#640. On (un-destination) location: Sydney

By Dallas Thomas | Travel Photography

Sep 06

Following in the footsteps of previous un-destination articles, it occurred to me, I often plan and sometimes travel hours or days to visit and shoot far away places, so why not stay put and showcase my own city “A Place I’ve called home” for many years; Sydney.


The Other Bridge


For those new to the thread, a quick recap: un-destination is a concept initiated by Pascal and Philippe, which hinges on 3 main principles :

• Beautiful in its own way – tick
• Out of the beaten path for all but local togs – tick
• Challenging, because of its lack of iconic features – no

Well, 2 out of 3 aren’t bad, for me to include Sydney in this series. I’m not sure how Pascal and Philippe will take to me highjacking and manipulating their genre!


Sydney has a few iconic structures worth pointing the camera at for a shot.


3 Things Sydney is famous for, the Bridge, the Harbour and the Opera House


Having the ocean on the eastern coast does make it rather special, especially if you are partial to shooting seascapes, no shots of Bondi Beach I’m afraid.


Sunrise over Mahons Swimming Pool with large surf


Bare Island


Another of the many ocean swimming pools dotted along the Sydney coastline.


Authentic Australian bush can be found within 60 minutes drive of the Sydney CBD.


Sunset an hour west of the city by car and in the suburbs.


Sydney is a very cosmopolitan city; our restaurants and cafes sometimes participate in the celebration of the national days of other countries.


Bastille Day at Felix


The city is famous for this bridge but has many more just as worthy to view, walk over and photograph of course. I’m very partial to nights shots of this genre as they’re stand out.


The Harbour Bridge from Barangaroo Reserve


Anzac Bridge


Tom Uglys Bridge: New and Old


Being only a relative new country of a little over 200 years since European settlement our architecture is mostly modern, with a smattering of early colonial buildings.


Queen Victoria Building







Sydney’s Eiffel Tower?


Plenty of cages No Birds – the cages have recordings of the songs of all the birds that used to live in the city

and course modern architectural marvels.


Sydney Tower



Vivid is something that happens in June, annually, where building have images projected on them, its something I stay away from now due to the crowds, and photography and getting the shot is difficult.





Sunset under the bridge


Under the bridge is a great place to view North Sydney from.


Under the bridge


Looking up gives you a different perspective.


Don’t forget to look up



Barangaroo the new business centre


A challenge I always set myself when travelling and photographing  is to endeavour to shoot an iconic structure in a manner that others will still recognise it, but it’s not a postcard. I must admit I borrowed this idea from Joe McNally.


The House from a different angle.


Well, that’s a few shots of my Sydney, a place I call home. Some people refer to Australia as a Lucky Country I just prefer to just call it home (sorry Peter Allen). Apologies to those that have take the time to read some of my previous articles a few photos from them have found there way into this one.


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Living on the opposite side of the country, Dallas, I am convulsed with laughter – finally, someone has admitted that Sydney is an “un-destination”! ROTFLMHAO 🙂

    Putting my paroxysms of mirth to one side, I love your photos – very creative/imaginative – and I think such an approach is a complete excuse for taking shots of iconic subjects. The zillions of touristy photos we hear complaints about are, in fact, taken by zillions of tourists – without the aid of any particular talent, let alone creativity or imagination. When you’re out & about, you see them all over – and shudder quietly, as you move past them. Pedestrian results guaranteed!

    There’s something of a challenge in there, IMHO – taking shots of iconic subjects that AREN’T dull, boring, unimaginative, repetitive, etc. I could be provocative, and suggest it’s just a cop-out, to avoid this challenge by shooting only subjects that tourists wouldn’t think to photograph! 🙂

  • John Wilson says:

    Question: Do you ever publish guest articles? “Un-Destination” would be a great topic. Think of all your readers from around the world and the interesting “non-destination” places in their home towns.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hello John, DearSusan is a collaborative blog. We do publish the odd guest post but try to encourage interested authors to contribute on a more regular basis (no obligation, of course). Dallas is an excellent example of this, having published a few articles over the past months. We love the idea of mixed points of views, origins, styles … anything of quality that can create value for readers is most welcome.

      All the best, Pascal

  • Graham Cherry says:

    I’m reminded of family outings to various Sydney locations (invariably within view of the Harbour), celebrating some family milestone, with kids in tow; bemoaning their Dad’s tiresome bleating along the lines of “look at the view….people spend there life savings to come here and we live here!… how lucky…. blah, blah”

    Having started life in the NW of England, I can happily say that I’m yet to become desensitised to the allure of Sydney. Extrapolating on Pete’s point above, I almost think it’s our duty to capture iconic subjects we are fortunate enough to sitting at our doorsteps… but leave the cliches to the tourists, who in fairness, often lack the time and insight to do justice to their subjects.

    Great shots Dallas (as always)… vive la difference!

    • Thanks Graham, we will get to shoot again soon, work is getting in the way.

    • jean pierre {pete} guaron says:

      I think Dallas’s shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (“Under the bridge”) is a perfect example – I can’t imagine a tourist ever thinking of taking a shot from that viewpoint, and it is an extraordinarily striking photo.
      BTW Dallas – thanks for the shot of Felix’s “Bastille Day (AKA 14 juillet). My wife’s been in Paris, for that, but for one reason or another, I’ve not yet had the pleasure – just have suitable trimmings in my house. Tried putting bleu, blanc, rouge ribbons on my Dobe a few years back, but she was so cross with me for doing it that they’ve ended up on the pillars in this room, that support the concrete raft that forms the floor for the upper storey of the house.

      • Good point Pete that’s why I took that shot something different.Felix is probably one of the best French restaurants that I have had the pleasure of eating in Sydney. Dallas

  • Bob Hamilton says:

    Are you absolutely sure that, as one of the world’s major and iconic capital cities, despite being in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney meets the criterium of “being out of the beaten path for all but local togs”?

    • Bob thats a good point and depends where about’s you live and how far you are prepared to travel to shoot. I took the view that most visitors would have to travel 10 plus hours as a minimum so in my opinions yes its off the beat track but that my thoughts. But in any case it’s worth the visit whether you live around the corner or in some far far away place. Dallas

  • philberphoto says:

    Dallas! Superb photography! You obviously love Sydney, and it loves you back! Wow! But my advice is this. Do not spread the word, not any more. Else you will end up with as many photographers as Iceland. They will push up prices, litter everywhere, and chase you to the outback. Mum’s the word for this great un-destination!

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