Melbourne, Photography, Weekend Wanderings

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.


  1. Stunning as always! It’s pretty good for us viewers when we expect amazing Leanne photos and you deliver. :)

  2. So much reflection and light in the night. I love the whole set of images! It´s time that I get myself a DSLR. My point and shoot would show you a grainy mess at these light conditions:)
    I love your night photos!

    • I think the wet helped with that some. Perhaps it is, I really don’t think you could do this type of photography without one, though a mirrorless would get you the same results. Thank you Dennis.:)

      • Yes, you can clearly see how the lights of the buildings are reflected through the other wet materials like the ground. Super awesome scene.:)

        You said you did put the ISO settings all the way up… may I ask at what ISO you shot the images, whats the maximum of your camera and what kind of camera it is? Do you get the images done wihtout noise at high iso or do you have to reduce some noise later on with Lightroom or Photoshop?

        I just ask because I don´t know what I can expect when I get my first SLR or DSLR anytime in the future but I am already quite interested in this subject and too nosy. However you did it, the results are fantastic!

      • The wet weather really brings the vibrancy out of the colours. Thank you.

        I only put the ISO all the way up to photograph the swans, I think it was on something like 25000, the rest of the images were done with ISOs between 200 and 500. The one of the swans had a lot of noise, and I used Lightroom to reduce it.

        Lots of fun, some very frustrating fun, a big learning curve, but one that is so worth it. Getting your first DSLR will make it possible to have more control and to do things that you couldn’t otherwise.

      • Thank you Leanne. I can imagine the fun but also the learning curve. I already watch several YouTube videos about this subject at times. It´s really complex but I love the capabilities you get with this kind of cameras.

      • If you get one, I have started doing online photography courses and they are basically for people learning to use their DSLR, so something to think about.

    • I am still little bit far away from my goal but this is something I might consider then. I have put 700 usd (converted) aside but I plan to save twice as much. I am still watching reviews and I´m patient before I make any decisions. I´m afraid of technical limits that I could notice if I got behind the learning curve.

      • It is a good thing to take your time. The best advice I’ve heard was from Nikon, they said think of which camera you want, and then buy the model up, so you have something to grow into. I hope that helps.

  3. Melbourne at night is a sight to behold. I loved it but never got any great photos. I tried to take a photo of one of the trains on the tracks above street level but that idea didn’t work out. I like the idea of the lights of the trains on the bridges over the streets as they come and go from Flinders station. There is so much I would love to photograph there. The graffiti under the rail bridges. The lines of cardboard and rags belonging to the homeless. The homeless themselves. I can see a theme recurring here…. lol

    • Yeah, I am getting an impression of a definite theme. There are certainly a lot more homeless now than there have been before, I think, well I see more. It is so sad, there just isn’t the public housing that there used to be. You will have to plan your trip Suz, though you might need lots of money, everyone wants money when you photograph them now.

  4. Beautiful shots, Leanne. I love photographing around the Yarra at night. Some of my own favourite photos have been done on visits there. Luckily I am going down to Melbourne for a conference next week and am staying at Southbank, so will have some good opportunities.

    • I would love to do that sometimes, just stay in the city and not worry about having to get home afterwards. The Yarra is great, just be careful going under the Sandridge Bridge, a homeless guy seems to have taken up residence and he gets very abusive if he thinks you might be taking photos of him. We copped an earful last weekend.

  5. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

    There must be plenty of kid in me yet because I still love shiny things! These photographs are almost hypnotic with the glare on the water. Melbourne is stunning.

    • I think it is the same for all of Jackie, I love night photography, taking them and looking at them. I think it is, so I am glad you think so too. Thank you

    • I think so too, I love seeing how they come out, you eye never sees the light this well. Thank you so much.

  6. Beautiful. After our summer passes, I intend to get into night photography. But, after the summer passes

    • I can understand that, you have to stay up so long to get night shots in summer, you will have something to look forward to next winter now. Thank you.

