Sydney Harbour Portfolio

Sydney Harbour from 16,000 feet – 1966

Moore’s enchantment with the harbour began when as a boy of 11 he opened his eyes to what lay before him at Neilson Park and beyond. He picked up the Coronet Box camera he had received as a gift and started recording: it was a unique vision he was eventually to share with the world.

Sydney Harbour was a constant source of discovery and delight during his lifetime. For more than 50 years Moore focused and re-focused his camera on the harbour; he delved deep, he revealed, he recorded – for history and for pleasure. He was always able to catch the light – at just the right moment.

Moore began his journeys around the harbour in a one-boy canoe, made from split cane and canvas. Not surprisingly there was a day when it didn’t quite make the crossing from Vaucluse to the northern side. Luckily its passenger survived to tell the harbour’s story through a comprehensive body of work.

This work was realised in a book on Sydney Harbour published in 1992 in conjunction with an exhibition at the State Library of NSW which broke attendance records at the time. People recognised themselves, their families and their lives over the decades that spanned, as Moore put it ‘a quarter of the period of European settlement’. Moore documented much change in that time – the transformation of Darling Harbour and Pyrmont, construction of the Opera House, the Anzac Bridge, the arrival of migrants from all over the world, and the departure of Australians on ocean liner odysseys.

Moore also captured the recreational aspect of the harbour in compositions of massed sails, boating parties, sportsmen and women. He caught the living quality of the place, achieving pictures with apparent effortlessness because Sydney was his city and he understood all its nuances. He said himself that ‘to grow up within a kilometre or two of Sydney Harbour is a particular privilege…the harbour…existed as a world of delight, adventure and mystery’.

Moore loved a free rein, and in fact, when shooting for the major shipping lines Columbus and P & O Nedlloyd, he enjoyed brief tastes of omnipotence. From a helicopter hovering above the harbour, he would issue instructions to the ship’s captain on the bridge below, moving mammoth vessels this way and that, just as he pleased until he got the perfect shot. It must have made a nice change from skippering a makeshift and unseaworthy canoe.

His recording of these harbour images is all the more important now as we see Sydney Harbour transformed by development – not always of the kind Moore would have enjoyed. He loved Sydney Harbour’s industrial activity – not just the visuals but the haunting sounds, for instance of ships’ fog horns. The working port was to him an integral part of the waterway’s natural beauty.

For enquiries about these photographs please email Lisa Moore, or Josef Lebovic (Josef Lebovic Gallery).

