Sydney through a lens

31 May

How do you walk for miles and actually not go very far? Don’t worry, I’m not challenging you to a riddle. I discovered the answer on Wednesday when I walked ten miles (about 16km) yet never left Sydney. It was me, a friend, our cameras and a whole day taking hundreds of photographs. She was doing a project for school and I had been asked to help her.

We’ve got to know her family pretty well over the past few months. A fellow Navy family, they shared our leech walk, (James and Rob shared a little more), we have had barbecues and dinners at each other’s houses and we have been a source of mutual support for one another since they are also RN transfers. However, I was still surprised when asked to help out their daughter, mainly because I am not an expert photographer and I hardly felt qualified. Still, I was happy to help in any way I could and that is how we came to walk for seven hours straight from Sydney’s Circular Quay and back again via the CBD, Botanical Gardens, Hyde Park, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, many alleyways, and Darling Harbour.

Her aim was to produce a final project called ‘Sydney at Work’. My aim was to supervise, give her any pointers, any advice or suggestions and be a bit of a guide. In the meantime: have camera; will shoot. It was actually great fun for me too.

There was a real atmosphere that morning with a low fog suspended over the city, seeming to render it mute and deserted. Boats and ferries emerged, ghost-like, from the mist, the wharves were silent and the tips of buildings faded into the clouds with an ethereal quality. We snapped away and set off for our day, unsure of what we would find and how successful we would be.

In the centre, the morning coffee rush proved a good source of shots of waiters, baristas and business suits. Construction sites and road works dotted around the city suddenly became interesting, and window shopping became window shooting. People seemed very accommodating that day; the kiosk vendors, buskers and workmen all seemed happy to have their pictures snapped and even a couple of chefs, spotted through the swinging door of their back-alley kitchen, posed for a shot. I was not there to take pictures of working people but if I saw something that caught my eye, I clicked. So, here is a selection of my shots: Sydney Glimpses.

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