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Posts tagged ‘Melbourne’

Weekend Wanderings – Macro View at the Aquarium

As you would have gathered I’ve been going out and taking lots of photos.  It is unusual for me to go out this much, but I do seem to be going out and getting something every second day, and it looks like this next week will be the same.  It is good, gives me lots of photos to work on, and lots of photos for Weekend Wanderings, and so today I thought we would look at the photos I took this last Wednesday when I went to visit the Aquarium.

It has been a couple of years since I was at the aquarium, but it has changed quite a bit.  Everyone now has to go in reverse order, well you don’t have to, but that seems to be what people do.  I found it a bit confusing, but hey, I’m getting old.  They have changed some of the exhibits, which is also nice, though the jelly fish room seems to be gone, and there are almost no jellyfish. I was really disappointed with that, I really wanted to try and photograph them. I also thought I would take my macro and 50mm with me, but the 50 wouldn’t focus close enough, so I stuck the macro on and got some interesting shots, I think.


It was interesting using the macro, for those that don’t know I have a Nikon 105mm Micro, or macro lens.  I haven’t had it very long, but I am enjoying seeing what I can do with it.  I wasn’t sure what I would get at the aquarium, it is a very difficult place to shoot, but I managed to get some shots.


There is a crocodile there now, and he/she is big.  There is a little bubble thing you can go up and see it, and when I went into it the croc was climbing over it so all I could see were teeth.  I have another photo which gives you some idea of the size, it will be in the gallery.


I loved the stingrays and enjoyed taking photos of those as they went past.  I was especially proud of this image, I thought I did good, and the macro did too.  Not all my shots were very good, in fact there are only a few that I was really proud of, but it was fun trying.


I gotta say, I think this one is a cracka, can you tell I’ve been watching the cricket.  I thought this was a great shot and I was so pleased with myself.  The turtle looks like it is so in focus.  It wasn’t an easy thing to do there.  The only thing I don’t like is the light bit behind its head, I’m sure I could get rid of that if I really wanted to, but will leave it there now.


I debated with myself as to whether or not I would show this one, but the colours are so pretty.  I know it is a blurred cuttlefish, but it looked interesting.  I hope you don’t mind that I showed it to you!


The penguins, the big draw card to the aquarium I think. They stand around behind the glass and just look at us looking at them.  They have snow, and they do interact with one another, but my friend said, “they look so bored”.  I don’t know if they are, but I do know, or seem to remember something about how they only stay there for a short time, and they are rotated with other penguins.  There was a big swimming tank down one end and I loved the way the penguins would stop near the top and stare at us, it was great, and also good for getting photos.

I know many people don’t agree with Zoos or Aquariums, but I have to say, I think they do much better work now than they used to.  They do help with the survival of many species, but I think one thing that we all forget is that we go and see them, we fall in love with the species, we make a connection with them, then we want to ensure their survival.  If you feel something towards them you get that, so I think many animals, birds etc, are taking one for the team, and they bring their plight to the attention of the world.  I also think zoos are doing a much better job these days with making sure that the animals are treated humanly, and give them environments as close to their natural habitat as possible, well I am sure the Melbourne ones do.

Anyway enough of that, I will step off my pedestal now. I have so many photos for you now, I hope you don’t get too bored looking at them, but I’m sure you know how it is, so many images didn’t work, that I really wanted to show the ones that did.  I have a semi busy weekend planned, it is Australia Day here on Monday, so a long weekend, lots of people will be out and about, so hopefully a nice weekend weather wise.  I hope you have a good one planned.



Weekend Wanderings: Melbourne in the Summer

This last week I took a trip into the City of Melbourne to do some photography with a friend, Christine Wilson. Our aim was to get some photos for that exhibition that I was telling you about the other day, the one on street photography or urban photography.  I thought all the images had to be in black and white, but I have since found out they can be colour as well.  I will get you a link to it soon.

Anyway,  we were in there to take photos of the city, well to help me find some images.  I love walking around the city taking photos, but not sure I like it when the sun is glaring down and it is quite warm.  We did out best, and perhaps what I got was Melbourne in the Summer.


Summer in Melbourne is about getting out of the sun, sitting in the shade.  A couple of guys sitting in the shade in Hosier Lane.


