Searching for Models – to shoot in the Maldives!

maldives casting models april 2015 campaign

That’s right – we’re looking for models to shoot a set of brand images in the Maldives next month :-)

We’re shooting in two of the most luxurious Maldivian resorts in April, and are looking for two faces that can represent each of the properties. Sadly, we’re on a bit of a tight timescale, but for those interested in expanding their book and/or adding a campaign to their portfolio, this is a great opportunity. If you think you have what it takes, read on to find out what we need, and what you’ll get in return…


1 x Male model

  • Commercial look (not too fashion specific, and not overly “built”)
  • Height 5’9-6’2 (175cm-188cm)
  • Weight in proportion, but generally fit
  • Clean face, clear skin, no tattoos
  • 25-35 years old
  • Agency standard, with prior experience

1 x Female model

  • Commercial/swimwear model look
  • Height 5’7-6’0 (170cm-183cm)
  • Weight in proportion, but generally fit
  • Clear skin, no tattoos
  • 25-35 years old
  • Agency standard, with prior experience

We are not looking for any specific ethnicity in either model at this point, as we will be pairing the two models together so the images work as a series.


You need to be available from April 18th until April 26th 2015.

We will be shooting at two of the top resorts in the Maldives, travelling between both locations

The Deal:

In return for your time, you will receive:

  • Return round-trip flights (commercial flight to Malé, then seaplane to one of the resorts)
  • All-expenses paid stay at the shoot locations (two of the top resorts in the Maldives)
  • 2 days of brand image shooting
  • Your choice of:
    • up to an extra 5 days added on to the trip, on a full board basis – or -
    • a future credit for a 4 day stay at either resort in the future, on a full board basis.

How to Apply:

Think you have what it takes? Drop us a line with the following info:

  • Full Name
  • Nationality (for travel purposes)
  • Current Location (for flights)
  • 2 x unedited, current, photographs of yourself
  • 2-3 edited examples of previous work
  • Key statistics – height/weight/clothing sizes
  • Phone number and email address to contact you

Send it all to and if you have the right look, we’ll get back to you soon!

Posted in Advertising, Industry, Life, Magazines, Model, Photo Shoots Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Daily Mail Feature – Cityscapes at Night

It’s every photographer’s nightmare: “That email” from somebody telling you they’ve seen your work published in a place you didn’t know about. Usually this results in a sunken heart, some stern letters and frustration that yet another person has taken your work without permission.

So, when I clicked the message from Joey yesterday, it was not only a huge relief – but also a pleasant surprise. It seems an agency I’ve been working with has managed to spread the word to the point where British national newspaper The Daily Mail have published a feature on my cityscapes – and I knew nothing about it at the time! (So, thanks Joey! :-) )

daily mail feature paul reiffer landscape cityscape photographer 2015 city skyline online dailymail professional uk British newspaper

Now there are a couple of small issues with the article (as you’ll see from the comments associated with the article):

  1. The image they’ve captioned as the Golden Gate Bridge is in fact the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge (!) and
  2. While referring to the helicopter shoots I sometimes perform, they’ve not actually included any images shot from the air… (ooops!)

heli shoot new york helicopter manhattan skyline paul reiffer professional photographer landscape city

That said, and putting those observations aside, it’s cool to see the images being shared by so many people and enjoyed by (I guess) the majority. Of course, you can’t put any picture online these days without the standard cries of “Photoshop!” going on – and this is no exception; thankfully I always take the accompanying iPhone shot beforehand, so I can rest with my integrity intact despite a few of the claims by some readers…!

