Photography, Review

Acting Like a Tourist with a D5100

As I said earlier I wanted to go out this weekend and try the Nikon D5100 and see what it was like.  One place I’ve been wanting to photograph for some time was the State Library of Victoria.  So my daughter and I went into the city, I went to take photos and she tagged along so she could shop.  All the photos have been taken with the 5100 and then processed.  They were opened in camera raw and a few things adjusted, but nothing else.

State Library of VictoriaThis is a sculpture on the corner in front of the State Library, and you can see the library in the background.  It is the building with all the columns.  It is an amazing building.  First built in 1856, I think, and when it was first built it also housed the Museum and the Art Gallery.  All three were there until the 60’s when the art gallery moved down the road, and the musuem moved, I don’t know exactly when, but in the last 20 years.

State Library EntranceThis is the main entrance.  I worked here about 22 years ago and when I did there was a revolving door in front.  It was taken out because, apparently, it was too dangerous.  It was great, I loved the revolving door.

This image was hard to get, people kept walking up to see what time the library opened.  In the end I had to make the image out of two to get it with no people.  So more processing was done with this image, but not much more.

The inside is great as well.  It has been extended and extended.  The domed reading was built in the 1930’s and was based on a domed reading room in a London library, I believe.  It was further extended in the 1960’s, then when the museum vacated to new premises, more extensions were made and major refurbishment of what was left.  It is hard to believe that it is the same place that I worked in, so different now.

I would really like to go and get some photos inside it with no people in there, but I will have to see if they will let me.  I would love some geometric style images of the domed reading room.  I suppose I should ask.

We didn’t go inside, as I didn’t want to have to check in my bag, Klara just wanted to go shopping.  We headed over the road to Melbourne Central.  We went into an entrance that we don’t normally use and we saw this.

Library on the SideWe almost walked past this, it is a “Little Library”.  It is in a space on the side and you can just walk straight into it.  I don’t know if you can read the instructions on the window.  It says:

We believe reading should be for all to enjoy, so please feel free to borrow a book.

However, we ask that you adhere to our honesty system and replace another title in its place, so everyone can continue to enjoy our Little Library.

How cute is that.  I also took this.

From the Little LibraryThis is there in case you missed what was written on the glass, we did, missed it that is.  Klara loves books and she thought it was fantastic, she is the one in it.

Back to the Nikon, at one stage my daughter said to me, “mum you look like a tourist”.  A fair statement, then I realised that this particular camera is perfect for that type of photographer.  It has the capabilities to change the settings and you can have some control, no control or a little control, but as a camera for travelling it was perfect.

I know the other day I said it was heavier than the Canons I borrowed, but carrying it around today was no trouble at all.  It was easy to get in and out of the small camera bag I have, and the bag never seemed heavy.  I find when I am carrying my D300s around, it does get very heavy, but the D5100 was really good.

I did have a problem at one stage, I pressed something and it started doing some weird things.  It was trying to edit the photos for me, and it took a few minutes to work out what had happened and to change it back.  That was a problem with the photographer and not the camera.

I assume it will be going back soon.  It is nice have new toys to play with and try out.  I wonder if they will send me more.


  1. Two of my favourite pleasures combined, thanks. I remember the revolving door too, it was great.

  2. I love the idea of the Little Library! Great shots of the sculpture and entrance of tha library. I should check them out next I’m in Melbourne.

    • Thank you Wiwi, the sculpture is pretty cool. Yes, take a look at the library, it is an amazing building.

  3. Great shots, the buildings are gorgeous. And the little library is a dandy idea!

    • Thank you John, the little library is fantastic, Klara really wants to go back with a book so she can borrow one now.

  4. I’ve eyed some of the lighter cameras. The D200 gets a bit heavy packing it with lenses. My poor camera gets dragged all sorts of places, I worry about the lighter versions holding up. What were your thoughts on durability?

    • I have to admit, after carrying the D5100 around on a trip like that, I would be tempted to have one just for that kind of thing. The D300s can get heavy. I think you would have to be careful with it, but I don’t think it’s durability would be any less that a better camera, depends on how you treat it. Thanks

  5. I thought I knew melbourne well, but didn’t know about the Little Library! What a great idea — thanks for letting me know.

    • You probably do know it well Anne, I think it may be fairly new, and it is in a part that I am sure not many people see. Thanks

  6. How much did you have to pay, Leanne, to have your website etched on the column near the front entrance? Or was the library having a show of your work that you have yet to tell us about? :)

    • Duh, I see you’ve been hiding your watermark quite artfully for awhile now. Another example of the care and sensitivity you put into your photography.

