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TEDxSydney 2012

Are you a TED-head*?

I’ve been a TED-head for a long time now.  I remember when I came across my first TED-talk on You Tube.  I sat at my computer watching it,  thinking “THIS is what the Internet was meant to BE!!”

Three years ago I was incredibly thrilled to be invited to be a part of the small but perfectly formed team of TEDx volunteers involved in producing the inaugral TEDxSydney.

I have to be honest and say that it’s now become my favourite weekend of the year!  Not only do I get to hang out with other volunteers and attendees who believe passionately in the principle of TED, but I get to listen to the amazing performers and the talented speakers and contribute to the visual impression of the overall event.  I also get free range to crawl all over the magnificent Carriageworks in Everleigh… one of my favourite Sydney locations.

We, the photography team, upload our images to the TEDxSydney Flickr account at regular intervals during the day.  Almost livestream.  It makes for a sense of urgency and accuracy (there’s no “fixing it in post” when your unedited images will appear on the internet within about 30 minutes) that I thrive on.

A more comprehensive selection of my images are on Flickr, but here are my favourites from the 3 days that I shot this year.

Day ONE : TEDx Rehearsals

One of my most favourite moments was listening to The Grigoryan Brothers and the Circle of Rhythm rehearsing in track 12.  The accoustics in that room were amazing.  And it was just them and me.  At one point, I put my camera down and lay on the floor with my head in my hands just absorbing the most beautiful music being created right in front of me.  It was an incredibly special experience.  And they are all such SUCH lovely guys.

A little later on, the Sydney Children’s Choir arrived to rehearse their opening number with Stiff Gins.  They were all so amazing!  Listening to them sing in an almost empty Bay 17 sent shivers up my spine and gave me goosebumps.

TEDxSydney photographer : rehearsals at the Carriageworks, the Grigoryan Brothers, Circle of Rhythm TEDxSydney Rehearsals : the Carriageworks, TED, TEDx sydney children


Day TWO : TEDx Sydney 2012

The early morning late Autumn light that floods into the Carriageworks is beyond beautiful.  But the Sydney Children’s Choir and the Stiff Gins’ opening number MORE than compensated for having to drag myself away from the ethereal light and into the dark theatre.

The speakers were brilliant.  Every year seems to get just that much better in the level of talent that we get to hear.  The performers this year were definitely worthy of their company as well.

FourPlay String Quartet showed us that there is nothing that they cannot do!  They played on their own and then sounded like a symphony as they accompanied the gorgeous and talented songstress Katie Noonan.  Tim Freedman wowed us with a few of his favourites, and Satsuki Odamura and the Sydney Koto Ensemble made me tear up with their beautiful melodies.

My favourite performers of the day, however, were definitely the Grigoryan Brothers and the Circle of Life.  Quite possibly because when my sneaker squeeked on the concrete floor during their rehearsal the day before, they made me feel as though I was playing along and contributing to their awesomeness.  But more realistically because they are just so incredibly talented and their music spoke to my soul.

sydney event photographer : Stiff Gins, Sydney Children sydney corporate photographer : Darren Percival, TEDxSydney foyer, Greg Sheehan sydney event photographer : TED, TEDx, Sydney sydney photographer : Carriageworks TEDx sydney performance photographer : Tim Freedman TEDxSydney sydney event photography : TED, TEDx, sydney sydney musician photographer : Katie Noonan performing at TEDx Sydney 2012 sydney TED photographer, Satsuki Odamura and the Sydney Koto Ensemble, speakers from backstage elite event photographers, TED, TEDx, Sydney sydney musical performance photographers, the Grigoryan Brothers exclusive event photography, sam simmons, julian morrow, circle of rhythm


Day THREE : TED@Sydney

This year we had an extra special treat.  The Curator of TED, Chris Anderson, was conducting a global search for TED talent, and held auditions in Sydney on the day after TEDxSydney.  It was wonderful!  More amazingly talented speakers and performers!

One of the highlights for many people (and definitely for me!) was the amazing Darren Percival, who is currently doing very well in the Australian tv show “The Voice”.  Darren performed at the very first TEDx Sydney, in 2010 and blew everyone way with his incredibly impressive vocal talent.  I’m even luckier than most as I sang backing vocals for Darren at Sydney’s The Basement about 9 years ago.  I can say, first hand, that he is one of the loveliest people I have ever worked with.  Darren was auditioning to perform at TED2013.  That act on it’s own, as he’s suddenly experiencing such commercial fame, shows how amazing and modest he is.  He sang a lullaby that he wrote for his two children.  He performed it with a simple ukelele accompanyment and a little talk about his priorities.  He’s just SO deserving!  I hope he makes it to TED2013!  And I hope he wins The Voice!

