Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Yarra River’

Up for Discussion: Photographing Your Backyard

Perhaps not literally, but what about the area you live in.  I have written about this before, but maybe it is time I did it again. Whether we live in one of the most picturesque places on the planet, or somewhere that no one cares about, there are images there to take.

I’ve lived in this area for 21 years and I’ve been doing photography for longer than that, but I’ve always thought that I needed to travel away from the area to take photos.  What on earth could there be to photograph around the Heidelberg area in Melbourne that anyone would be interested in.

Then I started looking at the images that many other people were taking of other parts of the world. These absolutely LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0993spectacular shots of places in the best conditions.  I kept wondering how come every time I go to great places the weather never seems to be on my side.  I never get the sunrise or the sunset.  I don’t get beautiful lighting, I just get blah and often. The reality of the world is that there is more blah than beautiful.

Then about a year ago, maybe a little more, I started realizing that I did live somewhere rather special and that all I had to do was open my eyes to see it.

I live in an area surrounded by city, but here, just 15 or so kilometres from the city, where the Yarra River winds its way to the city, is an amazing area that was initially occupied by the Wurundjeri people before displacement and the “new” owners of the land took over and turned it into farmland.  It was LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9530farmland until about 20 years ago, and from then it is slowly being allowed to return to what it was when the Wurundjeri lived on it.

It has taken me many years to truly appreciate what we have here, and with that want to help protect it and save it.  Many of you know that I have received a grant to produce a book on this area, and so taking photos of it has become very important.

One of the things that I’ve come to realize is that I can go any time, it is just five minutes down the road. It makes it so much more relaxing.  If I go down there to get a sunrise, and I don’t get one, well there will be others, and there will be other opportunities.  I am still to get a good sunset down there, but I am working on it.

Getting good images of a place isn’t about going somewhere exotic, but knowing intimately the place where you are. banyule-flats-social-snappers-sun-6 Of course you can get to know a place that you have to travel to well, but you have to be prepared to travel there often.

I have decided that the trick to getting good images is to know an area and spending lots of time in it.  For Banyule Flats I am always looking for new things and the more you go there the more you notice.  I am always on the lookout for new things

I am always paying attention to the weather reports and looking out for days I think will give me good sunrises or sunsets.  If it looks good for a sunrise and I get up early, I can go outside and if there are no clouds, or it is overcast I go and have a cuppa.  If it looks like everything is set then I will take a drive down the rheidelberg-banyule-flats-parks-14oad. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed when I’ve driven to somewhere for a sunrise and it has been a nothing morning and nothing has happened.

It is very easy to think that where you live is boring. You see it all the time, you are used to it, and we all know when you see something all the time that it can become boring, who wants to see it?  Well you don’t know, there is beauty everywhere and there is beauty where you live, you just need to find it again.

Start thinking about what if someone, say me, was coming to visit you, where would you take me to take photos, then go there and take some photos. Think about what light would suit that place and maybe try some different times of the day.  Try going in different weather, it is amazing how different weather conditions can give a place a different feel.

I hear so many times from so many people that where they live is boring, so I am challenging you all to pick somewherebanyule-flats-fog-parks-trees-11 that is within 5 kilometres or 3 miles from where you live and see what you can come up with.  Banyule Flats is within that area from me.  See what you can get, I look forward to hearing all about your place. If you do a post on the photos, then send a link, I will get to as many as I can to take a look.

So the photos today are an assortment of the photos I’ve been taking at Banyule Flats and surrounding areas over the last year and in different weather.

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:

leannecole-sccity-2613

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.

Melbourne

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 sun.melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-124

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.

 

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: Looking Back at the Photos of Melbourne Part 1

This last week has been busy and tiring, very tiring, and I haven’t been able to get out and take photos like I would have liked, actually if I am truthful, I haven’t been out at all and now I find myself with the weekend being here and no photos for Weekend Wanderings.  I had hoped to get out and take some photos, but it hasn’t been possible, so I thought I might start looking back on the year that has almost ended, seems like a good time to do that sort of thing.

I have been into the city so many times this year to take photos of Melbourne, so this weekend I thought we might just look back on some of the photos I have taken.  This post is going to be the first six months of the year.  I love going back and seeing what I have taken, I have usually forgotten half them, so it is good to see them again.  Tomorrow I will put up the second half of the year, and then over the weekend I will have rounded up the year and my photos of Melbourne.

I am just going to put the images into a gallery for you to look at. I am going to take it easy this weekend, and I hope you get a chance to do the same.

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-sunset-night-river-buildings-101

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.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-103

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.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-110

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.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-118

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.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-120

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.

 

Influencing Me – The Heidelberg School of Painters

The Heidelberg School of painters are really a group of painters that often painted together around Melbourne, in various places, and yes, here in Heidelberg.  I don’t remember when I first heard about them, but it was a long time before I ended up living in this area.  They had always fascinated me, something about a group of people going out to paint together.  It a period of Impressionism, and plein air painting.  They would come to Heidelberg on the train in the late 1800’s set up camps and paint.  You can find lots of information about them on a site called In The Artist’s Footsteps.

Walter Withers

I look at the paintings and I know a lot of the areas, of course they look nothing like the areas now, back in those days it was all farmland.  It is like looking at old photos of an area, and I am sure there are photos of this area, but I haven’t seen any.  The creek thing is still there I think, though, again, it has been changed.