So, all cool – and here’s to more images being put out there soon for people to enjoy :-)

Posted in Advertising, Cityscape, Equipment, Industry, Landscape, Magazines, Technical, Website Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Burj Khalifa – The Jewel in the Crown of Dubai, City of Gold

dubai burj khalifa road intersection freeway UAE night cityscape skyline skyscrapers downtown city of gold image copyright paul reiffer no reproduction permitted

It doesn’t matter how many rooftops I’ve photographed from, whenever I’m in a new city I always get that “wow” moment when I look across the skyline for the first time – and this was no exception. From the top of a building (which was, in fairness, extremely tall in its own right!), I set up on the ledge and started clicking. Sadly, jpeg compression doesn’t do this image enough justice on-screen, but the tones of the sky and detail in the buildings on the high-res image really are better than I could have hoped for when I looked at the back of the camera.

On a trip that had been a “quick dash” across to Dubai to shoot some marketing images, I figured it would be a wasted opportunity to allow the cityscape view to pass me by. A few emails (and some very helpful hotel managers) later, and I was on top of my second rooftop looking out over the city.

iphone bts back of camera dubai 1

Dubai really is a unique place – the difference between the vast sand-dunes surrounding this tiny piece of urbanisation and the city itself with several of the world’s tallest buildings, along with countless 5, 6 and 7 star hotels is astonishing. With extravagance, opulence and riches all around you, it’s easy to understand how it received one of its better-known nicknames, “the city of gold”. Living in Shanghai, I get to see (and stand on) my fair share of tall buildings – at 632m, the Shanghai Tower isn’t to be laughed at – but the Burj Khalifa is simply huge. 828m “huge” to be exact.

iphone rooftop dubai bts 1

The night before, I’d been on the Jumeirah Beach side of the city hoping to get a more sweeping view of the skyline. I managed it (despite the disappointment that the amazing sunset reflections of the night before simply didn’t arrive this time), but there’s something rather “detached” from shots that are so far out. Sure, they show the scale of some of these buildings – along with the vastness of Downtown Dubai with its never-ending construction – but it’s missing the elements of movement, motion and action that a city is all about. The top shot is what Dubai feels like for me – not something distant, but a true urban jungle to be lived within.

dubai skyline jumeira beach rooftop burj khalifa UAE night cityscape skyline skyscrapers downtown city of gold image copyright paul reiffer no reproduction permitted

Despite that, I love the comparison this shot brings – the low neighbourhoods in the foreground, and the vast metropolis beyond. Ever expanding, constantly racing to be the biggest, the best, the most expensive, it’s easy to forget that Dubai is not a museum of architecture – to many, many, people it’s simply “home”.

While we’re on the subject of tall buildings, allow me to share a small annoyance of mine – the difference between “Architectural Top” and the “Top Floor”.

Call me a cynic, but in my mind, a building is impressive when the top floor is high up. So, let’s look at the Shanghai Tower: Its “Architectural Top” is 632m. The actual top floor? Nope, 557m. That’s 75m (12% extra) of ego extension for the architects and owners as far as I’m concerned. Yes, it houses plant machinery and structural bits, but I’m sorry, that still feels a little like cheating to me.

So, where am I going with this? Well, the Burj Khalifa – a genuinely amazing building to look at.

We know its “Architectural Top” is the highest in the world at 828m but what about its actual top floor? That’s actually only 584m up – a massive 244m (or 29%!) lower than the top of the building! And the observatory, where the public can access? That’s at 556m up – 272m lower than the stated building’s height and actually 1m lower than the highest accessible floor on the Shanghai Tower…

As I say, call me cynical, but to me when you construct a building that’s supposed to be the highest in the world, it really should be the highest building, not a skyscraper with 244m of antenna and useless space stuck on the top!

Still, it doesn’t stop it looking amazing from wherever you are in Dubai :-)

Posted in Cityscape, Creative, Equipment, Industry, Landscape, Technical Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Fellowship of the British Institute of Professional Photography

FBIPP logo fellowship bipp paul reifferWell, it’s official – I got the news today that I’ve been awarded a Fellowship by the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) :-)

By their definition, an FBIPP award is “attainable for distinguished and exceptional ability and creativity” and my panel of landscape and cityscape images that were submitted evidently hit the mark!