The brilliant Australian conductor Richard Gill, whose TEDxSydney talk last year was a standout favourite for me, was also auditioning for TED2013.  My son, Hamish (who is a very talented Trombonist), was assisting me for the auditions, and Richard spent some time in the green room chatting with him about his musical talent, his school, his future.  A really lovely and kind man.

TED photographers : Lovely light, Chris Anderson, carriageworks sydney performance photographer : Darren Percival from The Voice carriageworks event photographer : TED@Sydney, Global, auditions Sydney elite event photographer : Richard Gill,  leaving Carriageworks

 * A TED-head is someone who immerses themselves often in obscure but brilliant TED talks purely for the sake of stretching their brain

To get your own TED fixes, go here, and here.  Drop me a line if you have any questions.



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  • June 3, 2012 - 4:12 am

    Kim V - LOVE your images from TEDx Sydney, I was/am a TED-head & didn’t even know it! :)ReplyCancel

    • June 3, 2012 - 5:40 am

      Fe - Yay! Another TED-head! Thanks Kim xReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 8:44 am

    Fiona - Looks like it was an awesome weekend… love your photos!ReplyCancel

    • June 3, 2012 - 9:58 am

      Fe - Thank you lovely. Yes.. it was awesome! xReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 11:45 am

    Leanne Stamatellos - WOW!
    What a fabulous event and so many great images to remind you of it.ReplyCancel

    • June 3, 2012 - 11:56 am

      Fe - Thanks Leanne!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 12:07 pm

    sarah - Looks fantastic Fe! Gorgeous shots, you’ve done a great job capturing the event!ReplyCancel

    • June 4, 2012 - 12:14 am

      Fe - Thanks Sarah :)ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 1:38 pm

    Philly - Wow! Awesome images, I almost feel like I’m really there!ReplyCancel

    • June 4, 2012 - 12:14 am

      Fe - Thanks Philly!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 8:43 pm

    Ian - Great images Fe. Loving the bloke with the thinned out hair and combover, that will be me someday ;~)ReplyCancel

    • June 4, 2012 - 12:16 am

      Fe - Thanks Ian! Although I’m not sure if you’ll ever crack THAT hairstyle… If it’s the one I’m thinking of, he shaves all of his head except for the top part.. so it’s a reverse combover, if you know what I mean :)ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 9:24 pm

    Kelsie Taylor - beautiful photos! i love all of the different perspectives and framing.ReplyCancel

    • June 4, 2012 - 12:16 am

      Fe - Thanks Kelsie :)ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 9:45 pm

    Albert Palmer - Wow – you got some serious good views!ReplyCancel

    • June 4, 2012 - 12:16 am

      Fe - Thanks Albert!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 1:30 am

    Kim Selby - So wonderful Fe – really feel you captured the vibe of the event. I felt like I was there looking at your images.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 5:43 am

    nadean - Awesome re cap Fe- feels like i was there!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 6:45 am

    Sarah White - Aaah Fe, you have the most incredible eye for these events, capturing the mundane and the modest alongside the spectacular and the awe-inspiring! You really are the most remarkable photographer!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 11:02 am

    Lea - Awesome Fe!

    Looks like you had a fabulous experience once again .. I can’t imagine how fun it would be to be on staff for this .. amazing XxReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    Natalie - This seems like such a cool event! You definitely captured the ambiance and spirit!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    Sarah - How great to have a visual for all those talks I listen to, well done photos!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 7:30 pm

    Heather - Looks like a BLAST!!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 7:35 pm

    alex - wow! you worked hard! rest up :)ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2012 - 8:53 pm

    Anja - Great documentation of what seemed to be a great event and a lot of fun. I especially love the shots of the piano player/singer (the girl). Nice job!ReplyCancel

  • June 5, 2012 - 2:10 am

    Jen Stocks - How wonderful. What a great experience, and great images to showcase your few days!ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    Nessa K - It looks like you had an insane amount of fun shooting all of this AND you walked away with lovely images. :)ReplyCancel

  • June 13, 2012 - 2:13 am

    Fe - Thanks everyone! It’s lovely to read your comments.ReplyCancel

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