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Posts tagged ‘Architecture’

Weekend Wanderings: Looking Back at the Photos of Melbourne Part 2

Today I have the second half of the year and lots of the photos that I have taken in the last six months.  It has been fantastic going back over the shots.

It is 12 months ago now that I really hurt my back and was unable to sit at the computer for a long time.  My back has improved and it was interesting to see that some fine art images were slowly creeping back in, as I was able to sit at the computer again. I am starting to get right back into editing my photos again and seeing what I can do.  Some of the challenges that people run have been good to get me back into it, I have enjoyed the push to get me to try some things again, which in turn has made me want to go and try some new work.  Plans are under way, just as soon as I get my energy back.

So today the images are all architectural again, I believe, a few of the river, but I have explored some new areas of the city in the last six months and it has been good finding new places to photograph and then take photos of.  It is going to warm here today, not too hot, which is nice, but still warm enough that the best place to be is inside.  I hope you are experiencing nice weather where you are today.

Weekend Wanderings: From Bourke to Spring in Melbourne

Last weekend when I was wandering around the city with those people and taking photos, I showed you some of the images last weekend, but we did wander from the Bourke Street Mall all the way up to Spring street.  Last weekend I stopped the photos with the Christmas decorations, so today I thought I would show you more of what were taken at the Mall and to just before I left the city.


Being the first weekend of the 2014 Christmas Festival the city was packed with people, and there were buskers everywhere. Some on their own, or small groups like this entertaining the people.  Some are good, some aren’t, but it is nice to hear and see them.  I have to start making sure I have money or change when I go in so I can give them some.  I think if I’m taking photos I should leave some money.  These guys didn’t last long, well in this set, they had been there for a while and just after they started playing their power was cut off.  They were good too.


We ended up walking up Little Collins Street.  I haven’t really done that before, so it was great to see some new architecture.  One of the buildings I showed you the other day, and in the gallery I will include the original image with only minor adjustments.


When you come to the top of Little Collins Street, at Spring Street, you seeParliament House.  I loved the way the light was hitting it.  The glow from the afternoon light was beautiful.  I haven’t been down this way in a while, and the last time I was here they were working on the steps and they were all blocked off.  It is a great building, I have plans for more photos.


I have some photos of the fountain that I used for the AB Friday challenge.  It is hard to photograph, but I didn’t have my tripod with me and I think I would like to try some long exposure on it at some point.


In this image is a statue of Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls and his wife. Lady Gladys Nicholls, he was the first Aboriginal person to be knighted and also the first appointed to vice-regal office, serving as Governor of South Australia from 1 December 1976 until his resignation on 30 April 1977 due to poor health. (from Wikipedia) I think it is a great statue, I love how they look like they are wandering down the street.

I have more photos for you, which I will put into a gallery.  Hopefully the problems WordPress were having yesterday are all fixed up and won’t happen again today.  I don’t think I have ever experienced WordPress breaking down that badly before, it was almost funny, couldn’t do anything on it.  I hope you all have a great weekend, it is raining in Melbourne this Sunday morning, it is refreshing after the heat and humidity we’ve had.

Quiet Thursday in December

It is getting here, summer has definitely arrived and December is bound to be a very busy month, what with Christmas and most of us, well in Australia, not wanting to go out much in the heat.  I like these quiet Thursdays, it means a peaceful day.


This is an image I took last weekend while I was in the city wandering the streets.  I loved the way the sun was hitting it, but I also liked it in black and white so much more.  It did have a beautiful sky, but I replaced it, and part of the reason for doing that was to get rid of some of the distractions that were around it.

Just quickly, I have started the one four challenge again, well my entry for it, though it is over on my other blog, go here, One Four Challenge for December Week 1.

I have also done another image for Stacy’s AB Friday, well I have sent it to her but it won’t be published for another day or two, so keep an eye on my other blog, and Visual Venturing.


Introductions – Alex Bihlo

Earlier this  year I made a decision to spend more time on Google+ and give it a go. I did it for many reasons, and then there are things that I’ve found that have been a great result because of it.  The quality of images you see on Google+ is absolutely amazing and today I want to introduce you to a photographer that I found on G+, Alex Bihlo, and I am sure you will be blown away by his work as I was. Alex is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and it seems a fantastic place to take photos.


