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.

LANDING

From across The Last Dock you can see this magnificent building. I have no idea what it’s called nor it’s exact location. I don’t think it was finished long ago as I couldn’t find it on Google Maps but it looks like it situated around Wharf Landing Park in Docklands (Melbourne, Australia), not far from Bolte Bridge. No other buildings around it for now but I’m sure that won’t last long.

I took a few photos of this building at blue hour and in broad daylight. I preferred the later because it had a lot more contrast, which suits the subject better. This is one of those times I wish I had filters. I think this scene is perfect for a very long exposure to smooth out the clouds and the water. The image would’ve had an out-of-this-world kind of mood. And produce a cleaner photo. The filters are on my list of things to buy.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 100

THE LAST DOCK

So now that we’ve reached the end of Newquay Promenade (Melbourne, Australia), we arrive at the last dock. A quiet, little getaway spot. Day or night. With wonderful views of Bolte Bridge, Yarra River, Docklands piers and Melbourne’s skyline.

I had taken a couple of photos here very early one morning but, unfortunately, they came out slightly blurred. It was very windy and the movement of the dock on the water didn’t help either. So I though I’d come back and a get a day shot of the bridge. Just  snapshot for a souvenir.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/4.5, 36 mm, ISO 100

REFLECTING ON NEWQUAY

The rain had stopped and left puddles everywhere. Nonetheless, it took me a while to find this composition. I like it because it reflects what is not shown. You can just see the Paladio building, the sculpture Silence and even the blue glass building.

I wanted to get down lower but my tripod wouldn’t let me. The centre rod was in the way. I ended up moving back a little farther and zooming in to get a lower perspective. And to bring the background a little closer too. I had edited this photo in colour and was going to share like that but something was bothering me about the image. I couldn’t put my finger on until I converted it to black & white. It was the colours. They weren’t doing justice to the photo. I reset the edit and started from scratch. Colour can be such a distraction in an image.

1/5 sec @ ƒ/8, 29 mm, ISO 100

RED MEETING

Another sculpture made up of multiple pieces. There are eight of these crouched, red men that make up this sculpture, titled Meeting 1. You can’t miss this red sculpture against the green synthetic grass. As with all the sculptures along Newquay Promenade (Melbourne, Australia) you can get up close and personal.

I wasn’t going to share this snapshot but the sculpture is quite prominent and a big part of the promenade so I felt it had to be included in the stroll.

1/500 sec @ ƒ/3.5, 18 mm, ISO 100

MELBOURNE CITY MARINA

Here is a different perspective of the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. It looks much larger than my in last post, doesn’t it? Now that I post this photo, I wish I had taken it at blue hour. I think it would have made a beautiful photo with the buildings and the wheel lit up. Oh well, maybe next time.

I had edited this photo in colour at first but quickly realised it was more suited to black & white. The light wasn’t the best and there weren’t enough colours to make the image pop or interesting.

1/400 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 100

NEWQUAY CENTRAL WHEEL

As I walked up to Spiky, I saw the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel between the buildings. All lit up. Beautiful! I tried to photograph the wheel once before but I was too late to capture it lit. This composition is much better too. Especially with the contrasting red light against blue hour makes it stand out. It was green at my first attempt. And I like the entrance as a leading line.

Though not all the lights on the wheel were working, I still tried to time my exposure to capture them all lit. It took a few trials and errors but I finally came away with this one. I could’ve close my aperture to ƒ/11 to gain an extra second of exposure but I find the images too soft at that opening. A one second exposure was enough.

1 sec @ ƒ/8, 36 mm, ISO 100

SPIKY & THE TWINS

A little farther down Newquay Promenade (Melbourne, Australia), I saw these wonderful buildings. The unusual architecture of the spiky, teardrop shaped tower and the leaning twins behind made for a great photo. I didn’t search for a composition here. I saw, I took the shot.

Another day shot so I went for a black & white edit. I darkened the blues to give more contrast to the photo. The sun and the buildings did the rest.

Not much to talk about here. I don’t know the names of the buildings but you’ll see more of them in the next couple of posts.