A Fellowship is considered as the highest qualification that there is within the professional body and the fact I’ve been awarded one is quite an honour, as I am essentially a photographer with no official or academic training to speak of in my past.

My first exposure to the BIPP was when I qualified for direct access at Associate level in 2010 for my portraiture and fashion photography work. Obviously a lot has changed since then – in terms of my ability, equipment, location and focus – and this time I decided to submit a panel of landscape, cityscape and commercial images to the assessors. Along with a book of supporting material (and with an exception made for my lack of physical attendance as I’m writing this in Shanghai!) they seemed to like what they saw and confirmed my fellowship in a new category of visual arts today.

The submission actually consists of a 70 page book, panel of 30 images and a lot of detail – but for reference, here is a small sample of the key “portfolio pages” from the book for you to see :-)

FBIPP Submission Panel Paul Reiffer Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photography Portfolio March 2015 1

FBIPP Submission Panel Paul Reiffer Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photography Portfolio March 2015 9

FBIPP Submission Panel Paul Reiffer Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photography Portfolio March 2015 2

FBIPP Submission Panel Paul Reiffer Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photography Portfolio March 2015 6

FBIPP Submission Panel Paul Reiffer Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photography Portfolio March 2015 5

FBIPP Submission Panel Paul Reiffer Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photography Portfolio March 2015 7

FBIPP Submission Panel Paul Reiffer Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photography Portfolio March 2015 3

I guess that’s not bad going for a local boy from Weymouth!

Posted in Cityscape, Creative, Equipment, Industry, Landscape, Technical, Website Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ed Sheeran Tour 2015 – Shanghai

Ed Sheeran Tour 2015 Shanghai March 7th Mercedes Benz Expo Center Paul Reiffer Concert Gig Photography Professional Live Music 2

Well this was a trip down memory lane – in more than one sense of the phrase…

I last saw Ed Sheeran play live at a realtively small venue – the O2 Academy in Bournemouth. Back then, 4 years ago, he was still playing as a “new act” in many ways and had a growing base of loyal fans who sang along to every song with perfect timing. Also, “back then”, I was shooting a few music venues with my Canon gear – two bodies, each set up with a lens for concerts. But I wasn’t there to take photos, I was there to watch and listen.

So, fast forward to 2015 and the bizarre coincidence that Ed Sheeran’s live tour came to Shanghai on March 7th – Playing at the massive Mercedes Benz Expo Arena. Still with the same look, but now with his own line of guitars as well as a somewhat more finished sound than back in Bournemouth, this was an amazing 2 hours of music to be lucky enough to enjoy.

Ed Sheeran Tour 2015 Shanghai March 7th Mercedes Benz Expo Center Paul Reiffer Concert Gig Photography Professional Live Music 4

For anyone not familiar with Ed’s style of music – let me just say one thing, a LOT of sound comes from just one guy, an effects pedal and his guitar. The entire gig is a mix of his voice and guitar strings, hits and pops, on live-recorded-loops. Many have since tried to imitate, but in the 4 years since I saw him first, his music has gone from great to simply amazing. For those expecting a huge backing band, they may be disappointed to find the whole show is just Ed on his own, stood in one place, playing on his guitar – but soon after the music starts, they get how and why it’s so impressive.

Ed Sheeran Tour 2015 Shanghai March 7th Mercedes Benz Expo Center Paul Reiffer Concert Gig Photography Professional Live Music 1

It was also an opportunity for me to dust off my Canon gear! Of course, I still keep my 2 bodies and set of lenses (and may even look at the recently released 5DS as a backup for my Medium Format system), but I haven’t found much need to use it when shooting landscapes, cityscapes or commercial work. For concerts and night-time gigs, however, the need for high-ISO and fast FPS means my Phase One can’t quite cut it at the moment. Like riding a bike, you never forget how to use a camera system that you’ve used so much in the past – and it was actually really refreshing to “get back into it” with my old gear!

