A guide to taking the best photographs in stupendous Sydney

Sydney is one of the top tourist destinations in Australia and attracts visitors from across the globe. The opera house and harbour bridge are world famous landmarks and gambling-mad visitors love the two high class casinos. One thing is for sure, this is the city of a thousand photo opportunities!

Here, we will share some tips on how to get the best pictures that will provide a permanent reminder of your time in stupendous Sydney.

Sydney Opera House

A night at the opera might not float everyone’s boat, but our one piece of advice is this: Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. You might just find a latent passion for this timeless artform. Whether you decide to go in and see a show or not, you will certainly want to get some good pictures of the world’s most famous opera house for posterity.

The people at Sydney Expert provide some great ideas on how to catch the opera house from a couple of more unusual angles. To get the classic shot of the opera house seemingly nestled up alongside Sydney Harbour Bridge, you will need to head across to the Royal Botanical Gardens and take aim from Mrs Macquarie’s Point.

The Opera House is just as photogenic from the inside. There are one-hour guided tours throughout the day, and photography is permitted. Keep in mind that the tour does not enter areas where performances or rehearsals are taking place. If you want to see as much as possible, book your ticket for the first tour of the day at 9AM, when there is little else going on.

If you buy tickets to a show, photography is only allowed before, after and during the interval. Keep your camera switched off during the performance – you don’t want to be that person. In general, leave the extra lenses and special equipment at the hotel or you will arouse suspicion and might be asked to leave your camera in the cloakroom.

Photographing casino games

Let’s be honest about it, from downtown Sydney to the Australian outback, everyone plays casino games online these days, so a real blackjack table or roulette wheel does not have quite the air of mystique it once did. But if you choose to spend an evening in the Crown or the Star, which are Sydney’s glitziest casinos, you’ll still want a couple of pictures of your time there. As long as you follow some basic precautions, you should be able to take them without incident. These basic tips hold true for other casino destinations too.

First, let’s start with the basic disclosure. Both of Sydney’s major casinos officially prohibit photography in the gaming area. Like other casinos around the world, they will vaguely cite “security” as a reason. In fact, it is more down to guest privacy. Some casino guests do not want photographic evidence that they are there, others might be in company that they want to keep confidential. Often these people are high rollers and the casino wants whatever they want. So in short, avoid taking photos of people.

Second, be subtle. Use a small pocket camera and for goodness sake, make sure the flash is switched off, then double check it again. Take stills, not videos, that way you can point, click and put the camera back in your pocket. Chances are, nobody will notice.

Third, if you do get noticed and security has a word, keep everything calm. Play dumb, imply you were unaware of the rules and always be polite. As far as we know, nobody ever got ejected from a casino for taking a photograph. But thousands have been shown the door for being belligerent with security personnel.

Finally, don’t take photographs of the cage. It’s really not the most interesting feature anyway, and pointing a camera at the winnings being handed out is simply asking for trouble.

Sydney Harbour Bridge – a world famous icon

Back out into the fresh air again, and having given the Opera House due attention earlier, it’s now time to take on Sydney’s other major architectural icon. The good news is there will be nobody to tell you “no photography” at Sydney Harbour Bridge, whether you want to snap it from above, below left or right.

Once again, we have some ace tips from Stefano Ferro, which are very handy if you want to capture the bridge in a way that is a bit different to the usual moody sunset shots. We particularly liked the idea of taking a picture from the opposite perspective and capturing the bridge at sunrise from The Observatory.

It demands an early start, but that won’t deter you if you have your heart set on the perfect picture – and Sydney at the break of day is just another part of the experience, so you will be glad you made the effort!

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