Crowding Christmas

Today I have the first set of photos I took the other night when I was in the city.  The first place we went to was the Bourke Street Mall.  It was, as most of the city was, very crowded.  The windows in front of Myer were packed with people.

Bourke Street MallI wanted to get the lights that were over the top of the Mall.  I should explain that our Malls are not like other countries, this is a street that was closed off to cars many years ago, and now it is for pedestrians and trams.  The middle is always clear, you really don’t want to go one on one with a tram, you will lose.

It had just gone dark, and as you can see from the clock on the Myer building it was about ten to nine.  I was hoping the lights would show more, or stick out more, but they didn’t really.  It was a little disappointing,  but hopefully you get the idea of what it looked like.  The rain made it better, I have to admit that.  It made the ground very reflective which is nice.

I have processed this image in a much similar way to how I did the image of the window in the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.  I quite like the painterly effect it gives.  I actually like it quite a bit.  It did start as a 3 image HDR processed with Photomatix Pro and then additional processing done from there.

Bourke Street Mall with some FrostingWith this one, I have just added some frosting to it.  It is nice to see them both and compare whether the frosting works or not.  I am not so sure with this one.

I was up late last night to see if I could get some photos of our tree.  I tried a few things, but I really wasn’t happy.  The lights we have on it are not great.  I do have a couple though.

Christmas Ball and CandleThis is one of the glass Christmas balls we bought the first Christmas we had when our first daughter was born.  We were living in Denmark and we bought a lot of decorations from there.  Of course, we spent way too much money because we didn’t know where to buy things and ended up going to Georg Jensen where we spent a fortune.  Though we have lots of beautiful things that we will have forever.  The candle is in one of their gold candlesticks.

The Elf on the TreeI believe this guy and the others like him were all handmade.  They are so cute and so Christmassy.  I love them.  I have tried to find decorations which are as good and as nicely made here, but it is very hard.  Most of what we have seems to be junk.  Every now and then I find something I think is special and will buy it for the tree.

It is heating up here, the temperature is going to be 39 C or 102 F, perfect for Christmas shopping.  I am going to go into the city for you tomorrow and take some more photos.  Melbourne burning while enjoying Christmas.  Who knows what I am going to get.  At least I know I won’t need the tripod.

Richard Harrison found a video on YouTube of the lights on the town hall and I thought I would post it for you.


  1. Nice place for a walk, I think. I see T-shirts too, nicer still. Being from Canada, hard to get my head around Christmas and warmth.

  2. starberrylynn says

    I am IN LOVE with the little stars between all the lights! Looking at the pictures I feel like your sharing this ‘downtown-wonderland’ feeling. Thank you!

    • What a lovely thing to say, thank you so much starberrylynn, that is one of the things I love about blogging.

  3. It’s odd to hear you remark that it’s about 2100 and the sun has just gone down – but you’re upside down on the globe. We see a lot of sun here in Los Angeles but it will be quite some time before it will still be around at that late hour

    I liked your shots of the mall Leanne but it was the Christmas Tree Ball that really got my attention. There just seems to be nothing about it that isn’t right (is that enough positive negative phrasing or what?). Including your ‘frosting’.

    I have a question about that. To me it appears to be a white vignetting. But I suppose it could also be a screen overlay with the center portion painted out. Would you mind exposing the process?

    • Yes, we are upside down, haha, when you are seeing all that sun there we won’t have much anymore.

      Thank you so much, I just had a go with the ball, wasn’t really sure about it.

      I used the gradient tool to do the vignetting Richard, I had it a low opacity, and built it up. I hope that helps to expose it.

  4. Just stopped in to say thanks for the ‘Like,’ then found myself scrolling further and further into older posts because I couldn’t get enough of your pictures. Beautiful blog, and the photos are just wonderful!

    My favorites were the Tiffany window further down and the Christmas ball above. I don’t know enough about photography to explain what about your style I like so much, but suffice it to say your photos do to my eyes what my favorite, most decadent dessert does to my mouth!

    • Thank you so much Lauren, glad I liked yours now. That is wonderful to hear.