Ed Sheeran Tour 2015 Shanghai March 7th Mercedes Benz Expo Center Paul Reiffer Concert Gig Photography Professional Live Music 5

On-stage, when you’re the only person to look at, you have to be full of personality and Ed Sheeran delivers this in bucket-loads. Trying the odd bit of Mandarin out on the Chinese crowd earned him roars of support, and his solo show really did leave everybody bouncing.

Ed Sheeran Tour 2015 Shanghai March 7th Mercedes Benz Expo Center Paul Reiffer Concert Gig Photography Professional Live Music 6

10/10 for a show, and one hell of a flashback for me – not only through seeing the massive leaps forward his music has made in a few short years, but I nearly forgot how great those Canon systems can be (when in the right situation!) :-)

iphone-ed-sheeran-concert-shanghai-torches-phones-arenaOh, and one final thing…

I guess the other thing that changed (apart from the size of the crowd) in the last 4 years is that lighters (and even the lighter “apps”!) have been replaced by phone torches. Looking behind us as Ed asked the crowd to hold their torches in the air gave quite the incredible sight.

So much so, I got my own iPhone out and took a photo too! ;-)

Posted in Creative, Gigs, Life, Website Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Venice – A tale of two cities in winter

venezia paul reiffer professional landscape cityscape photographer gondolas moving sunrise dawn san giorgio san marco square piazza italy venice water winter morning

“Venezia” – print available to buy now

What an awesome sight – being up before dawn on one of the first vaporetto (water bus) services across to Piazza San Marco (or “St. Mark’s Square” as we know it in English) and capturing San Giorgio in the distance as the gondolas moved gracefully in the tide, lapping the side of the lagoon.

But Venice had a little surprise up its sleeve for me – just waiting for the right moment to reveal itself.

Heading to Venice in the “off season” is a great idea for two reasons.  First, the number of tourists there is low, so there’s a feeling of space that you simply don’t get in the summer. Secondly, the “odour” that Venice has become famous for as the waterlogged city heats up in the peak summer months simply isn’t there. We arrived by boat to a sunny day, and while the water in one of the canals near our hotel seemed a little high (picture on the right), we thought nothing of it.

So, why was there a tide diagram for the next 5 days waiting for us at reception?

venice venezia italy arrival sunshine grand canal boat san marco piazza square st marks flooding paul reiffer iphone

There was one shot, and only one shot, I wanted to capture of Venice on this trip – my first time to the city – and thankfully I managed to get it before things could have gone horribly wrong. Being up at 5:30am in January as the cold wind sweeps down from the Alps, blasting you on your ferry ride across the Grand Canal is a challenge in itself – and I’ll admit I wasn’t quite prepared for the temperature to drop that much. Still, on the first morning, I got a few shots before the lights switched off and I called it a day (picture left, below).

There was a strange siren that sounded as I was leaving, but no worries – in a few minutes I was back at the warm hotel, recovering. Later that afternoon, we headed back across to Piazza San Marco where everything seemed normal and fine.

The next morning, not happy with the results from day 1, I headed back out again (picture middle) and captured the main shot above – “Venezia“. Happy with the image, and taking the opportunity to try out the new NiSi filters I’d been given, I moved over to allow another photographer to set up in the same place (picture right, below) but noticed something strange. What was that on his feet? He was obviously planning to get a lot wetter than I was – and there was that siren sounding again. How strange…

venice venezia italy gondolas behind the scenes bts grand canal boat san marco piazza square st marks flooding paul reiffer iphone

Behind, what I thought were shopkeepers setting up were actually members of a daily task-force, setting up raised platforms.

Ah, oooops. So that’s why the tide tables were in reception – this place floods. A lot.

