4 days in Melbourne

August 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Well....after not blogging since my year in review I thought it is about time I write about photography.  I always have high hopes of sharing details of photography adventures I have...but I hardly have the chance to edit the photos - let along write about what I have been up to.  I think it is probably best to blog on the go as that way I will be able to recall more details about my outings....but I don't have this luxury at the moment.


Anyway, I headed to Melbourne for four days in late May to attend a conference for work.  Knowing that Melbourne is a great city to photograph, I decided to take my camera gear and take the opportunity to head out photographing.  I knew of some iconic locations and shots which I wanted to have in my portfolio.  I took both my digital and film cameras.  I took my tripod, filters, light meter and that was about it.  As is usually the case when traveling with film for my camera I had to request a manual check rather than having it exposed to the x-ray machines at security.  There were no issues here. 


My wife and son accompanied me to the airport and had dinner with my in the departure lounge before I left.  Here is a shot of Harry and I before I left.

As you tend to expect these days, the plane was delayed. Thankfully it wasn't too long.  However, this gave Harry the opportunity to play in amongst the seats in the lounge and see all the planes!    

I arrived in Melbourne late on the Thursday night.  I decided to take a Taxi to my hotel.  Having traveled from the airport to the CBD previously I knew the cab ride wouldn't be a cheap trip.  I was expecting a $50...as it turns out it was $67!  The fare meter came to $53 when we pulled up at the hotel.  The driver told me there was a total of an additional $10 charge for the tolls he took me through as well as the airport taxes.  I don't understand why then it added up to $67.  Also, I think there should be more transparency with cab charging - for all I know he could have made that $10.  Shouldn't it appear in the flag fall section on the cab?  Also, why did he take me through tolls at 10pm at night?!?! 

Anyway....I arrived at my hotel and promptly went to sleep.  I had decided I would not photograph on the first morning of the seminar as I wanted to make sure I got there in time and knew where to get etc.  I also hadn't had chance to venture out to buy something to have for breakfast in my hotel room so I found a little breakfast place called Affogatto Espresso bar.  I had a coffee and a dish called Kasoundi.  It was nice...but just a little spicy for my liking. 

I ventured back to my hotel and then down to the conference.  This is a shot I took just before I stepped into the hotel the seminar was being held in.

Knowing that I only had limited options to photograph and see Melbourne, during lunch time of the first day I ducked out to see if I could see Ken Duncan's Melbourne Gallery.  I knew it was only a few blocks from the seminar hotel so I ventured out.  Unfortunately though I couldn't find it!  I have a feeling it may have closed down. 

After finishing the seminar learning for the day I decided to go for a bit of a wonder around Melbourne.  As the seminar finished after sunset, and the fact I didn't have a location in mind to photograph I decided just to do a bit of scouting that evening.  I walked halfway to where I was planning on photographing sunrise.  I worked out that it was the location I wanted to shoot at so I then walked over to Southbank to see what options there were there.  I found this great shopping centre called Southgate with an awesome open window that framed the CBD well.  I decided I would venture back here with my camera.  Anyway, knowing it was late night shopping I continued on my way and went and checked out a few camera stores.  I bought dinner from a cafe in a laneway and went to bed.

The next morning was the sunrise photography session I had been looking forward to for a long time.  When I chose which morning I would venture out I chose this particular one as conditions seemed ideal.  I was keen to get a reflection of the Melbourne CBD in the Yarra river and for that it required light winds.  Also, I wanted fairly clear conditions...which were also forecast!  Win!  I can't remember the time I set my alarm for, but it wasn;t that early.  If I remember correctly it was later that if I was getting up to go to work at home.  This is because the sunrise was after 7am!  Thankfully the seminar started at 9am so this gave me ample time to photograph.  I timed my wake up perfectly as I wasn't rushing to get there and I wasn't waiting around too long for the scene to light up.

Melbourne City DawnMelbourne City DawnThis is a fairly cliche'd shot of Melbourne, but while I was visiting there I wanted this shot in my portfolio. I saw that conditions would be best for reflections on my second morning there so I ventured out then. There were multiple rowers on the river this morning but they didn't upset the reflection too badly.

