PhoTophe

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Photography has changed the way I see the world around me.

Through it I discover new things and rediscover old ones. Like my island, New Caledonia.

This blog is just me sharing my world through my photography.

Hope you enjoy.

MELBOURNE'S ARCHITECTURE

The old. The new. The artistic. Some of Melbourne’s architecture is a mix of all three. I just love seeing the new next to the old. The artistic with the old. Such wonderful architecture. These are just some of the photos I took while strolling through the city on my last day in Melbourne (Australia). I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, Melbourne is a beautiful city.

ANCHORED IN AIR

I was heading back to the hotel, one late afternoon, and spotted this anchor decoration in mid air. I was more interested in the Etihad Stadium (Melbourne, Australia), which was just behind me, but then I saw the street lights. They reminded me of black & white architectural photos that I had seen with street lamps. Since I wanted to take a photo of the anchor, adding the lights made the photo more interesting. Including the buildings on the bottom and left, it framed the anchor in mid air. I was going to remove the cables holding the anchor but I thought you would think this image was a composite. This is a street photo and what I want to come across.

1/400 sec @ ƒ/3.5, 18 mm, ISO 100

MELBOURNE'S CHINA TOWN

I had never visited Melbourne’s China Town so I though I’d take a quick stroll through it’s main street. The photos show what really caught my eye. First of all, the entry arch is so beautiful, colourful and the work that’s gone into it is just amazing. If you didn’t take the time to look, you’d probably miss seeing the numerous restaurant in the small alleys. And I’ve never seen so many signs on a building wall before. I love restaurants where you can see the cooks at work, preparing your meal. It’s all part of the dinning out experience, in my opinion. Those enormous, wooden arches are very impressive. Especially the carvings and roofing. And so are the marble carved creatures guarding the entrance. Just beautiful. The dome ceiling, I just stumbled upon. Loved the symmetry and colours. Had to take a shot. Glad I wandered through there. I got some nice souvenirs shots.

BOARD GAMES & COFFEE

Walking through the little streets of Melbourne, I found the Marché Board Game Cafe. A lovely place and a must visit. And you’ve got to love the hipster bicycle. Brown leather seat and beige tyres, how often do you see that?… goes perfectly with the cafe’s entrance, the pavement and the old Abaris Printing building. Anyway, I just loved the scene thus took a shot.

1/60 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 41 mm, ISO 800

THE CREATION OF IRON MAN

While exploring Melbourne’s little alleyways, I stumbled upon this guy in the middle of creation. Another one of my favourite photos from Melbourne. There’s a lot I like about this scene. The crushed cardboard boxes, the pavement, the kegs, the rubbish bins and of course the guy just about to paint. But what really intrigues me is the upper door of the building behind the bins. Very interesting. 

The photo was taken hand-held with the aperture open as wide as possible and the ISO bumped up bit. This camera doesn’t do well in low ambient light.

1/125 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 800

RESIMAX

I had almost walked by this alley when I turned my head and I have no idea what made me stop but I’m glad I did. There’s so much to look at, so many interesting things that I had to take a photo. My favourite thing is the beautiful wooden sculpture. I’ll let you find it yourself. What about the guy jumping? I was lucky to shoot at that precise moment. I find everything interesting about this photo. The bar in a small alley. The group of men (and a woman) standing outside the bar. The couple on the right. She’s kneeling, he’s jumping. The different lanterns on both sides of the alley. The signs. The paved strip in the middle of the alley. There are even surveillance cameras. And not to forget that gorgeous sculpture that blends itself with the tree in front of it. Just amazing.

Love the scene but unfortunately I missed my focus. I was pretty sure I had nailed it on the group of men but it looks more like it focused on the 10 km/h street sign. I have no idea how that happened. Not happy though. Black and white was the obvious choice to go with here for me as there’s a lot of contrast in the scene.

1/80 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 800

THE CAUSEWAY

These are the little alleyways full of cafes and restaurants that I just love. One of many of course. This is The Causeway (Melbourne, Australia) at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Quite a busy alley and a lot of people already seated for dinner. My mum and I had lunch here that afternoon, in a little Italian restaurant, delicious! Just after I took this photo, we had coffee at the french patisserie the other end of the alley. I had been at this french place before and, oh boy, you’re so tempted to try everything you see. Anyway, one of my favourite little places to visit when in Melbourne.

For the shot, I had to bump up the ISO quite high for the lack of light in the alley but even that wasn’t enough so I stopped down as wide open as possible to let more light. It was enough for me to get the shot I wanted.