A quick pack-up was easy, but this was definitely one to watch. I dropped my kit back to the hotel and couldn’t help but return to see what happened next. It turns out that between October and April, half of Venice is submerged twice a day as the tide pushes the sea to a level above that of the city! Green plastic overshoes purchased, it was time to “do as the locals” and just get on with it. Pavement became swimming pool, the elevated pedestrian walkways became gridlocked and the whole city turned into a lake – it’s an incredible sight.

venice venezia italy grand canal boat san marco piazza square st marks flooding walkways raised rubber shoes over waterproof paul reiffer iphone

Flood boards, while installed, simply can’t handle the volume (and height) of water that forces its way over the canal walls and Venetians just have to get on with life, hoping their shops/homes/restaurants will dry out in time to prepare for the next wave of high tide.

piazza san marco grand canal flooding venice iphone raised walkways pavement elevated st marks square paul reiffer

So, Venice in winter really is a tale of two cities. The moment the water retreated we were back to crisp January air, blue skies, open-air dining and tourists all over the square. You wouldn’t even know that hours before you would have been sat in half a meter of water. But just be careful, when that siren sounds, the second side of Venice is headed your way – gone is the relaxed al-fresco atmosphere, and along comes the panic and challenges that the flooding brings twice a day.

Of course, I wasn’t the only photographer out to capture the city that day – this rather determined photographer (below) had his Phase One gear perched on a huge tripod as he clicked from his step-ladder all morning, capturing scenes of the flooding. Clearly he had prepared for the occasion but it seems he forgot to inform the police he’d be there; a few moments later he was nowhere to be seen…!

phase one photographer police piazza san marco saint marks square venice flooding ladder tripod removed told off paul reiffer iphone

Posted in Cityscape, Creative, Landscape Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Paul’s Phase One Instagram Take-Over!

Instagram Take Over Phase One Account Paul Reiffer Photographer January 2015 Landscape Cityscape View iPhone“Hey Paul, would you like to take over our official Instagram account for a week in January and publish some of your images as well as behind-the-scenes shots?”

(Said Phase One to me a few months back).

“Ummm – Yeah! Sure, that sounds cool!” was (of course) my answer.

So, here we are on “Day 4″ of my takeover, and I have to say it’s going pretty well. Everything you’ve seen on their Instagram account so far this week has been posted by me, and I have control of it from my phone – scary!

Some of my images have managed to get the highest levels of attention and “likes” of all of their previous uploads, and people seem to be enjoying the new scenes that I’m posting twice a day. It’s a mixture of landscape, cityscape and BTS shots – a collection linked (as with all Phase One images) by the hashtag #ProImaging

But there was one thing I hadn’t considered: It’s actually a little bit daunting when you switch from posting things to “fans” of your own – who tend to be supportive – to posting your work to others in the industry who use the same equipment. Will it be accepted? Will they find any flaws? Are there any images that might not be received with as much appreciation as they have before when I’ve posted them on my own page?

They’re all things that ran through my head as I posted the first image of the Sydney Opera House sunrise – “The Morning After” for all to see. Luckily, it was received exceptionally well, and so have those that followed. Phew!

There’s still 3 days to go – so while I may be quiet on my other social media channels during this week, do keep an eye out – there’s a lot more to come!

Just a shame I have to “give the keys back” on Saturday…! :-)


Posted in Cityscape, Creative, Equipment, Industry, iPhone, Landscape, Website Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Back Down-Under : Sydney Cityscapes Revisited

The Morning After Sydney Opera House Sunrise Paul Reiffer Professional Landscape Photographer Long Exposure Golden Harbour Australia

I’m rapidly becoming a huge fan of Sydney. This was the first place I ever visited in Australia, and while there are obviously many more beautiful places across the country to see, Sydney will always be the place that impressed me first. My visit earlier in 2014 gave me the chance to shoot some unique (lucky!) images of the Opera House at sunrise as well as overnight during Chinese New Year – but this time, my trip dates included the world-famous New Year’s Eve fireworks and the chance to shoot the city from above.