      • I have been trying to, I was getting so many complaints about it being distracting, but since I starting doing this, I have had one. that has to be good.

  7. ladyjemini says

    I had no idea about the ‘Little Library’ that is a fantastic idea!

  8. The little library is a great idea. We have one in Trondheim (in Norway) too, but it seems to be hard to find a good housing.

    • I was really surprised with where this one is, pretty good real estate, who knows how long it will last, thanks.

    • What a lovely idea, maybe we should all do something once a week or month. I do love showing off my city. Thanks Marie.

  9. What a gorgeous library – and you worked here – lucky you! Too bad about the revolving doors – society has to protect us from ourselves these days – sometimes I wonder how we’ve survived this long :) I also love your watermark – intensely jealous that I didn’t think of it first! I am having the same problem with my new camera – it has many more features and buttons than my other one and I push buttons out of habit thinking it’s going to do one thing and it does another. Right now I’ve got a black box with the image info in my viewer right on top of the photo and I have to toggle out of it to view the image. Don’t know what I pushed to get it there, but I’ll figure it out. Times like these necessitate pulling out the manual :)

    • Your manual is your best friend Joylene, haha, :) it is frustrating, especially when you are out and don’t have the manual with you. :) It is an amazing library, I’m sure libraries in other countries are just as amazing, but this is ours. I really know what you mean by surviving, we are facing a new problem now, we have wrapped our kids up so much that they can’t cope in the world and are hurting themselves too much. You can do the same thing with the watermark, I don’t mind :), really. Thanks Joylene.

      • I agree – children are much too sheltered these days. Aside from the internet, I don’t think the world is any more dangerous than it has always been, it’s just that we are more aware of it now because of the internet, worldwide up to the minute news, etc. I have seen people sit in their vehicles at the end of their driveway with their children until the bus arrives. Gosh, we used to walk a long way to just GET to the school bus – by ourselves.
        Thanks for the permissions – I don’t know how that would work out on portrait photos, but I may just try it :)

    • I will take some inside soon Poet, I just coudn’t be bothered leaving my bag, I know, how lazy. I will do it soon for you. Thanks

  10. Sometimes, looking like a tourist is just part of the experience: being out there with a camera, seeing and capturing the sights, lost in our own visions. Blissful!

    • That is true Ed, it is definitely like that at times, I have to be careful sometimes, I forget everything around me. Thanks

    • Maybe you could start one Colline, my mum started one in the town she lives in, they started with about 10 books and now they have heaps. I have even contributed to it. I think you just need to find a place to keep it. Good luck.

  11. Sometimes I still bring my old D5000 due to it’s size. I’m really curious about the new small Sony with the “system camera”-lens. It would be great to get rid of much of the equipment :)

    • I haven’t heard of the Sony camera. I like the gear and I like the flexibility it gives me, but I don’t always carry it with me. I tend to work out what I will need and just take that. No point carrying a second camera if I don’t need to use it, but I can understand what you are saying. I wouldn’t mind a little compact that I could carrying in my handbag, I used to have one, then my daughter borrowed it, then it broke. :)

  12. I am a reader not a photographer but I follow your site because you are so good a describing the how of what you are doing. Focusing upon craft is a very productive way of addressing the bigger questions like “What is art and what is craft?” Your discussions don’t hide the fact that you are very much into consciously crafting your photos but at the same time the photos themselves are often very exciting both visually and emotionally. Thanks.

    • Thank you so much Bo, that is such a wonderful comment. I am speechless, I love to get comments like this, it means I am dong something right and should continue, thank you again.

  13. An incredible entrance to the library, especially the tile work. Too bad they didn’t keep the revolving door.

    When carrying the camera, at times, it’s hard not to look like a tourist. :)

  14. Beautiful pictures! I lived in Melbourne for 11 years, mostly Albert Park. My daughter, was born there in 97. She will be visiting her cousins this x-mas.

    • I am on the opposite side to Albert Park, but that is a lovely area. I love Melbourne, and I love exploring it with my camera. Thanks, I hope you daughter enjoys it.

  15. Wow Leanne what a great photographer you are ! Thanks for liking my post on my blog, I love the clarity of your pictures! I am sure you have a nice digital SLR camera a dream of mine. I look forward to reading more on your blog and plant to subscribe.

    • Isn’t it one of those things we are never happy with what we have? :) Thank you so much, and you are welcome.

      • Oh I love my little camera, it was a gift from a dear friend, I read over your blog more and can see though that you have and slr camera for sure. I do too, but it is a Pentax ME Super from about 1980. lol

  16. A really interesting post, Leanne. What a great place. And I love the Little Library, long may it continue. With that kind of ethos you can only wish it well. Thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks Corinne, I think we all hope it can continue, such a lovely idea. My daughter wants to use it. Melbourne has some great places, looking forward to showing you more.