It is funny looking at that image of Rosanna Road being a dirt track, now it is an incredibly busy road and one most of us locals stay right away from, if we can avoid it.

Withers_tranquilwinterAnother Walter Withers painting, and this one is of a house that is actually not that far from where I live.  The house is still there, but all the farmland around it has been built on and there are houses everywhere.  From what I can work out the watering hole for the cattle is no longer there, either.  I have been in that house, a couple of times a few years a go.  It was the original managers house for the Banyule farm.  People still live in it today.

Arthur_Streeton_Spring_1890

I do think I also know this spot.  It is in Eaglemont, a suburb right next to Heidelberg.  I find it fascinating to see it here like this, looking so wonderful.  Along the Yarra River much of the land has now been made back into bushland, and it is becoming overgrown.  I suppose animals grazing on the land would have kept it from becoming to overgrown.

Conder_boysbathingPeople swimming in the Yarra River, not far from here.  It is funny seeing the Yarra in many of these images, it is so different now.  I don’t know many places were you can walk up to the side of it like this.  The Yarra has, I don’t know what you call them, cliffs, maybe, all along the edges of it.  It says the above painting was done near what we call Banksia Park, I will have to investigate.

After_the_Heat_of_the_Day_-_Walter_Withers_(1891)

It is like these paintings were done of a whole different area.  I believe that what is happening in many of these areas along the river is that it is returning to its natural state, before the area was “settled” and turned into farmland.  There has been lots of work done to try and insure that it is returned to that state. As I said in my post yesterday.

The Heidelberg School of Painters was one of the first major art movements in Australia, it is a rich collection.  Almost every major public gallery in Australia has at least one of their paintings.  I can remember looking at the paintings at the gallery here in Melbourne and trying to work out where they were painted.  I never dreamed I would be living in the same area, and in some cases, taking photos in the same places.  The swamp at Banyule Flats was there, it was a cow paddock at this time.  The waterways to fill it had been diverted, that have been put back so that it does get filled now.

It is so interesting to me, perhaps because they are Australian, or perhaps because they painted what they saw, I don’t know.  I can’t explain it.  Do you have a movement that has touched you?

I have a gallery now with lots of paintings.  I haven’t talked about the individual artists, but if you want more information on them, then check the website,In The Artist’s Footsteps. It has more paintings, information on the individual artists and where they painted. I just want to add, that it was very hard getting images of the paintings, of course it is Australia, so they do everything to stop, I don’t know what.  The quality isn’t always good, but it gives you an idea of the paintings.

 

 

 

Weekend Wanderings – Banyule Flats Bird Life

As I said yesterday the weather here has been really good and it has been nice to be able to get out into the local parks and get some photos where the sun has been shining.  This last week I went out with one of the members from the Warringal Conservation Society, another keen photographer, but also a keen bird watcher.  She knew all the birds that were around, and has been able to identify them for me.  I took the Sigma 150-500mm lens that I am borrowing at the moment to see if I could get some good photos of the birds with that.  We went into Banyule Flats, parkland near Heidelberg, in the cities north east.

6-banyule-flats-morning-parks-birdsBanyule Flats has a very active bird life, and every time I go there, there are birds everywhere in the water.  More and more of the water weeds are growing, so a lot more birds are coming to the swamp.  I never really thought of myself as a bird watcher, but I really enjoy seeing them all down there.  It is like a bird metropolis within another metropolis.

7-banyule-flats-morning-parks-birds

Swan Parents with their Signet

The one thing that everyone is watching down there at the moment are the Black Swans and their babies, not black, but grey.  I was so happy to see the two of them again, the last few times I’ve been down, there has only been one, and I was hoping the other was on the nest.  They are the talk of the Flats, and a lot of people are going down there to see them and make sure they are okay.  Apparently there were 5 signets, but one has been lost, or killed.

15-banyule-flats-morning-parks-birds

Darter

The swamp isn’t the only place to see the birds, we also went for a walk along the Yarra River, which is right next to the swamp, and we saw the above Darter swimming in the river and then she got up onto the branches to sun itself.  Beautiful bird.  When I first saw it in the river I thought it was a snake, the way its head stuck out.  Then the woman I was with explained it was often called a snake bird.  Apparently this one is female, because the males are all black.

23-banyule-flats-morning-parks-birds

Kookaburra

Everywhere you walk around the parks, all you can hear are the birds, and the ones that stand out are the Kookaburras as they laugh at us, or each other, I don’t now.

24-banyule-flats-morning-parks-birds

Tawny Frogmouth

This was my favourite find, the Tawny Frogmouth.  A native here, and very hard to find, not because there are few of them, there are lots of them, but because they are nocturnal, they hide themselves well.  We had been told where this one was and so were able to find it.  There were two others we were told about, but we couldn’t find them at all.  They make themselves look like limbs on a tree, so that makes them harder to find.

I am going to put together a gallery for you now.  All the photos were taken with the Sigma lens, and I tried to get some shots of other things.  Though I went out again yesterday with a wider lens, and got some images of the area with that, which I will show you tomorrow.  I have tried to get all the birds identified, but I missed out on a couple, so if I find out what they are, I will add them.  I hope the weather is great where you are and you have a splendid weekend taking photos.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34,397 other followers