FESTIVAL TIME – FEDERATION SQUARE, MELBOURNE

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A LONG DAY (INTO LATE AFTERNOON)

I’m way behind in reviewing photos I’ve made recently, but decided these were worthy of my Black & White Blog (as opposed to my other blog Living With Nature).

After all, they ARE  Black & White and that’s what this blog is all about (not necessarily Street Photography).  The fact that I started with street photography doesn’t mean every post will be along those lines.

BUSKERS (Street Musicians)

I tried so hard to take the last image in this series without that plastic barrel lane divider behind the musician’s head, but all my efforts were to no avail.  I could have left the image out of this post, but these amazing and very talented musicians deserved to have all 3 photos online.  (I guess some of you experienced P/S editors could have removed the barrel from the background).

These photos were made as I waited for a tram to take me home and their music was just extraordinary – the perfect background for a long wait and a delight to the senses.

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LOW LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY in the City at Dusk

It was just after 5.00pm when I arrived in Melbourne’s CBD yesterday and with several urgent errands already completed near my home, I must admit my feet were sore and I was tired.

I had been planning to go to a friend’s Art Exhibition opening, but by the time I walked around a couple of blocks to fill in time until the 6.00pm opening, my feet, (always a pain problem with too much walking), just couldn’t carry me any longer and I was forced to go home, having missed the exhibition completely.

I hope it went well.

I did manage to make quite a few images in the low light of the lane up that end of the city before I left though.  I probably missed the best photo opportunity in the dark lane when I asked 2 chefs leaning against a wall if I could take a photo of them in the low light.  Their white aprons and chef’s hats stood out really well in the dark.  But they declined, so I kept walking.

There was little, or no light, in some spots and hand holding the camera down to 1/15, 1/20 & 1/30 shutter speeds meant I ended up with a lot of soft focus.  I managed to sharpen the focus on most of them in post processing, so if you are aware of poor focus, they’re probably the 1/15 shutter speed images I couldn’t sharpen.

Normally I can’t hold the DSLR perfectly still below a shutter speed of about 1/40.  Despite this, I’m still keen to share the images.  I couldn’t decide on any one particular photo.

I love low light photography and while I had to ‘tweak’ the definition, contrast & light a little,  I’m sure you will get the atmosphere that I was trying to achieve.

I think this is about the first time, I’ve really had a chance to make many low light photos (in the city at night) with my DSLR – I’m keen to have another try in the future, but next time, I won’t be walking around doing errands beforehand.  I’ll ensure I am not breathing heavily with exertion, so I can hold the DSLR still.  Perhaps next time will be better with my 50mm f1/4 lens.  These images were made using my general 18-200mm telephoto ‘walk about‘ lens which I use when I can only carry one camera body & lens.  My previous city photography at night was using my small Canon A3000 IS ‘point & shoot’ camera just over 3 1/2 years ago.

 

 

BUSKERS (street musicians) and the CROWD – Melbourne CBD

Lunchtime in the city centre amidst the Easter School Holiday period is not the best time to be in the city.

It’s crowded.

It’s busy……………. and not so easy to get served by shop assistants (if you’re in a hurry).

But at least I feel more comfortable taking crowd scenes which include children.

Yesterday, all my favourite Latin American Buskers were absent, but the lively beat of Youth really drew the onlookers.

 

CANDID SHOTS FROM MY ARCHIVES THAT REALLY GOT ME INTERESTED IN STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Once again, apologies to the long term followers that have seen these images before, but I thought new followers might like to see these candid images that sparked my interest in Street Photography.

As always, if you see yourself in one of my images and object to it’s public viewing, just drop me a line and I’ll remove it.

(But I really hope you don’t, as it’s these Candid Shots that record our Culture and Urban Environment for Future generations to come).

Chinatown and Chinese New Year

I’m finding it harder than I thought to ‘see’ in Black and White, but I’m determined to master it.  That’s what this new blog of mine is supposed to be about – exploring Monotone (particularly in regard to street photography).  But I also hope to explore some other subjects as well.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some old B & W conversions.  If you’ve followed my old blog for some time, you may have seen these images before, but I hope you’ll enjoy seeing them again.

To me, Chinese New Year is about colour (red), noise and movement, but does it work visually in Black and White?  

Not sure.  Maybe not.  Let’s face it, Chinese New Year IS colour!

Once thing I did notice is that one has to increase the contrast and exposure to change these colour images to monotone.

 

 

 

NOSE JOB (or rather quirky department store window display)

 

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Sorry about the lengthy photo gallery, but I just could not decide which images to post.  The Actors walked between 3 display windows and then eventually brought on a model to show how they did the nose plaster casts.

I have to say, it was one of the most fascinating, innovative, creative window displays I’ve seen for a long time.  As I started taking photos, a large crowd gathered to see what I was looking at.   A few iPhones caught the occasional image, but somehow it was the whole lengthy display which my eyes were glued to – not just one single image.  Not sure whether I captured it for you.  I guess you really had to be there……….. in front of the department store windows………..to appreciate the performance.

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The Old Forum Theatre – an architectural gem

It was overcast, very dark and with the threat of heavy rain, I took 6-7 quick photos before my 12.30 free Meditation Session in The Atrium at Federation Square in Melbourne’s CBD today.

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I can’t profess to be an experienced architectural photographer, but each time I see the ornate towers and clock face of the Old Forum Theatre, I’m astonished at how well it blends in with Melbourne’s wide variety of architectural details.  So while a little dull for Black & White images due to the weather, I liked these 4 images enough to share them with you.  When I started this new blog, I wasn’t going to do any writing, just share photos, but I feel the ‘dullness’ and flat exposure needed a little explanation. For those new to my blog, I must add that I dislike photo editing, so try hard to take a reasonably exposed shot ‘in camera’ these days.  I daresay an experienced photo editor would have improved these somewhat.  (I was also going to only post once a week, or less, but there you go,  a few posts to start this new blog in quick succession gives you more than a glance at the city I love to call home).

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A few weeks ago, I overhead a British tourist express astonishment  at the remarkable array of architectural styles in Melbourne’s main shopping precinct and central business district (CBD).  This tourist was right.  I zoomed out as far as I could with my 18-200mm ‘walk about’ lens and tried to capture a line of the some of the styles.

The 5th image, (below), was shot just over a year ago, late one afternoon as the sun dropped below the skyline and only lit up one tower of the theatre.  At least there was a cloud in the sky and one shaft of bright light to add some interest to this composition.

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Sunday in the City

I have never seen the city of Melbourne so crowded as it was last Sunday.  Seems like the whole of Melbourne converged on the main shopping precinct and inner city lane ways.  Bright sun and dark shadows made for some great B & W photo opportunities.  Shame I was in a hurry and had to make do with just a few quick shots.

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Lost in the Music

1-IMG_6434Lost in the music

Lost in the past

Thinking of loved ones

From when he saw last

Remembering the moisture

Of tears in the Dark

The touch of slim fingers

As hands slipped from his grasp

Torn by the memories

Burned by their mark

Of a wife left behind

Comforting a child in the dark

 –

Clinging to fragments

Of their time spent together

Of their family of three

Of experiences weathered

So long since he saw them

So long since they danced

His wife of such memories

As he remembered by chance

The music reminded

Of happy days long gone

It seeped into guitar strings

And blended in song

Remembering the Good Days

Remembering the Dark

Of a family in Peru

Left behind in the Past

Written 11th September 2012 (after making the image)