Some kids playing in the water in the City Square, we even took a walk in the water there, it was really nice, I didn’t want to get out. On hot days there you will always find kids in the water there.


Melbourne is big on lanes and eating in them.  This is part of Hardware Lane and lots of places to eat.


It’s hot so people don’t want to go outside, so often places like the lanes are great to photograph because no one is around.  We went into that place and sat for a while and had some cold drinks.  It was really nice, the staff were lovely too.

Towards the end of the day we went to Centre Place,  a very busy place during the day and though we might try taking some long exposures there.  (I’ve taken more long exposures with Chris that I’ve ever done, it has been fantastic.)  So the first was just a few seconds and no filter, the second I had the ND400 filter on and it took about 3 minutes.  I liked the effect with the filter, shame about that pram there, but those people weren’t moving for anyone.  Oh well, next time.

It was great getting out and taking photos with Chris, and we did it again yesterday, but you will have to wait until tomorrow to see those.  She knows so many places I don’t know, which is fantastic. We have another trip tentatively planned for next week too.  It is hot here now, while not those soaring temperatures, it is still very hot to be outside, especially in the sun.  The sun is always hot here, I think the hole in the ozone above us makes it worse.

I have a gallery for you now. I hope you have a brilliant start to your weekend.  I’m looking forward to doing not much of anything.


Quiet Thursdays: Testing a Couple of Shots

Recently I was approached to see if I would like to participate in an exhibition for Street Photography in Melbourne, or really, Urban Photography, as they don’t have to be any people in the images.  It sounded good so I said yes.  We each get so much wall space and then we have to decide how many images we want to put up.  The works have to be framed, so I have four square frames, so I decided I would do four images.  That is enough.  I could go five, but then I would be short a frame.

On Monday I went into the city with a friend and we wandered around taking photos of things in Melbourne.  It was quite hot and the sun was very bright.  I did get some shots that I thought could work, so though I would show them to you and see what you think.  I have two here, they are black and white, the images have to be black and white I think, with minimal processing.

So I will put them both into a gallery, see what you think.  Enjoy your day.


Up for Discussion: Photographing Melbourne

Late last year I talked to you about doing posts about different places around the world.  There is so much tourist information about places to see and what not, but I have wondered how it would be to have information on places for photographers, that is specific to what a photographer wants to know about taking photos. I also don’t think only one person has the answers, or all the places, so I think this should be interactive, in a way, a community project. I am going to start this post, and then if others know places and things to photograph in Melbourne, then add it to the list.  Leave your ideas in a comment and I will add it to the post.

The type of things or information you need to give:


Melbourne Central

  • The place
  • Where it is if relevant
  • best time to photograph
  • do you need special permits or permission
  • can you use tripods

The idea is that someone who wants to come to the city or place can get a great idea of places to take photos, and when.

I would love to hear from people who would like to start the post for where they are as well, if you are interested, you will need to provide the photos, and start the conversation.  Email me.

I am thinking of doing one of these once a month, however, if they are popular, then might look at doing them more often.  I will also start an archives page so people doing research can find the posts easily.

This will evolve, so hopefully they will get better.


Flinders Street Station

light-trails-flinders-street-stationThis is one of our iconic train stations, and a rather unique looking building. It is located on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street.  Love it or hate it, an image of it has been known to make Australians overseas very homesick.  It is possibly one of the most photographed buildings in Melbourne, and it is one of the major train stations as well.  It is a meeting place, we all like to meet each other under the clocks.

To take photos of Flinders Street Station from the road, you need no special permits.  You can photograph any building from the road.  If you want to take photos inside the station, then you need a permit, they are free, you simply go to this page and print the permit, read it, sign it and carry it with you.

It is incredibly rare to find the station with no people, it is always busy.  It is best to just except that people will be sitting on the front steps or just standing around and people will be coming and going.

The iconic shot of the car trails in front of the station can be done anytime when it is dark and people have their car lights on.  I have found Friday night can be the best, or other week day nights.  There are more cars around, though there are also more people.  You can use a tripod, but you have to be careful of where you set it up, but there are places, usually right on the corners were you will have not much trouble.

LeanneCole-city-20140308-1443Melbourne Central

Melbourne Central is a shopping centre, and also one of the underground stations comes out underneath it, so it is one of the major entries into the city from the “top” end.  It is a privately owned centre, and photography isn’t actually allowed, but because the shot tower goes up the middle of it, they recognise that people will want to take photos of it, so they don’t worry about people taking photos there. It is not possible to use a tripod, there are too many people.