      • Oh, winter here can be foggy. Very foggy. I think I shall start around October, and go on through January. Night photography during the foggy January nights could be fun. The reason for the push back now, is the heat. We’re having an intense heat wave. 47.2 Centigrade. I have never experienced such heat. So, all my street photography has been pushed back a few weeks as well. It’s like a furnace at night as well.

      • It is usually like that here, but at the moment it is just wet. We have some beautiful days forecasted in the week coming up, so it should be good to get out and take some photos. When it is that hot, best to stay indoors. Where are you.

  7. Wonderful Leanne, everytime you post photographs I enjoy them. I really like how sharp your night shots are. I find sometimes that mine are not sharp enough when I get them out of the camera, have no idea why.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Are you using a tripod, using a remote shutter release, all that stuff, trying to think of why photos might be not be sharp, tripod too light and the wind catches it. If you are pushing down on the shutter release you might be bumping it too much. I hope these suggestions help.

      thank you, it has been so wet here and I haven’t had a chance to get out and take photos of around here, which is disappointing. Have a great weekend too.

      • I am using a tripod, but not a remote shutter release. I push down on the shutter and set it to release after 2 seconds. Do you think that’s why I don’t get all my photos sharp enough? I thought this might be the cause and I keep telling myself that I need to get a remote shutter release, but never got to it so far.

      • The two second timer should be fine, if you are using that. ARe you touching the tripod at all when taking the photo? Is the tripod not sturdy enough for your camera? A woman was having trouble with her photos the other night because not everything on her tripod was fastened properly. Is your camera a Canon? I went out with a friend the other night and she was having trouble and we couldn’t work out what was happening, in the end it had something to do with the vibration reduction thing in the lens. Does your lens have that?

      • I am not touching the tripod, just the shutter release. I might have to check that everything is fastened properly on my tripod. I do own a Canon camera (1100D), but I’m not sure my lens has a vibration reduction thing. To be honest it might be the lens too, I use the kit lens which is kind of the worst of all the lenses, quality like. That might be the cause of the low quality image, right?
        Thanks for taking your time to answer me:)

        Have a lovely Sunday!

      • It might be, but not sure, are you sure you camera is focused when take the photo. Focusing at night can be really hard.
        Would to help you figure it out. I like puzzles.
        Thank you, my Sunday is just about over now, we have a holiday tomorrow as well.

  8. These are so beautiful! I think my favorite is the reflection one. I like the mood and the man standing at the window looks cool. Not as a person–who knows?! But the image.

    • Which one Nia, haha, thank you. Yes, the image with the least people in it, so busy there now. Thanks again.

  9. I love your night shots. So much colour against a dark velvet sky!! I wish my little town had a more dramatic skyline but alas, we don’t have skyscrapers here. I have to go across the water to the mainland!!

    • We are lucky and I think part of it is because of the river, so it isn’t too wide and you can get it very easily, it is great. YOu might have to think outside the box, and try for some mysterious shots. I should email you, I might have some ideas. Thanks Cybele.

  10. Congratulation – to the success of your photo classes – I would love to be able to join one. Black swans, I’m envy. Your images are just magical. My favorite is 1020.

    • Thank you Viveka, I think there is a market for them, I just have to find it. I keep seeing black swans everywhere, and kangaroos, they have been hanging around a lot lately.

      • Kangaroos in Melbourne ????? I hope I will get a sight of both when visit.
        Just looking at visiting Hong Kong and Japan next spring, after that I will land on your doorstep.
        So glad that you can have use for your talent and knowledge in a way that will help others, brilliant idea.

      • Oh yes, we get kangaroos where we live all the time.
        That sounds great, lots of trips for you.

      • Wow, I hope I will see a kangaroos … and black swans, we don’t have them – wonder why ????
        Leanne, I notice while visiting Istanbul that it’s getting tougher on the old body, especially my numb feet .. to be a good tourist, so if I want to visit fare away places I have to do it soon.

