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Posts tagged ‘Tower’

The Stuff of Fairy Tales

The Tower, I’m not going to lie, is probably one of my favourite places in the Bluestone that belongs to Deaf Children Australia.  Every time I go I like any excuse to get up there.  I also think as a child I would have been enchanted by it.  Towers were in Fairy Tales, it was where the magic happened, or so I thought as a child.

The Stairs on the OutsideAs you get onto the top floor, you will see this small staircase, if the door at the top was closed, you would wonder where they go.  They are small and if you are short, like me, or a child, it is perfect.  Everything about it seems to be for a child.  Deaf or not, all children would have loved this tower.

More Stairs to Go UpThe steps inside the door that go up to the rest of the tower are well worn, they have had many people going up and down them over the years.  I suspect they are in original condition.

Looking up into the TowerAs you start going up there, you can start to see what is up here.  There are princess windows, I’m sure that is what they are called, and if they aren’t they need to be renamed.

EnteringA perfect day for fun in the tower.  A perfect place to hide from the world.  I know if I was a child and I had access to this, my dolls would be up there and I would play there all day, if I was allowed.  It is the right size for a child to play princesses in, don’t you think?

Out Onto the RoofOne of the first photos I showed you from this place was looking out this window, but it was showing the name scratched into the roof.  This time it is to show you the view out of one of the windows.  You might be able to see the name there as well.  How lovely is the sky?

Looking Over the GardenThis is the view out the front.  You can see the memorial garden below and the fountain that was donated by the founder, FJ Rose.  Part of the reason for showing you these images, this one and the previous one is that they also highlight some of the deterioration within the building.  The window frames are rotting.  I don’t know that the windows could be opened anymore.

Though it would be normal to see it in this condition if Sleeping Beauty had been up there for a hundred years, or Rupunzel was waiting for her hair to grow long enough for someone to climb up and save her.  I want magic to be there in the tower.  I would love to see it restored and turned into a princesses tower, how amazing would that be.  I think they would need a lot more money for that.  Maybe I should donate some.

If you feel the same way as me, or you would just like to see the building restored then you can donate money toward the restoration by Donating Here.

I thought, I might do a short gallery now of all the images I have done on the building so far, just in case you missed some.

I had forgotten about some of these, so I hope you enjoy seeing them again.

Sent to the Tower

On my first visit to the bluestone that belongs to the Charitable Organisation Deaf Children Australia I was taken on a tour and I was taken up to the tower.  You have seen the tower before, in this image.

Tower AboveIt is at the top of the bluestone building.  I also took some photos inside it and today I thought I would show you those.  I do hope to get more and I do hope that in the near future I will get to start playing more with the photos.  The Manchester Unity Building is taking up much of my time and I hope that I can get it all done and finished soon, not that I mind, I have loved the experience.

Heading upThis is part of the first view you see as you go up the creaky stairs.  This part of the building has had almost nothing done to it and you get to see how it really was.  You also get a great view of the surrounds up there, though I didn’t photograph it while I was there. Next time.

Looking UpThis is looking straight up.  I was told I could go up the ladder, but I declined. It was a rather hot day and I didn’t much like the idea.  I was told by Neil last week that he has been up in there, and in there you can see the slate tiles of the roof and they have been written all over with names from the children who have climbed up in there.  I love the way children have been leaving their names everywhere for at least one hundred and fifty years, I always thought it was a fairly new thing.

Looking OutThis is part of the view when you look out.  You can see the roof and the decorations on it.  That is cast iron and you can see the rain has made it rusty.

Neil wasn’t sure if the tower would be restored as part of the restoration program, but I hope it is.  It is such a lovely space and a wonderful spot to see all around.

Don’t forget if you would like to donate then Donate Here.

Postcards for sale

I have started getting some of my images printed as postcards.  I thought they might be something nice that people might be interested in purchasing.  I thought I would sell them for $4 each for Australian customers and $5 each for international customers, which would include postage.

So far I have only had three printed and I have been so surprised at how great they look.  I got one from Lorne done, and two from the Manchester Building done. I will start a new page on my website so if anyone who follows me would like to purchase, one or three then they can.

Click here to take a look on my website.

ReWorking the Tower

So it isn’t technically a rework, though it is yet another version of the tower from the Manchester Unity Building.  It has been a long road with this particular image.  Well, long hours.  Here, take a look.

Shooting Out

There are so many layers that it must be a massive file.  I should take a look to see.

Last week when I went back in I took many images of the tower, from different places on the 12th floor and at different angles.  It was another crap day as far as the weather went, and I really didn’t think I was going to get any good images (you can see the original image below).  I felt that to do the tower justice, then I needed to capture the Shooting Out - Original arms as well.  The last image I did, was a little disappointing because you couldn’t really see them.  I tried to emphasise them in this image.  I stretched the bottom out a little.

