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Photographer's Note

It’s been 75 years since the unofficial (with Francis De Groot, with his horse and sword) and the official opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (aka "The Coathanger"), and Sydney had to celebrate. There were festivities all day on and around the bridge, involving various groups and demonstrations, involving thousands of people, on, above and below the bridge. The bridge was jammed with well wishers.

The thing about the Sydney Harbour Bridge that makes it such an icon in this city is that it is central to everything, and can be seen from just about anywhere on the harbour. Everything is deemed north, south, east or west based on it’s proximity to the bridge. The bridge is the focal point for everything happening here. Being several miles west of the bridge therefore, and shooting over Balmain, was not a problem. I still had front row seats to some of the festivities, and one of the activities planned was a light show. This wasn’t to be any ordinary light show; there was some decent candle power in use here, with strobes, floods shooting in different directions etc. Shooting pictures with 30 second bursts doesn’t allow one to show all of these different effects, but I could show some of the colour, so that is what I chose to do here. What you see before you then in this composition is 5 different shots, taken at various times over 3 hours, where different coloured lighting showed most consistently. I was looking for an RGB effect and was getting frustrated for the first hour when all I saw was blues. Then the green and red came on (which gave us yellow in the shot, so much for the RGB). We then had the red and green and finally in the final hour it was lit up very nicely with the white.

Workflow was as follows:
Various shots were taken in Raw throughout the night, most at f11, 30 sec, 170 mm.
5 were selected for this composite – the NEF files for these were adjusted very slightly for highlights and shadows (together)
A levels layer adjustment and curves layer (RGB) adjustment was created for the first, saved, then the same one was used for the other 4, to maintain consistency between all.
Each was cropped to the same landscape format, and resized.
Using the eyedropper for each, colour was selected for a colour band at the bottom of each
They were placed on a new file in a portrait format, in the order in which they were shot.
The layers were merged in this new file and a brightness / contrast layer was added to beef up the overall compilation
A separate neutral black frame was added, the file was sharpened using smart sharpen and saved as a jpeg for this posting.

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Additional Photos by John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 710 W: 158 N: 1008] (3159)
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