Photography, Water, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – Dockland Sunset

My photography friend who comes out with me often has had some problems with her foot, and we haven’t been able to go out much.  Though I dragged her to the Docklands the other night to take photos of the sun setting behind the Bolte Bridge.  I had thought it might be possible to get a nice one, as the weather the next day was predicted to be nice, warm, but nice.  So I picked her up and in we went.

docklands-20140313-2180This is what we saw when we first got in there.  Not very promising.  Most of you know what my luck is like for getting sunrises and sunsets, I don’t get them very often.  I think both of us had that in mind.  There were lots of clouds for a sunset, but were they too thick, so to speak.  When the sun went down behind those bottom clouds, it was blocked out and you couldn’t see it.  I thought, well that’s it then, no sunset.  Then we started noticing things like this.

docklands-20140313-2357I thought it was a good sign, so we kept looking, and then eventually.

docklands-20140313-2452-5hpmThere it was, the sunset we were hoping for.  Ribbons of fire across the sky.  We were both very happy.

We went to a spot that was sort of in the middle, so you could take photos all around you.  Popular spot, quite a few other photographers joined us as well. We stayed there for about an hour and a half.  I didn’t really move, just had my tripod in the same place.  It was an interesting thing to do.  I usually move heaps, but not this time.  I did turn the head on the tripod and took other photos around me.

I have done some HDRs with Photomatix Pro, but I have also done some of the images with just the single one.  You can tell in the gallery which ones are HDR because in the file name for each one will have “hpm” in it.  I have also done some where the images are very similar, one is a HDR and the other not.  I wanted to compare the two.  In some cases I think the HDR worked well, and in others not.

Here is the gallery for you.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend and managing to go out and take lots of photos.


  1. Persistence paid off this time Leanne. What a gorgeous shot, and I love the phrase ‘ribbons of fire’. It describes the sky perfectly.

    • It certainly did. I can’t believe I finally got one. Thank you Carol, I like that expression too, I don’t know where I’ve heard it from.

      • Awesome pictures, sunsets are so priceless and free to admire, yet patience is needed to get the right shot

      • That is such a nice way to describe them, lovely, yes, patience, something I don’t have a lot of. Thank you.

  2. Nice set… make melbourne look a beautiful place to visit!!! You can definitely pick out the hdrs……they have a definate aura about them I think….great compositions. : ) trees

    • Thank you Trees, I think it is a great place, and I love exploring it and showing you the photos. I think HDRs can certainly have that.

  3. I have mixed results with HDR photos too. Just depends on what you are wanting from the photo, I guess. Lovely photos, and a lesson in perseverance!!

    • I am starting to see that it depends on the image, I think it does work for some. Thank you, and yes perseverance is a great lesson. I might learned it one day. ;)

  4. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

    Beautiful! It’s funny how that streaked across the sky; the Ferris wheel sticks out in the skyline nicely.

    • I know what you mean Jackie, the streaks were so nice, I was glad they were there. That ferris wheel really lights up the sky, but so hard to photograph it night, as the lights on it change constantly. Thank you.

  5. I knew this was going to be nice when I saw the title. I like the reflected city too–that’s so beautiful.

  6. Woohoo! Good on you. Stunning images and yes, so worth the wait. Often the beauty comes after the sun goes down :)
    I particularly love the cerulean sky with your ribbons of pink and fire and the sunrays piercing through. Gorgeous!!
    Sounds like you both enjoyed a lovely sunset and good company.

  7. Absolutely love the photo with ribbons of orange in them. I see this kind of patterned sky quite a bit from my place, you’ve captured it really nicely. I also like the last night photo too. Melbourne is just so beautiful. I hope your friend’s foot is okay.

    The weekend has gone by too fast. I went down to South Melbourne today and had some paella. It tasted good but I didn’t see anything nice to photograph. Hope you had a good day, Leanne.

