Tag Archives: sydney harbor

Manly Urban

Today we have a guest post from Renate Hechter from Pure Dynamics Photography in Sydney, Australia. Earlier this year Renate launched a new twist on family portraits – a concept called Manly Urban. In this post, she explains Manly Urban.

Thank you again Craig for giving me the opportunity to post on Beyond Here.

I have the privilege of living near one of the most beautiful areas in the world.  I do not think anyone that has been to Sydney and more to the point, Manly, would disagree with me.  One is surrounded by beautiful expanses of blue ocean, with the heads in the background on one side and Manly beach on the other side.  If you have ever been on the Manly ferry, you would agree that it one of the most iconic and picturesque methods of public transport.  All in all, to be able to have this view, day in – day out, is not only a blessing, but a calling to a photographer.


Manly Urban. Family portraits with famous Manly backgrounds. Copyright Renate Hechter.

For any photographer, it is important to create a service that is new and different to new and existing clients.  I have come up with the ManlyUrban idea, as people not only love to get some photographs of the area they live in, but it also provide a beautiful and modern back-drop for some stunning and different photographs. Manly also has a huge expat community, so it is a great keep-safe of your “home away from home”.

As you walk around and through Manly, you will realise it is a treasure-chest of scenic and urban areas. Here are some of my favourite areas.

  1.  Manly Ferry/Heads (in the background)
Family portrait

Manly Urban. Families in context. Copyright Renate Hechter.

The Manly Ferry is a tradition.  Since 1855 it is a “must do” for visitors.  It is the way Manly locals commute to Sydney. It operates 7 days a week, day and night.  It is one of the most picturesque and relaxing commutes in the world.  What a wonderful way to include this as a backdrop for a photograph.  The same is to be said for the famous Sydney Heads, which is the 2 kilometer-wide entrance to Sydney Harbour. People from all over the world will recognize it and these are some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks.

  1.  Manly Corso

Manly, Sydney, Australia. Copyright Renate Hechter

The Corso is a busy and bustling place.  It provides direct access from the Manly Ferry Wharf to Manly beach.  It is also the main shopping area of Manly.  You get locals, tourists, buskers, mum and babies, school children, toddlers in the playground, retirees, surfers, skateboarders and many more all mixed together and wandering about.  Being photographed in the Corso takes some courage, as soon a crowd of people will gather to see what you are up to.  (My urban ballerina kept her cool in the Corso, even though she was surrounded by holiday-makers).

  1.  Murals

Murals make vibrant backgrounds. Copyright Renate Hechter.

There are a number of murals in different alley-ways in Manly that provide fabulous backdrops for urban photography.  Note, Manly Urban are not just for children.  My friend, Liz, is a local business owner and a Manly local.  As an artist (www.muktiart.com.au) she loved the opportunity to have a photograph taken in her beloved Manly in an area where the photograph could double as a piece of art.

When you visit Sydney again, make sure you get your Manly fix. You may even see me shooting Manly Urban in different locations! Please STOP and say HI!

Photography Tips Showing Part of the Scene

Here is the latest of my photography tips – showing part of the scene. Sometimes it is more effective to show only part of the scene to communicate emotion in an image.

This week I have been in Sydney. If you have never been to Sydney, it is worth the trip just to spend a few hours walking around Sydney Harbor. In less than one hour you can visit Darling Harbor, The Rocks, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, and the Botanic Gardens. While you can do that in less than an hour – I recommend taking the camera and spending much longer.

Sydney Opera House

Part of the Sydney Opera House which accentuates the size of the sails

Visiting Sydney reminded me of two of my favorite images – both taken several years ago, and both of which provide a compelling image by showing part of the scene.

The image above was shot at dawn. I was standing opposite the Opera House using a 70-200mm lens. It was a grey cloudy morning, until the sky lit up in golden, yellow colors. The sun broke through the cloud for no more than 3 or 4 minutes. During that time, I was fortunate that a jogger ran up the steps and into this scene – highlighting just how big the sails are.

The second image (below) was shot at sunset. It is a closeup of people doing the Harbor Bridge climb. It was taken from in front of the Opera House looking across to the Harbor Bridge with a 70-200mm lens. Again, shooting only part of this scene gives a stark contrast between the huge metal bridge structure and the tiny human figures. The nice sunset helps as well!

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Tiny human figures doing the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb

Both of these images are good examples of showing only part of the scene to communicate a message. The contrast between the small human figures and the large architectural structures is really striking.

These images were both shot in the Sydney Harbor area. Do you have a favorite photo spot in Sydney?