As a long time resident of Sydney (1947-1984) and a constant visitor to this beautiful city, I am never short of subjects to photograph. For the tourist and photographer alike, there are always the icons of the city and the harbour in which you can while away your time with a camera in hand.
But if you are looking for something a bit different, take your camera to the streets where, at the turn of every corner, a new and exciting story will unfold and present itself to you and your photographic eye.
How to Get There
My suggestion is to head for the very heart of the city. Any one of the city rail stops will open up onto the streets and land you in the middle of a very busy metropolis. My choice is Town Hall but Central, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and Museum will do you just as well. You might need a street map but it's a grid city so you can't get too lost.
If you need to get around, walking is the best option but there is adequate transport with the buses, monorail and underground trains.
When to Go
If you are looking for the best action, try peak hours between 8am and 6pm weekdays. Lunch time is good around the eateries and coffee shops. Friday night is chaotic with the party goers. Sunday is for families and kids and the streets are at their quietest.
What Gear Should You Take?
Keep in mind you will need to carry this, unless you have a willing ‘pack horse'. Something light and fast for the candid shots where you don't want to look too conspicuous, something wide for the tight spots, something to get you in close. Tripods are a bit difficult to set up in a busy street but a monopod might come in handy (as a means of defence if you choose some of the seedy places). Carry it all in a secure bag. My preference is for a back pack with a reverse opening.
What to Look For
The CBD is for the businesses, banks and buskers. You will stand out if you're not wearing a suit or the latest in work-safe attire. Its the interaction between people that is worth studying.
You don't have to go far to find residential properties. One street back from North George Street or William Street are the old terrace houses. Stretch your neck a bit and you will find living history here.
Spend some time at a busy intersection and soething will always present itself.
Seek out the anomalies and contradictions of the city. There is such variance in the population you can find a clown or a king in the street and they will go un-notices but for the discerning photographic eye.
The buildings are fascinating in themselves but capturing them in the context of the people who frequent them adds another dimension.