Sydney's often thought of as a summer city, but its quieter, wintry side is every bit as beautiful. There's something pretty magical about rugging up and strolling along the harbour on a clear, starry evening — or spending a night hopping from one fireside wine to another. In case that's not inspiration enough, there's a stack of winter events on the calendar as well, from Vivid transforming the city into a wonderland of multi-coloured lights to night markets peddling mulled drinks, spicy dishes and handcrafted creations — all of which will look ace captured via the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+'s low light camera. Rather than letting the next few months pass by in a haze of Netflix and UberEats, get yourself out and about. Here are five happenings to tempt you away from the couch.
CHINATOWN NIGHT MARKET
Every Friday evening, Chinatown's Dixon Street turns into a buzzing night market filled with street food stalls, knick-knacks and clothing. Take yourself on a culinary odyssey through Asia, sampling yum cha from China, deep-fried seafood balls from Japan and roti canai from Malaysia, before finishing up with a sweet hit — be it piping hot, custard-filled Emperor's Puffs or salty-sweet dragon's beard candy. While you're in Chinatown, look out for local street art too, including Lindy Lee's The Cloud Gate on Thomas Street and Jason Wing's In Between Two Worlds spanning Factory Street, Hay Street and Kimber Lane.
For three glorious weeks from Friday, May 25, Sydney marks the coming of winter with Vivid, an annual festival dedicated to light, music and ideas. Travel into the city between 6–11pm any night of the week to immerse yourself in dramatic illuminations throughout The Rocks, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kings Cross, Darling Harbour, Chatswood and, for the first time in 2018, Luna Park — where you'll be able to project your own emoji face over the Luna Park face from Samsung's Galaxy S9 installation near the Opera House. Leading the program is a depiction of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie journeying through the Australian bush at Customs House and Aqueous, which has just recently been spotted at Burning Man. Other highlights include The Bloom, a giant flower with mirrored petals in the Botanic Gardens that features your face at its centre, and Phantasos, which will turn Luna Park's Ferris wheel into a stunning spectacle you can ride.
Camera Tip: A longer exposure will capture the light at night and create a dynamic motion effect. Adjust your settings by swiping your S9 into Pro Mode. Lower the ISO, increase the shutter speed and keep very still as you take your shot.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY MARKET
Hankering for a visit to Europe this year, but don't have the cash? Skip the plane trip and head along to The Rocks' French-inspired Christmas in July Markets, set to coincide with Circular Quay's Bastille Festival. To make it feel as authentic as possible, twelve wooden chalets will be shipped in from France, taking over Argyle Street for four days and nights. From Thursday, July 12 until Sunday, July 15, these little shacks will hold vendors serving up heart-warming snacks, mulled wine and Christmasy creations. Though the markets will open at 11am each day, it isn't until sundown that things will really get magical — cameras at the ready. With the obvious absence of snow, the markets will get European with a blanket of fairy lights and a soundtrack of English and French Christmas carols.
NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE
Winter is the ideal time to hone some creative skills, and this course lets you do just that — especially if you've just upped your smartphone game with a new Samsung Galaxy S9. Join photographer Andrew Thomasson for a three-hour session, shooting Sydney's outdoors by evening. He'll teach you how to control the ISO, aperture and white balance settings and help you with mastering composition and balancing ambient light — all while you look out at the bright lights of Vivid. Thomasson has been running photography classes around Sydney for over 35 years, so you know you'll be in capable hands. His classes also involve a stop off at the pub, so you'll be able to swap shooting in low light tips with fellow students (or show off how your Galaxy S9 helps you already master low light). Book your spot over here.
TUNES AND TINNIES AT SILY
On Thursday nights, skip peak hour by going straight to SILY (Since I Left You). This music loving bar sits right in the heart of the CBD — tucked away at 338 Kent Street — and doesn't let up, regardless of how cold the weather gets. Grab a table in the courtyard from 6.30pm to check out a bunch of local artists performing live, followed by DJs. Keeping you well hydrated are tinnies at just six bucks a pop and classic cocktails at $12 — plus you'll be well-fed with their waffle and toastie menu featuring the 'waffalafel' and a cheeseburger toastie. Things can get busy, so it's a good idea to book your spot, especially if you're travelling with a crew.
Instead of spending your winter nights on the couch, discover all the after-dark happenings in your city here — and don't forget to document it all on the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, designed especially for low light so you can capture your best moments no matter what.