Give Me A Smile - Luna Park Sydney by Neil Ross

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Give Me A Smile - Luna Park Sydney by 

(263 viewings – 7 favourites – 25JUL 2011)

Photo taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!

LUNA PARK and its iconic LAUGHING FACE at Milson’s Point in Sydney, Australia. This photo was taken from the Rivercat ferry whilst approaching the wharf. I’d not thought of Luna Park in years so when I saw the face appear I just had to take a shot. It brought back some very happy memories for me.

A friend said she thought the reflections of the ferry windows spoiled this shot, but I disagree. I think the reflections give it a sense of movement and animation, yet are subtle enough not to be too obvious; it was taken from a moving ferry after all. The soft blurs and reflections are in perfect alignment with all the other angles that slope towards the lower-left quarter, adding a dimension of illusion and mystery which is what Luna Park is (or was) all about… and it was about having fun, simple ‘low-tech’ fun. Any Sydneysider of my vintage or older who ever walked through the turnstiles of the Laughing Face will remember that. I think it’s pretty good for a one-off random happy snap, and the finished artwork makes me smile. Luna Park always did that anyway so I can’t help but love it :-)

Colour confuses me sometimes, especially pale hues. I like vivid “in your face” colours that stand out, and here I feel they are appropriate; colours that are bright and happy. It’s a busy image, so I’ve kept the background and immediate foreground reasonably subdued so as to keep one’s attention on the face. The vivid blue sky adds a good contrast.

Original Image:

A leisurely Sydney commute on the Rivercat ferry. The windows and roof panels seen here are those reflected in the main photo.


amateur, before after, harbour, icon, laughing face, luna park, milsons point, sydney

I love anything that is unusual, unique, or just plain odd, and that’s the sort of image I try to capture. I’m so far from being the world’s best photographer it’s not funny, but I do have the photographer’s ‘eye’ and am more than proficient at capturing the images I see in my world. Thanks for taking the time to view my portfolio. Feel free to leave a message and say G’day.

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  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELabout 4 years ago

    Wonderful capture, that is such a happy face between the building. I enjoyed your write up too, great work.

  • Thanks Andrea. I love the stories that accompany any photo because they add another dimension, a commentary that compliments the image. In fact, I’m sometimes disappointed when there’s nothing written at all. I love to know what it is, where it was shot, some of the challenges associated with the image itself. My friend and I had done the bridge climb that same day, so to see Luna Park and it’s happy, smiling face was a true reflection of how I was feeling at the time; bright and happy… with the exception of very tired feet :-)))

    – Neil Ross

  • VenusOak
    VenusOakabout 4 years ago

    Yes I love the pic and the write-up too. I am one of your vintage and Luna Park is so special to me too.

  • …and it still makes us smile after all these years! I don’t know what it’s like now, but it was great back then. The face is probably the only thing that hasn’t changed. Many thanks for your comment :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • Jupiter Queen
    Jupiter Queenabout 4 years ago

    Neil, this is wonderful, it made me smile! So from now on every time i feel sad, or down i will look at this Funny Face, and i am sure will make me smile every time!
    Thanks for sharing! You are right about the reflections, it adds to the shot, make it more real!!!:)))?

  • Thank you Jupiter, my dear artist friend. Colour has a great capacity to affect our moods. This photo might just have the magic to turn a frown upside down :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • Jupiter Queen
    Jupiter Queenabout 4 years ago

    Neil, i forgot i love the story behind it alot!

  • Thanks Jupiter :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • Debbie Robbins
    Debbie Robbinsabout 4 years ago

    GREAT STORY as well as IMAGE!!!! love this.. :))))

  • Thanks Debbie. I’m glad that you like it. It turned out bright and happy :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...about 4 years ago

    absolutely magnificent capture

  • Thanks very much, Kathy. I appreciate your comment :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • SuzieCheree
    SuzieChereeabout 4 years ago

    Your right Ross, the reflections do give the image bounce, perfect for this shot. It makes it feel alive:~)

  • Thanks very much, Suzie. Bounce… I like that :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • SweetLemon
    SweetLemonabout 4 years ago

    I really like the reflections, like you say it does give a sense of movement, and the write up is fantastic. I have to admit though I find the face a bit eerie – just shows the different interpretations! Great photo

  • Thanks for your comment. Yeah, the face does seem eerie, or even maniacal, but you should see the Luna Park face at St.Kilda in Melbourne. At lease the one in Sydney looks happy :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • Rita  H. Ireland
    Rita H. Irelandabout 4 years ago

    Very awesome find!

  • Many thanks, Rita. Greatly appreciated :-)

    – Neil Ross

  • Corinne Noon
    Corinne Noonabout 4 years ago

    A Really Fantastic piece,A perfect edit !

  • That’s an awesome comment, Corinne. Thanks very much. I appreciate it :-)

    – Neil Ross

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