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Posts tagged ‘Melbourne’

Weekend Wanderings – Getting Dark in the City

Yesterday I was in the city doing some photos with someone.  We started in the late afternoon and took photos until just after 9pm, it was really getting dark in the city then, so I thought I would do some of those photos as my Weekend Wandering post today.


Melbourne Town Hall, it is looking rather ordinary at the moment, but in a month or two I’m sure it will be decorated for Christmas.  I like photographing the same buildings over, they are always different, whether it is the light, or what they have on them.  I would like do a great fine art architectural shot of this building.  I realised yesterday that I will need to use my wide angle, otherwise I can’t fit in the tower.


Stopping at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade is almost something I can’t stop doing.  I didn’t get many photos as by the time we got there they were clearing the window.  I might have to try getting a shot of that one day.  I did ask some questions about the window, so will try some more photos soon.


Can you see the bright lights in the water, something reflecting off the bridge.  It was really strange, but we had fund trying to get photos of it.

These two photos look the same, well they are really. except one has a blue sky and the other one is browner.  Maxwell International Australia has let me keep the filters a little longer so I could experiment a little more.  The sunset we got in the city was terrible, really, not much colour, so I thought it would be interesting to try the tobacco graduated filter.  It really warms the image up.  I have been playing around more and on Tuesday will show more photos and talk about the kit a little more.


We saw the gas going off outside the Casino.  We got there hoping it would happen at 8pm, but then some other people who were there looked it up and said that it wouldn’t be on until 9.  We thought, oh well, and just kept taking photos of other things, and then all of a sudden, on they came.  I hope the people who thought it came on later still saw them.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t think it was going to happen, and so weren’t really prepared, still we got some shots, I just wish I had got a little more of the reflection.


Then it was time to do some night photos of the city.  I love photographing the city at night.  I love seeing how it looks.  So I love it when people say they want to do it. I especially love doing One on One Photography Lessons for people who want to learn night photography. I don’t know that I will ever tire of it, there are always different places along the river to go.

I am going to leave you with a gallery now, I need to start planning a driving trip today for my daughter to get in some more driving hours, but also so I can go somewhere to try out the filters again.  Have a couple of ideas, but you will have to wait and see.  I hope you have somethings planned for the weekend.  I am back into the city tomorrow for Social Snappers, we are doing architecture along Collins Street, should be great.


Weekend Wandering – Melbourne Indoors

About a month ago I had a Social Snappers Excursion in the city, we went around the arcades, and today I thought I would show you some of those photos. I wasn’t sure about showing them as I have shown so many photos of the arcades I was worried you might be getting bored seeing them again,  however we did go to some places that I haven’t photographed much, so I am going to show those.  It’s really only two places.


One of the first places we went to was the Cathedral Arcade in the Nicholas Building.  It is a beautiful arcade, but very, sadly, run down.  It could really do with some TLC.  I would love to have seen it in it prime.


For no other reason, than because I like it.  I took this in the Royal Arcade, it was on the stand for the Macarons.  I love how they have things like this just sitting there.  They also don’t seem to mind you take photos.


We went to Myer to take photos of the interior.  I am not sure what their policy is on people taking photos in there, but it is such a great building and I love photographing it.  There are so many angles and shapes.  There is glass everywhere so the reflections are amazing as well.  You just never know what you will be looking at.  I do know that woman standing in the middle of the image, I am pretty sure, was watching us.


If you go all the way to the top there is a big window where you can see all the buildings in the city. Well not all of them, but it does give you a good view of the city.

We had planned on doing more, well we did do more, but we were going to head outside, but just as we started it started raining, so it was back inside.  I love going through the arcades, always trying to get something different, makes it challenging that way.  I think the others enjoyed it as well.

I have a gallery for you with a few more images.  Not too many.  I hope you are having a good weekend.

Quiet Thursday’s – Laurent Building

Every time I walk past this building I think of Harry Potter.  I can’t explain it, whether it is the curve on the corner, or the fact that it is at the entrance of a lane. I took this photo during a Social Snappers excursion, and we stayed here for a while as we took lots of photos from different places.


