Architecture, Melbourne, Photography, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – State Library and Over the Road

Last weekend I showed you some images of the National Gallery of Victoria and the Fed Square.  On the same rainy horrible day we also went to the State Library.

leannecole-sccity-2570I worked at the state library many years ago.  I worked here when the Museum was still in the same complex and none of the renovations had happened.  I haven’t really been there since all the work was done, but since the weather wasn’t good we decided to go in and take a look.

It is a lot lighter than it used to be.  the glass never used to be in the ceiling, but they decided to put it in as the original designs had glass in it.  I am told it is based on the domed reading room of a library in London.

leannecole-sccity-2604A marble staircase that linked the front part of the library to the part that has the domed reading room.  The marble stairs had worn steps, you could see where people had been walking on them for a long time.

The Library has had many additions since it was first built, when it housed the National Gallery of Victoria and the Museum of Victoria.  I am sure there are many sites that can give you the history of it.

I was very happy to find out that photography is allowed, though no flash, which of course makes perfect sense.

leannecole-sccity-2565When I worked there this was the reference room.  All the catalogues were in here and that post in the middle is holding up the floor in the domed reading room.

I also have some photos of Melbourne Central.  Photos of things I have taken before, but decided while there, why not do some more.  I also had fun with angles.  Here are more photos from the library and Melbourne Central.

My mess was sorted out, I took photos this morning of the couple I was meant to, and this time I got the right day.  That always helps.  Two people I had lined up to take photos have had to postpone, but that is okay and it worked out well.  Another photo shoot tomorrow, I am excited about that one.  We are going to have a lot of fun, and I get to go to Trentham to take them, even better.

I also want to remind you to keep checking the Facebook and Google+ pages as I am posting photos from the shoots onto those rather than here, well I will put them here, but not as quickly.


    • Thank you, I am so glad I finally went, and I was really happy with the images.
      That is a lovely thing to say, thank you.

  1. Sonel says

    Stunning shots Leanne and I love the green little lights in the library. What a gorgeous place! I would sit there for hours for sure. Thanks for sharing hon. :D *hugs*

    • How cool is that room? It is probably one of the best rooms in Melbourne and I suspect most of the furnishing are all original.
      Thank you Sonel.

      • Sonel says

        Absolutely way cool Leanne and I bet it is. It sure looks like it hon and you’ve captured it so well. :D

  2. Such beautiful shots! I especially like the top one, with the leading lines and the high ceilings.

    • It is such an amazing room, I always think that, thank you Barbara, it is a very high ceiling.

  3. Gorgeous library images, Leanne! I’d have a really hard time concentrating on sitting and reading, what with all the spectacular architectural detail! It’s reall good of them to renovate, and keep all this history in people’s faces, so they don’t forget what truly makes Australia a unique nation!

    • I think I would have a hard time studying because of the noise, the acoustics are very good in there. You can hear everything. We aren’t really a unique nation, well nothing us Anglo Saxons have brought to it is, it has all come from English models. They say Melbourne is like the most city like London out of the UK. They really hung onto Mother England here.

      • Yes, but Australians are a bit more ‘free-thinking’ and daring…not as stiff as the Brits, from what I’ve found over the years. Perhaps it’s because so many were sent to the penal colonies, and developed a more defiant (if that’s the right word?) way to live their lives?

      • That could be true, we don’t take any crap, well most of the time. I like your reasons for that.

      • I think that is a very good thing to do, our country is the opposite, we learn so much about other countries that we don’t know enough about our own. You can never stop learning. that is what I think.

      • I’ve read that American history books have been being rewritten here, and the emphasis is more on celebrities than historical figures! One example: a half-page on George Washington, one of our nation’s founding fathers and the first President vs. SIX pages on Marilyn Monroe, the movie star who’s been dead for 42 years! Aaaargh!

      • That would be so ridiculous, what are they thinking, no one will remember who she was in a hundred years, she wasn’t anyone really important just some sexy woman in movies. Too weird.

      • Truly weird…I think the schools are really ‘dumbing down’ the kids to make them less aware and more passive. It’s a ‘control freak’ thing.

      • It isn’t good to have an educated population as they figure out what the politicians are doing, or so I’ve heard, haha.

  4. markharwoodwriter says

    Geez, and I thought Portland’s Central Library was pretty….

    • I am sure it is, this library was built over 100 years ago and was built to impress, as many of our public buildings were. Built to let the rest of the world know, we weren’t a backward country, so when they visited and went back, they would tell people. It is gorgeous though, very impressive.

      • markharwoodwriter says

        It certainly is impressive! I was going to write “and just in a photography – I can’t imagine the place in person,” but that’s not fair to your craft. I know that a well-aimed camera can make all the difference. Do you find that you have a…philosophy, I suppose, of photographing architecture?

      • That is an interesting question, the woman I was with when I went here was saying she takes lots of the little things, whereas she watches me and I am taking the whole thing. We are very different in our image taking. I know when I go somewhere like the library, I know that I want images for the blog and that I want to show you the building and what a great place to photograph it is. Though, other places I go to with the idea that I want to do a lot more to them. So I plan the time, and work out what is the best time to be there. Then I will spend a lot of time on them in photoshop. So I do have a philosophy, but it always begins with, “why am I taking this image, and what do I want it to convey”, I hope that answers your question.

