry terminal I think that maybe everyone has the same idea.  Arriving at the Quay there are so many people waiting to get on the ferry to go to Taronga – strange time of day to be going over but to each their own.

Do you like this photo?  My imagination runs wild again and I think it looks like the sailing ship is trapped in the ice ridges of the Antarctic.  At night these white stalagmites are lit as part of Vivid Sydney.   It was taken near the Italian Village area as I try to find a suitable place to park myself.

The quay and surrounding areas are full of people but I decide to continue the walk around to Dawes Point (under the bridge).  There is about one and a half hours to go before it starts at 6pm but that doesn’t matter.  Could do with a good sit down and a rest plus I will also have some time to play around with the camera settings.  One of these days I will get it right the first time – but then again I most probably won’t so let’s not dwell on that.

This is a wonderful harbour.  It seems to have been ages since I was here at dusk or night – so I waste no time and start clicking away.

The crowds are starting to build so I move down to the railing and prepare the tripod and camera for the big show.

Right on 6pm the streams of light start coming from the big tower behind me and the show begins.  The theme is a celebration of light, music and ideas so the publicity says – – so away we go – – – – – let’s celebrate.  Here are just a few photos from the night – –

The light show lasts for about 15 minutes and then it starts again.  From what I gather the lights are a tribute to Sydney attractions.  Luna Park, Taronga Zoo, Golf House at Central to name a few.

The crowds are now so big that it is impossible to walk around under the bridge to the other side so that I can get some shots of the lights on the bridge plus anything else over there.  A decision is made to head back to the Quay and the train home.

Back around the shore front and time to get a couple more photos – –

Back down past the International Terminal and everyone – I mean everyone comes to a sudden stop.  The crowds along walkway have been inhibited by buskers who are taking up so much room you cannot get past. Ferries are docking on the side and those people are getting off and others are trying to get on – in a nutshell TOTAL CHAOS.

These are two photos taken in The Rocks when I was still able to move my arms!

Families with young kids and strollers are stuck along with the rest of us.  No organisation is the name of the game.  Shame – Sydney – Shame.  There is nowhere to go, once stuck you are stuck.  About 30 minutes later I emerge at the Railway Station and decide discretion is the better part of valour – I will not take any more photos.  Such a shame that the night has come to an end for so many people who cannot get anywhere near what is going on.

So glad to get on the train and sit down without being shoved and pushed.

Apart from the crushing crowds it was a great day and I make a mental note that if I want to see these things in future, don’t leave it to the second last night and a weekend to boot.

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