I know a lot of you have already seen this image.  I’ve had it on Facebook, Google+ and Flickr, so I thought it might be time to show it here.

I like how the image has come out, and it was one of the first that I did in this sort of style.  I quite like it, but wished I’d used a tripod, which I didn’t have with me.  I feel like I’m always saying I will have to go back and do it again, and I am sure that for many of them I will, at some point.  I don’t know about this one, if it would be worth it or not. Listen to me, I’m rambling, sorry.

I will just leave it there today, take care and I hope you have a quiet day too.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

Another Tuesday, and again, not a lot to talk about.  Well, not work wise.  I have been doing some things, planning stuff, and working out things about my work.

Social Snappers

I have started getting ready for Term 4, I think I said that last week.  I have lots of great excursions planned, though I still suspect that people think they need to be really good or have a DSLR or something like that to be able to do the excursions.  I don’t know how to stress to people that it doesn’t matter.  I know I have told you how I went out with a friend the other day to take photos and she was using her phone.  It didn’t diminish the experience for either melbourne-zoo-butterfly-house-9of us.

The other thing I have done is start a new website for the Social Snappers, I got the domain and made a blog for it. Here is the link:

Social Snappers Photography Excursions

So please check it out. On the site you can see where we will be going for Term 4.  I have excursions planned for Sundays and Thursdays.

melbourne-zoo-butterfly-house-2I also realise that there are many photography groups around, where you don’t have to pay to attend, but there are differences.  I don’t want these to be about me teaching, but that doesn’t mean if you want to learn to do something that I won’t show you how.  If you have trouble working out something on your camera then I will help you.  I am there to assist.

The other aspect is that the numbers will be kept down, so there is no more than 10 in a group, with the idea being that everyone gets a chance to take photos.  I also know that many of the free groups can have a lot of people attending, so it is a competition to try and get images at times.  Small is good and isn’t overwhelming, especially for new people. I also know that I can get around 10 people and make sure melbourne-zoo-butterfly-house-7they are fine.

Environmental Photography

I am still trying to work this one out.  I love the idea of doing this, but when I look up what it is I keep getting definitions for nature photography or landscape photography.  So now I am confused.  I know that what I want to do is more than nature photography.  I also don’t want to be limited with the amount of post processing I do.

I want my images to evoke emotions, to make people want to care about the environment and what we have left.  I want to help people build a connection with it. I know photos can do that.  We have seen it happen before, we are visual beings, and it is a good way to do it. So, I think I am slowly melbourne-zoo-butterfly-house-1starting to understand the direction I want to go.

It should be an interesting journey.  No idea where it will take me, or what I will end up doing, but if I can help people make that connection and make them want to save our environment, especially from unnecessary development, then it is a direction I definitely want to go in.

The Mallee

I have another trip planned for the Mallee and will be going up next week.  I will be staying for almost a week this time.  I have some trips planned and hopefully will be going back to some places and seeing some new ones.  I am going up on my own this time, and so my mum is going to get annoyed with me having to come out with me a lot.  I am hoping to do some star trails this time.  I have a place worked out, I just hope it works okay.

I am also going to be teaching a Landscape and Photography Workshop in Swan Hill, well, out at Nyah West, which should be great.  We will be going to some salt lakes or pans, not sure what they are called.  I am so excited about melbourne-zoo-butterfly-house-6going there.  Should be great.  Hopefully we won’t get the bad weather that spoiled the trip last time.

I think that is about it for this week.  The photos in this post were taken on a Social Snappers outing when we went to the zoo. The butterfly house is a great place to get photos, well if you can put up with the kids trying to catch them, and their stupid parents for not stopping them. It amazed me how no one thought it was a bad idea to catch the butterflies.


Weekend Wanderings – Revisiting Banyule

My grant application has been in for a couple of weeks, and this last Thursday I joined the Warringal Conservation Society. Then this morning I was trying to work out what to put in the post today and thinking about all the photos of Banyule that I have taken since the beginning of the year, especially as I have Social Snappers excursion there this afternoon. So today, I thought I would go through those photos and make a selection and show them again.  I hope you don’t mind.


