For nearly two decades, every single one of my New Year´s Eve in Australia has been one filled with a kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours.
Armed with just my camera, which by now has pretty much become a natural extension of my physical body, I have been taking photos of the New Year´s Eve fireworks in Sydney standing on the exact same spot since 1999.
It is rather like visiting an old friend on this special day. My feet are on autopilot as they take me back year after year to the exact same spot that offers the best view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is an almost ritualistic feel to it - how I prepare for the day and what I do as I set up to capture the Lighting of the Sails. It marks the end and beginning of a period - while my lens is greedily searching the cityscape for scenes, there is an interior lens searching inside myself, musing over the events of the past year and hopeful over what is to come.
My work on this special day is a labour of love I hold very close to my heart. It is a time lapse frozen in the form of photographs that capture the myriad of colours, sounds and energies around me. It is like I am in the midst of the festivities, lights and joy but also surrounded by a column of peace as my lens stay quiet and focused as it waits for the right moment to capture all the playful, exciting lights bursting into life.
Some may shy away from night photography as it can be challenging – it requires a fair bit of waiting and holding your breath for that ´perfect timing´ moment. I love how the darkness is like a massive, never-ending 3D canvas with so much depth and space to fill. For my series of New Year´s Eve photographs, it is a Zen practice waiting for hours without moving from my precious spot. As the fireworks are set off, the city is filled with a sumptuous palette of artificial light that become my paints which my lens can then use to illuminate magnificent landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The fireworks and visual concert of lights on New Year´s Eve show up the surrounding landmarks in a different light. I love how it makes one look at these landmarks in a different way. We pass by them so often and sometimes we forget to really look at these buildings or structures with pure attention. My camera helps me to adopt a different approach, to take on a different view of these buildings with the help of the night and the lights. It is like discovering angles and textures I have not noticed before.
For me, every New Year´s Eve is a chance to make a new discovery in the midst of a visual feast of lights and to have it as a memory on my camera.
Light up your living space with a burst of colours here!