Once upon a time, Melbourne’s General Post Office was the centre of the city’s postal service where thousands of letters were received and sorted. Located on the intersection between Bourke and Elizabeth Street, the GPO building was conveniently positioned in the city’s central business district and its location continues to be used as a point of reference to measure distance from the centre of Melbourne. From the mid-19th Century right up until 1992, Melbournians visited the GPO to post letters, buy stationary, check their PO boxes and pay bills, but these days the building is home to retailers and restaurants.
(note: I didn’t have the right lens to capture the rest of the building when walking through the city earlier this week, but I liked the image all the same).
In general, I rarely go into the Melbourne City’s CBD (central business district) any more as it’s so crowded in the main Bourke Street pedestrian only shopping mall and I find my senses overwhelmed.
My MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) is super-sensitive to perfumes, chemicals, loud sounds and bright lights.
Yesterday’s visit to my favourite hairdresser, who can tame my wayward hair into some resemblance of style, and my regular Dental appointment (next Wednesday) are about the only reasons for a visit.
Yesterday was hot and airless in the crowd, but one can never predict the weather in Melbourne (when you make appointments the previous week).
As I was hurrying to catch a tram to the south side of the city, I stopped for a moment to watch the above scene. I’m not sure whether I captured this scene as well as I could have (had I more time), but street photography is often a quick un-composed shot anyway.
I couldn’t help but be highly amused at the sight of 2 women calmly sitting on the step eating their lunch(?) while the cameraman was recording a clip of (perhaps) a journalist or TV weatherman behind them?
Next minute, a man in a velour sort of dressing gown (?), complete with ankle socks and thongs, interrupted them, walked up to the person being filmed and put his arm around him (I missed that shot), so they stopped filming. I couldn’t work out whether he was part of the crew. or a passerby in a rather strange outfit on a cold winter’s day wanting to be photographed with a celebrity of some sort? I was too far away to really see much.
I rarely go in to the city centre to do street photography these days. It’s usually a quick stop, or walk down a lane, on the way to somewhere else.
This image I made in Flinders Lane in Melbourne yesterday deserves an explanation (apart from the fact it looked terrible in black and white, hence the colour version).
I was hurriedly walking to the other side of Melbourne’s CBD for an appointment at Olympic Park Sports Medicine and went partway via Flinders Lane. Yesterday was a perfect Autumn day in Melbourne with flawless blue sky and a gentle breeze. The narrow Flinders lane falls into deep shadows in various sections from the newer high-rise office blocks that line this narrow thoroughfare.
I walked past a row of motorbikes parked on the footpath and was suddenly struck by this amazing ‘spotlight’ on a motorbike side mirror. After stepping back a pace or two, I lined up the shot which reflected the architectural detail of an old restored building on the other side of the street catching a beam of bright sunlight (which reflected the clear blue sky in its windows).
lt was like a blue spotlight in a semi-dark room and reminded me of the most amazing details in our cities if we walk slowly and have an observant eye. None of the other motorbike side mirrors had the same effect. They were all dark.
It must have been one of those ‘right time, right place’ moments. I guess you’d have to actually be there to appreciate this unique well-lit snapshot 🙂
In the absence of being close to Melbourne’s CBD and the opportunities to do Street Photography now I’m living further away in the western suburbs, sometimes I have to resort to photographing something indoors.
Shooting ordinary everyday objects indoors is actually not as easy as it looks I must say.
Feel free to offer some constructive criticism in the comment box below.
I first met John Francis Carroll when he was busking at the Queen Victoria Market in North Melbourne last year.
His guitar playing was superb and I sat on a bench nearby for quite some time (lost in his music). I approached him during a break in his playing and asked if he minded me making some photos of him as he played and if it would be ok to share them online. I can’t remember that I did share them online at the time, but I certainly emailed him several images a few days later and said he could use them in any way he wished. I bought a couple of his CDs – Salmon Tails Up The Water (Celtic music, of which I am a big fan) and Musica Dalla Corsia (an even better collection of his talents) which I have listened to many times and thoroughly enjoyed.
He plays guitar, harmonium, bodhran, keyboard and Mandolin.
You can imagine my surprise and delight to get an email from him last week saying he loved one of the images so much, he’d used it on the back cover of his latest CD; Blues Instrumentals (of which I received several copies in the mail today but haven’t had a chance to play the CD yet, having been in the city half the afternoon for an appointment and some street photography).
As an amateur photographer, I must admit I get a thrill when anyone uses one of my images and credits me as the Photographer.
John plays at various venues in and around Melbourne, together with some function & festival work. He may be contacted on his website.
Keep any eye out for him if you’re a Melburnian – he’s well worth listening to.