There is lots of evidence or remains in this area which says it used to be farming land.  Everyone who lives around here knows that, but it has been interesting, especially since my involvement with the WCS, how much of it was farmland until the 1970’s.  I know that the house I live in was once in the middle of a paddock, and paintings by some of the Heidelberg School show that.  I think it is interesting that it was once bushland, converted to farmland, and now is all set to be bushland again, well if the developers don’t get their way.


One of the biggest threats to this area is the North East Freeway.  In Australia it seems that roads and freeways are more important than anything else, and “we must have as many as we can.  It is important that there are roads everywhere because the only way people can travel is by car.  Public Transport, bite your tongue”.  Well, that is how our government seems to be.  Caring for the environment and what we have always seems to be secondary, or thirdary, I don’t know, a long way down on the list.  Part of the reason for starting to document Banyule Flats and some of the surrounding parkland was, hopefully, to draw more attention to what we are trying to conserve here.


Really, in a nut shell, this is the main part of it.  This beautiful wetlands that is accessible to anyone who wants to visit it.  Anyone who cares about the environment and want to find some peaceful place in a city that is becoming very fast.


Shall we put some perspective on this.  Melbourne is a big city, not necessarily in population, but in land mass.  Everyone wants their quarter acre, so Melbourne has spread out, and spread out a lot.  It is becoming one of the largest cities in the world due to the size of it, or geographically.  It spans 100km from East to West, I suspect more North to South, but not sure.  Still that gives you an idea.  So one of things that makes Banyule Flats so unique is that from the city centre we are only around 15kms from it. Which means there is this amazing parkland, with lots of wildlife, only a 30 minute drive from the city, there is public transport and a train to Heidelberg will get you here in about the same time.


This is parkland, but it isn’t manicured parkland.  There are parks everywhere in the city, but this one is more special because it is about the land returning to its original state and being bushland again.  It is a place where you can go walking, and you might see kangaroos, at night you will see wombats.  There is an abundance of birdlife in and around the swamp. It is a place that is like an oasis in the middle of suburbia.  I don’t know how many times people come to visit me for the first time and they can’t believe where we are, it is like we live in the country, though we don’t.

My grant application is about producing something that will help people understand how beautiful this area is, hopefully, if I get it, I will produce a book on the area, something that will include the history and what the area is significant.  Development isn’t always the answer, and sometimes it is great to just let things be, for now and in the future.

I have a gallery with some of my favourite photos taken since February. They show the different seasons, different times of the day, and just how beautiful it is.  I hope you all agree that conservation is good and think about what you can help conserve in your local area.  I’m looking forward to taking more photos there this afternoon with my Social Snappers group, explore some areas I haven’t been to for awhile.

Introductions – Christine Wilson

Sometimes you just never know when you will find a persons work that really appeals to you.  I have known Christine Wilson, or know of her work for a while, but recently when I started my Flickr account, she started following me.  As you do when someone follows you, especially if you know them, you go and take a look at their Flickr page, and as soon as I saw it, I thought, I must see if Christine will give me permission to feature her work here on one of my Introductions posts.  Which, I think you will have gathered she has.


One of the first things you notice about her work, on her blog, on her Flickr page, and various other places, is that it is all black and white.  As I went through much of her work I think I only saw a couple of colour images and they did seem out of place among all the monochrome work.  It is great to find a photographer who works almost completely in B&W.

How long have you been taking photos for?

I’ve always taken photos ever since I can remember, but I guess I got more serious about it in about 1990 when I  bought my first  SLR – a Pentax P30 N which I still have. I was taught by a friend to use the darkroom and did this for a few years before I had children . I did my own black and white prints.

Why do you take photos?

The main reason I take photos is to document our times, which is why I do a lot of street photography as well as landscapes. I also want to leave behind something for the next generation and the generations after that , first for the family and 2nd for anyone else who maybe interested.


When you look at the address for her blog, it looks like it was called Ambient Capture, which I think sums up her work perfectly.  There is a quiet ambiance in it.  I have spoken before how I like quiet work, and Christine’s work is certainly like that for me.  There is a softness about it, something very quiet.

