This is one of the most popular icons in Australia.
I love making photos of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I explored all around, and still exploring.
One early morning I found also an hidden hill which is really an amazing a relatively unknown viewpoint. And it’s in the city too, no long walks required.
Should I include or not include the Opera House? It’s your choice. I usually say the less the better.
It may work.
It may not, and the eye attention will just bounce between these two icons, distracting each other.
If photography is not your main goal than the view on spot #5 is probably one of the best you can have in Sydney, beside a beautiful walk too.
I live in Melbourne but, as photographer, I visit Sydney on a regular basis for my work. I just can’t stop myself waking up early in the day and visit a new corner of the city before starting my day shooting, or why not at sunset time! Going back home with some beautiful Sydney Harbour bridge pictures is not an easy job.
The main suggestion I can give here is: never give up on any weather condition. I have missed few interesting photos in my first Sydney visits. Weather can change quickly and a big storm can become a sudden dramatic sunset
Between all of the Sydney Harbour bridge viewpoints, my favourite spot is still Mrs Macquarie’s Chair however for my photography I love the hidden corner, the Observatory Hill, where I never met another photographer in my multiple visits.
The list below has no particular order. Have a look, enjoy and let me know what you think
If looking for the top photography place in Sydney you may want also to check the 15 Best Photography Locations in Sydney [Sunrise, sunset and during the day]
Top 5 Sydney Harbour bridge pictures locations
#5 Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
If you are in Sydney for just few days be more be careful with your planning. There are good sites for the sunset and others that work great on sunrise. Above photo was a long exposure (118 secs at f/18, ISO 100, ND9) from the highest point of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. We had a big storm in the afternoon but, lucky enough, it opened up for a lovely sunset
In the lowest part of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair you can instead include few stones which, on long exposure (540secs at f/16, ISO 100, ND9) , become lovely with this milk-like effect
#4 Lavender Bay
Almost on the other side of Sydney Harbour, you can find Lavender Bay, where you can include the city centre into the photo as well. This is a great spot for sunrise or just during the day.
#3 The Observatory
Another sunrise spot, which is not as typical and you do not find in as many photos around is the Observatory. It is a relatively wide area where you can include other point of interest as the bench below.
#2 Dawes Point Park
One of the most popular spot is however under the bridge, at Dawes Point Park, on Hickson Park. You can make here photos from either side of the bridge, including the Luna Park, another Sydney icon.
This is the left side of the bridge
and the black and white version from the right side. I used in both case and ND9 filter for a long exposure effect
#1 Under the bridge
As last, I tried an unusual corner from just under the bridge. I quite like the end result. It almost look like the Eiffel Tower upside down 😀
My final thoughts
A dramatic sky helps to maximise the impact of the photo. You may experience quite a number of storms during the summer, a great time to the be there anyway 😀 The best time of the day to visit the bridge is probably sunrise, if you stay on the Opera House side, and sunset, if you are on the other side of the bridge. The best season, for the sun direction, is winter. In summer the sun tends to be too easterly (therefore on your left or right side, based on which side of the bridge you are) instead of your front or back.
I suggest you also another point, Jeffery Street in Port Jackson. Always remember to check TPE orSunCalc (my favourite) for sunrise/sunset and sun direction information. If you have a mobile with you have a look to the Best Free Travel Photography Apps that can help you with your Photography planning, setting and navigation through the city
Enjoy the map and let me know your favourite ones.
You can also view this The top 5 spots to take a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a larger interactive map