    • Thanks Richard, the first has been quite popular. The little library is a great idea, let’s hope it can continue.

  17. The State Library is beautiful! Love the idea of the small library! Great photos.

  18. Love to see people acting like tourists! We are constantly doing the same and always manage to find beautiful people, places and things we never knew existed. Looking forward to reading more of your posts and checking out all of your photos. Cheers!

  19. petit4chocolatier says

    Great pictures! Love the main entrance. Don’t you love it when our own children tell us that we are acting like tourists!!

    • Thank you petit4chocolatier, one thing I have learned about children when they are your own, they never worry about how you will feel when they want to say something. Such honesty.

    • Thank you Veronica, it has been popular, that one.
      I only have a few days left, it has to go back on Friday. Have to see what else I can do with it.

  20. Like the other comments, it is a fantastic building and I too love the Little LIbrary. Missed that when I was there. I was in awe of that marvellous reading room and was looking forward to seeing what you would do when taking a photo of it. Maybe next time you visit??? Thanks so much for posting.

    • Yes, I will see if I can take some images next time. I would love to have a go at it. It is a great room, so much brighter now that what it was when I worked there. Thank you Forestwoodfolkart

    • Then you must come, there is lots to see, and Melbourne is very famous for it’s coffee, which is probably why I love living here. Thank you.

    • I haven’t been in there much since it was redeveloped, but I really want to take some images, so I will have to go for a visit. Thank you.

  21. Thanks, Leanne. My niece will be visiting me from abroad in January and she has asked if we can spend a few days in Melbourne photographing the architecture, so this had given me something lovely to add to our intinerary :)

    • Oh bluebee there are so many wonderful buildings and structures, a few days may not be enough, if you need any help with suggestions, just ask. I love the architecture in Melbourne, so diverse. Thank you.

      • Hi Leanne – we don’t have a lot of time, unfortunately and I also want to take her for a browse around the wonderful Melbourne museum, but would love to hear of any other architectural photo site suggestions for around the CBD that you might have – thx! :-D bb

      • There are some gems if you like to take photographs, I would suggest St Paul’s cathedral, just look for times that services are on, Nicholas building foyer, Block Arcade, Royal Arcade, Myer, the redev has made it amazing inside, and then to the shot tower in Melb central and then over to State Library. Though you could start at Fed Square and Flinders Street. I might do all that myself. Have fun.

  22. mapsalesdotcom says

    The Little Library idea is great. We would love to see this idea catch on.

    • I think it just needs people who want to see it happen, and somewhere to put it. It is a great idea though.

  23. phrenzel says

    really like this set of images and I’m excited to finally see I can subscribe. I just learned about this feature the other day. This will make my life much easier and I wont miss your great posts.

  24. The D5100 certainly did justice to a grand old building, Leanne! I’m very impressed (good glass, huh?), and the colors seem very true, since you say there was little in the way of processing.

    That ‘Little Library’ is a sweet idea…and it’s awfully nice of Klara to be your personal model for the afternoon!

    • The glass is mine, they only lent me the camera, not the lens, but it okay glass. I was happy with how they came out, I did do very little, it needed to be more about the possibilities of the camera rather than what I could do to it.
      It was very nice of Klara, though I am finding that she rather likes having her photo taken and after she saw the photos I took of her sister today, she came home and told me I had to take some of her now. Too funny. Thank you 1000

  25. Nicholas Merrynote says

    Amazing pictures…really, didn’t have time to read the rest, sry. Loved the title ! Check out our new materials, it will inspire you even more

    Kind regards,
    N.Merrynote – Founder of Coffeebooksong Studios

  26. I have the D5100 and love it so far. It’s my first ‘good’ camera since my Nikon FE back in the day. I still have lots to learn but that’s part of the fun right?

  27. Ellie Tam says

    nice shots! i like the sculpture in the 1st photo :)

  28. Great images – you’ve rally captured the library essence, and I love the information about the little library :)

  29. I’m such a nerd, I don’t know why but I thought the “little library” picture was really cool. Great photos!

      • Haha, I don’t know why it makes me a nerd. Although, I don’t consider being a “nerd” a bad thing. I love libraries and it is one of the parts of my house I spent the most time working on.

        You’re welcome!

  30. That’s wonderful system on sharing books… the library looks marvelous and it really nice that u worked sometime there.

    Wow… your new Nikon captured some remarkable shots! Congrats Leanne :)

    • Thank you Jeevan, it is a lovely way to share.
      It wasn’t actually mine, it has gone back to Nikon now, but it was fun to try out.

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