If you happen to be in Sydney in the next week or so, Sydney’s Vivid light and colour festival is one of those sights worth checking out, and if you’re keen to learn about cameras, Canon is there, too.

Sometimes it’s nice to have an expert around to help you do things. Take being in the kitchen, because you can switch onto a YouTube video and watch a chef make something while you just follow along.

Music is much the same way, and the videos are a great way to teach someone how to do something practical, like strum an instrument or play a chord.

But advancing photographic skills is one of those things that videos can rarely teach, and sometimes you just need real people there helping you. This journalist has a background in photography, and he can tell you real life demonstration and instruction in how composition and lighting works is always going to help, especially if you’re struggling to get out of the auto mode on your camera.

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Fortunately, teachers are about, and they seem to even be there in Sydney during the city’s Vivid festival, with lights and colours on the buildings.

In fact, Canon has setup a small base of operating in Museum of Contemporary Art at The Rocks, and we were delighted to see some positive inclusions there for the event.

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While it’s quite clear Canon’s presence is one of sponsorship — so yes, it is trying to sell you something — the company has brought in cameras and experts to teach photography to any eager amateur and enthusiast (and even a pro or two) keen to refresh skills and see how the pros do it.

Studio workshops are a highlight, in fact, with brand ambassadors Ryan Schemer, Daniel Linnet, and Graham Monro teaching a variety of sessions for free, explaining the use of light and form, and possibly helping beginners learn a new skill or two.

An image shot by the writer during a walking tour.

An image shot by the writer during a walking tour.

More interestingly — and perhaps fitting for the Sydney Vivid show itself — are walking tours organised by Canon, with a cost of $49 allowing someone a tour of the festival as well as a Canon 80D with lens, SD card, and a print at the end.

Or if perhaps you’re keen to see the city from the top while the lights are on, Canon has come together with a helicopter tour company and attached its flagship EOS 1DX Mark II with a gyroscopic stabilisation system to an open-door helicopter to let someone go up in the air and grab shots of the city at night for half an hour.

At $449, this one is a little expensive, but very cool if you’re into capturing the city and Vivid from a view few will get to experience.

And yes, it’s pretty clear that the entire thing is a sales exercise to sell a camera or a printer, with loan rentals basically acting as a teaser for people a little curious to see what life would be like with a new camera, but with a light show as good as Vivid is this year, it’s a sales pitch worth walking into, especially if you come out with a new skill or two, and an appreciation for low light photography.

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Vivid Sydney and Canon’s Vivid HQ ends on June 18.