Where to Capture the Magic of Vivid Sydney 2017

Deciding which route to take on your visit to Vivid Sydney and which light displays to include is a challenge. The difficulty’s compounded if you’re a photographer hoping to capture stunningly beautiful and intriguingly unique images. Luckily, because this is the 9th instalment of the event, we've had plenty of time to work out the best photography locations and vantage points for capturing Vivid Sydney 2017 in its best light.

If it’s Vivid Sydney photography tips you’re after, we’ve got that covered here. The following vantage points, recommended by the Canon Collective, aren’t listed in any particular order; let us know if you’ve got any favourites via Facebook or Instagram.

The Overseas Passenger Terminal

For a direct view, the ground-level Overseas Passenger Terminal offers perhaps the best vantage point for photographing the Sydney Opera House during the Vivid Sydney festival. The projectors that light up the Opera House sails are located here, which means you can also photograph the rays of light as they beam up into the night sky.

vivid sydney vantage point overseas passenger terminal - image from greg sullavan Canon Collective Ambassador Greg Sullavan

Dawes Point

When there are no cruise ships docked, Dawes Point provides fantastic views over the Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art. You’ll find fewer crowds here too, which makes it a great place to photograph the lighting shows at peak times. 

Cahill Expressway Walkway

If you want to get up-close and shoot the Sydney Opera House in detail during the light show, the footpath of the Cahill Expressway is the perfect photo location. You can get to the walkway by taking the lift (or stairs) from Circular Quay station.

Luna Park

Tucked away at the end of Alfred Street in Milsons Point, Luna Park is an excellent place to take photos of Sydney Harbour Bridge during Vivid Sydney 2017. It also offers views of Sydney Opera House, making it an essential location for capturing key moments of the light festival.

vivid sydney vantage points image from raevel parreno Photo by Ravael Parreno

Blues Point

If you want to snap photographs of the Harbour Bridge with the Opera House also in the same frame then this is the ideal shoot location. Use a wide-angle lens for panoramic shots of the entire bridge or zoom in to capture the bridge and Opera House in full detail as they burst to life.

vivid sydney vantage point north sydney image from mohid manchadaImage by Mohit Manchanda

Lavender Street

When the crowds reach their peak, this relatively quiet photo location is an excellent place to retreat to. Situated in Lavender Bay, it offers beautiful views over Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.  


Sydney Opera House

While most people are focused on getting a view of the Opera House itself, experienced photographers know that the forecourt to the front of this iconic building provides excellent views over the Harbour Bridge. It's also a great place to take photos of the crowds that gather to watch the light and music shows in their droves. For some peace and quiet while you shoot, pop into the Deep Purple Pool Hall located in the Opera House Concert Hall’s Northern Foyer. You’ll find outstanding views of the Harbour Bridge and you can even enjoy a drink and a game of pool.

vivid sydney vantage points opera house image from jihan acaran
Photo from Jihan Acaran

Ferry Photos

The ferries that depart regularly from Circular Quay provide excellent views and photo opportunities across Darling Harbour, additionally the ferries that cruise from Manly and Rose Bay also provide excellent close-up views of the Opera House.

Join a Vivid Sydney Photography Walking Tour with Canon Collective

Our Vivid Sydney 2017 walking photography tours are led by Canon Collective Ambassadors, and will run from 26 May to 14 June. Groups are small to allow maximum interaction with your guides. Sessions include hands-on low-light, composition and long exposure photography training, they’re essentially walking workshops.

Suitable for all skill-levels, these photography tours are the ideal way to develop your skills and capture beautiful photos of Vivid Sydney 2017. After the walk you’ll be invited to a private space inside the Museum of Contemporary Art, where you can print your favourite shots from the night and enjoy a drink and some light nibblies.

Tours start at $99 and include the use of a Canon EOS 80D DSLR camera or a Mirrorless EOS M5—which you’ll be briefed how to use—and a SD Card that you can fill with photos and take home.

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