Vivid Sydney 2010

It’s back, and it hasn’t disappointed.

Vivid Sydney festival of music, light and ideas, curated by Lou Reed, provides many opportunities for photographers of all levels.  Vivid includes the lighting of the sails, Macquarie Visions, Fire Water, Creative Sydney, X Media Lab and Song Summit Sydney.

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Lighting of the Sails at Sydney Opera House.  Camera: Canon EOS 5D MkII; Lens: Canon 50mm f1.4

(Tip #1) When taking photos like the one above, you can’t use a really slow shutter speed.  The projections move, so if you use anything more than 3secs you might end up with a weird blur of colours.  Not that it’s not good, but depends on what you’re aiming for in the image.  Some projections are more active than others, so be flexible and know how to adapt.

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Here’s something I learnt/embraced recently, and I wish I understood this earlier.  When you’re out with your camera, don’t leave it in your bag, take it out and keep it out (on the way there, on the way back as well).  You never know what you’ll run into and it’s often the unplanned shots that turn out the best.  (Tip #2) Have your camera out and in your hands at all times, that way you’re ready for anything.  I personally prefer to have a 50mm on my camera in these situations.

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My final tip, and this is more for planned shoots where you have a fair bit of time/patience, is that it’s not always only about photos.  Photography is an art form, and it can be presented in many different ways. A fairly popular medium lately is video, and the one I’ll focus on is time lapse video.  Put simply, its a mash up of hundreds/thousands of photos taken in quick succession (depends on situation).

Vivid Sydney 2010 from Chris Lang on Vimeo.  Click on the link to see the video, for some reason I couldn’t embed Vimeo clips on this blog.

That’s the time lapse video I made from that night at vivid, I used about 800-1000 photos altogether.  This is just a quick edit, I plan to re-edit and make it prettier after my exams are over.  If you want more details about time lapse videos and how to make them, let me know and I’ll get back at you regarding any questions.

So there it is, tip 3, have some fun with it and don’t be afraid to try something different.  It’s all about creating something that can be enjoyed by others.

N.B. Vivid runs right until 26th June 2010, so if you haven’t been yet … there’s still time.

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