 Yarra River

The Yarra River runs through the middle of Melbourne, but really is at what we call the bottom of the city.  You have the city on one side and Southbank on the other.  You can pretty much take photos anywhere you want along it, both day and night.  Though if you are taking photos across the river to the city during the middle of the day you will be facing the

Some of my favourite shots of Melbourne and the river have been done at night.  You can get some fantastic shots along there.  There is usually no problem with using a tripod.  You may want to be careful around the Aquarium it is becoming a popular place for homeless people to go, and unfortunately, the number there are increasing.

If you are near Flinders Street, in the morning you may get a sunrise looking east along the river, and in the afternoon a sunset looking west.  I’ve seen some amazing sunsets done along the river, haven’t quite got one myself, but plenty of time for me.

Street Photography

If you want to do street photography in the streets of Melbourne, there isn’t a problem.  If people are in the streets, then the law here is basically that you can take photos.  In Australian Copyright Law you can’t copyright your face.  You do have to be careful though, some places may seem public, but they aren’t, like the Block Arcade, while it seems like a public place, it is privately owned.

LeanneCole-city-20140228-0284The usual rules apply, nice to ask, but not absolutely necessary, be polite, respect the people going about their business.

The Block Arcadeblock-arcade-social-snappers-photography

This arcade is off Collins Street and Elizabeth Street.  There are two entrances.  The Elizabeth Street Entrance is between Collins Street and Little Collins Street, whereas the Collins Street Entrance is between Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street.

As I just mentioned this place is privately owned and operated.  They understand that as it is one of the oldest arcades in Melbourne and well known, that people want to take photos in it, and you are allowed to.  You can use the photos for personal use, but not commercial.  I’ve never tried to use a tripod in there, so I don’t know how they would feel about you using one.  It is a very busy arcade, so I would imagine that it would not be ideal.

It is only open during shopping hours, so if the shops are open it is open.  If you want photos with no people, or almost no people, then I would suggest getting there very early in the morning.  It is open 7 days a week.

National Gallery of Victoria

It is just over the river down St Kilda Road and is open 10am to 5 pm everyday. There is another part to is which is in Federation Square, this is for Australian Art, and the first one I mentioned is for International Art.scgallery-HDR2

You are allowed to take photos pretty much anywhere you like inside the building, of both the building and the artwork.  NO FLASH is allowed.  The only places you really can’t take photos is special exhibition, and they usually have big signs telling you no photography. Tripods are not allowed.

Melbourne Star

This is our version of the London Eye.  It is a bit hard to find over in the Docklands, but you can see it from a long way and you just walk towards it.  You can take photos of the Star, from the ground and up in the air.  If you want to take photos of the city you can, but you are not allowed to use a tripod while on the Melbourne Star.  It is open every day from early to about 10pm.  melbournestar-20140114-6586

They have a website and there is information there about booking tickets and when it is open.  Melbourne Star Website.

Hosier Lane

This is a laneway made famous for the graffiti that is all over the walls in the lane.  The lane is near Federation Square, well across the street, and you get it to via Flinders Street or Flinders Lane, between Swanston Street and Russell Street.  It is a very popular place for tourists to go, so if you want photos without people, you will need to wait for lulls or go there early.  It isn’t LeanneCole-city-20140308-1454the type of place that ever closes, so you might be better off getting there early in the morning.  It is a public street, or public lane.  You can use a tripod there.  On the weekends it is even busier as it is becoming a popular place for people to have their wedding photos done.

Adding to it

It is my hope that other Melbournians and people who have visited can add more places and information to what I have started.  Please leave your information in a comment, or send me an email.  It would be great if all I had to do was cut and paste what you have written.  If you have an image to accompany what you have written, even better.

Gallery, I am including the above photos, but some others of the places I’ve talked about.


Quiet Thursday Following a Quiet Lunch

Yesterday was my 50th birthday, and I have to say I wasn’t sure about it.  Fifty does seem to be a defining age, half a century.  Something to be celebrated in cricket, an age that once a upon a time was considered very old, but in these times, it is sort of the new middle age.  I have a friend, a good friend who has decided that 50 is something to be definitely celebrated, and that we should revel in it.  Perhaps she is right.  I should think of it as being very positive and that my career is really going to get going this year, better and better.

