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This is the finale of my 9 part VIVID Sydney 2015 series.

Sydney May – June 2015 (31 photos)

This year, more than 60 different lighting installations and 3D light sculptures were presented at 13 different precincts over 18 nights for the free enjoyment of all at VIVID Sydney 2015. Notwithstanding the variety of entertainment available, most people associate VIVID with the Lighting of the Sails, the illuminated display on the western side of the Sydney Opera House, and this is where and how we end the series, with the main event.

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So let’s get on with the show. How about a suggested soundtrack?

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South America, Australia, France, Germany, UK, Africa!

Calling out around the world
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Winter’s here and the time is right
For dancing in the street

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They’re dancing in Chicago
Down in New Orleans
In New York City

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All we need is music, sweet music
There’ll be music everywhere
They’ll be swinging, swaying, records playing,
Dancing in the street.

…Dancing in the Street, Mick Jagger & David Bowie.

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Red, Blue
Orange, Violet
Green, Blue, Red, Blue
Grey, Blue, White
Yellow, Blueberry, Turquoise, White

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The world of colour
Colour, the touchstone of reality
Colour to excite the mind
The vivid, pulsating miracle that gives substance to shadow
One of the outstanding scientific and artistic triumphs of the twentieth century
Now there is colour everywhere
Colour within the reach of everyone
It happened with a suddenness that rocked the civilised world

ROYGBIV, Public Service Broadcasting (Actual soundtrack to VIVID Sydney 2014).

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It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take away
I’m a hot air balloon, I could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

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Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

…Happy, Pharrell Williams.

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So you can colour my world with sunshine yellow each day
Oh you can colour my world with happiness all the way

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Just take the green from the grass and the blue from the sky up above
And if you colour my world, just paint it with your love
Just colour my world

…Colour My World, Petula Clark.

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The colours of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky.
Are also on the faces
Of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying
“I love you”.

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I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll ever know.
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Oh yeah.

…What a wonderful World, Louis Armstrong.

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According to official estimates, Sydney’s Vivid Light Festival recorded a 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers with 1.7 million people attending the event in 2015.

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Vivid’s creative director Ignatius Jones said he was not surprised by the increasing popularity of the festival but added there would not be a deliberate push to keep growing it.

“I think we can continue to grow, but at these numbers we’re already pretty full, we’re already pretty happy,” he said.

“We actually now, all the time, concentrate on the quality rather than the quantity. And I think the people respond to that.”

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Mr Jones said work had already begun on next year’s festival.

“We started last year,” he said.

“There’s a lot of stuff that we’ve been planning for years that you won’t see for years.

“But anything like this that’s done on this scale really does need quite a bit of forward planning.”

(Source: ABC News)

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This ends my VIVID Sydney 2015 series, featuring 125 photos in 9 posts, although this is only a fraction of the total number of photos I took over several nights. The lights change so quickly, the scene practically changes from second to second. I could have posted over 100 Opera House photos without pattern repetition.

On a technical note, all my photography was performed with manual focus at night. Many of my photos this year – including the ghosts photo – were taken handheld, usually at f8 aperture setting and 1/100th second shutter speed with a specialty low light camera, the Sony A7S. I used 3 Leica lenses via an adaptor; 18mm, 35mm and 50mm focal lengths.

I think I might have to hire an assistant for next year’s show, or at least I would if I were on VIVID’s payroll.

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And now I need a rest. I should be back to posting again soon enough. Thank you for visiting Sydney with me. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show.

This is the final part of my 9 part VIVID Sydney 2015 series.

Of note, here is part 5. My sincere thanks to the WordPress Editorial team for my second:


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 Finale


84 thoughts on “VIVID Randomness 2015 Finale

  1. I would say this is a Grand Finale!!!

    I am confident that I am the most qualified to be an assistant to you, o most mighty and revered Wood Dragon. Where do I sign?


    • Thank you kind sir. Your interest is noted and has been forwarded to the Human Resources Department of Lignum Draco Inc.. An application form will be mailed out to you. πŸ™‚

  2. LaVagabonde says:

    Spectacular finale to a fabulous presentation. I like how the organizers aren’t going to keep pushing for moremoremore. Quality over quantity is a rare thing nowadays. Thanks for your hard work, LD. Enjoy your rest. You deserve it. πŸŽ†

    • Yes, it’s smart thinking. A drop in quality would soon be noticed and would reflect badly on the organisers. Just like technology, they can’t go backwards.

      Thank you very much. I won’t be away too long.

    • Thank you very much. It’s a fun event to photograph, and I’m happy to share the photos. Now I have to start thinking about “Sculpture by the Sea” in a few months. πŸ™‚

        • I hope you enjoyed it. Do you have a previous post about it? Please reply with a link if you do.

          I’ve been the last 2 years. I have a dedicated Sculpture by the Sea Menu at the top of my blog for my posts about it. I was freshly Pressed last year for one of them.

  3. 31 images, Wow! A feast for the eyes! Thank you so much for bringing this one-of-the-kind celebration to us, Dragon. I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Nice to know the kind of weapons (camera and lenses) you use. πŸ™‚

  4. What an exhilarating series – you should definitely be on VIVID’s payroll! I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding an assistant for next year. Enjoy your well earned break before you start planning for next year!

    • I used auto ISO with manual everything else. It worked quite well, with the noise imperceptible after processing on my desktop screen which is calibrated for colour and light levels. My work computers are at a higher luminance level which shows some noise in the images, but I’m OK with that.

  5. listening to Color my world now πŸ™‚ I’ll listen to Happy after that… several times lol πŸ™‚
    can I be your assistant next year?
    gorgeous photos, Lignum, and I understand you need to take a break… but dont take a long break, please πŸ™‚ I will miss you…

    • I’m guessing you’re still listening to Happy? Let me know when you arrive. I’m meet you at the airport.
      Thanks very much, Alex. I won’t be away too long this time, or at least I don’t think I will be. πŸ™‚

  6. Amazing set of shots to round it off. Love the shot of the “sleepy pattern’ near the end. What a way to round it off. Take a bow, put your feet up, have an almond croissant *applause*

  7. What a finale! Such an amazing job capturing the Lighting of the Sails. And for capturing my favourite little ghosts πŸ˜€

    Thanks for sharing all your hard work πŸ™‚

  8. I like Happy it really makes me happy whenever I play that song but I’m surprised I did not recognised Petula’s Colour My World or maybe I’ve forgotten but you did show me a wonderful world here. Thank you Draco! πŸ˜€

  9. This was another exiting series, thanks for making me feel as though I was dancing in the streets with the other 1.7 million! And nice job with for the FreshPress shout out. Congratulations!

  10. I finally got around to see all the photos you’ve made during VIVID that got to be uploaded to the blog. Good work, and I am happy the effort got rewarded with “Freshly Pressed” features. Congratulations!

  11. This is not simply exceptional photography,it’s Art!Much kudos Draco,I saw the world from a different perspective and with many vibrant colours and dazzling lights

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