Removing background crowds from photos

Taking photos in popular public locations is complicated by that very thing – popularity. There are a lot of other people there to walk into my shot, or stand right in front of my raised camera to take their selfie. Every year I look forward to the stunning Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Bondi, it is a photographer’s paradise, beautiful art in front of beautiful views. Plus forty thousand other people on the path at the same time as me. Many of them with children who will look great in front of, or on, every sculpture for a photo.

To make it look like I’m the only person there takes a lot of patience. I line up what I want and wait for 5, 10, 15 minutes for that split second break in the crowd. I look for vantage points, get low, get close, get high, get a long telephoto, crop in, wait, wait, wait. Or I incorporate them into the photo, if it adds to the composition.

So today I am celebrating the crowds, with these photos of what the Sculpture Walk really looks like, with all these marvellous people  getting out in the sun and enjoying the very same art as me.

Stunning Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi

The annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition is on again

This is one of my favourite times of the year, as spring is turning into summer and the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk hosts over one hundred stunning sculptures. With a backdrop of beautiful beaches, and ocean all the way to the horizon, it’s no surprise that hundreds of thousands of people visit it over 18 days each year in late October/early November. You should too.

Gallery of the sculptures.

Sculpture Garden in the Hunter Valley

Sculpture garden and wine-tasting in the Hunter Valley

It’s a no-brainer to visit a vineyard cellar door for some wine tasting. It becomes much more unique when it is surrounded by a sculpture garden, and also has a art gallery in its wine tasting area. Mistletoe Winery on Hermitage Rd is all of that, and is proudly local, boutique, and family run as well. A stroll through the outdoor sculpture garden on a sunny day is a great refresher in the middle of vineyard visits.

Where have you found surprising art or sculpture in your travels?

Have you checked out Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea yet?

It only lasts for a quick two weeks, it’s already half over for this year, and it is a highlight of Bondi that I look forward to every year. It brings out the crowds – even with all the rain this year. Today it is glorious sunshine, and it’s a Sunday, so it is really, really packed – not surprising when you think that approx 400,000 people visit it every year, over 16 days!
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010

Why do I like it so much? – well it’s partly the location  – a stunning seaside walk around headlands and bays, with the ocean as a backdrop to the sculptures –  that is pretty amazing. And then there are the many dozens of sculptures, in a huge array of styles and sizes – although ‘big’ always looks good in this environment! Everyone will have their own favourites, there are plenty to go around. Oh, and it’s free – can’t get much better then that. (but programs cost $10 if you want to know what it is you are looking at). And then there are the many Bondi cafes and bars for a restorative bite or drink at the end.
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010

It’s so good it has now spread to WA (Cottesloe Beach) and Aarhus in Denmark.


Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010

Weekend Warning.

If you have a choice, try and visit on a week day. Early in the morning or later in the evening are both particularly good if you want to maximise the amount of open space around each sculpture – sneak out of work a bit early and you can have an hour or two to wander before it gets too dark. I want to say that even on the crowded weekends it’s still well worth a visit, but I am struggling to!  If you must come on the weekend, bring a water supply and lots of patience.

Parent Warning.

If you are bringing your young kids with you, (and you should, they’ll enjoy it), keep an eye out for signs on some of the sculptures asking us not to touch them, climb in or on them etc. The majority of the sculptures are robust and touchable, but some are not, or may be dangerous to play on. I am amazed at the number of parents who read the signs out or point them out to each other – and then send their kids off to play on them anyway, or to pose on them for the “perfect” photo. Theres a playground in Marks Park as well, so no excuses.
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010

So just one question then – have you walked the Sculptures yet?

Photofriday: Round: Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi


sculpture - round

I love the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in October every year, with the sculptures all displayed along the Bondi to Bronte cliff walk, with he gorgeous ocean as the backdrop. This sculpture from 2006 was one of my favourites.

This will be my last blog for 2-3 weeks, I am off to Tanzania, to parts without wifi and internet access – talk about taking me back a decade or two!