I awake with a start on a cold and dark winters’ morning, fully aware that it’s a Saturday and normally I’d be sleeping in. Not so today, as my alarm makes the deafening sound of 5:30am, I stumble out of bed, weary, yet excited for the morning ahead. Today I’m watching the sunrise from the Sydney Tower as part of Nikon School’s Cityscape Masterclass. If you haven’t heard of Nikon School, it’s a range of hands on photography classes that help to improve your skill, no matter what level you’re at. It just so happens that today is also World Photo Day, and I can’t help but think how fitting that is. I arrive at our meeting point at 6:45am, where I am instructed to go ‘get changed’. It is then that I realise that maybe I should have read the details, because I’m not really sure what I signed up for. Nevertheless, I change into the blue jumpsuit and follow the group with camera in hand. At this point we’re also handed harnesses and I start to wonder whether I need to alert someone to the fact that I’m petrified of heights. I announce this to the group in a joking manner, hoping to laugh off the nerves and push aside the mild feelings of terror that are starting to infiltrate my body. Taking a spot behind the others, harnesses attached to the railing, we begin to ascend. Straight away I’m completely distracted by the sight of the sun rising over Sydney Harbour, allowing me to forget about my nerves and take in the view. Each member of the group positions themselves and shutters start clicking away as the instructor explains the key components to taking a good photo. He examines my pictures and offers some advice, instantly taking my mediocre pics to a whole new level. The sun continues to rise as we follow the ramp, a single file of budding photographers who happen to be scaling Sydney Tower. Every time the wind picks up I am momentarily paralysed, imagining that the building is moving and mildly suffocating under my fear of heights. I’m grateful for my camera as it provides a welcomed distraction – If I focus on that then I’m not focusing on exactly how far up we are. My camera reminds me that I’m here to take photos and to learn about photography (whilst watching the sunrise over the entire city. If ever there was a better way to start a Saturday, then I really can’t think of what that is. Nikon School’s Cityscape Masterclass is a unique way to learn about photography (and maybe even conquer a fear of heights). To find out more about the next class head to


*All images taken with Nikon’s D3400 camera.


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