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.

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 @ 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.

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