1/50 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 1600

BANK PLACE

I just love these kinds of little alley ways with restaurants, cafes, bars and outside seatings. I’m the kind of person who like to sip an espresso, watching people walk by. And on rare occasions, I like to write. Bank Place, Melbourne, Australia. There are many of these alleys in the city. At lunch time and after work they come to life with hundreds of people. They get so busy, it’s hard to get from one end to the other. Great places.

I went with my own version of sepia on this photo, only because of the old buildings and the stone pavement. Most of my street photos contain only one, maximum two, colours. There are always exceptions. It’s just my way of appreciate the scene more.

 

 

SOUTHERN TIME

I’d like to share one more photo of the Southern Cross Station before I move on to other street photos. The Water Tower Clock has a lot of history that I won’t go into but isn’t it beautiful. As soon as I saw it, I had to snap a photo. Before I did though, I did a quick Google search for images of the clock. Not many out there and none that I could see from this angle. Simple. Love the colours. And I absolutely wanted to avoid including the base of the tower. Big advertising screens, yuk!

For those interested, it’s a straight forward hand-held shot with the aperture wide open and ISO bumped up a bit.

1/60 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 42 mm, ISO 800

THE OTHER SIDE OF BOURKE

Once you cross the Southern Cross Station bridge it splits left and right (check out my last post). This is the other side of Bourke Street. It leads straight to Docklands (Melbourne, Australia). A beautiful area and a must visit. I couldn’t resist shooting this view straight down the street.

Again, I went with a cinematic look. I think it suits quite well certain street photos. That and black & white.

1/320 sec @ ƒ/8, 25 mm, ISO 800

BOURKE'S HAND

After I took the panorama (see my last post) I continued along the Bourke street bridge (Melbourne, Australia) and saw these interesting lamps. I liked them so much I too a shot. I think adding artistic necessities, such as these, not only renders a place beautiful, lively and different but also changes the mood of an area. Making it more inviting. Peaceful. I think it even boosts moral of the population. Mayors should work more on making their cities more beautiful and colourful. Not just for tourists but the people of the city too.

1/320 sec @ ƒ/8, 55 mm, ISO 800

SOUTHERN CROSS TRAIN STATION

A view of the Southern Cross train station from the Bourke Street  bridge entrance. I had taken a panorama from a different angle just before but it wasn’t centred so I asked the controller at the entrance if he could let me in passed the the gate. I told him where I wanted to go and that it was going to take ten minutes max. He was kind enough to let me in and do my thing and even asked, as I thanked him on the way out, if I got the shot I wanted. Nice bloke. 

This panorama is made of 13 hand-held shots. I bumped the ISO quite high to compensate for the lack of light and made sure I had image stabilisation activated on the lens before I steadied myself as much as possible before taking the shots. The outcome is… OK. Always carry your tripod with you.

13 exposures at 1/20 sec @ ƒ/8, 18 mm, ISO 1600

BOURKE'S BRIDGE

I mentioned only last post that the photo was taken atop the stairs of the Bourke Street entrance to the Southern Cross train station. Well turn 180º and you get this view. A walk bridge with a small shopping mall on the right side and entrances to the station on the left. The bridge passes over the rails that cut Bourke Street in two. You have a great view of the railway tracks and the station from the bridge.

Because of the lack of colours in the photo, I went with black & white and added the slightest of blueish split-tone to it. The photo is cooler and darker with a slight silver tone. I really like this effect. It doesn’t work on all black & white photos though.

1/80 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 800

BOURKE'S TRAM

While we’re on street photography, I took this photo from atop the stairs of the entrance to Southern Cross train station, opposite Bourke Street (Melbourne, Australia). I was hoping for a very busy intersection with cars, trams, people and even though it was already half pass nine in the morning, it wasn’t that hectic. And if it wasn’t for the rain, this photo would be quite bland, I think. The wet grounds reflect a lot more light and colours which makes for a more interesting photo. I really like this photo though. It reminds me of the tram trips I took through this intersection.

1/125 @ ƒ/4, 18 mm, ISO 800

TREASURING MUSIC

Continuing on with street photography, I took this shot fairly quickly to capture this guy listening to… well, I’m guessing, music. His posture alone would make you think this scene was all set up but not at all. That’s what I love about this photo. I wasn’t going to photograph this building at all and I had actually walked by it only an hour before hand. Seeing this guy with headphones, taking in some sun I had to take a shot. But I wanted to make sure the image showed where he was without photographing the whole building. Unfortunately and stupid me, I was so concentrated on getting the inscription plate in the shot that I focus on that instead of my subject. Silly, silly me.