Long exposures is something I have been hearing a lot about and Alex does them to perfection.  The muted colours or the monochrome treatment he gives, make them seem surreal but also serene.  I just love looking at them.

The first couple of questions, how long have you been taking photos for and why do you take them?

I got serious about photography around 1 1/2 years ago. I moved to Canada in 2011 and taking pictures was a way of sharing my experience with friends and family back home in Austria. First they were mainly snapshots but after a trip to BC and Alberta in 2012 I was quite frustrated with the quality of my pictures and started to learn more about photography (still annoyed about all my bad shots from these great landscapes). Once I bought my first DSLR in 2013 I soon got hooked by B&W and the more I worked without color the more I got inspired by the fine art side of photography rather than the realistic capture. Now I try to use photography to combine what I see with my eyes with what I see in my mind.


One of the things that I have always enjoyed trying to do with the ocean is to calm the sea and I love the way Alex seems to do that.  It also helps to have a coast line that is rugged and lots of interesting rocks to use in the images.

Next I asked Alex about his inspiration.

Mostly the vast landscapes and seascapes in Canada. Coming from Europe and a country without access to the sea it is pretty special for me to be able to go to places that are still open and untouched. I do like modern architecture a lot though but there is not too much of an opportunity to shoot that here in Newfoundland.


Whilst there is a vast number of black and white images on Alex’s Google+ page there are also some wonderful gems like these. Sunsets or sunrises where the colour remains. The long exposures give that water a frozen look while the clouds give a sense of time moving slowly.

As I always I asked Alex if there was anything special about the way he worked.

I think the more pictures I take the harder it becomes for me to process them. As I try to use pictures as a metaphor most of the work has to be done in post-processing. I start in Lightroom, do the global B&W work in Silver Efex Pro 2 and the local contrast adjustments in Photoshop. Global exposure corrections are done back in Lightroom.


Alex mentioned earlier, he does like architecture as well.  He has a great collection of architectural images he has taken and I think they are fantastic. I love architecture too, so it is always great to see how others are approaching it.  Always inspires me to get out and take more photos of buildings.

My final question is, as always, about gear.

I started with a Canon Rebel T3i which I bought in 2013 but now mostly use a Canon 6D that I got this year. For now I stick with my 24-105 mm lens. Most of my more recent work is long exposure for which I have a 10 stop B+W ND filter and a 16 stop Firecrest filter.

Alex doesn’t have a website or blog, so if you want to see more of his exceptional work you will need to go to his Google+ page, Alex Bihlo.  I would also like to thank Alex for giving me permission to feature his work here on my blog. I have a gallery now for you with even more amazing images.  Thanks Alex.

Up for Discussion – Architectural Photography

My turn this week.  I have been trying to work out all week what I would discuss with you, I mean what could I possibly talk about?  I went through lots of ideas, copyright, critiquing images, something about blogging, and then I remembered my friend from a week ago telling me how she didn’t know how to photograph architecture.  So here we are on a Friday and I thought I would tell you something about photographing architecture, well I hope I can.

Architectural Photographyscchambers-5hpm7601-5

This has been my favourite type of photography, but for the last year I haven’t been doing a lot of it.  I think the new camera and learning to use my lenses in different ways has been partly responsible for that, but just recently, and with some reminders from other people, I’ve decided I should get back into it.

There are lots of different ways of photographing architecture.  Open any newspaper and you will see lots of pages of images of houses for sale and the real estate images.  Real estate images are about getting images of houses that are representations of what is there.  They try to show a house at its best to help sell it.  There isn’t a lot of scope for doing anything different.

Nothing wrong with that sort of photography, it just isn’t something that I have been interested in.  I like to do something different with my architectural images. I am more into fine art images of scmu2-4hpm2487-7-3architecture.  I like to try and get some mood or drama into an image.

When I look at buildings I like to find old ones, and ones that have some sort of character. Not that it is a hard and fast rule, I do occasionally find newer buildings that I also find interesting. When I am out and about I will photograph everything and anything that I think might be interesting.  It is rare when I am out taking photos that I find something straight away that I know I will want to do more processing too.

I don’t have particular angles that I go for.  I try everything.  I might show you one image, of a building, but I might have taken about 50 images of that same building.  When I have a building in front of me I try every angle I can think of.  I will photograph it from across the road, right in front of it.  I will try to the right, to the left.  I will try photographing the whole building.

