Sydney in reflections

Sydney reflected in the lightboxes kept out on the promenade near the Opera House…


I was lucky to be in Sydney during the Vivid Light Show days… the city is colourfully reflected here


What do you see in a city like Sydney with high rises and lots of reflective surface? Well, reflections that can be exotic, thoughtful, or even naughty!

A reflection is the soul of any city… it nudges its inhabitants to look into those areas that need to be redone. It tells them of the charm of walking by a certain place when they wish to feel the warmth of the city. Reflections sell, cajole, whisper, seduce, and even mesmerize. I was totally charmed by the reflections that Sydney gave me… and photographing them was indeed a pleasure.

There were reflections everywhere. But not just the glass on buildings, I managed to capture quite a few pictures of Sydney reflected in the wind screens of buses and cabs too. Then there were the occasional water puddles where some interesting reflections emerged. Being next to the sea, the harbour area did have reflections but the waves made them simply impossible.

My favourite reflection of a Sydney moment!


I realised that reflections have the power to make you stop even when you are in a hurry… and think of things that will bring a smile on your face. They transport you back into the past… they take you for a ride into the future, and sometimes they just let you laze around in the present with a happy smile that says: ‘I love life!’

Well, yes, this is one lesson that Sydney offered to anyone who bothered to stop and talk to it or listen to what it whispered through the wind that meandered from the corners of every street. It said with a lot of conviction that it loved life and that nothing else really mattered.

I have been reading a quaint travelogue by Bill Bryson and it is his journey through Australia. In ‘Down Under’, Bill writes:

“Personally, I think Australians ought to be extremely proud that from the most awkwardly unpropitious beginnings, in a remote and challenging place, they created a prosperous and dynamic society. That is exceedingly good going. So what if dear old gramps was a bit of a sticky-fingered felon in his youth? Look what he left behind.”

I was reading this paragraph as I sat on a bench in martin Place in Sydney and had just been photographing a few of the lovely reflections that the city architecture made possible. And I told myself, ‘Well, indeed, Sydney buildings do reflect a beautiful present and these reflections tell me how hard the past generations must have worked… how hard and with a really grand futuristic vision.’

It is the futuristic vision that a city always reflects… look at any of the great cities around the world. They would be reflecting the vision of its architects – its socio-political, economic, and cultural thinkers! The reflections of Sydney have certainly made an indelible impression on me and of all the things that will make me go back to this country these are going to be a part of the strongest reasons! Yes, reflections that are powerful, do sell.

Reflections can create caricatures that become immediately endearing and memorable…

..or a full scale reflection of the busy high-rise buildings…






















Reflections in water puddles… while climbing up to the harbour bridge.











The Sydney sky in a reflection!










The trendiest shopping area in an appropriately golden hue… captured towards evening!

















Not ‘just another reflection’ but one that gets the impact of a sun preparing to set!






















Even trees must be wondering at the ever changing city that is reflected by tall buildings!






















The icon of Sydney in all it’s reflected glory!

















The evening sky of Sydney reflected in a lamp-post near the Opera House.















































This blog post has been contributed by Arvind Passey on his travel to Australia. Read more about Arvind at