I love ambling around the pedestrian-only shopping precinct of Melbourne’s CBD people-watching.

I love the mundane and ordinary (as I’ve often said before)…expressions on people’s faces.

The fatigue and boredom of some.

The lively expression of others.

The chaotic scramble as shops and office buildings close down and melt into the low hum of cafe society – coffee shops, wine bars and restaurants – opening up for the evening trade.

The last bars of the Busker’s song and the frantic fumbling as I negotiate my new camera’s haphazard listing of settings.  And a silent curse as I resort to Auto ISO, Auto white balance and Auto Auto.  No, I don’t mean ‘full’ Auto.  I thought I had ‘the cat in the bag‘ last week, but I seem to be struggling with the exposure this week.  And the framing.  And my memory (of manual read and repetitious sample shots at night).

Too many things to do this week, so my Photography will be limited.




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.