LeanneCole-inverleighhotel-20130924-5936_4hpm-3Once I have all the angles for the whole building then I start looking for details.  Buildings are something that I have that I have always enjoyed looking at the details of, though I haven’t tended to look at really small parts, but rather parts that I think will tell part of the story.

When I get an opportunity I do like doing the inside of buildings as well.  Especially older buildings that have been, either kept in their original state, or restored to it.  I find those sorts of buildings have more of a story and you can get more from them.

I know a lot of photographers who do architecture will spend a lot of time taking photos in different light, use their tripod, or use tilt-shift lenses, but I don’t do any of that.  I will use the tripod for indoors, and only use it outdoors if the lighting is bad and I can’t get shots with low ISO.

For me the magic starts to happen when I get home and put the photos on the computer.  I never really know which one I will work on.  I go through the sccity-3hpm0031-2images and mark my favourites and then one will often stand out and I begin.  I try not to have any preconceived idea of what the final image will look like.  I have found in the past that I usually just end up disappointed when that happens. So I just go for it, try things, delete, or go back, go forward and I just keep going until I think I am happy with an image.

When I work on images I’m not always trying to get a true or accurate image of the building.  I try to provoke something more like, I don’t quite know, a feeling, maybe or drama, I have always like the idea of putting some theatre into my images.  I like to give the building a story I suppose.

I like to change the lighting, manipulate it, and put the focus where I want it to be.  It is a hard thing to describe, it is just something I do.  I know that doesn’t help, but when you don’t have a client and are just doing it for yourself, it means that you can do whatever you like to the image.  Experimentation is the key and just trying things.  I will often replace the sky to get the one I want, and I do a lot more manipulation as well.  It is my image and I will do what I want, I will try everything, delete most, but keep going.

So that is basically how I do architecture.  There is no real plan or goals, I just shoot and work with what I have.

laurent-melbourne-littlecollins-building-monochromeI have some videos that I have done over on my other blog if you are interested in looking at how I do them.  They are sped up, but give you an idea of what I do.  Here are the links,

The Before, then the After, and some of the Inbetween

The Old Shearing Shed in Woomelang

Taking a Look at Another Image While Being Processed

I might try doing some more too on just a straight image process.

I think that about rounds it up on how I go about photographing architecture, I hope it gave you some idea of what I do.

Guest Posting

I am always open to having people guest post, so if you are interested, then send me an email, my contact are here.  The discussion needs to be about photography, or blogging.  I don’t mind it being about blogging, but obviously being a photography blog, photography is best.  You can go through the archives to see what has already been done, and maybe you can give a different point of view to that.

If you are interested, then please send me an email and I will send you the guidelines. Please take note that I don’t pay people to guest post and I want accept posts that are advertising of any sort.



Introductions – The Insatiable Traveler

Today I have something a little different for you, well a blog like none I’ve shown before.  Susan Portnoy has been leaving some wonderful comments on my blog, so I started keeping an eye on what she does, and I have loved what she does on her blog, The Insatiable Traveler. I think of her blog as a wildlife blog, but it is really far more than that. Whilst she travels the world, her base is New York and there are lots of photos of there on her blog as well.  I am also keen on the images of New York as I am potentially going to be there next May,


Just one of the amazing images that Susan has on her blog.  Photographing wildlife is not something I’ve ever been really interested in, but I can appreciate and admire it.  I certainly admire what Susan does. Must be so incredible to see these animals in their natural environment.

As always I asked Susan my questions.  The first being how long she had been taking photos for.

I started taking photos about 6 years ago, but it’s only been in the last three years that it’s become an integral part of my life and my travels.

Then I asked why she takes photos.

It started off as a fluke. I was going to Peru to visit Machu Picchu with some friends and at the last minute they bailed on me and I decided to go it alone. It was the first time I’d taken a vacation solo. At the beginning the camera was a shield. It gave me something to do when I was alone and feeling a bit insecure wandering about the various villages and ruins by myself. However, by the middle of the trip I began to focus on capturing images that told a story, not just recording a moment or a place. When I got something I liked it motivated me to continue. I’ve been photographing my travels ever since.