1/800 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 100

SILENCE

More Sculptures to be found farther down Newquay Promenade (Melbourne, Australia). Actually, this is one sculpture titled Silence by Adrian Mauriks. It’s quite nice being able to walk around and in-between sculptures. You get a different perspective on the art and can interact with it. And your imagination just goes wild. I quite like this sculpture. I took a few photos with different compositions, this is the one I liked best.

This sculpture is huge and to show how prominent it is, I got down low with my tripod and used a wide focal length to take the shot (I’ve only got a kit lens anyway). Set to the lowest ISO to get the cleanest shot. Ten second timer (two seconds isn’t enough for this camera) to stabilise the shot. And closed down the aperture to get everything in focus.

0.4 sec @ ƒ/8, 18 mm, ISO 100

ARCHITECTURAL PLANK

Newquay (Melbourne, Australia) has many high rise buildings along it’s promenade. I’m guessing but I think many of them are residential apartments. We rented one of them in this building called Palladio. Secure building with modern interiors and stunning views. We were on this side and had views of Docklands, Etihad Stadium and the city behind it. Absolutely gorgeous! I took a panorama from our balcony which I will share with you on a later post. For the moment, we’ll keep heading down Newquay Promenade.

This plank looking structure is actually U-shaped and as soon as I walked underneath it, I had to include it in the photo. Quite difficult to get the right angle and I ended up with a sore neck for a few minutes afterwards. Hand-held shot taken late in the morning, which is the reason I went with black & white. The building has no colour and blue skies are just perfect for b&w. I just had to darken the blues, increase the contrast and voilà.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/3.5, 18 mm, ISO 100

PYRAMIDS OF NEWQUAY

Heading down Newquay Promenade, one of the first things you see are these pyramid-like sculptures in Monument Park (Melbourne, Australia). I’ll leave at that as the link gives all the details on the sculptures and the artist. I just wanted to share my photographic perspective.

BLUE ARCHITECTURE

As I was waiting for my golden hour shot, I wanted to take a photo of these blue buildings before the end of blue hour. And I love those pillars so much I had to include them once more. They do make a great foreground. Love those purple windows too. At the end of the pier and the bottom of the buildings is the beginning of the Newquay Promenade which runs to the left of the photo. It’s a nice stroll along the pier and you can dine in wonderful restaurants and stay in beautiful residential apartments. And a great place for photos too.

As I mentioned before, the pillars make a great foreground, leading the eye to the buildings. I decided to compose my shot in between the pillars so as to show more of them and these were the only ones with crossbars. I was hoping for a more golden sky on the right side but I guess it just wasn’t time yet.

0.4 sec @ ƒ/8, 18 mm, ISO 100

GOLDEN BOLTE BRIDGE

As golden hour slowly arrived, my extremities slowly thawed. If you have no idea of what I’m talking about, check out my last post. By the time the sun rose above the horizon and illuminated the top of Bolte Bridge’s pillars, I was able to push the shutter button painlessly. Capturing this photo made everything worthwhile. So glad I waited and didn’t head back to the hotel to warm up.

I shifted my composition a little to concentrate more on the foreground and the bridge but I think I should have placed the pillars of the bridge on the left third of the image instead of the right. The photo doesn’t seem balanced and it bothers me a little. I have to be more careful with my compositions but I’m still very happy I captured this photo though.

1/30 sec @ ƒ/8, 55 mm, ISO 100

YARRA'S BOLTE

I got up early on my first morning in Melbourne (Australia). I was eager to get some sunrise photos of Docklands. There are two areas where you find these pillars. They’re divided by the Central Pier. Unfortunately, on the left side of the pier, the water is quite dirty with rubbish. Such a shame. I was surprised to see this side was so clean. Might have something to do with the currents. My composition was pretty obvious or so I thought. I wanted these poles in the shot as well as the bridge.

My original shot was a 3:2 which included some of the Central Pier on the left side of the image. It didn’t look right to me though so I decided to get rid of it and ended up with a square crop. I like it better but it still looks unbalanced with the buildings on the right. But I like the buildings… Long exposure to smooth out the Yarra River, as there was a little breeze, and to capture a better reflection of the posts and the lights from the bridge. No drama in the sky but I think I like it that way as it reflects the calmness of the water.

