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Posts tagged ‘Melbourne’

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.

Weekend Wanderings – Eureka Skydeck 88

On Friday night I had a chance to go up to the Eureka Skydeck 88 to see the city.  The Eureka Tower is the tallest building in Melbourne and they turned floor 88 into an observation deck.  It is a great place to see the city from above and it seems like you are the tallest thing there.  My first reaction when I walked out onto the observation deck and saw the view was “wow”, it was incredible.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-1We got there just before sunset, just in case there was a nice one. There is always a sunset, but whether it looks good or not is another thing.  We had high expectations.  Though we did get rather distracted by trying to get photos that we probably didn’t take in the views as much as we should have.  The observation deck is double glazed, so while you can stop reflections on the first pane of glass it was a lot harder to stop them on the one on the outside.


I do like this one of the city with the afternoon sun shining on it. I live out in that direction, way behind the high rises.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-4Can you see that strange thing on the cloud.  It was the weirdest thing. It isn’t the sun, as the sun was further over on the right.  It was like a cloud rainbow, or something.  So if anyone has any idea what it is and how it happens would love to hear.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-7I have made that sunset look a lot better than it actually was.  Creative license I believe they call it.  It was really a rather pathetic sunset actually.  Just my luck.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-16I loved the view at night, it was stunning.  Though, they were the hardest images to get and I had to spend time on nearly all of them getting rid of reflections.  I took some black cloth with me to help with the reflections, but it didn’t stop them all.  I think if I went back I would try something a little different.  Might have to see if I can try it again.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-19After we left we down to the Flinders Street and tried getting car light trails in front of Flinders Street Station.  It was quite busy and there were lots of cars around.  I have tried doing some stacking with these, gave me lots more lights, something I might have to do some more of.

The Eureka Skydeck 88 is a great place to see Melbourne from above, you get 360 degree views all around the city and out to the bay.  The floor is shaped oddly so you can see different things in different places.  I would like to go back sometime and try some different things, as I said, maybe plan what I want to take more.  Really on Friday night I was just seeing what I could do.

I have a gallery for you today.  I have a Social Snappers Excursion planned for this afternoon for the Melbourne Zoo.  The forecast isn’t looking good, so I don’t know how how we will go.  Could be fun.  Have a great Sunday.


Weekend Wanderings – Melbourne at Night

It is becoming very popular with my Practical Photography Class to spend the last week’s class in the city doing some night photography. It is by far the best class, and so many students really look forward to it and enjoy the evening so much, and this last class was no different.  I am getting so much better at planning where to go, making sure they get some great images.

This last class, I wasn’t sure how it would be.  We decided to go on Sunday, less people, but all day Sunday it rained.  Even as I was getting on the train to the city and getting off, it rained.  As we went for a coffee to start with, it was raining.  Not heavy rain, but enough to be annoying.


Our first stop was in front of the Casino. I had planned that we would be there for the 6pm gas show that the casino does every night.  Though I suspect some nights it is better than others.  I don’t know if it was because it was Sunday or because it had been raining, but it wasn’t great.  The above shot was just before.

The rain stopped for the rest of the evening and it turned out to be a fantastic night for night photography.  The clouds hung around and gave some wonderful skies, I liked the way the light from the city bounced off them.


Then the gas fires started and it went off.  One, there in the middle, wasn’t working, and didn’t give it great symmetry.  It was very disappointing really, though it was good to know that we were in a good spot for capturing them.


We thought of taking more reflections, but there were still so many people around it was hard to get the footpaths with the reflections on them.  Melbourne has become such a busy city, it always seems like there are so many people around.


There were a couple of Black Swans in the water on the river.  They were so hard to photograph in the dark.  I had to turn my ISO all the way up to get any shots of them.  They move around constantly.  I have seen them there before, there are also two that have been hanging out in a park near here too.


I think I mentioned yesterday that I had a One on One Photography Session with someone yesterday, and part of what she wanted to learn to do was take some night photos so after doing some other things around the city we headed down to the river.  It was wonderful being back there, though the biggest difference between last night and last sunday, were the buildings, there were so many more lights on them last night.  They really lit up the skies.

I am going to include a gallery for you now. I will put as the title, Sunday, for the ones taken last week, and Friday for the ones taken last night.  I hope you get to see some night skies with your camera this weekend.  Happy Snapping.

Weekend Wanderings – Melbourne from across the Bay

Many years ago I saw something while I was in Williamstown and I tried taking a photo of it.  I was so excited, but after I got the film back the image was out of focus, I should’ve used a tripod.  So I have been trying to get that image again and last night I had my chance.

LeanneCole-melbourne-williamstown-20140531-9797The image I had got previously was one at sunset and the sunset was reflected in all the buildings in the city.  We pretty much knew we wouldn’t get a good sunset, the forecast for today was all about rain, so there wouldn’t be one really, and we were right.  There was a little colour, but not enough really.

We decided it didn’t matter, we can always go back and so the trip would be more of a scouting trip for future photo classes.


We watched as the sun went down and the lights on the city came on.

LeanneCole-melbourne-williamstown-20140531-9884Massive ships went in and out of the Bay, leaving big light trails on our images.

LeanneCole-melbourne-williamstown-20140531-9916For me the magic started after the sun had gone down.  The cloud cover acted like a reflector and light from the city was bounced around everywhere.

I am going to finish here, and leave you with the gallery.  It is raining here, so not much chance of any photography, though I do have a class tonight, night photography in the city, I hope my students remember their umbrellas. After seeing the marks on these images, I better go and clean my sensor before I go out again.



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