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.
This shot didn’t turn out as good as I wanted and despite fiddling with the contrast in post processing, I must have had the wrong camera settings, but at least you can see what I was trying to achieve.
This lady thought I was photographing the gorgeous pink colour of the sky as the sun was setting, but in actual fact I was trying to catch the shop lighting on her face and coat.
It was quite dark in this area of the main street – but I was drawn to the patterns of the locked grill and the pavement.
This is a water feature in the City Square which has a thin film of water pouring down a rough surface. People pick up wind-blown leaves off the ground and stick them to the vertical surface to spell out names (and then usually get some one to take a photo of them in front of the water feature). One of these young men asked to take their photo so they could send it home overseas to a loved one spelt out in the leaf formation.
This area of the city square has lawn on a raised area and restaurants to the left, with my tram stop to catch a tram home on the right
This shot could have been improved with 3 bracketed photos. One under-exposed, one medium and one photo over-exposed. I know about these things, but have never really managed to do it successfully yet. Last night, I couldn’t remember how to do this process at all. My short-term memory just went completely blank.
The modern trams which run from some of the outer suburbs to the city centre are comfortable, swift and run regularly. The older trams with narrow doorways and steep steps are not so good when you’ve got bulky bags and camera gear. I have several choices to get home via various trams and buses, but when tired, I try to find one of the modern trams that are much longer, have a single step and more seating..
After the tram, I usually catch the bus from this local street up the hill to where I live. At night, there’s always a succession of fast moving vehicles to practice making photos of moving vehicles. It’s a good way to pass the time waiting for the bus.