Can You Spot The World-Famous Landmark? by David McMahon
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Can You Spot The World-Famous Landmark? by 


This was shot long after sunset on Easter Saturday 2009. If you said the landmark was the Sydney Opera House, you’re absolutely right.

We were walking across from the ferry terminal at Circular Quay when I came to a halt. In the distance, the Opera House, with its distinctive sail-like design (which mirrors the sails often seen on the harbour) was lit so softly that it looked as if it was actually perched on the top deck of this harbour ferry.

The angle was intriguing, and the subtle lighting across the late Jorn Utzon’s masterpiece was a perfect contrast for the bright lights of the ferry.

The only problem was that I never use a tripod, so I had to try and ensure that the image did not produce the out-of-focus shimmer that often characterises photographs shot in darkness. In these situations, I hold the camera very loosely, rather than holding it with hands rigidly braced.

If you like this shot, you might be interested to see an image called Heavy Metal + Opera, which shows the Opera House just before dusk, taken from Milsons Point on the other side of the harbour.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F5.6, 1/6 sec, ISO 800, focal length 78mm.

Sydney2009-6529

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at davidmcmahonweddings.com

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Comments

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenabout 5 years ago

    Sydney opera house

  • Spot-on, Sean.

    – David McMahon

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenabout 5 years ago

    Great capture, I see now it wasnt a queation lol……..wonderful lighting you captured here !

  • You’re right about the lighting, Sean – it was such a terrific contrast that I had to stop and take the shot!

    – David McMahon

  • ellismorleyphto
    ellismorleyphtoabout 5 years ago

    I was going to say Awesome Sydney Harbour Ferry at Circular Quay hehe… yes of course I saw the SOH in the background :-P

    Was hoping for a quiz hehe :-P

  • I knew you would have all the answers! There’ll be another visual puzzle/ quiz next weekend – as always!

    – David McMahon

  • ellismorleyphto
    ellismorleyphtoabout 5 years ago

    Yay.. although I do not know if I can be around for them…. wants to get on a ferry now

  • I’ll tell the people at the ferry terminal to expect you this week, as soon as you’ve booked your flight!

    – David McMahon

  • William Bullimore
    William Bullimoreabout 5 years ago

    Very nice composition.

  • Thank you so much, William – I do enjoy taking shots of familiar objects from unfamiliar perspectives.

    – David McMahon

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1about 5 years ago

    The opera house – I would love to see it, such a beautiful building

  • Yes, Shulie – it is a very inspiring sight, especially when you consider that Jorn Utzon never actually saw the completed building – and how he was at loggerheads with local authorities.

    – David McMahon

  • Linda Bianic
    Linda Bianicabout 5 years ago

    Very unique capture David…..the rows of lights on the horizontal thirds,, nice!!
    It is a spectacular structure,,,, I spent an entire day at the quay,, took a ferry ride …..but did not take near enough photos LOL.. Guess I have to go back!!!

  • Thank you very much, Linda. I guess no one can ever take ENOUGH pictures of the Opera House or the Taj Mahal. By the way, you might like a shot of mine on Red Bubble called Heavy Metal + Opera, which is a slightly different point of view, taken from across the harbour the same day.

    – David McMahon

  • AliceDoodles
    AliceDoodlesabout 5 years ago


    Your cohosts Cee and Chris

  • Thanks very much, Chris and Cee.

    – David McMahon

  • Lynn  Abbott
    Lynn Abbottabout 5 years ago

    Oh, great fun!!! Love the Opera house…silhouetted in the background! Spectacular night shot! ~Janine

  • Thanks so much, Janine. We were in a hurry, so I only had time to shoot one frame! Glad you approve.

    – David McMahon

  • Lynn  Abbott
    Lynn Abbottabout 5 years ago

    Approve? Your work ALWAYS demands much more than that!! How about a standing ovation? ;-)

  • Aw, shucks, now I’m all embarrassed! But thank you, Janine!

    – David McMahon

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