OVERHEAD LINES – MELBOURNE CBD

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Since I took up Photography as a hobby, I’ve made dozens of images of the Buskers in Melbourne’s CBD (central business district).

From musicians, jugglers, illusionists, circus acts , gifted creators of amazing street art and mime artists, but my favourites have always been the Latin American or Flamenco Guitarists.  Some of them are World Class and I’ve even bought some of their CDs (on sale next to their street performance site).

They probably tour Australia (or Europe and the rest of the World), but when I don’t see them for a while, I often wonder – where are they now?

The Trio below (two of whom seem to interchange with a couple of different guitarists), I first photographed in 2012, then in September 2013 and more recently in February this year.  Their music is sublime – lively, uplifting and full  of amazing guitar finger work.  True performers and entertainers…….and really great vocals.

I hope they come back this summer to Melbourne’s main shopping precinct.

I’ve missed them.

 

 

JUST THINKING – Melbourne CBD

IMG_0424Winter returned with a vengeance this morning and I wasn’t sure what to do with my afternoon.

The wind chill was more than a little sharp.

But the sun came out and blue sky heralded possibilities.  It was sure to be warmer in the city centre, so that’s where I headed.  When walking around the city streets, I’m always looking up, down and all around me.

This image was up through a first floor window.  Had to increase the contrast when I converted it to B & W to allow for shooting through glass and despite the noise in the background, I decided it was a keeper. 

More and more I’m looking for simple compositions these days.

 

THE WINDOW CLEANER – in front of Melbourne Town Hall florist stall

There’s nothing like the extraordinary light and deep shade when sunlight reflects off winter rain clouds.  Yesterday in Melbourne’s CBD (Central Business District), I made quite a number of photos showing this.

The image below, (shot from across the street facing Melbourne Town Hall), is an excellent example.

This is the last image from yesterday’s walk in the city.

I wished I’d made more images with this light, but with peak hour fast approaching, I didn’t want to miss finding a seat on Melbourne’s public transport system, so headed for the tram stop after this photo.

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MID-WINTER WALK AROUND MELBOURNE’S CBD

Despite the mid-winter chill in Melbourne yesterday, I made time for a very quick walk ‘around the block’ (after finishing my errands).

The sun came out and in some areas made strong contrast for Black & White photo opportunities.  I tend to photograph the same areas each time I go in to the city these days because……quite simply……. that’s what I have the energy for.  Hopefully Spring and low wind conditions will make it worth venturing further afield, but for the time being, the inner city buildings makes a good job of cutting the wind chill factor and keeping me warm.

I certainly admire the Buskers and Street Musicians who sit and/or stand for hours on end in the cold (hoping for an audience and a few gold coins in their upturned hats on the ground).  Audiences are few and far between on a cold day.

SEAGULL FEEDING FRENZY AT THE FISH MARKET (Queen Victoria Market, North Melbourne)

I was up the north end of Melbourne yesterday and despite a couple of heavy packages to carry,  decided to drop in to the rear of the Fish Market to make some photos of the daily feeding frenzy.  This is the 3rd time I’ve walked around this small back alley at market closing time.  I’ve always had a fascination with the Seagulls down at the local beach and pier, but the Queen Victoria Market is rapidly becoming a fun way to spend half an hour watching the seagulls, (and a few pigeons), waiting for the titbits that are washed out of the plastic fish crates behind the market.

With black rain clouds hovering overhead and to the north-east of the sky, it was a little dark, so had to lighten nearly every image, but not too much, as I prefer to capture the wintry atmosphere of the day.

 

SATURDAY IN THE CITY (of Melbourne)

I spent most of yesterday afternoon wiping rain drops off my camera and lens.

The sun did appear from behind the dark grey clouds a few times, but it was generally lacklustre light conditions for photography.

The result………………some shots in focus, but many blurred as I hurriedly aimed and then tried to get out of the spattering of rain drops.

But maybe that’s the way it should be on a Dark, Gloomy Saturday afternoon in Melbourne’s winter.

 

 

Sculpture in Colour

A couple of followers wanted to see this sculpture in colour, so here is the original straight out of the camera.

The sculpture is actually pure white (and the purple on the legs and arms is purely the reflection off the building and the light at the time of making the image).

The building is dark grey, not this bluish tone, so my camera settings didn’t even get that colour correct.

Made about 2.40pm on an overcast day with an ISO of 800 which is about the highest I can go without getting noise.   The shutter speed was 1/20 and since I can rarely hand-hold the camera steady below 1/40, I thought the focus turned out pretty good (in the absence of a tripod with the slow shutter speed).  I rarely take a tripod into the city centre as it’s too bulky on crowded public transport and on this particular day, I also met the protest rally up this northern end of the city and it was very crowded in the nearby main street.

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SCULPTURE – northern end of MELBOURNE CBD

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Located in an inner city lane, is this enormous, remarkable sculpture above a doorway.  I’ve seen it before and can’t help but be impressed by the building owner’s creative touch to an otherwise dark uninteresting bluestone cobbled lane near the northern end of Melbourne’s CBD.  Highly creative with beautiful flowing lines, it shines like a beacon outside a restored old warehouse style of building.  I don’t know whether the building is a residence or an office as there was no sign and the windows were made of mirrored glass so one couldn’t see inside.

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PROTEST RALLY

I went up to the north end of Melbourne’s CBD to photograph some new Street Art during the week and came to a standstill outside the State Library of Victoria.  I don’t think I’ve ever tried to photograph this type of crowd scene before.  I was a little unsure how much to zoom in (or out) to capture the atmosphere.  Of course, I had to find a gap in the crowd where there weren’t too many heads in the way too.

University Students, (and other interested parties), were staging a protest against the newly released Federal Budget’s changes to higher education fees.  The Government has made this an especially difficult Budget Forecast and drawn some hard lines for Pensioners and Medical service co-payments too.  As a person with chronic and somewhat serious health problems, (two of which are genetic), I just hope the new Budget does not affect my own health care – I can’t afford it (mentally, physically or financially).

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To be honest, I was more than a little dismayed to hear that our Government is making changes which will affect those who can ill afford the cost (of extra fees).

OK, I know I am lucky in that I can go out for 2-3 afternoons  a week following my Photography hobby which I love so much, but there are also times when chronic pain keeps me at home too.  I choose not to take medically prescribed analgesics regularly these days.   I am also very fortunate in that slow walking for a few hours usually dissipates my chronic pain………… and mindful living and a relatively stress-free daily routine gives me choices in how I deal with my health.  I also have the benefit in being educated and trained in Alternative Therapies, which is a saving on some prescription meds.

But………..why don’t they, (the current Government), increase the taxes on the Wealthy to pad out the Government Coffers?  We Health Pensioners didn’t choose to get sick, and the elderly didn’t necessarily choose to be living on the Government Old Age Pension (instead of being self-funded retirees).  Many of the poorer class have worked hard all their lives and just can’t keep up with the rising cost of living, especially health care and education, let alone saving for old age (when they should be enjoying more in life).

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In Australia, current trends show the middle class is diminishing and there is an even greater gap between the Rich and the Poor.  Many more middle class people are ‘feeling the pinch’ in their living expenses and starting to fall into the Poorer class, or below the Poverty line.  The number of Homeless and People with mental illness, or stress-related health problems, is rapidly increasing.

Ok, I’ve had my little rant now.

Back to Photography.

(note the hoof guards in the background of the last photo – something I’ve never seen before.  I didn’t notice them at the time of making the photo, so didn’t change the Aperture to bring them into sharp focus.  It was just a random shot of the horse leg protectors).

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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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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).

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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