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BEHIND THE IMAGE: Sails - Sydney Opera Circular Quay NSW Australia

How to find something new in Australia's most iconic building, the Sydney Opera House

As a boy I was drawn to the Sydney Opera House, I remember seeing the sails as my father dragged the family through the Royal Botanic Gardens, his favourite place in Sydney.

I stood on the steps of the Opera House as a school student and caught a glimpse of Princess Diana in 1983, I was 9, I still have a photograph somewhere in a draw. As a professional photographer the Opera House presents problems for me.

Firstly, it is one of the most photographed buildings in the world, so just about everything has been done before. I actually don't enjoy shooting anything well known and try to resist it.

But when I wander Sydney with my camera in hand I almost always end up at the Sydney Opera House. It is so beautiful, the lines and shapes mix nature and geometry so well. I can't help myself.

So then the challenge always is to try and find something new. For instance the sails are actually made up of thousands of small pieces of tile.

Sail Detail Sydney Opera HouseSail Detail Sydney Opera House

My favourite thing is to see how light plays with the colours and environment around us, one of the reasons I love sunrises so much is you never know what you will get when it comes to the light. Sometimes it can be deeply disappointing and others it can be delightful, but you never know which until it happens.

So to catch the light interacting with the Sydney Opera House is rewarding. Here it is at both ends of the day. Early light over the harbour and the Opera House.

Opera Sunrise - Sydney Opera House Circular Quay NSW AustraliaOpera Sunrise - Sydney Opera House Circular Quay NSW Australia

At sunset is a new story.

Sydney's icons at sunset - Sydney Harbour Bridge & Sydney Opera House NSW Australia Landscape Print
Sydney's icons at sunset - Sydney Harbour Bridge & Sydney Opera House

The challenge when I visit the Sydney Opera House is to find a new moment, the light interacting with the iconic building. On this particular day, the sun was high and in fact was playing with the edges of the sails. 

I experimented and wanted the sun to touch the edge of the sail, for me this beautiful moment so simple and so clean it could only be a black and white monochrome image to accentuate the details in the sails and highlight the sun playing on the edge of the sail.

Sails - Print of the Week 11-15 December 2017

Simple beauty captured in a moment of light and form. I hope you enjoy the image as much as I do. For just 5 days 11 - 15 December 2017 we have a very special offer for you on this beautiful print, you can save up to $250 on our best selling print sizes. Check it out here.

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