Capturing the first shot at sunrise the day after Christmas was not as difficult as I thought it might be. For some reason, my Christmas Day after-meal “nap” (we all eat too much, right?) had completely screwed up my body clock, so heading down to The Rocks at 4:30am was no issue after not going to bed in the first place! The challenge was going to be getting access to the most impressive view of the city at night – from the top of the Shangri-La Sydney hotel ;-)

Behind The Scenes Paul Reiffer Photographer Cityscapes Sydney Harbour Bridge Opera House Sunrise Shangri-La From Above iPhone

Now before anyone gets too excited, there are a couple of things to bear in mind with the Shangri-La:

First, access to the roof is NOT normally possible. This was a one-off event, and I’m hugely grateful to the guys there for the massive amounts of co-ordination effort put in to make it happen. They do not allow access up there at other times, for both safety as well as security purposes, so please don’t be inundating them with requests!

Second, the view you get is almost identical to the scenes you can witness from one of three places within the hotel – “Blu” bar on the top floor, “Altitude” restaurant – one of the finest in Sydney, and their “Horizon Club” lounge for guests staying in higher-end rooms. On a positive, it’s a lot less windy inside and you can watch the view with a glass of wine in-hand ;-)

But this was a one-off opportunity to photograph the city without glass and reflection from even higher up with an unobstructed view; an opportunity I couldn’t afford to let pass me by. The result…?

Above Down Under Sydney Skyline Harbour Bridge Opera House Shangri-La Roof Top Paul Reiffer Photographer

I love this shot, and feel privileged to have been able to take it. Some try to avoid the boats coming and going around Circular Quay below (and I have a “boat-free” shot also) but for me, it would be a shame to ignore them. They bring the energy and movement to the city that relies on ferries as part of daily transport. In the high-res version of this file, the details are incredible – and I get lost exploring every corner of the image as it captured daily life carrying on below as I shot. So, a huge thank you to the security, management and marketing team for making it happen!

The rest of the harbour? Well, last time, I got unlucky with the weather on a couple of days – this time, the reverse. Days that were planned to be stormy were actually OK, and while frustrating when the “perfect” night sky didn’t appear on one occasion, it still held out well enough to let me capture some of the views I’d missed before…

The Night Before Sydney NYE 2014 Skyline Cityscape Bridge Opera House Harbour Night Dusk Sunset City Paul Reiffer Professional Photographer

That skyline, taken from (thankfully, due to government policy) publicly accessible land is a special one for me now. For such a big city on the world’s stage, it really is a small town compared to places like Shanghai – and that’s part of Sydney’s appeal.

Gateway Sydney Harbour Bridge Opera House Night Lights Long Exposure Bay Australia Paul Reiffer Photographer Under

Walk just a little further West from that point and you’ll find yourself under the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Such a grand sight, from above, below or across the water – it frames the Sydney Opera House perfectly in the background.

Behind The Scenes Paul Reiffer Photographer Cityscapes Sydney Harbour Bridge Opera House Night Sky iPhone

Of course, capturing sunsets and night images can take its toll – the cityscape images took around 2 hours of “waiting” to get both the sunshine shot as well as the night sky, but this time I wasn’t going home with an empty memory card! I’ll release the sunset shots at a later date, but even the night shots on their own made the effort worth it.

Bright Idea IYL 2015 International Year Of Light Sydney Harbour Bridge Opera House LED Paul Reiffer Photographer UNESCO UN

Then we have the “classic view” from Mrs Macquaries Chair/Point – and a little surprise for me on New Year’s Day. The LED screen that Sydney use for shows in the middle of the bridge had become an animated lightbulb in honour of 2015 being the “International Year of Light” – the very same occasion from which my image of Shanghai had managed to take first prize in their photo contest last month!  Small world ;-)

So there we have it. More images to come soon, but wow – what a fantastic city and skyline.

