Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 6 (September 24th) - Downtown Sydney

Out of the scheduled events in relation to the Google Code Jam and the interviews, I'm finally free on my own for the sixth day. The plan for the day was for me to go downtown (my uncle and auntie's house is in Bexley, somewhere near the airport) with my cousin and his wife (who are going to work), and then wander around downtown Sydney for the whole day on my own. Got off the train from the St. James train station in Hyde Park, I started by getting my camera ready. This post will contain a lot of pictures instead of word, so make sure you've got enough bandwidth quota before reading more.

(The Northern part of Hyde Park, where I started)

(The Sydney Tower, visible from almost everywhere)
My plan was to walk from there, going around to visit Mrs. Macquaries' chair, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House from up close, and finish somewhere around the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Hopefully I'll also be able to visit the Darling Harbour to see the sunset. At around 9am in the morning, the sky was bright and dramatically cloudy, perfect for great photos.

(The fountain with statues, notice the rainbow)

(It's spring in Sydney)
So, right next to Hyde Park is the St. Mary's Cathedral, which seems like an old European-style building. Since the day was bright, I was able to capture some sort of rainbow projected by the water fountain. It was an ordinary Wednesday in Sydney, and on a non-peak season like these, there were not so many tourists around.

(The St. Mary's Cathedral)

(Lighting is a bit difficult due to the high contrast)
It was actually a bit difficult to shoot a well-exposed photos. I used some sort of bracketing by taking shots for each scene, but it turns out that Capture NX fixed some of the photos significantly with it's unique D-lighting filter. So I think next time I should shoot a bit underexposed to retain the highlights and let Capture NX do it's magic by fixing the shadow areas, which would result in a perfectly exposed image of a high-contrast scene.

(An under-exposed shot turned out to be perfect)

(The St. Mary's Cathedral from the back)
Continuing from there, I walked to the Northeast, through The Domain (connecting to the RBG), while still taking several shots. On the way, I passed through the Art Gallery of New South Wales, while also catching a view of the Woolloomooloo Bay on the East.

(The map of the park)

(The view to the Woolloomooloo district)

(The Art Gallery of New South Wales)

(The skyline, Sydney Tower included)

The clouds clears up as the day gets later, resulting in a very bright sky which makes photography a bit more difficult due to the increased scene contrast. When controlled properly, the lights may allow some great photos. Boosting the saturation may help too.

(The Art Gallery, from another angle)

(Yet another harbor, in the Woolloomooloo bay area)

(At the end of the road is Mrs. Macquaries' point)

(Mrs. Macquaries' chair, made of carved stone)

(The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge)

(Going up close)
It was already around 11am by the time I reached that point, which means I've walked for around two hours. After taking several photos from Mrs. Macquaries' point, I decided to have some rest by sitting on the bench facing North (with beautiful views to the sea).

(The lonely bench)

(Northern part of Sydney)

(Another viewpoint)

(The rocks made a good photo location)
One thing I like about Sydney is that, the place itself is very photogenic, such that you can make beautiful landscape shots from most of the tourist locations without much hassle.

(Yet another perfect landscape shot)
I walked back to the Royal Botanic Gardens after that, and found an array of gardens with several kinds of flowers, mostly were blooming. Since I don't really know the details about the flowers, I'll just present the photos for you. I think in the first photo were tulips, but not sure about the others.

To my surprise, there are also cherry trees, and blooming too. Can't imagine how beautiful the real cherry blossom in Japan would be, should go there and see someday.

Finished with the flowers there, I walked the West, but found the rose garden. Can't help but took some more photos there.

Well, I think that's the last flower in this post :P . I went further North towards the Sydney Opera House and took these photos on the way.

(A castle-like building with the city as the background)

(Another edge of the park, perfect for picnic)
It was around 1pm by the time I arrived near the Opera House, and the sun was even brighter than it was a couple of hours before. Nevertheless, here are the photos of the Opera House, up close.

(The Opera House, again)

(Another angle)
I walked a bit further to Circular Quay, and had my late lunch there. Finally, I tasted the "Fish and Chips" and "Lemon, Lime & Bitters", as suggested by one of my friend who lives in Sydney. The taste was good, so you should try these if you happen to visit Sydney.

(An array of old buildings on the way)

(The Sydney Harbour Bridge, up close)
Due to the limited time on the previous Sunday, I wasn't able to walk too far from Circular Quay. This time around, I have plenty of time so I walked way North until Dawes' Point. From up close, the bridge proves to be quite a unique photo object as well.

(It's a complex metal structure)
Back from Dawes' Point, I catch a train in the Circular Quay station and headed straight to Town Hall station, and walked to Darling Harbour to catch a sunset there. On the way, I passed through the "Chinese Garden of Friendship", which, unfortunately, was already closed.

(The garden's entrance, closed)

(Decorative waterworks, on the way)
In contrast to the night view I had on the earlier days, the Darling Harbour looks quite different under daylight. The buildings, reflecting golden late afternoon sunlight, shows up as pretty reflections on the water as well.


(More buildings...)
Not long after, the sun sets, shining in darker orange while it does. The skyline to the West were not clear, so I decided to catch the reflected lights instead.

(More buildings, darker...)
On the end of the day, I met up with my cousin again and we headed back to Bexley. The path I took during that day can be seen on the following map (path marked in blue), thanks to Google Maps.

View Larger Map

It was quite exhausting, walking almost the whole day. So I think I'd call it a day and save some energy for the next day's trip to the Blue Mountains.

Continue to Day 7

-Andrian Kurniady

(All photos are copyrighted, please ask for permission before reproducing)


flanflygirl said...

loving the lonely bench :)). the photo is filled up with some kind of emotional touch here. haha... and the flowers!!!! huaaa. just can't get enough with them... have never seen the violet one :-? I should visit the botanical garden someday also. hohoho.

anw, cool photos you have there. :D

Andrian Kurniady’s Blog » Day 5 (September 23rd) - Google Interviews said...

[...] Continue to Day 6 [...]

Andrian Kurniady’s Blog » Sydney and Google Code Jam 2008 said...

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