I initially thought that i would show her wildlife work and not architectural shots, but as I was going through her blog, I realised I wanted to show her architectural images as well, I’m sure it has a lot to do with my trip to New York next year. I find I love looking at photos of it right now.  I can’t wait to get there myself to see what i can do.

I asked about inspiration.

Traveling without question. Exploring the world and photography is a captivating combination for me. I love experiencing my journeys in the moment while finding ways to communicate the people, places and things that I’ve enjoyed through my pictures and my blog.  In the last couple of years, wildlife photography has become a huge passion of mine. I adore Africa; it’s an exquisite continent. I’m a big animal lover and the wildlife there just blows my mind. Between that and the extraordinary countryside, sunrises and sunsets, I’m inspired around the clock. I also find the challenge of taking a good picture inspirational. I’m competitive by nature and when I really like something I can be a tad obsessive. No matter what I’m shooting to create a wonderful photograph is a puzzle that often has to be completed in a few seconds or I risk losing the moment. I am thoroughly besotted by the rush I get when I make an image of which I am really proud. It’s not as frequent as I would like but I guess that’s what keeps me in the game.


Her blog has lots of images of various animals and some like this one, so incredible, animals on the move.  You will have to go to her blog, The Insatiable Traveler, if you want to find out more information on what these are and where she photographed them.  Susan has a few images that have some incredible images of animals on the move.  They are amazing.

I asked if there was anything special about the way she worked.

I don’t think so. To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to how I work compared to how others work to get a sense if I’ve got something special going on or not.


I had to choose this image, my cat Tiddles does this to me, I love it, so cute.  When I saw this I had to include it, it is such a beautiful moment  and a fantastic capture.

My final question was about the gear she uses.

On my last trip to Africa in September, I borrowed and used a Cannon 1DX with an EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X, 90% of the time – thank goodness for friends with great equipment and rental sites.  I also had my Canon 5D Mark 3 with me and switched off between my EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM and my EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM depending on what going for with the shot.

Shooting elsewhere in the world and in New York, I tend to use my 24-105mm the most, my 16-35mm f/2.8 for cityscapes or inside buildings, the 70-200mm when I really want to play with DOF and distance, and recently I’ve been kicking around with a 35mm f2.8.   A full list of my gear can be found here:


Many of the architectural images remind me of the sort of thing I would too, I know they aren’t the same as mine, but I like the angles she uses.

I hope you will all go and see Susan’s blog, The Insatiable Traveler, and check out all the amazing images that she has there.  You will be amazed.  I would also like to thank Susan for letting me showcase her work and The Insatiable Traveler here on my blog.  I will put my favourites into a gallery for you now.



Looking at the ANZ Building on a Quiet Thursday

Today I thought looking at the ANZ Building on a Quiet Thursday seemed like a good idea.  This building is one that anyone who loves Melbourne will know and love.  For a relatively modern building the architecture is really outstanding and I wish more buildings could be built here that considered where they are and how they influence their environment.



This is an image I took from the top of the Myer building through a glass window.  It is a fairly typical view of the Melbourne skyline, well one from here.  The ANZ building is the second tallest in this image.  The gothic looking one and it is brown.  I love the shapes and lines in it.  It is a very distinctive building and one I’ve been chasing and trying to get an image of for a while now.

Recently when I was in the city for a Social Snappers Photography Excursion we were near this building, so I took a little detour.  It wasn’t where I thought it would be, and I can’t believe I have walked past it a couple of times and not realised. I didn’t miss it this time, and I took some photos of it and the other day decided to play with it. I was really glad that I had taken my 14-24mm lens with me, it was perfect for this shot with the Nikon D800.  I was going to do it for the post on the city in Weekend Wanderings, but I knew I wanted to do more with this one.


So the other day I started playing.  I haven’t down a brilliant job with it, but I am happy with how it is has come out.  Of course I replaced the sky and played with the lighting in the image.  I did have the whole building, from the road all the way up to the top, but in the end cropped it a bit, got rid of the road at the bottom with the parked cars, and other buildings at the side and behind.  I think it seems to be standing tall now and is quite dominant.  I am quite happy with it.

I hope you having an easy day.  The weather here has been more rain, but the sun is starting to peek out, so hopefully off to the coast to try out the filters more this afternoon.  Have a peaceful day.



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