Posted in Cityscape, Creative, Landscape, Photo Shoots Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

International Year of Light 2015 Photo Contest – Winner

IYL Logo ColorPrimaryYou may not be aware, but 2015 is the International Year of Light (or “IYL 2015″) – a global initiative adopted by the United Nations and UNESCO to raise awareness of how light and optical technologies can promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. Along with over 100 scientific bodies spanning countries all around the world, SPIE organised a photo contest some time ago, and to my surprise during December I was informed that my image – “Over the Rainbow” won. :-)

IYL Over The Rainbow Winning Image 2015 Internaitonal Year Of Light SPIE Professional Paul Reiffer Shanghai

“Over The Rainbow” – print available to buy now

SPIE’s Press Release of yesterday read:


A 35-second-exposure image by Paul Reiffer of traffic and other lights on and around the Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai has been selected as first-place winner of the SPIE International Year of Light (IYL) Photo Contest. The depiction of the multicolor LED light show was selected from among nearly 800 images submitted last year to SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for the contest.

The SPIE IYL Photo Contest was organized to raise awareness of the United Nations International Year of Light 2015 (IYL 2015) observance, and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life, promoting sustainable development and providing solutions to global challenges in energy, education, security, agriculture, and health. SPIE is a Founding Partner of the IYL 2015.

The man-made movement and complexity of the light in Reiffer’s photo effectively illustrates the goal of the IYL 2015 as well as light in everyday life, the contest theme, said Joe Niemela of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, one of the contest judges and global coordinator for the secretariat for IYL 2015.

“The creativity in selecting the perspective, with the natural motion through the curves and onto the bridge, is very appealing,” he said.

Reiffer, a professional photographer from Weymouth, England, took the photo with a Phase One 645DF camera on 31 December 2013, and titled it “Over the Rainbow.” Reiffer relocated to Shanghai for a few years to be closer to photographic opportunities in Asia.

On certain holiday weekends in Shanghai, not only do the traffic trails create amazing shapes with headlights across the three-layer ramp, but a rainbow show of different-colored LEDs makes the entire scene come to life. This was not Reiffer’s first trip to the top of a nearby building to capture an image of the bridge, but it was the first time everything clicked for him.

“Being outside on a rooftop watching the city get home after a long day’s work with the moving light show going on below you is fantastic,” he said. “A photograph can never quite catch the real motion that sits in front of you when you see it live with your own eyes, but as so many cars passed ‘over the rainbow’ that night, my only hope is that I captured enough of it to create a truly lasting image.”

SPIE IYL International Year Of Light UNESCO United Nations Photo Contest Winner Paul Reiffer Over The Rainbow Shanghai First Place 2015 web

All very cool! But here’s where we get reminded of how small the world really is…

Being in Sydney over New Year’s Eve was an amazing experience, with a firework display unlike any I’ve seen before. Having the privilege to capture it from the rooftop of the Shangri-La hotel was fantastic and a truly one-off opportunity. But Sydney isn’t just about fireworks, and I also wanted to capture 3 or 4 more images from around the harbour while there. On New Year’s day, I headed to Mrs Macquarie’s Point to capture a few images at dusk, to find the LED display that is built onto the bridge doing something very cool – celebrating light.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Grand Opera House International Year Of Light IYL 2015 Show Logo LED Night Panoramic Paul Reiffer

With a bit more research, it seems I missed one of the images that were projected onto the display the night before – the IYL2015 logo (click to see)! Sydney is using the lights of the Harbour Bridge for the whole of 2015 to celebrate the occasion, and have a really cool show going on as a result.

So, the IYL 2015 officially launches in Paris this month, but I guess Sydney got there just a little bit ahead of time! Either way, I’m happy – that image was taken exactly 1 year ago on New Year’s Eve 2013 in Shanghai. A year later, it’s being published around the world and featured at the Royal Albert Hall for people to see how spectacular these city lights can be :-)

Page SPIE Professional January 2015 Magazine Paul Reiffer IYL International Year Of Light Photo Competition Winner


Full press release issued by SPIE is available here.

Posted in Cityscape, Creative, Industry, Landscape, Life, Magazines, Technical, Website Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy New Year 2015 and NYE 2014 from Sydney!