I have spent about 20 hours, give or take one or two, on this image.  I have done many, many layers of blurring, masking, and peeling back.  I have never spent that long on one image before and it was an interesting experience.  I don’t know that I could do it for all images, but I was trying out something with the blurring, and I like how it turned out.  I will have to make notes so I know exactly what I did.

Is it wrong to be fixated by my own work?  There is something about this image that I find I can’t draw my eyes away from.  I like it so much, I think I might make it my header image for the blog.

Speaking of the blog, perhaps I should update what is happening.  I have both blogs, the original one hosted by WordPress and my self hosted blog.  I was just putting updates on the original with the full post on the new, but I noticed that no one, well only a few were coming to the new one.  It all seemed to be falling apart, so I have started doing the full post on both.  There are good reasons, though time wise, it doesn’t really make that much difference.  I do the post on one blog, then cut and paste it into the other, so easy.  I have far more followers on the original, and very few on the new one, and the reasons for starting the new haven’t really worked the way I hoped.  No big deal.

I am off to Eltham tomorrow morning to teach my first class for the year.  It has been popular, so it is full, with a waiting list, and many others turned away.  I hope it works out well.  The class is all about learning to use your DSLR, so should be fun.

Same Scene Different Composition – Part 2

Just over a week ago I did an image of the tower from the Manchester Unity Building and called it Part 1, I knew when I did it that I would want to try doing it again.  Stretching Up - 2nd VersionI like this version a lot better than the other one.  I did a lot more to draw out the details in the image using the blur feature and masking.  I also redid the sky.  I didn’t go all the way back to the start, but rather chose an earlier state.

I am not totally happy with this composition.  I like it in the portrait mode, though I really want to go back now and take more photos.  I think I know what I want to get now.  I feel as though I understand the building so much more now.  I know I was invited to come and take photos, but there is a point where I don’t want to wear out my welcome.  I hope they will let me come back to do the tower again.

Since I was pretty happy with how I processed the image this time, I thought it might be good to see what would happen if I used Silver Efex on it.

Stretching Up - Silver EfexTaking the colour out of it, well I thought it would ruin the image, but I don’t think it has at all.  I like how you just focus on the details and the textures in the fascade of the building.  The detail is so intricate, when I am working on it, I enlarge it a lot so I can work closer, and I get lost in the intricacies of the craftmanship.  It really is a stunning building.

Stretching Up - Color EfexThis time I used Color Efex.  It took me a while to find something that I thought would work.  I quite like the washed out look of this.  I like what it has done to the fascade.

I have left the flag pole at the top, I know some thought it was something else, but I tried it without and I didn’t like it.  I like the illusion that the tower continues up.  It seemed flat without it.

I should send some links to the Kia, the man who invited me to photograph the building and let him see some of the images I have done of it.  It has been a wonderful experience.

Portraits with a Little Touch of Gothica

Last Saturday was my last class for the year.  It was a portrait class, and I am pretty sure I have told you about it already.  Today I thought I would show you a couple of photos that I took of my daughters.  The images have been processed, but not heavily, I had to use Color Efex as well, it was good to see it applied to portraits.

This is Briony, my eldest daughter.  She was quite tired and now that I look at the photos I can see that myself.

This is Klara.  They are my daughters and were the models for the class.  They did a great job.  I didn’t take many photos, but I took these as I was showing the class how to direct the models.   It is important to tell people what you want them to do while you’re photographing them.

Both girls think the other is prettier, though Klara loved the colour of her hair in the image.  When it was changed to black and white she wasn’t so keen.

The images were processed in camera raw, blemishes removed, and then the classical soft focus from Color Efex applied.  I could do more to them, but it would probably be better to do more photos.

Manchester Unity

Today I was given an opportunity to view the inside of the Manchester Unity Building in the Melbourne.  It stands on the corner of Collins Street and Swanston Street and is one of those buildings that is a famous landmark.  Not everyone knows the name, but everyone knows the building.

Recently I was approached by Dr Kia Pajouhesh, the Managing Director of Smile Solutions and the Chairman of the building, and he invited me to come in to take some photos.  Today was about looking around and seeing what he wants me to do and what else I might like to photograph.

It is the most amazing building.  The interior has been kept as it would have been when it was first built in 1932.

Of course the camera came with me, and I took a few photos.

It was the middle of the day, and great photos of the outside weren’t going to happen, but I snapped this one quickly and played around with it.  There are so many textures in the stone and details are everywhere.  This image doesn’t really work, but it is a start, and it was nice to get a shot like this.

I will be going back another day to take some more photos.  I’ll take the tripod and do some bracketed shots for some HDR images.  It is going to be a fantastic experience.  My mind is buzzing with ideas.  I need to go and write down some notes.