Tag Archives: vivid

A not so Vivid

Vivid seems to be getting duller and duller for me as the years go by. This year everything felt super spread and to me that meant a low reward to effort ratio, that is having to walk too much to see so little. Thought I would have been a little more enthusiastic as well being the first chance to stretch the legs on my new Sony A7 mk2 but that could only do so much

First up was a quick dinner at the Malaya in King St wharf, just picked a random place with Dimmi and AMEX’ $20 off deal. It was a busy place, great for groups but not ideal for a quiet dinner. Entrees were the samosas and chilli fried chicken wings.

The former were super light with good skin and full of flavour; not cheap though. The chilli fried chicken wings had heaps of sauce, too much in my opinion and a lot of batter which masked any taste of chicken.

Mains were the king prawn laksa and chicken sambol.

The laksa was delicious, a lot better than I expected; plenty of flavour, chilli and not too heavy on the coconut. A richer version of the Hunter Strett laksa (which is definitely my favourite). If it wasn’t for the price, this would be a sure favourite. The sambol was also really nice, again they don’t skimp out on flavours, it was bold and spicy; I was a bit worried that the flavours would be watered down due to location, but I was pleasantly surprised overall.

So, back to Vivid. Bangaroo was a new addition this year and the night I went it was rather quiet. A walk with sting rays turned into immersion with projections and lastly aquanauts roaming the streets. Loved the detail in the suits and the cloud hovering about their heads.

The walk to Circular Quay (behind customs house) was a decent walk with my favourite being the colourful umbrella jellyfish (not sure if that’s what they were meant to be though). A couple of projections in the laneways, a canon stand taking photos of us and a sundial type clock (where you’re the dial) were pretty cool.

All shots were taken with Sony A7 mark II with either the Sony 35mm f/2.8 and a Zenitar 16mm fisheye adapted from a Nikon mount. One thing I didn’t realise with the fisheye before it was too late is that when adapted, the distance markings were out of whack, more so than when mounted on a Nikon camera. Most of the shots are out of focus with the focus going beyond what I was intending.

The rest of my Vivid trip was simply around the harbour with my favourite being an installation at the overseas passenger terminal which almost looks like heavy rain coming down. The opera house was quite pretty this year and I thought it was pretty cool that there was an interactive station where you could control what colour the bridge and surrounding buildings were; it did mean that sometimes the colour combinations were horrible.

All in all, quite happy with the A7m2, I wish the lens was a bit faster, f/2 would have been great, but the in body stabilisation does work well allowing me to go as slow as 1/10 with the 35mm without much trouble. I’m still getting used to the RAW files from the camera, but initial impressions is that that darks and shadows don’t hold as well as the Nikon files (that, or Lightroom doesn’t handle them as well).

That’s all from Vivid, photos aren’t exciting as previous years and I didn’t even bother with a tripod this time round.

Vivid 2013 – a few photos

Being more focussed on the video and timelapses this year, this means the number of photos I have from Vivid has suffered. Rather lazy so most (if not all) of these shots are hand held without a tripod. The super fast aperture of 1.4 from the Sigma 35mm lens proved to be extremely handy. Its sharpness meant there was no hesitation to shoot wide open. Continue reading Vivid 2013 – a few photos

Vivid 2012

Winter every year is always exciting for any photographer as Sydney comes to life with a colourful display of light displays and installations. This year I was quite lazy (despite giving it a few visits) and went without a tripod, a rather rare sight for anyone carrying an SLR.

The unexpected rain didn’t help either as I generally like to scout first and then come back with a tripod for some long exposure action. This year had some very nice art works, the first being the tunnel at the Rocks, lit up with colourful flowers.

Coming through to Circular Quay from the rocks leads to an array of various smaller installations, one which was rather interesting from afar and upclose/inside was this tunnel of EL lights. Walking through the tunnel gives a strange sense of distortion as the lines of lighting skew and play with your peripheral vision.

The Opera House was a bit of a disappointment, going for a more artsy and perhaps meaningful display was a stark contrast from the colourful patterns of previous years. Instead of random and colour patters, we have a guy and a girl rolling around with a few shuffles of the ’tiles’ in between.

Continuing on further towards Circular Quay was the Museum of Contemporary arts with two installations. The first being an interactive experience where a set of Kinect cameras capture your body and allow you to grab ‘bites of sound’ and move them around, changing the song. Was bit hard to use at first, but quite cool at the same time.

The other part of the MCA was a large architectural projection with plenty of colourful patterns and colour (and in my opinion, what Vivid really represents)

Customs house was another winner in my books with a colour cartoon movie showing on the entire building, colourful colours with accurate mapping to the architectural features made it look very well done. The only disappointment from me is that it’s only a single clip which runs over and over (rather than a bunch of random pieces that change over time).

 

Other notable mentions were a group of ‘holographic headed’ dogs which would respond to a whistle (triggered by a red button) and turn out, kinda cute.

Another cool installation was a light covered by 25 individual moving flaps which would respond to a sound. The coolness of this installation was compounded by a rather talented man making some sounds (not the screams and yells most people do). He was sorta doing scales with his voice and strange tones and the flaps would and change.

The rest of the images can be seen by viewing the rest of the gallery (click the pic).

Click here for more Vivid 2012 images

Vivid 2011

Bit delayed but finally got round to getting through the rest of the photos, cold nights and the projections were heaps dynamic and moved around making long exposures difficult. Vivid does seem to be growing in size but one thing I did notice was that the projections on the Opera House weren’t as precise as the previous years, not sure why.

The display at Customs House was rather pretty though!

Pics below:

Click for photos

Vivid 2011 – Preview

Went to check out the 3rd incarnation of Vivid Sydney a few days ago after work and put my new tripod to work (Manfrotto MT294A3 with an 804RC2 3-way head). Found this year’s to be more vibrant and animated, which was both a good and bad thing. Sure it made it more interesting to watch from your own eyes, but photographing it became a pain in the ass. Timing was crucial as well as a thorough analysis of the patterns as not all could be shot with a long exposure.

First was customs house, displaying a lovely video display of the building burning up, cracking, being filled with water, stretched and more. Very cool to look at, and the audio certainly adds to the effect.

Customs house, powered by Intel

Next, a shot of the Opera House with the sails lit up from the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Blue essence

Moving on to Campbell’s Cove to check out the fire dance (to Katy Perry), tried to balance the exposure of the flames with the bridge, not easy, the flames are bright.

Fire!

And a final shot of the Opera House.

Almost laser-like

More to come later.