Architecture, Melbourne, Photography, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – Taking the Colour Out of the Ordinary

Yesterday my daughter had to go into the city to pick up a text book for her first class on Monday at Uni.  She wanted me to come, which meant I would want to take photos.  I have taken photos in the city so many times over the last few years and I never get tired of it.  I thought that I would take them this time of nothing specific, but just the city doing what the city does, so to speak.

I wandered around the streets, watching what was going on and took photos of it.  I knew before I went into the city that I was going to make all the photos B&W, so that was an interesting thing for me.  I had to think about what I thought would make great B&W images.

LeanneCole-city-20140228-0253It was interesting photographing the mundane, in some ways.  The things that we see every day as we walk around the city.  I did add some architecture as well, and tried some things.

LeanneCole-city-20140228-0259Initially I started with the 50mm lens.  I know so many people love the 50mm, but it just isn’t wide enough for me, and I can’t fit enough into the frame.  I think I should have opted for the 35mm.  I have a friend who has that one and it is her favourite.

LeanneCole-city-20140228-0276I never tire of how much you can fit into the frame when using the 14-24mm lens.  I love the abstract nature of these images.  I am not sure B&W is good for them, but it does make them more abstract.


The state library had something going on, beanbags on the grass and coffee shop out the front.  I didn’t really look to see why, I was too busy taking photos of it all.

So today’s images are all B&W and they go from the mundane, to the ordinary, to some great architecture.  I am going to put them all into a gallery for you.  I am off this morning to teach my second class in Eltham.   Great group of people, I am looking forward to teaching them what I know about Landscape photography.

Here is a gallery for you. I also wanted to let you know that the watermark in each of the image was done with the Mass Watermark software, so easy.


  1. “She wanted me to come, which meant I would want to take photos.” Well, that’s a given. I hope your daughter understands. And you came back with some great images! I’m not sure what building it is but shooting straight up at the interior dome is my favorite.

    • I think she does, she doesn’t get too upset, I think it has to be a give and take sort of thing. I am rather happy with some of the shots, that building is Melbourne Central, and the brick one is an old shot tower, that the national trust, or whoever looks after these wouldn’t let them knock down when they built the shopping centre there. Lucky for us really. Thanks Emilio.

  2. A fantastic B&W gallery. One way, I guess, to “think” in B&W is to think of your camera is loaded with B&W film only and color was only used by very few.

    • Thank you David. It was interesting doing it this way. I usually think, I will just take photos, then later on while on my computer, I might feel the urge to make some images B&W and then go looking for them. It was different actually setting out to take them. I had to keep thinking if things would work in black and white, some did, some didn’t. That is so true, I vaguely remember when colour became more accessible to people.

  3. Some great scenes rendered in B&W – especially the abstracts – good stuff, great tones. The mundane is often overlooked, but somehow these images stand the test of time.

  4. I really like the photos, Leanne. In some ways I thing b&w brings out textures more. A lot of the photos have a silkiness to them and some, like the cool upshot of the building, have that grid. The texture and values seem emphasized without the color. There’s a different beauty to them, like with black and white movies.

  5. I think sometimes B&W photos make something ordinary worth taking a look at, like your top photo of people in the cross walk. Plus you have a great eye for detail and staging. I like your photos very much.

    • It was an interesting thing to do, not something I have really done much of before. Thank you so much Iris, I appreciate that.

  6. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

    I’m not a photographer so when I thought about black & white, at first I thought it may seem two dimensional. But these shots are great, they have depth and variety. The dome would be my favorite and I like the image in the mall with the checkered floor.

    • I completely understand what you mean Jackie, it is weird, and it does seem to make you look at other things that you might not have noticed otherwise. I love the dome ones. Thank you.

  7. Black and white images are so interesting. I find that I’m not distracted by the colour and start to search more for details. I love the first photo – Young and Jacksons…this time next week we will be there!

    • That is great point Carol, removing the colour does make you focus on other things. Oh Young and Jacksons, not quite the pub it used to be, but I am very happy it is still there. I think you might luck in with some great weather Carol, it is certainly looking like a mild week and not much rain.

      • I just said to my husband yesterday we should check the weather forecast and he said, “Don’t do it yet. It will change five times before next weekend!” Which is true.

        When I see Young and Jacksons I know I’m in Melbourne. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside, but it is just so iconic.

      • He is probably right, you just never know around here.
        I must say the building that does that for me is Flinders Street Station. I will have to buy you a beer there one day, or wine, we can drink it in front of Chloe.

  8. Leanne, thanks for all the replays …. *smile – you know what I will say about this … but I like the patio photo. I wish you a pleasant weekend … you playing with B&W and I playing with Oscar. *smile

      • Thanks, Leanne .. we had a great start today, only have to get use to each other. Love the sound he makes. *smile

      • I have seen some of the photos already, they are looking good and I like the way you are trying Oscar out on lots of subjects. Very foggy there in Sweden right now. It is overcast here.

      • I can’t remember we had fog like this .. so long as I have lived here, soon 5 years – hate fog, but good for great shots. Really like Oscar – easy going. And that 24-1200mm lens is out of the world. Thanks for your support and for looking after my “art”

        Leanne, I asked yesterday what size you use when you post your photos, you musst have missed it.