Double exposure SS Morinda, Yacht at Watsons Bay, Mako shark Watsons Bay – all c. 1940Sunrise at Man O'War Steps – c.1947Boys at play on waterfront 1 – c.1947Boys at play on waterfront 2 – c.1947Boys at play on waterfront 3 – c.1947Pile-driver at Pyrmont – c.1947Dock workers and Titan crane – c.1947Pyrmont Bridge and Darling Harbour – 1947 Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney – 1947Orcades departure, Pyrmont – c.1948Manly ferry Dee Why and lighthouse, Bradleys Head – c.1947Vaucluse waterfront – c.1947Rigging 18 footer, Rose Bay – c.194818 footer and Shark Island lighthouse – c.1948Balmain waterfront – c.1947Erskine Street wharf and Balmain ferry – c.1947Boy on ferry, Darling Harbour – c.1947Port chalmers, Orontes and Port Brisbane, Pyrmont Docks – c.1947Timber wharf at Rozelle Bay – c.1947<em>Port Brisbane,</em> Pyrmont – c.1947Erskine Street and AWA tower – c. 1947Sydney Harbour Bridge 2 – 1947Darling Street, Balmain – c.1947Darling Harbour and Pyrmont docks – c.1948Departure of <em>Orcades,</em> Pyrmont – c.1948Well-wishers and streamers, Pyrmont – c.1948<em>Orcades</em>  and well-wishers, Pyrmont – c.1948<em>Himalaya</em> entering Sydney Harbour at dawn – 1950<em>Himalaya</em> at night – 1950<em>Himalaya</em> and Fort Denison – 1950<em>Himalaya</em> approaching Pyrmont Docks – 1950Slinging passengers' baggage – 1950Customs inspection of passengers' baggage – 1950Superstructure design - 1950Off-loading cargo – 1950Imported British cars on Pyrmont dock – 1950Seamen cleaning the funnel – 1950Lascar seamen holystoning the deck – 1950Refigerated cargo stowage – 1950Painting the <em>Himalaya,</em> Sydney – 1950Departure of the <em>Himalaya,</em> Pyrmont – 1950Manly ferry and Unilever building, Circular Quay – 1958Morning peak traffic on Harbour Bridge – 1959The Rocks district from Harrington Street – 1960Ship maintenance, Balmain – 1960Ferry Evelyn Star and liner, Circular Quay – 1961Pyrmont Bridge – 1962Cahill Expressway at Circular Quay – 1962<em>Oriana</em> berthing at Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal – 1963Port worker Circular Quay – c.1961Ship painters Circular Quay – 1961Ferry commuters – 1963Start of Sydney to Hobart yacht race – 1963Cahill Expressway and Circular Quay traffic – 1963Southern approach to Harbour Bridge – 1964Gladesville Bridge – 1965Migrant liner <em>Galileo Galilei</em> approaching Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal – 1966Passengers on board <em>Galileo Galilei</em> – 1966Migrants arriving in Sydney – 1966Sydney Harbour after sunrise looking east – 1963Sydney Harbour from 16,000 feet – 1966Ship and wind patterns on western waterway – 1967Sydney Opera House under construction – 1966Cleaning the Opera House roof shells – c.1966Lifting roof section over Sydney Cove – 1967Sydney Opera House – 1967Sydney Opera House – c.1972Sunrise on the roof shells – 1972Afternoon light on the Opera House – 1973Wind patterns on harbour waters – 1967Harbour Bridge in fog – 1973Winter fog on the Harbour – 1973Ferry <em>North Head</em> and boys fishing, Circular Quay – 1976Sydney Opera House afternoon light – c.1977Pyrmont docks with Naval Stores building – 1978Harbour Bridge from west Rocks – 1978White Bay power station – 1978Western Distributor T structures, Darling Harbour – 1979Western Distributor forms 2, Darling Harbour – 1979Harbour Bridge structural details 1– 1981Harbour Bridge structural details 2 – 1981Harbour Bridge structural details 3 – 1981Harbour Bridge structural details 4 – 1981Tanker <em>Siratus</em> and western face of city from Greenwich – 1993Cyclist on Gladesville Bridge – c.1964Near Balls Head at dusk – 1962<em>Gretel,</em> Australia's first America's cup challenger – 1962Dusk on the harbour from Watsons Bay – c.1965Sabot dinghies and harbour lighthouse – 196218 footer with five man crew – 1962Sabot dinghies at Vaucluse – 1962Girls on yacht, Store Beach – 1967Sunday at Store Beach – 1967Family in dinghy, Store Beach – 1967Watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race – c.1967Start of sailboard marathon, Manly – 1984Ship at sunset west of Harbour Bridge – 1985Winter sun on the Opera House – 1992Procession of the Tall Ships, Australia Day – 1988Bicentennial fireworks, Australia Day – 1988Sunrise on the harbour from Cremorne Point – 1992Sydney Opera House with masts of Bounty – 1992Summer dawn over Sydney from Kirribilli – 1993Sunset from MLC building – 19818am traffic on Harbour Bridge – 1985Superstructure of the <em>HMAS Melbourne</em> – 1985Woolloomooloo finger wharf and Garden Island crane – 1990Jogger and rising full moon with Garden Island Naval Base – 1991Aircraft carrier <em>Melbourne</em> at Athol Bay, dusk – 1985Morning sun over Elizabeth Bay – 1991Hornby lighthouse at South Head with rising full moon – 1991Evening yacht race and Oberon class submarine – 1991The city at dusk from Mosman Bay – 1991Boys fishing under Pyrmont Bridge with afternoon light on the city – 1992Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour – 1992Sydney Harbour from 20,000 feet – 1992Macquarie lighthouse and Pacific Ocean cliffs at dawn – 1993The bridge at night from Milsons Point – 1993Sydney at dusk from North Head – c.2001Sydney and Circular Quay from Kirribilli – c.2001Pyrmont Bay fisherman – c.2001Gladesville Bridge looking east – c.2001Chowder Bay fishermans huts – c.2001Building the roof shells – 1966Sunrise on the Opera House – 1966