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/16 240sec
Epson V700

Capture date: 25/5/14 6:55am

After taking the above photo my plan was to wait for the light to hit the buildings and take another shot.  I turned around and saw this awesome pink cloud behind me.  I nipped across the road, fired off a frame and returned for the light to hit.

Pink Yarra SunrisePink Yarra SunriseThe old adage goes while photographing 'always look behind you'. This is the perfect example. While photographing a cityscape in Melbourne I turned around to see this awesome pink happening. I decided to cross the road, take a shot in the opposite direction and return to photographing a Melbourne cityscape.

I really like in this image how you can see some trails in the water of some rowers on the right hand side.

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/22 22sec
Lee 0.45 soft grad
Epson V700 scanner

Capture date: 24/5/14 7:13am

As I was waiting for the light to hit I saw some hot air balloons across the sky.  They looked pretty cool so I decided to take a film shot of it.  Unfortunately it isn't the greatest.  I chose too long of a shutter speed and the balloons are moving a bit and the buildings are a bit dark.  But, you can see what I was trying to achieve.   It would look fantastic in some nice light!

Unfortunately it took a while for the light to hit.  I was waiting fairly impatiently and I decided to start to head back to my hotel to get ready for the seminar.  As I was walking back I saw this nice light, reflection and autumnal colours.  I decided to take a few snaps and move one.

Yarra morning strollYarra morning strollI took this photo while visiting Melbourne for a seminar for work. This photograph was taken on the morning of the second day of the conference. Normally I wouldn't photograph sunrise if I had to work etc but I opted to venture out to photograph sunrise as according to the weather predictions this particular morning had the best conditions for photographing what I wanted to. Also, being in Melbourne (and a late sunrise) meant that I could actually get up later than I normally would have for work and still be able to photograph.

Anyway, I took this while walking back to my hotel room. I thought the trees, autumn colours, nice light on the buildings, seat and reflections was worthy of a photo.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/16 1/4sec

I continued on my way back along the Yarra enjoying the brisk air and nice light.  I turned to see the Yarra rowing sheds along the opposite side of the river.  I then noticed a pretty good reflection and that this scene suited a panoramic shot.  Knowing I didn't have too much time, but still had 1 frame left on my roll of film, I whisked out my tripod, setup my camera and popped off a quick shot.  In the end it was lucky I did it all so quickly as literally 1 or 2 secs after pressing the shutter the sun went behind a cloud and all the nice light was gone! 

Yarra ShedsYarra ShedsI took this shot while visiting Melbourne for a conference for work. On the Saturday of the conference I decided to head out to photograph sunrise as that particular day had the best forecast for some nice light. I shot a typical Melbourne reflection shot and was waiting for the light to hit the CBD buildings. After waiting a while and being worried I would miss the start of the conference I started to walk back to the hotel. I stopped along the way as there was nice light hitting these rowing sheds. As I had 1 more frame in my camera I set up my tripod quickly, framed up, metered the light and took a shot. Literally 2 seconds after I took this shot the sun went behind a cloud. What fortunate timing!

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/22 0.5sec
Epson V700 scanner
Capture date: 24/5/14 at ~7:45am

I went back to my hotel room, got changed out of my thermals and into my seminar attire and ventured down to the seminar.

After the seminar was over, I hadn't planned to do any sunset photography as it finished after sunset, however after seeing a few potential locations the previous night at South Bank I got my camera gear and headed there.  

Framed MelbourneFramed MelbourneI took this shot while visiting Melbourne for a seminar for work. When the seminar finished I quickly rushed to my hotel, grabbed my camera gear and rushed back to this spot before any colour in the sky elapsed. I was fortunate that there was some cloud movement which adds a bit of dimension to the image.

I must admit that this isn't a composition that I came up with myself - I had seen a vertical pano incorporating this bridge and the city. I couldn't quite frame it up and the conditions weren't ideal so the film camera stayed in my bag this particular evening.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO50 f/22 119sec

I went back to South Gate and took a few shots there.

That night I met up with my colleague for dinner.  I can;t remember the name of the place we went to but it was really good.  The following morning I didn't set my alarm to head out as I had a late night previously.  The next morning I headed out to do a bit of shopping, another wander around Melbourne and to plan my next photography adventure. 