What is your inspiration?

I love the light and how it effects our every day which is why I do black and white mostly, the scene is uncluttered  without colour, and textures and the form of things stands out a lot more.


There is a timeless quality to her work as well.  Even though many of the things might have only been taken recently there is something about the images that gives them a timeless aspect.  Perhaps it is the black and white that does that, but I do find it very appealing.

Is there anything special about the way you work?

Nothing special about the way I work although I often can’t process from a shoot straight away it may take weeks before I am happy with a shot or shots from an excursion or shoot. I use Lightroom first and  then final editing in Photoshop.


For me, one of the inspirational things I am finding is that she is showing me parts of Melbourne I didn’t know about, so I will be asking lots of questions, though there are images from New Zealand as well, she said she was originally from there, but as many images are from around here, it will be nice to talk to another Melbourne based photographer.  Look out Christine, lots of questions coming your way.

What gear do you use?

My eyes glaze over when talking gear, I hate gear talk,   I have very basic equipment Nikon 5100 with 18-55, 55-200 and a prime Nikon 1.8 along with my film SLR which I rarely use and a D40X as a backup camera.  The camera is a tool only.


I also thought many of you, myself included would find her work so inspiration, give you lots of ideas for what you can do for Monochrome Madness each week.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christine for giving me permission to feature her work here on my blog.  She has provided me with a heap of links where you can also find her work.

Blog – Christine Wilson PhotographyFlickrZenfolioRed Bubble500px, and Google+

I hope you will all go and look at her work, see if you can get some inspiration as well.  I am rethinking my photography and how I should consider doing more black and white, perhaps.

Thank you Christine.  Here is a gallery with more work.




Weekend Wanderings – The Other End of Melbourne

On another One on One a few weeks ago we went into the city very early on a Sunday morning and took photos around parts of the city I’ve never really explored before.  I knew that lots of the buildings were there, but I hadn’t bothered to take photos of them, or hadn’t been there with my camera before.  It wasn’t the best day for taking photos, but as I heard Moose Peterson saying recently on a KelbyOne video, if the weather is bad, think of it as a scouting trip, and see what you get, so you can plan further shots.  I like that, and while I don’t think these shots are necessarily fantastic, I did get to take some photos somewhere I hadn’t before, I realised that Sunday morning is a great to get shots at these places and maybe I will plan a trip back sometime.


This is a view of Collins Street you don’t see very often, meaning the footpaths are normally full of people.  This is like the gateway to the business district, and during the week there would be no way you would be able to get a photo like this.  I liked this view, and thought perhaps I would make more of the empty footpath at some stage.  Actually many of the photos in this post I had always thought I would do that with.

Melbourne-city-buildings-old-doorways-7This is the old Stock Exchange Building, I believe.  It is such an incredible building, very gothic.  I had to move some things that were obstructing the view of the building.  I did a video of how I do that over on my other blog, if you are interesting, here is the link, The Before, then the After, and some of the Inbetween.

The amount of detail that was put into these buildings just astounds me, and when I look at the modern counterparts, there really is no comparison.  It is a shame that modern buildings don’t have the same level of detail.

Melbourne-city-buildings-old-doorways-10The sun came out and was shining on the buildings, but I don’t think it translated very well on the photos.

Melbourne-city-buildings-old-doorways-16I had photographed this lane once before, but it was over 10 years ago and I wanted to go back and see if it had changed a lot. It hadn’t.  I did this image in monochrome because I was going to use it for MM one week, but in the end went with something else.

Melbourne-city-buildings-old-doorways-20This the back of a shop in a lane, and I liked that bit of wood sticking out the top.  I think it would have been a lot longer and would have been used to pull things up to get them onto the first floor, it definitely looks like there were doors there at some point.

I have a gallery for you, and sorry for the short post, the “I think I am getting a cold” has turned to, “I definitely have a cold” and it is in my head right now and I have a massive headache.  So I am just leaving you with all these photos today.  A lovely part of the city.  I think I have to go back, and think I will make it a Social Snappers Excursion next term.  I hope you are having a better weekend than me, take some great photos.


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