      People keep telling me I have a style, don’t know myself, it is a strange thing, I just do stuff that I like. That is so nice, that last part, I had to make my husband read it. Thanks again and have a Merry Christmas

  5. Christmas in Melbourne seems rowdier. Adelaide is incomparable to Melbourne and Sydney. Christmas here is quite quiet actually. I wish I could see more illumination here. We only had one big Christmas tree at Victoria Sq.

    • I will admit, I have been really surprised with Christmas in Melbourne this year, it has been wonderful, then again, move out of the city into the burbs and you wouldn’t know it was Christmas. Maybe it will be your city’s turn next year. Thanks

  6. These are cracking photographs, I take a lot of night time photos my self, and this has inspired me to try a shopping mall and some city centre Christmas lights, thanks :-)

  7. There are a few places that have pedestrian malls like yours, but I’ve seen more of them in Europe than the US. I wish we had more efficient public transport, like the trams…
    Love the shot of your own tree the best…I always wanted some of those candle holders – even if they were never lit. :)

    • Yes, we saw a massive one in Denmark when we were there. They are great, though you really have to watch out for the trams. Trams can be great.
      I love out candles, I remember a book I had as a child that had a Christmas tree with candles on it and I thought it was so amazing, so when we saw them in Denmark, well, we had to get some, absolutely had to. We lit them every now and then, but we are not sure about the tree. You are supposed to light them when you are giving out the presents, although the Danes light them, then hold hands around the tree and sing carols. Lovely.
      You have a wonderful Christmas my darling Marie, I look forward to hearing all about it.

  8. Beautiful photos! I love the baubles :) stunning!! You must prepare a set of Christmas Cards with them for next year, they are really excellent!! Xxx

      • They are really great. I am serious about the cards, they would look really amazing. Not sure if i’ll be allowed log in tomorrow :( Might be a bit busy!!

  9. Hey Leanne! Love the little guy on your Christmas tree! These are the ornaments that you will treasure for a lifetime! We got dumped on with lots of snow here yesterday and I had to shovel the entire day to keep up with it! As always, I love all the photographs that you post, and each and every one has me in awe! ~Val~

    • Thank you Val, you are right, they mean a lot to us, well me mainly. You got snow, how wonderful. I don’t know about the shoveling, but I would love to be playing in it. Merry Christmas Val.

  10. mkriegh says

    102 degrees? That is complete opposite of conditions where I live. I am trying to imagine Christmas, with all its snow and cold imagery, being a summer holiday. I will have to visit Austrailia some day…

    • You will have to visit one year mkriegh, come and have a barbie, a beer and some snags, while roasting in the sun, then you can go to the beach for dip. I might even chuck a prawn on the barbie as well. Haha. Thank you.

  11. Look at all your beautiful comments, Leanne. 107 on the last one! You beat me hands down!!! Now, the pictures – just stunning! I guess I need a tripod, but we don’t have too many lights here in the country. Some on our street – even at our house for the first time! I love the ornaments. The upside to just finding junkie ornaments is that you don’t spend a fortune on them. I loved the glass one from Denmark. Thanks for sharing. And most of all, thanks for being a friend!!! Marsha :)

    • Thank you Marsha, yes, I think you do need a tripod, or only if you want to take photos like these. We keep talking about putting lights up, but we never get around to it, plus our house is sort of hidden by trees, so no point really. That is true about the junkie ones, but it is so wonderful to have some that are so precious to us, whenever they are up it always reminds me of out first Christmas as a family.

      • That’s nice, Leanne. It must be almost Christmas there now. I hope you have a wonderful time, and PLEASE send us some of your sunshine!!! :) Much appreciated! Marsha :)

      • I will do my best Marsha, thank you again, it is almost that time, it is now almost 8pm, we just did our unwrapping one present thing, so bed soon and ready for tomorrow. Cool day predicted tomorrow, I hope so. Merry Christmas lovely lady and I will talk to you soon. :) :)

  12. Gorgeous & glowing! You inspire me to try diff. things.
    I love seeing Christmas lights in the CitY! thank you for visiting my space…

    • That is wonderful Tara, I hope you do.
      I love Christmas lights, and the city ones have been great this year. Thank you and you are very welcome.

  13. Those are beautiful Leanne! I must say I have always love bright, colorful lights, so Christmas is naturally a cool time to get some good pictures!. :D Have a merry Christmas ….