      • YOu never know Viveka, they are often around here, depends on the time of day. Black swans can be harder to find, will let you know if the two in our local park hang around.
        Whenever you’re ready Viveka. We can also do driving as well. Not a problem really.

  11. Amazing night photos. I personally love Melbourne, it is a city with such character and beautiful architecture. Great job in capturing that!

    • I am going to have to go to Adelaide and take photos, people keep talking about it. I am curious now. I have been there but not for many years.

      • Do come some time. I would appreciate an opportunity to be a buyer of some of your pics if you do. It’s a dry state, but it has its charms. Do include the picturesque Adelaide Hills where we live. Thanks for your comment, and best wishes.

      • I would like to, though saving for New York right now. I think Adelaide is similar to Melbourne I think, I would like to go there, haven’t been there for almost 25 years.

  12. Absolutely gorgeous photo’s, Leanna.
    You’ve inspired me to finally read that ‘night photography’ eBook I have, and then go out and try my hand at this.
    If only we had somewhere nearby, as nice as Melbourne, that would be great.

  13. GORGEOUS night shots, Leanne! I once read an author who described the reflection of the lights in the water as “subterranean candles.” I always think of this when I see them. Especially revealed in your 6th photo from the top.

    • I like that, what a great description. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you to for what you said about the images John.

  14. Fantastic night shots Leanne. What a fun way to see Melbourne by doing a photo walk.

    • I hope so, I think it would be so much fun. I love going out in the group, it is great fun and always someone to talk too. thanks Dan.

  15. Lots of great color and reflections. Great photos like always. I envy those who get to go out shooting with you. Where I live there’s nothing that looks like that. I guess that’s why I got more into nature/landscape photography as there’s more of that around me than the scenery that you have. Another thing I have noticed is that usually I don’t like the rain but yet the rain will help produce some very nice photos with the way it makes things reflect along with bringing out additional color where the subjects are otherwise very flat in color. Excellent job!

    • Thank you Justin, I hope people enjoy it, I try and make it relaxing and fun. I am not really a serious photographer, well I mean when I am shooting, I like to have fun. I love laughing. You do have to shoot what is around you. I have lots of that around me too, and it is something I am trying to get better at, seeing what is beautiful around me. Nighttime with rain is pretty special I think, I would do it again.

      • I don’t know if you do the World Wide Photo Walk that is put on by Scott Kelby, but I did it for the first time last year and there was rain in the forecast, but I did it anyways and ended up getting some nice shots. I can’t wait until the one this year.

      • I have never done one, I keep missing them, then again, I hear sometimes hundreds appear, I don’t like crowds too much. Rain isn’t always bad, and I let my students know that we will be going regardless.

  16. Here’s another one of my quotes. This one is about the weather. “When the weather turns bad, the pictures get good.” — Sam Abell — National Geographic Society.

    • That is true for some things I think, though rain can give you those horrible white skies, but overcast, perfect. I love overcast days. Rain at night is great.
      Love the quotes Ray, hope you have more.

      • It’s true for most subjects. Just hide the sky. I have all sorts of quotes. I’ve been around a long while…:)

      • That’s true, and I do if I can when it is like that, or I put in a better one. Thanks, I look forward to more.

  17. I have never commented on anyone before..not sure I know how but hope this works because but your work is truly beautiful!

    • I think we can say you succeeded Wendy, I have your comment and here it is. Thank you so much, so glad you left me a comment.

    • You will have to come and do some one night, have you checked out the social snappers stuff?
      Do you use your name on your blog, I don’t know if I can use your name or not.

  18. Amazing night pictures! The lights and reflections are beautiful, but I also loved the wet street pictures.

    • Thank you Tiny. I like the wet street ones, would like to go in and do more of those, but maybe in other parts of the city.

  19. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Leanne! Would you indicate your settings for just one of the shots (any of them, since they are all wonderful)?

  20. Wonderful photos. I like night photos, lights everywhere, reflections… Yet I can’t still take them myself.

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