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I’ve done this before, and I am always amazed at the results.  Mind you it doesn’t always work, but sometimes there can be enough light in the sky that you can get some amazing results.

My favourite time of the day to take photos is first thing in the morning, always has been.  You rarely have to worry about people being in the way and you can usually have the place to yourself.   I try and take someone with me so I don’t feel insecure, not that I worry about myself, but my equipment cost me a bit, and while it is insured, I don’t want to have to go through the hassle of replacing it.

Last week we headed to St Kilda Pier.  Probably one of the most photographed places in Melbourne.  LIke I said a few posts ago, sometimes you have to do the iconic images to help you grow as a photographer.  Trying to imitate the great photographers is a very good way to learn.  At Art School it was one of the things we were encouraged to do.  If you want to learn, copy from the best.  Luckily in photography you can’t be done for copyright if you take a photo of the same thing as a famous photo, or use the same techniques.  Unless, of course, the building or the thing you are photographing is copyrighted.

Before you go out you should find out if you need a permit to take photos.  There are places where it is necessary.  Like it or not, but it is true.  Apparently you can’t take photos in Circular Quay in Sydney unless you have a special permit.  I don’t know how they control that.  There would be so many tourists there taking photos, I can’t imagine they would all be told to put away their cameras.  I wonder whether you are not allowed to do things like use tripods.

In the city of Melbourne you are not allowed to use tripods, apparently, unless you are a member of camera club that has public liability insurance.  I have my own insurance, I need it for the cycling.

As far as I know there are no restrictions in St Kilda and you can go there and use a tripod.  Be careful using your tripod, someone could easily trip over it and you don’t want a law suit.  Take every precaution you can.  If it is a thoroughfare then keep to the very side of it.

Last Tuesday my friend and I went to St Kilda to take some photos.  I am helping her to learn how to take photos so she can take better photos when she goes overseas, and I get to see if I can teach someone.  Eventually I would like to take groups out to places to take photos and help others to learn.

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This is one of the first images that I took.  I like to put the camera on Manual and then use as long an exposure as is possible.  I close the aperture down as much as possible to create a large depth of field.

It was dark and by using the long exposure I can expose the sky as much as possible to capture the lights in the sky.  It was about 6.30 in the morning here, and it was dark.  The sun hasn’t been coming up until around 7.  I had a very limited amount of time to get my shots.

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This is a tighter exposure.  I had a go at taking this image years ago and got the most amazing photos.  I had hoped to repeat them.  I didn’t quite get it, things have changed since then, but the shots are still nice.  I think there was more lighting then than now.  Also, it was an overcast day all those years ago and it had been raining quite a bit, so perhaps the cloudy sky kept in more light.

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As you can see here the sun was starting to come up and it was a very clear day, though windy.  I hadn’t really changed the settings on the camera except for the shutter speed to compensate for the scene getting lighter.  I also changed the composition to take in the boat ramp.  The ramp takes the viewer into the image and onto the pier.

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Now it is getting too light.  I did try and underexpose the images, underexposing them means that not as much light would reach the sensors and it wouldn’t be too light.  It didn’t really work, and I had to admit that it was time to stop taking these photos.  The sky has got too light and doesn’t look as good.  I think the earlier shots were much better.

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Then the lights were turned out.  The image just got bland and I lost interest.  I tried to concentrate more on the boat ramp, though, I’m not sure it was as good.  It was time to go to breakfast.  I will have to go back at some time and do it all again and try some different things. I would like to experiment more with the bulb setting on the camera.

It is good to take an image more than once, and wait for different lighting, you never know which image will turn out to be the best one.  I’m not sure which one I like the best, perhaps the third one.  Which is yours?

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