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Night Photography of City Lights at Southbank

Home > Melbourne > Fun Things To Do | Nightlife | Outdoor | Photography
Published July 19th 2018
Night-time Yarra reflections make for great photos
yarra, southbank, photography, city, lights, reflection, melbourne
The view from near King Street Bridge


During the day the surface of the Yarra is like any other city river, brown and inevitably polluted, but at night it transforms into a beautiful mirror of the city lights.

The fairy lights and street lights along the Southbank Promenade, as well as the squared window lights and colourful lights projected onto the sides of buildings, reflect onto the water to create a complex and symmetrical image.

There is ample opportunity to get a bit more creative with your shots too, for example by incorporating the grass or trees of the nearby parkland areas, or by including a foreground.

yarra, southbank, photography, city, lights, reflection, melbourne
The same view as above, as seen through a foreground of love locks


Long exposure shots work well given the mix of still lights (of the city and river) and the moving head lights and brake lights of cars.

After dark, the Crown shoots flames into the air with their 'gas brigades', tall totem like structures of about eight metres height placed along the edge of the Southbank Promenade. This happens on the hour, so if you time it right, you could also work some flames into your shots.

If you are willing to brave the winter cold, venture out to Southbank at night with your camera; or, if you're passing by, take a few snaps on your iPhone.

The photographs turn out surprisingly well, particularly with a little bit of post-production editing.

yarra, southbank, photography, city, lights, reflection, melbourne
An alternative angle - just one from the endless possibilities
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Why? Interesting photograph opportunities
When: Night time
Where: Along the Yarra River at Southbank
Cost: Free
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