If you’d like to know more about the Old Treasury Building which is now a museum (Melbourne, Australia), just check out http://www.oldtreasurybuilding.org.au

1/250th @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm ISO 200

LA TROBE TRAM

Trying my hand at cinematic street photography. After taking sunrise photos, I was starving and needed a nice hot coffee. I had taken photos at the Docklands marina and thought I’d just walk towards the city to find a cafe. I didn’t go very far. As soon as I turned around I saw this scene and just had to capture it. I was there for a while, taking photos with trams heading down, up, in the middle, near the lights… and in the end chose this one.

I used the rails as leading lines to the tram and the wet ground gives the foreground more interest and a nice starting point. I made sure to include as much of the trams cable lines as possible, I find very interesting and I think they add a bit of chaos to the photo too. Golden hour blended itself perfectly with the orange lights of the street and tram. I love this photo even without my personal edit done. I should’ve gone with a higher ISO to get a faster shutter speed but I think I was just too hungry and wasn’t thinking straight.

So after getting the shots, I was feeling weak and not too well. I had to find a place for breakfast, fast. I found a Greek cafe not too far. I can’t remember the name of it but it was on the corner of Bourke Street and Waterview Walk. A very nice place, nice people, nice food and I loved watching this old lady working dough with her hands. It was amazing. Anyway, now that I was feeling better, it was time to head back to the family.

0.4 sec @ ƒ/8, 55 mm, ISO 100

MELBOURNE TRAM LOOP

Continuing on the tram theme, on the way back to the hotel this scene captured my interest. I didn’t think much, I just took out the camera and snap the shot. My settings weren’t ideal but the photo turned out the way I saw it. A little reminder of the times I traveled on the Melbourne trams. The free inner city loop is a fantastic idea and money saver.

I particularly like the really old trams. And if you’re ever in Melbourne, you must try The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Check out the link. I loved the whole experience. A must try. I didn’t photograph any of it, I didn’t even bring my camera along. The evening was time with the family only.

1/40 sec @ ƒ/8, 55 mm, ISO 800

SWANSTON GHOST TRAM

Walking down Swanston Street (Melbourne, Australia), the family decided to grab a few little things before heading back to the hotel. While they were shopping I was looking at the trams passing by. I remembered seeing long exposure photos of buses and trains and thought I’d give it a go. Again I wished I had my tripod with me.

For my first attempt, I leaned against the pole that you see on the right of the photo but I wasn’t steady enough for a two and a half second exposure. I had to settle the camera somewhere to get a better shot. Behind me was a small flower bed surrounding a tree with cemented enclosure. I put the camera down there and propped the front of the lens up a little with the lens cap. I really like the low perspective. The only thing I had to do now was time the passage of the trams to get the light trails throughout the photo. This photo was the best of the lot but it was supposed to be a trail photo. I wanted to attempt this photo another time with my tripod but I got distracted and forgot about it. Silly me.

2.5 sec @ ƒ/8, 18 mm, ISO 100

LEAD PIPE & SHOT FACTORY

On the other side of Swanston Street opposite the State Library of Victoria there’s this. The Lead Pipe & Shot Factory tower is situated in the Melbourne Central Shopping Mall (Melbourne, Australia). I think anyone who’s been to Melbourne has seen this tower. A magnificent brick structure and the dome enclosure is just as impressive. We were just wandering around and I wasn’t going to photograph it but how can you not? Very difficult to get a unique perspective though. If you’d like to know more about the tower, check out this link https://www.melbournecentral.com.au/our-heritage

I went with black and white because there wasn’t any other colours apart from the red/orange bricks. There’s not a huge amount of light in the mall and I didn’t have my tripod with me so I had to bump up the ISO but I didn’t want to go too high. So I stopped down to ƒ/4.5 to let a little more light in. Depth of field didn’t matter as everything was far away from me. I took about half a dozen shots of this tower but I liked this one the most. It shows the height of the tower and the how giant this glass dome is. Yeah, I like it.

1/200 sec @ ƒ/4.5, 18 mm, ISO 400

STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA II

Thought I’d share a couple of random photos from inside the State Library of Victoria. You can spend hours in here taking photos. It took me a while to figure out how to photograph The Dome but on my way out I snapped a couple of things that caught my eye.