Architecture, Art, Melbourne, Photography

Reflections on a Building

The other day when I was in the city we strolled past the Manchester Unity Building and it had the most amazing reflections on it.

LeanneColesccity-3hpm2120The building is already a orange sort of colour, terracotta, I think and with these reflections it looked like the building was gold.  I didn’t get very good images, but it would be good to go back to see if it happens everyday.  If it does, I would like to be more prepared and get better images of it.


This was taken from across the corner.  You can see the reflections a lot more, I wonder if it is the sun on Eureka Tower, that is what it looks like to me.  It probably changes throughout the year.

I am going to leave it there today, I have to head into the city, so time is limited.


  1. Did you put the two eyeballs in the clouds on the upper left on the last photo? It looks like an animal’s face.

  2. Hanno Phenn says

    You are right it looks like Gold.

  3. Wonderful structure. The second image is particularly striking: love the contrast of the sky and the building. Nice.

  4. My first thought was a leopard never changes it’s spots! The first one the reflections reminded me of leopard print – some sleep deprivation here this week might explain this random thought ;)

    • I really did laugh out loud when I read this, yes a random thought, but I love it. Thank you.

    • It helps with you walk you around with your head sticking up, though I do always look at that building, can’t help it. Thank you Mark

  5. Stunning gothic building! Hope you’re efforts capturing the light reflection goes well. The second photo is very nice. Would it help to take a picture during the so-called “golden hour”?

    • No, I don’t think it would, I think it was like that, because I suspect another building was reflecting on it, I will have to take a trip in to see. Though I better be quick, the sun is moving into its winter pattern, so it might go away. It is a stunning building, thank you.

  6. You just have to be in the right place at the right time, pay attention, and have your camera handy! And you did – nice images, Leanne. I often notice interesting plays of light when I visit the city, but I rarely have a camera to hand (although I now carry around a smartphone, so I guess I have got a camera…) Next time!

    • yes, the phone, smartphones are great that way, I often get caught out without my camera, so it is good to have the phone.
      I did have my camera when I saw the reflection on the building and I had to photograph it, but as I was taking I started get the full signal on my camera, my memory card was full, so I had to quickly delete some images, it was so stressful.
      Ahh, next time.

    • Thanks Nora, it is a great building, and when I saw those reflections, well, I had to take the photo.

  7. cool building – how lucky you are to live near enough to see it in changing light conditions. I bet it’s amazing with thunder storms in the background!

    • It is in the city and I can take trips in and check it out on a regular basis. I don’t know about thunder storms, might have to try and it see. Thank you.

  8. Beautiful capture…
    I saw in our paper this morning that Boston and Melbourne are going to do some joint tourism thing…get ready for See Boston! posters in your city, and we’ll have See Melbourne! around here :)

    • Haha, that should be interesting, I will keep an eye out, I’ll take photos of them if I seeany.
      Thanks Marie.

  9. It looks awesome. I’m from the west of Melbourne and if we travel into the city on certain afternoon/evenings we see the sunset reflected on the Rialto. It’s another one that looks like it’s made of gold!

    • Oh I want to see that, do you know if it only happens at certain times of the year, or at certain times of the day?
      I think, I suspect that what was happening with the Manchester Unity Building was the sun was shining on the Eureka Building, and the gold bit was reflecting onto the Manchester Unity Building. It was in the afternoon. Though the sun would have been low. Thanks

      • Not sure about the season but definitely late afternoon as the sun gets close to the horizon.

      • That would make sense, might have to find a place to photograph it one evening at sunset. You going to join me?

      • Am trying to think of exactly where we see it and how far away from the city we were. I’m thinking somewhere near the west gate bridge-somewhere a bit higher. One of those really orange sunsets would be best I reckon. Can we predict something like that?

      • I agree, about the place, I will have to get onto google earth and look. I am wondering if we were just across the river at Southbank if that would work.
        We sort of can, we know that you are more likely to get a sunset if the next day is going to be fine, in summer when it is going to be really hot the next day you will get a good one, so maybe we need to wait for summer.

      • Summer means later sunsets and more chance of being kid free! If I see it again before then ill take note of all the conditions and let you know :)

      • Well let’s put it in our diaries or whatnot, to do it in summer, and in the meantime we can both check out places that we think would be good for it.

  10. Much of the contemporary architecture in Melbourne is, in my view, ugly and cold. This heritage building, however, is quite magnificent. And you’ve captured its essence…

    • I hope you aren’t apologising for your view here, I think it is shared by many people. I think most of the buildings built since the 60’s are square boxes, or rectangle boxes and not much thought was giving to how they would fit in with what had gone up before them. Especially in a city like Melbourne that has so many beautiful Victorian buildings. Manchester Unity building is a thing of beauty. Thank you Russell.

    • Thanks Paul, it is offices. A big Dental practice operates on 3 floors and the other 9 are smaller offices, jewellers, other dentists, I have seen a place to learn how to make coffee there. So it is all privately run businesses, which is why people are not to just go and wander around in it.

  11. such a stately building, the second shot brings out the orange…great photos as always!

    • Thank you Heather, I think the thing that makes it so good, is that it really is different from most of the buildings in Melbourne, I can’t think of another one that is that big. Good design.

  12. Truly fine captures, Leanne…please keep track of the date and time, so you can catch it again next year. These fantastic moments are ever so fleeting!

    • I think if I can back in the next few days I might be able to see it, I pretty much know what time it was. I do want to see if I can get it again, and with my tripod, though not sure about being able to get back into the city. We will see, but I will take a note of the date and time. Thanks 1000

      • Yes, there is a time on the Nikon, so can check it out that way. I just transfer, I don’t use any software from Nikon, didn’t even know they had any. haha.

      • I use the Nikon Transfer as it’s less stressful on the card and offers more options, such as, if you’ve forgotten to clear the card, it won’t place those images into a new folder–it knows they’re already somewhere else. I guess it’s just easier for me to keep track of things that way, especially when I’m doing a ‘chronicle-type thing’.

      • I have always used a memory card reader, and so far, it has been great I haven’t had any problems. Still using the memory cards I go 3 and half years ago. I am very careful about using them, ejecting it from the computer, making sure the camera is turned off that sort of thing. I am okay with what I am doing. I haven’t heard of Nikon Transfer.

      • I installed it from the CD that came with the camera, and it’s kind of a blessing, in a way, as I don’t have to ‘fiddle’ with opening the camera, taking out the card, etc…these older fingers sometimes don’t like little things!

      • I didn’t get a cd, at least I am pretty sure I didn’t. I think with my camera there is an assumption that you will do what you do and that is that. Fingers can be a problem, that was some of the issues I had with the Canon cameras.

  13. Amazing the differences between the two shots – it could be another building entirely at a quick glance.

    • Yes, one taken side on, the other diagonally, I like the side on one more, I think the reflections work better, thought the HDR didn’t work well. Thank you.

  14. Very nice – we’re getting a lot of dappled light at the moment – makes for very interesting shots. Love yours.

  15. Beautiful photos ….of course….and the dapped sunlight is just amazing. I love the effect on the stone and on the glass.

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