      • markharwoodwriter says

        That definitely answers my question – thank you! For me, I too often see a picture and think something simple – pretty, odd, etc. – but I don’t always consider that this is only a portion of something much larger that was selected for me by the photographer. Thank you for the insights :)

  5. A very impressive library. The timepiece in Melbourne Central, I want that too. :)

    Beautiful set.

    • Hahaha, that time piece is so big, you would need a big room for it. Amazes me all the people who stand around every hour for the clock to do it’s thing, our children loved it when they were very little.
      The library is gorgeous, thank you David.

  6. Oh my goodness! These photos are stunning! I am in love with the shot showing the lamps with the green class shades. Amazing!

  7. Wonderful images! I wouldn’t have thought you could shoot in the library? Did you have to get a permit, or did you just shoot?

    • Thank you. Yes, you can, I wasn’t surprised, but I did ask first and was told yes, but no flash. So no permit required which is fantastic.

  8. I love your first shot of the reading room. I’m trying to think what library in London it’s based on! I’ll have to have a hunt to find out :)

    • I am sure there is a domed reading room there somewhere. I think the one in London is bigger though. You will have to work it out Nancy and take photos for comparison. :)

  9. Beautiful photos, as always. And what a beautiful location. I am afraid that my law school, while excellent and attractive in some small parts, was much more utilitarian..

    • Thank you, and I think you will find that many of our libraries are the same, this is the big one for the city, so really built to impress.

  10. What a gorgeous library. I haven’t seen anything like that in our area. It reminds me of the Indianapolis Public Library, only much more beautiful. I was noticing how nice your sidebar looks. I’m trying new things on mine. I seem to have hit a plateau, as far as visitors are concerned. Yesterday I worked to create sidebar buttons for other websites that I have created for different purposes, including photography. I love your Buy Post Cards button. What a great idea, and you post cards are lovely. Have a great week, Leanne. :)

    • We love our library. My sidebar is getting very busy haha. Sidebar buttons are great to do and makes the sidebar look better. Yes the postcards were an interesting idea, but not a successful idea, I have sold about 4, I don’t think I will do any more.
      Visitors, yes, mine have dropped off a bit, but I suspect it is because I haven’t been as attentive. My new work is really taking up a lot of time,and I am trying to work on so much new stuff, that I haven’t had time for the blog as I did. :)

  11. What a beautiful library! I would just love to see those steps and go up and down abut hopefully not fall cuz it would hurt like all get out…. LOL… Hope you are doing well. I’ve been so busy with my mom lately that I really haven’t had much time to get online. I will say that I’m really liking your people shots (LOL) a lot more than I thought I would. At first I was honestly worried, not about your talent, but that i just like your “location” shots and how amazing you make them look, but you are rocking those portraits Leanne. Wish you lived closer cuz I’d love tag along to watch.. LOL

    • It is a pretty amazing library, but of course it is ours, so I do think so. I am doing well, thanks, I hope you are doing well, sounds like you are busy with your mum. I am loving the people shots, and really love how they are coming out. I still have things to work out, but we are getting there. The shoots are a lot of fun, and so far everyone I have shot said that they really had a great time, so that is wonderful. I do love hearing that. It would be great if you could come, imagine the fun we would have. LOL

      • That is so good to hear, book covers is interesting, I just want to get a handle on them first and then see where I go. I might enter some comps with them.

      • I can see you are getting better and better… making it seem efforless which I’m sure it’s not! :D

      • No not effortless, they require a lot more thought, which is good, but I do enjoy that aspect. I have some comps that I am going to try entering some, I will definitely be entering one that I did on the weekend, did you see it on facebook? The one about Alice.

  12. That marble staircase is gorgeous … I always love the indentations from years and time

    • That is just one side of it, it is mirrored on the other side as well, quite stunning. The indentations are just so wonderful.

  13. It looks very impressive! Though, I must admit that I don’t think the green lights work well with the smooth earth tones of the rest of the room…

    That pocket watch is awesome. I don’t think it would fit in my pocket though. :D

    • The green lights are very traditional for libraries, I don’t know why, but old libraries and studies always had green lamp shades like those. They are the original ones that the library was built with.
      That pocket watch is huge, it is a bit of a feature there.

    • It is quite large, though I don’t know how big libraries are in other places. It was great to see it full of people.
      I love the architecture as well, and thank you. :)

  14. It certainly looks the sort of place that one would want to spend time in Leanne thank heavens for renovations like this . All that natural light flooding in now down through the windows up there . Love the green bankers type lights and captains chairs . Great photos !
    btw I’m catching up. No reply needed.

    • Of course I can reply, I have worked out a much easier way to do this, so I don’t find it too hard anymore. It has been working for the last few months.
      I have to agree about the renovations, they did a great job. I just wonder how it goes in summer. Thank you.

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