Sunday, 17 May 2015

Personal Work - Photographing Vivid Sydney from 2012 to 2014.

On the 22nd of May 2015 Vivid Sydney is back and the lights will be on again. I first started going to and photographing the Vivid light shows in 2012. Initially to have something new to put up on my Street Fashion Sydney blog that would compliment my regular art & artists and street fashion at art shows posts. And it had been a little quiet.. I suppose I should admit that before heading down to the Quay and The Rocks to see Vivid for the first time I was thinking it would be very 'for the tourists'. Yes my attitude was completely stuck-up! And of course when I got down there it was not just a few tourist but a LOT of tourists and locals and a melee of cameras and tripods too. What I was not expecting was to get caught up in the excitement of photographing the art installations and the light shows like a newly re-born photographer. That year I made three special trips and I pulled out lenses (tripod) and filters for the Nikon; and techniques, not used for years to create my own photographic vision of Vivid Sydney 2012 - Here..
Colour3 by Richard Neville, Daniel Mercer, Alex Grierson and Michael Gearin. Vivid 2012
Come the 2013 edition of Vivid, and Street Fashion Sydney (SFS) had sponsorship from Fujifilm Australia and I was shooting for the blog exclusively with the Fujifilm X-Pro1. I decided to go Reportage style that year, with the 18 and 35 mm lenses and the little X-20 flash mounted on the camera. That was the year of pictures of the people much more than the art; and the year of umbrellas as it was raining even more so than 2012; though when it comes to light projections on the Sydney Opera House, it does not seem to matter how cold or wet. Nothing will keep the crowds away, and I was able to get some lovely shots of people doing what people do; when confronted with beautiful light shows and rain, rain, rain! Here.
Ladies with umbrellas laughing in the rain, Vivid Sydney 2013
Ladies with umbrellas laughing in the rain, Vivid Sydney 2013
By 2014 I am still very happily shooting SFS with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 but I also have an HTC ONE phone loaded with Instagram, Snapseed and VSCO; I can pull shots from the memory card of the Fuji onto the Phone and edit them right-there, right-then and I do! Well a couple anyway (as it's USB not Bluetooth or wireless) at the Lord Nelson Hotel over a pint of Nelsons ale.. But I have already posted to Instagram a shot from inside the Blue installation, Cellular Tessellation using a shot from the phone itself. I am well aware I have almost missed the Instagram boat but I am determined to catch up! #vividsydney  Actually so obsessed with the new social media, this is the first blog post of my shots of Vivid 2014.
Mouse over images for details.
Cellular Tessellation - HTC ONE - Snapseed
Cellular Tessellation - HTC ONE - Snapseed.
Shot Fujifilm X-Pro1, Snapseed processed on the HTC, Giant Rabbits Invade Sydney Harbour By Amanda Parer
Giant Rabbits Invade Sydney Harbour By Amanda Parer
Shot Fujifilm X-Pro1, Snapseed processed on the HTC, HiRAY, you pull on the ropes and it lights up in different colours and different ways
Cellular Tessellation by Knapp, Nelson, Parsons 2014. Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
I think this was my favourite work this year, LOL Mouths by Luke Hespanhol at Walsh Bay for Vivid Sydney 2014 SydneybyNight.
Maybe I can't read a map or maybe Vivid still can't credit works properly... This just near Parker's art store along with another piece that seems undocumented on the map. Corner of Argyle & Cambridge Street, The Rocks, Sydney. Maybe next year!
The interactive solar light sculpture, HiRAY, you pull on the ropes and it lights up in different colours and different ways..
I'm not sure if this light display is part of Vivid Sydney or just something going on in The Argyle, the screen in the top of the arch was displaying TRON as in the movie etc; so maybe yes maybe not.
Looking back to the city from Campbell Cove with the blue glow of Cellular Tessellation at waters edge. Vivid Sydney 2014.
Children interact with the large illuminated crochet artwork Magic Circle by Tina Fox. Bennalong Point, Circular Quay Vivid 2014.
CLEFT installation by Simon Grimes on the right and 59 Productions 'Lighting of the Sails' light projection on the Sydney Opera House.
MirrorBall Heart, George Savoulis / Ignatius Jones, was inspired both by the stage revival of  Baz Luhrman’s  Strictly Ballroom.
MirrorBall Heart, George Savoulis / Ignatius Jones, was inspired both by the stage revival of  Baz Luhrman’s  Strictly Ballroom.
Child Running - Vivid Sydney installation, Cellular Tessellation by Knapp, Nelson, Parsons 2014. Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
Child Dancing-  Pool by Jen Lewin, Vivid Sydney 2014. An interactive light pool for all ages, the light disks change colours with the movement of the group.

Curiously, although Vivid launched in 2009 with Brian Eno as part of the creative team; 2012 seems to have been the year it really kicked off, and I can't seem to find anything about the time span in between. So it could well be that I have been in the thick of it; most happily since the beginning(ish). And since you can see what pretty much everyone does at Vivid by checking out Instagram #VividSydney or the annual Flickr groups, one certainly gets a feeling for how one is doing photographing the show.

They say it's easy photographing a beautiful woman; she is already beautiful, you just need to push the button. But in an age of Digital Auto Everything, it is interesting to see how your pictures compare.. Vivid is a lot like a beautiful woman, but not everyone sees her or photographs her the same way. I am looking forward to the 2015 edition of Vivid Sydney!

http://streetfashionsydney.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/vivid-sydney-art-lights-up-rocks.html
http://streetfashionsydney.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/vivid-sydney-2013-street-fashion.html
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentjohnson/Vivid2013-2014

Kent Johnson,
Sydney, Australia.

0433 796 863