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Man sitting in Sheraton club
@demas, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
Our Community

Through the Lens: Sydney

Our Through the Lens interviews offer a never-before-seen view of our favorite communities. This time, we look Through the Lens with Demas Rusli as he captures unique views from unusual angles in Sydney.

Demas Rusli has lived in Sydney since he was seven years old, and his passion for the city and its surrounding community runs deep. An architect as well as a photographer, Demas photographs Sydney’s stunning buildings in new and compelling ways, highlighting unusual angles and drawing out subtle patterns.

Demas recently worked with Sheraton, shooting the hotel’s new look, and shared his thoughts on Sydney, photography and how his lens changes the way he engages with Sydney’s vibrant community.

View of Hyde Park from Hotel
@demas, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

What did you think of the new renovation of the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park?

When you walk into the lobby, it’s very grand and symmetrical — you’re greeted by this long staircase and the geometric design is just beautiful. Something else that really surprised me was the rooftop. The hotel sits one block away from the Centrepoint Tower [also known as Sydney Tower], and up there I saw it from an angle I’d never seen it before. You don’t get that view very often, but from the rooftop deck you just look up and you can see the tower right above you. It’s very cool. Plus, there’s a swimming pool up there!

View of Centrepoint Tower from hotel
@demas, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
Woman standing by indoor pool
@demas, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

What are your top picks for Sydney’s photographic highlights?

The Sheraton hotel is right in the heart of the Sydney Central Business District, and there are many photography hotspots I like to shoot nearby — not just the Opera House, but Darling Harbour and Chinatown, too. I like shooting Sydney because there are always new things popping up everywhere, and even with old things that I’ve shot before, there’s always a new angle.

Did your relationship with Sydney’s diverse community change when you started looking at it from behind the camera?

As soon as I picked up the camera, I started seeing the city in a different way. Studying architecture helps, too, because you start to pay attention to how the city’s been built and you really notice how one street links to another; you get to know it a lot better. When you travel you start to see a lot more — not just the main touristy spots but the places in-between, the little alleyways. You start to explore differently when you carry a camera.

Woman walking up grand staircase
@demas, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

What are your favorite unusual places in the city?

There are some really cool old and well-preserved train stations. The station right across from the Sheraton is actually one of my favorites; it’s called St. James. Inside there are abandoned tunnels that used to be army bunkers. There are tours that go in so people can experience it for themselves.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Sydney?

The community! I run a night photography community with my friend (@gareth.hayman) called Global Night Squad (@globalnightsquad) where we host night photography events, walks and workshops around Sydney and other cities too. Our Sydney events have had over 300 people attending and the number just keeps growing and growing. It’s so inspiring to see the community come to these events, to meet and make friends with each other and to end up creating art together in and around Sydney.

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Associate opening hotel entrance door