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Sydney May – June 2015 (16 photos). This is part 7 of 9 of my VIVID Sydney 2015 series.

It’s time to leave the Museum of Contemporary Art and move west of the main stage of VIVID at Circular Quay to the Darling Harbour and Pyrmont region. Once again, this is the home of the Vivid Laser-Fountain Water Theatre, this year presented by Oracle-Liquid.

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Vivid Laser-Fountain Water Theatre at Darling Harbour presented a spectacular liquid-light show featuring dynamic jets and spirals of water, full-colour lighting, rainbow-coloured lasers and dancing flame effects choreographed like an audiovisual symphony.

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The centrepiece was a flower-like array of fountains and lasers, which shot jets of water 100m across the harbour and more than 30m into the night sky, sweeping and twisting, and interspersed with blasts of flames, laser and light effects that seemed to dance with the music. The display was the result of technical research and development, along with innovative engineering by Oracle-Liquid director, Glenn Turner.

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Vivid 2015 provided an opportunity to use the technology and present many of Turner’s highly creative ideas in new liquid art forms, animations and integrated laser and lighting approaches.

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The display launched and recycled over 30,000 litres of seawater per minute; it required 15 crew to install and took over six months to develop.

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The staging equipment was mostly submersed below the water and used 100 tonnes of buoyancy and more than 20 km of high-power cabling as well as wireless communications.

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Each show was time-coded to musical sound tracks created by Sydney electronic music gurus, the Presets. This last one was timed well to the chords of Deep Purple’s Smoke on the water.

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There were least 3 different shows with one playing every half hour from 6pm to midnight. Certain performances had added fireworks. Selected scenes from 3 of the shows I watched have been presented.

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Polar Lights was a display on the Maritime Museum’s expansive 1,700m2 rooftop which was transformed into a cool, bold light show, influenced by the colour pallet of the sea, sky and ice found in Antarctic exploration.

This year the area of Pyrmont around and in the Star casino was transformed into an interactive game zone. I didn’t go into the casino to look at the game zone area, but outside…

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Pyrmont Pyro, located in Pyrmont Bay Park, allowed you to take control of your very own digital fireworks display onto trees via the beat of glowing drum sticks that transformed both the projection and sound display. There were about 10 of these drums lined up in front of the local trees.

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For VIVID, The Star Letters were synced with music and lights.

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Mission Control was a studio booth outside the casino. Step inside, choose your music then create your own light show, choosing the pattern of lights and lasers projected from the roof of the casino. You may as well dance too because you and the light show were recorded.

For most people, Winter is the off season for visiting Sydney. I’ve long suspected VIVID was a clever trick to get people to visit Sydney in Winter and go out at in the cold night air. I’m sure I’m right.

For the next part of this series, we go where VIVID has not gone before. We turn north and go across the harbour.

This is part 7 of my 9 part VIVID Sydney 2015 series.

All my photography from this and previous years of VIVID Sydney going back to 2012 can be found here.

Photography Etcetera, Sony Etcetera

VIVID Randomness 2015 (7)


61 thoughts on “VIVID Randomness 2015 (7)

  1. Another brilliant set of shots from VIVID. Light, flames, water, lasers all dancing together – looks like a never-before-seen out of this world character is taking shape. Did you have a go at the digital fireworks display? That looked like a lot of fun.

    • Thanks. Certain of the water fountain shows, probably early friday or saturday were also synchronised to a real fireworks display but I missed those, so yes, I had a go at the drums and the digital fireworks instead. πŸ™‚

    • I would have liked to have seen the displays which were also synced to real fireworks but I couldn’t get there on those days. Still, I enjoyed these shows. You could feel the heat of the fireballs from the waterside.

  2. You’re lucky to live in a town that make each year a such beautiful spectacle.And there is a second star, the man who take beautiful picture of this and share this with people at the other side of the world like me πŸ˜‰

  3. I’m starting to get worried about the excessive hedonistic nature of this show now, I can’t begin to calculate the amount of money spent on producing a show of this nature and how better spent the money would be on reducing poverty or disease in the world. I get the same feeling after watching a BIG firework display — all that money going up in flames. This isn’t a comment made to detract from your images, just how those images are now starting to make me feel. Uneasy.

    • I can see your point of view, particularly as the latter shots are outside a casino. Your concern is well expressed and one I have heard many times in relation to many Arts festivals and grants, new gardens, some scientific research, sporting events and even, in regards to infrastructure. I read there was a lot of opposition in a similar vein to the building of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I’ve even expressed a similar opinion at various times in my life.

      On a local scale, yes, money is being spent on a temporary festival that could be spent elsewhere. But it gets people out and people visiting. It gets people spending on restaurants, hotels, transport and the like. Local area businesses stay open longer hours and employ more staff. Artists are commissioned and earn real money. There is a flow on effect that benefits the economy and if there weren’t, I suspect this festival would have died by now.

      On a grander scale, populations, cultures and civilisations function over many levels, and many human needs must be met. We all want eradication of disease, no poverty, better schools and hospitals, safer streets and a healthier world/environment. A little cheer amongst the gloom is not a bad thing. Entertaining the populace has always been a recognised and important part of societies through the ages.

      Just my thoughts, which won’t dissuade your uneasiness but I believe their is a purpose to the event. Thanks for your thoughts, Jude.

      • Thanks for the considered reply LD. I am aware of the knock-on effects of course, and the benefits such things bring to a community, I mean that’s partly why there are so many festivals here in this tiny town. But they are much less extravagant and have much more of a community feel. I guess Australia has such a strong economy that it can afford the excesses :-/

  4. Pingback: 3 day Quotes (Day 2) And Cee’s Flower of the Day | The World Is a Book...

  5. Night photography is one of the most challenging to present. Congratulations for a set of vibrant and tranquilizing and triumphant images. They are engaging and inviting repeat views. We get a true sense of the spirit of the city’s night life, which is spectacular.

    • Thank you, Sally. These shows were particularly difficult to shoot, with the dark backgrounds and multiple highlights, particularly those laser beams. It’s nice to see the city lit up occasionally.

  6. oh, wow, that explosion of colors and light… especially those sweeping and twisting, I think it’s the 5th photo… it’s like a giant fiery flower… Ihave witnessed such laser lights who only once and was not able to take any decent pictures… you’ve done fantastic job, as usual, Lignum πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Alex. It was a hi tech and energetic show this year. It made me wonder if the designing artist was originally a disco DJ. πŸ™‚

      Lasers are truly hard to photograph. I could only hope I caught them.

  7. To the Circular Quay effort I can say only “MAGNIFICENT !”.
    To the Pyrmont … appalled that the casino was allowed to feature its own name because its facade was used.

  8. I know I say this all the time, but I can’t help it, these are amazing photos! Love how you captured the movement of the water jets and the laser lights.

  9. I still remember your gorgeous images from last year’s show….how did a year go by already? It’s interesting to see how the lighting technology has developed – I like the fluidity of the displays, and the mix of colors. Very impressive shots. What a great event for the city of Sydney, it must be a great boon for the economy, which in turn is helpful to so many people. Many cities are not this progressive!

  10. I just remembered that in my circle of friends at my first blog – a German guy who did laser shows in Europe – these shows take enormous time and money for the set up and running! Beautiful captures:)

  11. I absolutely love these kind of water and sound combinations. My favourite shot is that spectacular champagne coloured one. I can imagine the soundtrack. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing, Draco!

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