Photographer's Note

Sydney's Harbor Bridge, whose construction was completed in the early 1930s, and the Opera House, completed 40 years later, comprise two of Australia's most recognizable architectural edifices.

The Sydney Harbor Bridge, completed in 1932, is a "steel-through arch bridge" across Sydney Harbor. It carries rail, cars, buses and trucks, as well as bicycles and pedestrians between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. The reverse bow design with parabolic supports was first suggested by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503 for a bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul. (I wrote a blog for National Geographic about the Leonardo Bridge, as well as the Sydney Harbor Bridge, see "Leonardo’s Bridge, Part 3".)

Below the bridge on the right-hand side is seen Sydney's spectacular opera house. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, its construction took place between 1958-1974. It is meant to simulate the sails of sailboats. I had always wanted to see this edifice where my favorite operatic soprano Joan Sutherland performed.

I am eternally grateful to Lisa Delpeoples and Murray Lines who gave so much of their time to show us their beloved city.

On a personal note, for this particular view, Lisa had driven us across the bridge to the North Shore, and to a parking lot where young people had congregated. In the dark, I was able to set my camera to Aperture Mode, focused it manually, and set the camera to 10-sec self-timer. Lisa had offered me a tripod, but I decided to just set the camera on a stone wall and prop it up with a small business card wallet with no value. After shooting half a dozen shots, I was beckoned back to the car by my wife, and I picked up the camera, but forgot behind the card wallet. If the card wallet had not worked, I was prepared to use my wallet, stuffed with credit cards and cash. That would have been my contribution to the economy of Sydney, instead of just the personal cards. Sometimes spouses don't understand the absolute necessity to get off a good shot. As it is, I have half a dozen first-rate photos, some with just the Opera House. I noticed much later that the spot Lisa took us to gives an exactly symmetric view of the bridge. On the bridge can be see lines of 3-4 green light, lines that are equidistant. Just one set, the three, in the center of the bridge converges to a single green light, indicating that my vantage point was precisely in line with the center of the bridge.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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