Sunset & Nightscape! International Towers 1, 2 and 3, Sydney Australia

Yesterday I was finally able to photograph the International Towers at Barangaroo, in Sydney’s newest commercial, residential, retail and leisure development. The area is an exciting place to explore with a camera from the trendy cafes to the intricate details in the modern architecture. There are structures like the award winning Barangaroo House as well as the incredible Accenture building. The 3 towers are aptly named T1, T2, and T3 🙂 and vary slightly in height from 168m to 217m (the red tower on the left). The main tenants in each building are PWC, KPMG and Gilbert + Tobin, which equates to a hell of a lot of lawyers and tax agents!

I took shelter across the bay at Pyrmont and setup for a sunset and blue hour shoot. This first image I am sharing is the sunset shot where I was trying to tell a good story of how the new buildings have settled into the Sydney skyline. I was also actively walking up and down the boardwalk trying to place my camera in the exact location where the sun reflected off the glass of the towers. This is possible by shooting in the opposite direction to the sun with it being over my shoulder and behind the lens. If the sun were setting behind these buildings then all this area would be in shadow but the sky would be lit up with colour. It’s an artistic choice that I made before going to this location and was really happy with the result.


© Luke Zeme Photography – “International Towers 1, 2 and 3, Sydney Australia”. Sony 7R + Zeiss 16-35mm, f/6.7, 23mm, ISO 100 at 30 sec exp.

I used a 10 Stop ND infrared filter on the lens so that I could get a long exposure shot of the harbour water, which then accentuates the deep warm tones of the sunset. Again, this is an artistic choice that I like to do 🙂

The next shot was just slightly further up the Pyrmont Pier and I waited about an hour for the sky to go a deep blue. Often you will find that you can take a long exposure of the night sky and it will turn out a little lighter. So you have to wait for that goldilocks time when the sky is jussssst right!

What I wanted to show in this image is how the light of the Sydney skyline has a lot more colour in it with all the new developments in Barangaroo and on the King Street Wharf. Can you see that red glassed room at the top of the tallest tower??? What do you think goes on in there??? At this time of night I didn’t need to use any ND filters and can just close up my aperture to get long exposure times. You can see the camera info below the shot.


© Luke Zeme Photography – “Nightscape International Towers 1, 2 and 3. Sydney Australia”. Sony A7R + Zeiss 16-35mm, f/22, 26mm, ISO 100 at 20 sec exp.

It’s amazing how a scene can change so quickly and really goes to show how timing is so important with sunset and blue hour photos. According to the metadata the shots were taken exactly 45 minutes apart, which is not a lot!

So, which image is your favourite?

Thanks, Luke

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