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Vivid Sydney ビビッド・シドニー 2010

Vivid was on again.  We got a few people together to see the Fire Water show.  This time, we knew to get there 1hr early to ensure we had a space to put our tripods.  Even then, most of the space was taken by other photographers already.  We all huddles in anticipation and swapped stories of our last and current years’ attempts to take photos of the event.  There was a guy who tried on at least 4 different lenses before the show even started.  Another guy was setting up some sort of live stream to his blog, with a pic every 2 seconds, with a plan to turn it into a 45min video at the end!

Then it started, and we were all snapping away.  I have two things to say about the show.

  1. it was different from last year
  2. there was no burning boat

What?  No burning boat?  That’s what we all came for!  Maybe we had too high an expectation, but after last year’s small burning boat I was expecting a full on conflagration this time around.

The story itself was about some Indian that discovered Sydney (what?).  The main character’s great great … granddaughter or something was telling the story.  Half of it was simply a video played via a screen on top of a tower.  There was too much echo and I really couldn’t understand what was being said, but at one point there was a bone dragon flying around…

After the show, we got the usual pics of the Opera House, Circular Quay, then went up to Martin Pl to see the arch set up there.  They also had the Macquarie St Lights on again, which we saw last Dec.  We didn’t bother with those, since in blog photos they seemed much of the same, or slightly less spectacular stuff.

All in all, I felt this year’s installations were much less photographer friendly.  The actors in Fire Water weren’t universally lit with lights, in fact less than 50% were (and hence no picture of the flying bone dragon).  Only half of the Opera House lighting were patterns, the other half were videos of things, which of course moved too fast to be captured.  The Macquarie St Lights were also all animated.

While there’s nothing to say they had to be nice to photographers, the people who generated all the hype for 2009 were photographers, and the disappointed photographers of 2010 will likely not generate any enthusiasm come 2011.

Published by Valent Lau

Photographer at

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