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This was a very difficult photograph to achieve. I had shot fireworks displays before and had always been disappointed with the results. Film simply doesn´t have the same ability as the human eye to register light and shadow. It was New Years Eve on Sydney Harbour and I wanted to capture the brilliance of the fireworks without losing the detail of the setting. I perched myself atop The Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney and, with my camera mounted on a very sturdy tripod, photographed the scene at twilight to register maximum detail in the buildings. I planned to shoot it again at 9pm when, by double exposure, I would do a shot with the fireworks. In the meantime it was critical to keep the camera in exactly the same position to avoid ghosting in the buildings from inexact registration. Soon after I took that first shot, huge winds developed and the 9pm fireworks display was cancelled due to the potential danger. I spent hours standing on that rooftop in the buffeting wind, keeping holding my tripod firmly planted so the camera would not move and hoping that the midnight fireworks would proceed as planned. To my relief, the midnight fireworks did go up, exploding in a kaleidoscope of colour, and I was able to expose individual bursts of fireworks to overlay on my original exposure.
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