Talking about a little breeze. It was freezing! I didn’t have any gloves and anyway, I thought my jacket pockets would be enough to warm them up. Nooo! Not at all. It got so cold that it was painful to manipulate the camera buttons. I’ve never experienced anything like it. And I don’t think I ever will again. I bought gloves that morning. Not before the sun came out though. I got blue hour, I had get golden hour.

6 sec @ ƒ/8, 25 mm, ISO 100

THE OLD GREEN TRAM

I almost got the shot I wanted. So close. I was trying to capture light trails of a tram passing by and I did but most of the trails were either white or yellow. I was about to leave and had actually picked up the camera, when I saw an old green tram dropping people off. I set the camera back down on the edge of the fence, focused and as it took off I pressed the shutter button. The two second timer was still on and I ended up capturing the middle and end of the tram. So close. The green light trail really makes a difference. It’s a nice contrast with the warm coloured road but also matches the colour tones of the trees. Though it’s not exactly the shot I envisioned, I still like this photo very much.

The shot was taken from the Etihad Stadium in Docklands (Melbourne, Australia). I used the fence as a tripod, focused to infinity, two second timer and… captured everything a little too late.

4 sec @ ƒ/8, 28 mm, ISO 100

BANKING REFLECTION

A very different shot of the National Australia Bank (nab) building. I was wandering around Newquay (Melbourne, Australia) on a beautiful winter’s day. There was very little to no breeze at all. I saw the colourful reflection of the nab building on the Yarra River and thought it would make a nice photo. As always, my first instinct was to capture everything. The building, the reflection, the blue sky, everything. But again, as I was framing my shot through the viewfinder, I realised it wasn’t what really attracted me to the scene. The reflection is what I want to show. I included the bottom of the building at the top of the image because that part is very dark and blurred in the reflection. And I liked the semi abstract look it gave the image.

1/80 sec @ ƒ/5, 44 mm, ISO 100

NAB-BING A CLOSE-UP

Let’s get a little close and personal with the nab building. I took this shot while strolling along Harbour Esplanade (Melbourne, Australia). The symmetry and colours is what attracted me to photograph this building. My first reaction was to capture the whole building but as I saw the image in the viewfinder of my camera, I realised it wasn’t what caught my eye in the first place. What did was very simple. Lines and colours. So that’s what I photographed.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/5, 39 mm, ISO 100

BANKING ANOTHER SUNSET

So let’s stay on architectural photos and head over to Docklands (Melbourne, Australia). With it’s glass facade and splash of colours, the National Australia Bank (nab) building is a delight to photograph. I was walking through the Etihad Stadium heading back to the hotel when the sun decided to show itself. I hadn’t planned on photographing at sunset as it was very cloudy and it had rained. As I reached this area, the sun decided to show itself, just before dipping below the horizon. Beautiful light appeared and disappear just as quickly. I think it lasted five minutes. Maybe ten but not more than that. I took a couple of photos. Horizontally and vertically. This was the best one.

I knew this shot needed a long shutter but I didn’t have my tripod with me. So I placed the camera on the edge of the cemented fence/railing and used the lens cap and cloths from my bag to prop it up to the right angle. Set the two second timer after the setting the exposure and that’s it. I always made sure the focus was good overtime I changed from horizontal to vertical shot.

1.6 sec @ ƒ/8, 29 mm, ISO 100

CROWN

I had decided to capture the Crown Melbourne casino from this side of the Yarra River where you’d find the Crowne Plaza Melbourne hotel. It took me a long time to find a composition I liked though. I found these cleats (I think that’s what they’re called) to use for the foreground but I was having trouble with the focal length. So I tried a number of them and found this perspective more appealing. I was hoping for a nice, colourful sunset but it was too cloudy. Didn’t even get a golden hour. Once the sun set though, the clouds cleared a little and blue hour was just magic. So happy I got this photo.

As I mentioned before, I tried multiple focal length, trying to bring the background closer and keeping the same perspective. Starting from 18 mm to 24 mm, 35 mm and 55 mm. I only have a kit lens so it’s all I had to play with. I chose the 24 mm focal length in the end as the image was better balanced and more pleasing to the eye. A long exposure was perfect to capture all the flickering lights on the Crown panel and it smoothed out the water too. After all the trouble and frustration, I’m very happy with this photo.

2.5 sec @ ƒ/8, 24 mm, ISO 100

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.