Sydney New Year Eve NYE 2014 2015 Fireworks Harbour Opera House Shangri La Rooftop Bridge Midnight Show 1 Paul Reiffer Photographer Professional ImagesWhat an amazing view – and what a privilege to be able to photograph it during a one-off event at such a special hotel location. I’ve always been a fan of the Shangri-La in Sydney, the views from the Horizon Club floor and Altitude/Blu Bar at the top of the hotel are simply the best panoramas you can get of the harbour.

But this was an unexpected (and very gratefully received) honour to be allowed up onto the roof itself to photograph the fireworks for New Year’s Eve 2014 and celebrate the first day of 2015 in style.

Sydney New Year Eve NYE 2014 2015 Fireworks Harbour Opera House Shangri La Rooftop Bridge Midnight Show 2 Paul Reiffer Photographer Professional Images

It’s weird, growing upwatching Sydney hit the New Year (along with Auckland) way before we did “back home” in England and now I was here to see it for myself. We’d been warned about the smoke, and got a little unlucky last night as the wind direction did send most of it our way, but wow – what a show they put on across the city!

Sydney New Year Eve NYE 2014 2015 Fireworks Harbour Opera House Shangri La Rooftop Bridge Midnight Show 3 Paul Reiffer Photographer Professional Images

Spending some time in Sydney before NYE actually gave me a bit of an insight into what a big deal it is to people here too. Even days before, some photographers and spectators (around 95% Chinese!) had taken to setting up camp on the old concrete jetties of the north shore with sleeping bags, camping equipment and entertainment in order to secure their spot for free at one of the hundreds of vantage points across the city. Young and old, they defined their territory with clear markings and were there to protect it at all costs! I’ve never seen anything so crazy except for some of Apple’s launches around the world! ;-)

New Years Eve Party At The House 2014 Opera Sydney Camping Chinese Fireworks Display Western Boardwalk North Sydney iPhone

Even the Sydney Opera House had to build queuing lines around some of the groups in order to function. Despite security being on-site, there was no way these guys were moving…

Luckily, we had tickets to “Party At The House” at the Sydney Opera House for New Year’s Eve – so all was going to be good. I hadn’t actually planned to photograph the fireworks display either, but through a discussion with Shangri-La was lucky enough to be invited to their one-off event on the roof. For what it’s worth, the party at the Opera House was good (if around 30% over-crowded), and it did give me a front-row ticket to the fireworks on the Harbour Bridge. The 9pm warmup show was great to watch from the Esplanade, champagne and canapés in-hand, but who could resist an exclusive offer to take my camera up to one of the best views in the city on such a special night?

Sydney New Years Eve NYE 2014 Harbour Bridge Party At The House Opera Fireworks Light Show iPhone Photographs

What you don’t see from the TV (or from one of the many vantage points around the harbour) is that there isn’t actually just one firework display – there are around 10, all synchronised, for miles around the city. Choosing which shows to focus on was an issue I hadn’t factored in, but when we made it to the rooftop – WOW – the answer was obvious…!

Shooting Photography From Roof Rooftop Shangri La Hotel Sydney New Years Eve View iPhone Paul Reiffer Photographer Fireworks Display

Yes, the smoke causes issues later on in the show, and sure – we weren’t at the “party” at the Opera House for midnight, but this is the kind of view that you only get to see (let alone photograph) once in your life – and it really was a “wow”.

Oh, one challenge with NYE firework shots – they’re kind of time-sensitive. While you can’t see it in that photo, there are actually glasses of champagne and wine on the table next to me as I filtered through the shots from upstairs quickly before heading back for a bit more of a celebration once the files were sent off!

Intercontinental Sydney View From Club Room Lounge Top Floor New Year 2015 paul reiffer photographer iphone

And so here we are the morning after. Some parts of the world are still to even have their New Year – while I’m sat on the rooftop of the InterContinental in Sydney watching the city recover (quickly, I must say!) from a night of celebrations and look forward to another year of sunshine. :-)

Happy New Year to everyone, and I hope 2015 turns out great for all!

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