Vivid 2014 in pictures: See Sydney's festival of light

Vivid Live 2014 is the biggest, brightest and most involving chapter yet of the festival that invigorates Sydney's late autumn/early winter, each year.


The yearly Sydney-based festival Vivid is all about art and technology, the relationship between them, and the projection of the end result of their fusion. It involves, challenges and beautifies. It reflects culture and extends the relationship between man and machine. It casts multimedia to the wind and sees what happens when it settles.

The streets are filled with people carrying smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras of every shape and size, tripods, even the odd Go-Pro. No wonder Intel is a major sponsor.

Vivid captures how we interact with technology and how technology through art can illuminate our environment.

For me it is wonderful opportunity as a photographer to play in Alice's Wonderland.

Use the slideshow controls above and right to see more of my photos from Vivid 2014.

This year, I decided to tackle the majority of Vivid Live – outside of shooting the sails on the Opera House with a very simple set up. My Canon EOS 7D camera, fitted with a Canon ultra wide angle 10-22mm lens.


An ultra wide angle lens can give you some edgy results. It is noted for barrel distortion when wide open at 10mm - not that this is a problem for anybody who likes their photos straight up and down; it is easily fixed in Photoshop.

But that's exactly what I didn't want to do. I wanted to use that distortion and the lovely effect it throws to add to already edgy installations, light shows and spirit of Vivid.

Advertisement. Article continues below

The great thing about the 10-22mm lens is the distortion is non-existent from 14mm onwards. So you get the best of both worlds.

I carted a tripod with me and used it for probably 30 per cent of the shots you will see in this slideshows. The rest of the photos are shot hand-held.


I used, in the main, settings of f4 to f7.1 with the ISO generally around the 1200-1600 mark, spinning down to 400-800 if I could, and exposures from 1/8-1/30, across the full range of 10-22mm.


On a few occasions I went the other way - on tripod shots - and I'll point them out when they come up. Basically, I wanted to get the lovely depth you get on long exposures mixed with mid range f-stops and ISO at 100 to 200.

Here, I mostly shot 10 second exposures at f7.1 and ISO 200. Everything was shot, of course, in RAW format.

Advertisement. Article continues below

All images were processed in Canon's native Digital Photo Professional suite using the High Dynamic Range tool on some occasions to bring out the luminosity captured in the RAW format.

Any further processing needed was done in Adobe Photoshop which has an excellent camera RAW tool.


While Vivid does include some light-based installations, much of the festival uses projections – including projection mapping – onto Sydney's existing buildings.


Advertisement. Article continues below



Advertisement. Article continues below



Advertisement. Article continues below



Advertisement. Article continues below


A strange geometric. My inner geek was immediately reminded of the Face of Boe from Doctor Who


Projections on a waterfall.

Advertisement. Article continues below


The Urban Tree and adjacent tower projection.


Advertisement. Article continues below

A light-fed dome installation.