    • Thank you Mabel, it was a lovely surprise to get it. Melbourne at night is fantastic, I love getting the chance to go in and photograph it.
      Paelle, nice, I haven’t spent much time in South Melbourne, lovely part of town though. I have had a good day, sounds like you have too.

      • Would very much like to hear your thoughts on some of my other photographs:

      • Hey John, critiquing is not something I really do. I get asked a lot and I am not comfortable doing it. I’m sure your photos are great.

  8. I like your description of the process and your record of what you see in the conditions you have, rather than what you hope for. And what you had hoped for is splendid

  9. Beautiful Leanne. Many times when I go out for a sunset shoot, I noticed that most people leave once the sun has set below the horizon, missing the real sky show. Many time, I get some of my best shots, 20-30 minutes after the sun has set.

    • The show just kept happening, the sun went down and then things just kept changing so we had to say. I am not an expert at this sort of thing, but it never occurred to us to leave. So glad we stayed there the whole time. Thank you.

    • I agree, night shots are almost perfect for HDR, some of my favourite night shots are HDRs. Thanks Gypsy.

  10. Thanks for the side-by-sides of HDR and Non-HDR. As we have noted before, sometimes HDR works for the good of the image, other times the straight shot is the way to go. Glad nature decided to help you out with this time around.

    • I thought it was an interesting way for me to see as well. They do work for some things, but not for all. I am so glad too Robert, was starting to think I was destined to be the photographer that never got them. Thanks

  11. More often than not the light is better before the sun comes up and once it’s gone down – although to be fair those really dramatic skies with a blazing sun work well too :) I really like the ferris wheel shot with all the different light colours exaggerated in the reflection.

    • I like photographing scenes, before, after and during, and you get such different things for each one, it is great. Thank you Noeline, water, night photography, lights, all go so well together.

  12. Such a fabulous place and backdrop to take sunset shots Leanne , I’m not surprised there were others around !
    Interesting hearing you say about moving around a lot … but patience does pay off in the one location as you’ve shown with these great shots . I’ve learnt not to rush off now too ;-)

    • It was a lovely just there, and where we were sort of out in the open, so we could take photos all around us as well.
      I am starting to see that, and realise there are lots of places I could photograph and different images if I just stayed in the one place. I’m not really a patient person, but perhaps I just have to give it a go. Thanks Poppytump. :)

  13. Very interesting. Made me realize I had better wait some more before taking my last sunset image. :)

    I’m not a fan of HDR’s. They look too artificial and any motion is blurred. Many pro photographers work with gradual neutral density filters for high contrast scenes. They produce images that look WAY better than any HDR. Google it and be amazed :)

    • It isn’t a bad idea to wait around a bit longer, the sky changes to much at that time.
      I use neutral density filters too, though not on this occassion. I think there is a place for HDR and I think it can look great, but it has to be the right image. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. I do love the HDRs of the bridge though, taken once the sun had gone down.

  14. Those shots were all lovely. I especially loved the colors after the sun had set, and the night shot of the skyline reflected in the water. You found a great vantage point.

    • We did Betty, it was a great place to capture a few different things. It was also nice just staying there and taking photos. Thank you.

  15. Very nice sunset colors. Like with sunrises, you never know what you’re going to get.

    • Thank you David, no you never know. I have learned how to predict when it might be a good evening or morning, but then you get there and there aren’t any clouds, so blah, or there are too many. So many variables.

  16. Some really good shots there, I am an avid sunset photographer and just love those shots, wish I had been there to get some too.

    • Thank you, I think it is a pretty good place to get sunset shots. I think tomorrow night might be good as well, though I will be down on the coast, but I am hoping to get some there.

  17. Beautiful sunset colors! Sunrise and sunsets are my favorite times to photograph the sky. You just never know what you’ll get!

    • That’s for sure Em, I rarely get good, but I was so happy with the other night, it was brilliant. Thanks

  18. Your evening images are always fantastic …. I love early evening shots … when the light has that wonderful softness. My pick of the bunch is; dockland -20120312-5hpm – it has that magical softness in the light.

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