Sydney June 2017 (12 photos)

This is part 3 of my Vivid Sydney 2017 series of posts.

After 23 nights, the 9th annual Vivid Sydney Festival which has now become a major travel and tourism event for Sydney ended this past weekend. As in previous years a water spectacular featured over at the Darling Harbour region of Sydney Harbour.

A collaboration between artists, composers, engineers, fountaineer, and pyrotechnicians, this year’s show was entitled “Magicians of the Mist”. The creators of the show were Oracle Liquid, The Electric Canvas, Peewee Ferris and Vivid Sydney.

Fountains up to 50 metres high swing and sway gently, sometimes furiously displaying more than three times the power of any fountain previously deployed in Darling Harbour. Special nozzles change their shape and that of the fountains, creating the tallest fountains in the world which display this range of movement.

A show commenced every half hour, running for about 10 minutes. There were 3 shows on rotation. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, some shows were additionally choreographed with fireworks.

This work blurs the line between art and technology that now defines the digital era: 12 massive pumps throw 28 tonnes of water into the air every minute; huge projections shine on walls of water 60 metres wide and 40 metres high. Lasers, fountains, jets of flame, music, fireworks, fireballs, LEDs and searchlights are all controlled through a computer interface in the hands of a master fountaineer and laser artist.

A little selective focus.

Water. Coloured lights. Lasers. Fireballs. Fireworks. Music. Crowds. What more do you need for a spectacular show?


This is Part 3 of my VIVID Sydney 2017 series.

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

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Vivid 2017: Magicians of the Mist


52 thoughts on “Vivid 2017: Magicians of the Mist

    • Thank you. I use manual focus and prefocus on a fixed item before the show starts. The actual lights in the show are quite bright so fast shutter speeds are not difficult to achieve, freezing the motion.

    • Thank you.

      It was a new word to me too, taken from Vivid’s web site. However, according to Wikipedia: Fountaineer is a portmanteau of “Fountain” and “Engineer” – Hydraulic engineer. Fountaineer describes one who designs, explores, or is passionate about fountains and their design, operation, and use.

  1. Could I press a “love” button? Just got back from France few days ago and getting back into reading blogs. What a joy to see your and enjoy another round of fabulous lights, water, and beauty.


  2. … jets of flame, music, fireworks, fireballs… are all there for people to enjoy, how spectacular. It must be very challenging to capture since the changing of flame, colors, and fireworks went so fast (am guessing). Was it as cold as the previous winter?

    • My trigger finger is always ready during these events. You have to be quick or it’s gone. The first week was warm then there was a sudden cold snap. Colder than last year.

  3. Again, wonderful. It’s a lot of luck with these shots…and your timing was great, manual mode must have been on point. The flames must have warmed the atmosphere 😊

    • Thank you. The lights change rapidly and particularly with the fireworks, the scene is very different from one second to the next. Even from the safety and distance of the viewing areas, when those flames explode, you truly can feel the heat.

  4. Sharon Dear says:

    Thank you so much for the beauty of water, light, technology, and your eye for the beauty in this world. I said it before and I will again. You take me away from my little space here and transport me into the world that you see. It’s breathtaking.

  5. super super aweseome Draco!
    gotta put Sydney for Vivid next year …

    did you say the public can have a chance at the controls?! wowee kazowee…

    oh and fyi, over here in China, these kind of fountaineers are everywhere, been around for a long time, every city has a musical fountain… but i think sydney vivid takes the cake! look forward to more shots….

    • Thanks, Debbie. Yes, you can have a few minutes of fame controlling all the lights of the Harbour Bridge, city buildings and the other assorted lights. They’ve done that for the last few years.

      I should think that if a Chinese city did something like this, it would be on a grand scale.

  6. Astounding!!! The immensity and mega-stimulation here is unprecedented. I was glad you kept the ferris wheel in to demonstrate the height perspective of the shooting water-works. Your photos do a great job of expressing this extravaganza, Draco.

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