      • I love fog like that, you can get some amazing atmospheric shots. So go with it, see what you can do. I have heard that camera is really amazing. I have seen some fantastic work from it, so I imagine you will get heaps as well. You’re welcome Viveka, it is all about supporting one another I think.
        I thought I had responded, I sent you a link, but I post with my images being 800 pixels longest side, I try and get them under 200KB.

      • Thanks, I have really cut down on the sizes – have too, because I have used up half of my allowed space.
        Once again – thanks a million – for your support.

      • It is a great thing to do Viveka, also protect yourself, you have some fantastic images, you don’t want people to steal them.
        You are welcome, it is good for all of us to support one another, so thank you too for the support.

  9. In black & white, or in color, Melbourne and one of her best photographers shine, shine, and shine! Leanne, you and your family have a great weekend! Take care. :)

    • It certainly seems to be Sally, not something I would have thought before, but it does seem to work well. Thank you.

  10. aliewsMuses says

    Love these B&W images, you’ve given it a real historic feel. I especially admire the photo of the statue with a bit of light over it. I’ve really enjoyed your photo work.

    • Thank you, that is wonderful to hear. I haven’t really done photos of the city like this before, it is very interesting.

  11. The tower beneath the glass is impressive enough, and then the black and white really makes the eye focus on the structures! Very nicely done, those are beautiful! The photo of the tables & chairs near the checkered floor is fun, too, especially with the two very different architectural styles behind them. Very interesting. And the cakes! Always pleasant to look at. :)

    • Thank you Jen, I really like the shot tower and the glass dome ones too. I was worried removing the colour would take something away from them, but I think it makes them stronger. The checked floor is fun, not sure how long it will be there.

  12. Lovely set of images Leanne….a good mix of street, architecture and still life photography.

  13. Thanks very much for the inspiration! Setting out to make b&w photos is for sure interesting, I think I will try today at the stable, see what I come up with. The sun’s not our anyway and everything’s still in dreary winter colours, might as well take b&w pictures. Have a great weekend!

    • It is interesting to do, I have never really done it before, but I have to admit, now that I have been playing with some images, I am looking for B&W images everywhere. Sounds like your weather could be perfect for it. Good luck, thanks Bee.

  14. Nice work! Love the dome shots and the one of the front of Flinders Street Station with the clocks the most, but they’re all really good…I think the street shots work best in black and white – it’s not immediately obvious that they’re recent shots, giving them a timeless aspect that I like…

    • I have been thinking the same Marie, there is a timeless quality about them that I had never considered before, I think the street shots and that one of Flinders Street Station is especially like that. I like the way the domed images have come out more abstract and you seem to concentrate on the shapes more. Thank you.

  15. Wonderful photos!! Some day I’d love a full frame camera with a wide lens. Right now I use my DX with a 10-12mm lens but that creates some distortion at the edges.

    • That sounds almost like what I have anyway. I love the full frame, not so sure about the file sizes, haha. I am struggling with my laptop, and know that I am going to have to get a new computer at some stage. There is always something, though my desktop is almost 10 years old, so it is almost time for a new one.

      • May I suggest MacBook Pro? I switched to apple in 2009 and never looked back! I have a 15″ retina Macbook and love it!

      • The words spoken to me about Mac or Apple were, “if you get one I will never help you work out what to do if something goes wrong, you will be on your own”, not the words I was expecting, I half expected to be told “if you get one, it will be divorce.” Get the idea, my husband hates apple, and all of their products. I do like to joke around with him, and even looked up some Mac’s the other day, but he didn’t like the price and wasn’t too amused. ;) or should it be :(

      • lol….well my hubby was a CIO for his entire career and was a Dell proponent. Apple’s customer service is awesome! I’m in love with their computers personally but I know how it goes being in the company of someone who hates apple. I am on the “Down Lo”, lol.

      • My husband likes Dell too, and moved away from them, but is going back to them now. I think my husband thinks that apple is good, well their computers but they are way over priced, and you can get cheaper and just as good. That is what I get from what he says. I don’t know. I know when I need help what he can be like, and I have seen what he is like with windows, he hates windows and if I have a problem he can be difficult.

      • hahahaha i’m cracking up because I totally know what you mean. When my hubby came home from work and saw my shiny apple logo on the computer he said, “Well you won’t get any help from me.” I said, “Guess what, I won’t need your help!” And it is so true. I’ve never needed help. :D

      • Brilliant Laura, I just don’t have any money to get anything right now, but hopefully I will soon. Though not sure about a Mac, I do want lots of memory though.

  16. I’ve grown quite fond of shooting in black and white when I’m in Brisbane CBD, actually. I find that it gives the photos a sort of character that’s just that little bit stronger than when shooting in full colour. It’s also refreshing trying to think and frame in monochrome.

    • There are a lot of people who feel the same way about B&W, I don’t know myself, I like it sometimes, and others not. It really just depends. Though it is interesting taking photos that you know will be converted to black and white.

      • Oh definitely! Not everything will suit B&W, but it’s fun to go out shooting with that mindset. You start to think of everything differently, since you are essentially working in shades of contrast and brightness.

  17. Nice B&W photos. It’s great to see someone that takes B&W. That is the only film that I shot for a couple of years when I first started.

    • I don’t do a lot of B&W but I have to admit I have been drawn to it a lot more. When I first started photography I only shot with B&W film, but I like the wider choices these day. Thank you MH.

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