    • I couldn’t agree more with your Keli, I love the lights at Christmas. Thank you so much and you have a wonderful Christmas as well. :)

  14. saymber says

    Your post here reminded me that there is an ornament I need to make sure gets on our little tree this year. It’s a wooden ornament of a little angel with a bell. It was given to me by an elderly woman in the nursing home my great Grandma was in. I had stumbled into her room by accident and spent some time talking to her – she was very lonely. When I was going to leave she asked me to pick an ornament from her tiny tree. I try to make sure I put it on my tree every year in her honor. Even though I can’t remember her name I have never forgotten her kindness.

    • That is such a beautiful story, I love things like that. I hope it is on your tree now, and you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

  15. Thanks for sharing all your Melbourne at Christmas photos!
    I have been in Victoria nearly 11 years and have not made it to Melbourne during the season to see it adorned, however that will change next year when my family comes to visit and now I know there are lot’s of fantastic Christmas sights to enjoy around Melbourne.

    • Thank you Laura, yes, you must come and check out the Christmas spirit in Melbourne some time, it is wonderful. People just hang around. Your family will love it I am sure. Merry Christmas

  16. And excellent read from you. As usual. And I really enjoyed your photos. Streets at night are so much fun. (esp. this time of year)

  17. Really fine shots, Leanne…perhaps you might need some snowflakes over the frosting, because I really like it, yet there needs to be something more added!

    Loved Richard’s video…sat in awe at all the lighting/projection changes, and especially loved the ‘bouncing gift boxes’!

    Your ornament shots are terrific…love that little guy, but the spiral ball is exceptional! Yes, it should be your Christmas card, if not for this year, for 2013!

    Glad to see the night shots…haven’t gone out yet, but perhaps tomorrow evening! Nothing here as ‘phantasmagorical’ as what they did at the Town Hall, but lights are lovely, ANY lights!

    • I have no idea about the frosting effects, I just did it for a little bit of fun. I won’t lie, I haven’t done a lot with these images, it has been nice to play and not really worry about them. It has been rather relaxing.
      The video is pretty cool, it was great for him to find it. I didn’t even think of looking. I think a lot of people have really enjoyed it.
      Thanks about the ornaments, again, I just played, not really sure about it, but I was surprised at the response that I got from everyone, I thought they would all think it was boring.
      I haven’t been on your blog yet, I am behind a lot, I hope you had a chance to go out, I love night shots. The town hall was amazing, it is hard to think anything might beat it. Thank you so much my lovely and wonderful friend from Chicago, I really do want to wish you all the very best for Christmas. Merry Christmas.

      • I wish I could have sent you some snowflakes, but their .psd files, and I don’t know if they will attach in an e-mail…perhaps I’ll try later today?

        It’s been great seeing how Melboune-ites(?) have decorated, and those shots from your own tree were gorgeous! Have a lovely Christmas Day…as I guess it has already begun for you!

    • ooops couldn’t comment on last try-anyway.beautiful, thanks for posting this! And it actually kept the 2 year old I’m babysitting occupied for 7 minutes! Now that is a gift! (:

      • That is so funny, love it, there were lots of children there watching it. Thank you Deb, you have a Merry Christmas

  18. Australia is masters on fireworks … and it looks like you’re masters on Christmas displays too. Really enjoyed the video. That Town Hall .. Magnificent. That Danish Christmas tree ball is stunning … you have taken good care of it. Wonderful photo.
    Have forgotten to replay on your comments about the lights during Christmas in Danmark. Have forgotten it completely. Yes, there is something truly magical about Scandinavia during the winter … the lights in all windows.

    • I think it was just lucky this year Viveka, it is time we did something spectacular after the last few years. Yes, the ball is lovely, we have tried to make sure our kids didn’t go near them, though we have lost a few. Thank you so much Viveka, I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas, Merry Christmas.

  19. Wonderful colors! I’ve never tried using the gradient tool for vignetting. I mean I use it, but not usually that way – interesting! Thanks for your generosity with so many posts (that I’m behind reading) , information & warm thoughts.

  20. Pingback: Girls’ Getaway to Melbourne – Day 3 (Dog-watching, shopping and dumplings) « Food for Thought

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