Anyway yesterday was fantastic.  The friend, who I just told you about, and another took me to lunch in Williamstown at The Anchorage.  My friend, the first one, both love seafood, and seafood platters, so we had one of the best seafood platters I’ve ever had.  We looked at reviews for the

After the movie, while leaving IMAX I had to take a photo of the dome on the Royal Exhibition Building, it was so beautiful.

After the movie, while leaving IMAX I had to take a photo of the dome on the Royal Exhibition Building, it was so beautiful.

platters, or for the best ones in Melbourne and found out that The Anchorage was in the top 5, and it had the best views.  Though we were sort of seated in a funny place, so we couldn’t really take in the wonderful views of the marina and the city beyond.  The platter was fantastic, and lived up to our expectations.  The service was quite good too.  Someone said I should take photos, and I didn’t want to take my camera with me, but thought I could do what everyone else does, so I used my phone. I am not very good of thinking of photos though when I am out for other reasons.

After our very long lunch we went to the IMAX cinema and watched Interstellar, a fantastic film.  I think I like watching movies at IMAX, and I’m looking forward to seeing more there.

The only downside to the whole day was that the main present that was ordered for me didn’t arrive.  I had ordered my Wacom Tablet from Education Software, they usually have great prices.  I ordered it over a week ago, and thought, since it was only coming from Sydney it would be here in plenty of time for my birthday.  Apparently they were closed for Christmas, but if they had notices on their website, they weren’t obvious and I didn’t know.  Then when they rang on Monday because they thought I had made a mistake with my order, I found out, and they said it wouldn’t be sent until later in the week.  All I could think was that it wouldn’t be here for my birthday, that it had been stuffed up.  They did ring back and say it would be sent expressed post, but apparently that never happened.  So I am still waiting for my Wacom Intuos Pro Medium Tablet.  I do hope it will arrive one day.  I could’ve got it from overseas faster.

I have some photos for you, these are ones I took yesterday with my phone.  Not great, but the day was about other things than taking photos.

Weekend Wanderings: Wrapping up the Year Part 2

It was great to hear how many of you enjoyed the photos yesterday and today I thought I would do the same thing, well similar, show you a selection of images that I have taken in Melbourne.  They aren’t just photos of the city, there are also photos taken within the metropolitan area of Melbourne.

There are parks and gardens galore in Melbourne, so much so it used to be called the garden state.

I was a bit shocked when I realised how many images of this area I have taken and how many posts, apparently 56, that is a good number.  So with 37 posts on the country areas, and 56 on Melbourne Metro, that is 93 posts, though to make up the rest I did go back and revisit some older posts.  I think it is quite an impressive number, and so glad that I have done it.  I can’t wait to see what next year brings and the places I will visit, it should be a good year, I hope you will have as much fun.

Weekend Wanderings: Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

This last week I had an opportunity to go into the city and take photos of the Christmas decorations.  I wasn’t alone, there is a woman who does Social Snappers and her 5 year old daughter who keeps wanting to come with her camera and take photos as well.  I love to encourage anyone who wants to take photos, so I sent her a special invitation and last Wednesday I want into the city with Lola and her mum.

We had a great time wandering around taking photos of everything that we saw.  She was using a small Crayola camera that her parents had given her, one that could handle dropping.  I was so impressed with how she took photos, she would compose them carefully before taking them. It was obvious that she knew what she wanted to take.  Her mother has given me permission to show you her photos,

Lola’s images of Melbourne.

Didn’t I say she was good, when you consider the camera she was using and being five years old, the photos blew me away.  Certainly someone that I hope doesn’t stop taking them.  It was great fun seeing the Christmas Festival through the eyes of a five year old.  My daughter came as well, my eldest Briony, but she has grown out of this sort of thing.  It is always nice to see things like Christmas through the eyes of a child.

I took lots of photos as well, but no where near as many as Lola, mine are pretty boring compared to hers, but I will show them to you anyway. Christmas is very close now and we have a tree up and there are presents under it, so I guess Christmas is going to happen here this year, whether we are ready for it or not.  Here are my photos, I have kept a couple to myself for the MM splash of colour, is yours ready?


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