I had emailed and texted a guy who lives in Melbourne whose photography I have followed for a while now, Alex Wise.  He was venturing out with two of his mates to the Mornington Peninsula to do some seascaping as well as hopefully photograph some stars.  I caught the tram out to Alex's, jumped in his car with John and Andrew and we ventured down the Mornington Peninsula.  I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.  The conditions weren't great, but just the opportunity to talk photography with 3 guys who really enjoyed it was awesome.  Their passion for adventure and discussions about potential photography locations was really enjoyable. 

Seascape SomewhereSeascape SomewhereWhen I ventured out to this location to do some seascaping....I didn't know where we were going....and I had only met the other three people in the car 15 minutes earlier.

While in Melbourne at a conference I emailed a photographer (Alex Wise) whose work I have followed for a few years. He had planned to meet up with some of his mates to head to London Bridge on the Mornington Peninsula to do some seascaping and stars. Unfortunately the weather wasn't our friend on this occasion. The forecast was good, but as you should expect in Melbourne...it turned bad.

You can check out Alex's work at www.alexwisephotography.net

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/16 3.2sec
Lee 0.6 soft grad

The conditions were a bit of a flop as I mentioned above.  However, I think I made the most out of it.  I would certainly visit this location again though.


As I had a late night the previous night, and conditions were not planned to be that good, for my final morning I decided not to set my alarm and just sleep in.  However, I woke up myself at 6am.  So, I got my gear and ventured over to Southbank . The sunrise wasn't fantastic but there was some pretty nice pink colours.  They only lasted a few minutes but still enough time to take a few shots. 

Knowing that I knew I had to shoot a whole roll of film (4 images) that morning I loaded up an expired roll of Velvia 100F. I'm not the biggest fan of this particular film but thought at least I wouldn't waste something decent.  As the colour went, and know I was close to Flinders Street Station I thought a vertical here with some light trails might be a bit different. 

Flinders Street StationFlinders Street StationI took this photo on my final morning while visiting Melbourne for a conference. After a few early mornings and one terrible nights sleep while in Melbourne I decided I would scrap doing a sunrise on my final morning there....however.....I woke at 6am anyway. Fortunately this was enough time to get my gear ready and head out. I ventured to Melbourne's South Bank. Seeing as it didn't look like the sunrise was going to do much and the fact that I knew I had to shoot a whole roll of film (4 images) that morning I loaded up an expired roll of Velvia 100F. I'm not the biggest fan of this particular film but thought at least I wouldn't waste something decent. Anyway after a surprising amount of pink sky on sunrise it dissipated and I had 2 frames still to shoot. As i was close to Flinders Street Station I thought a vertical here with some light trails might be a bit different (it was also my first time shooting light trails with this camera).

Anyway, as is always the case with shooting verticals on this camera...I got the composition off slightly...so this is cropped a bit...but I am still happy with it!

Fuji G617
Velvia 100F f32 10sec
Epson V700 scanner

Capture date: 26/5/14

Knowing that I had to finish the roll of film I had in the camera before I went through security at the airport, I decided to head to one of the laneways and take a shot.  I had a few strange looks but I'm happy with this shot.  A lot of people have commented that they like this one.

Melbourne LanewayMelbourne LanewayOn the final morning of a visit to Melbourne, the sunris was a little promising but faded. Knowing that I had to finish the roll of film I had in the camera before I went through security at the airport, I decided to set up at the end of this laneway and take a shot. I had a few strange looks!

Fuji G617
Velvia 100F f/32 105sec
Epson V700

While in  Melbourne, I visited multiple cafe's and restaurants.  I had done a little bit of research on a good place for a coffee and a place called Manchester Press came up.  After not being able to find this place on my first morning there I decided to try and find it before I headed to the airport.  My initial intent was to just visit this place for a coffee....but when I saw the menu I decided I would get something to eat.  I ordered a raisin bagel with jam and mascarpone cream.  It was awesome!  So good in fact that I think it is probably the nicest 'morning tea' item I have ever had.  Anyway, below is an iPhone shot of my barista that morning, my food and coffee. 

Well that ends my 4 days in Melbourne.  I trust you have enjoyed reading it and enjoyed the photos. 

P.S. The seminar was quite good and I learned heaps as well as caught up with a few people who I haven't seen in a while!


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