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Weekend Wanderings – Taking a Look Back

I have been so busy my portraits that I haven’t had a chance to get out and do some photos for my weekend wanderings, so I thought today I might re-post an older post.

I did this post almost exactly 2 years ago.  I hope you enjoy the look back.

Take 2

So the photos from the other morning were a disaster, well not totally, but they weren’t great.  Sometimes you just have to go out and see what you get so you can work out what you would do differently if you went again.  So I took notice.  What was the time of day that I went?  What were the conditions when I got there?  What was missing?  What would I do differently next time?  I think you have to ask yourself those questions, so the next time you might get better photos.

The City

The other morning the city photos didn’t look great, the light didn’t quite work the way I had hoped.  I thought the sun would come over and bath the city in light, which it probably did, eventually, but, at the time I was there the light was still behind the hill I was standing on, and perhaps the light in winter is not the best idea.  I may have to wait until the spring or summer to try this again.  I know the sun shining onto the buildings could be blinding.

I decided that perhaps I should try and do the photos again, but this time at night.  Well at sunset, I had this vision of the sun setting behind the city.  Well, I was wrong again.

The City of Melbourne

So, there is no sunset behind the city.  I can’t win.  The sun sets to the right of the city, I needed to be somewhere else to get that shot.  Then again, maybe it will be different in the spring and summer.  It is so disappointing because it would have been a lovely sunset.

I went further down the hill and came back once the light had almost left the sky and all the buildings had their lights on.

The lights are on

It is very dark all around the lights, but it does fill those third requirements and it is a nice photo.  I did try and get some more detail into the sky, but it didn’t quite work as I hoped.

The lights light up the sky.

I have probably put the city too far down to the bottom of the image, bit I quite like that there is nothing above it, lots of space, because, really, that is what Melbourne is like.

The next image I’ve played with a little.

Another image of Melbourne at night.

It is a little further back, but with all the black sky, I decided to make it a panorama.

A wide view.

I don’t mind this one.

I am fairly sure there will be more attempts, so it is going to be interesting to see what I end up with.

The Freeway

When I went out last night, I didn’t really think about doing the freeway again, but when the city didn’t pan out, I thought, what the hell it is just down the hill, and I could take photos of it while I waited for the light to change.

The first time I went, I realised that the main problem was that by the time I got there I had lost most of the best light.  It was basically day light.  Also, being early on Sunday morning, no traffic, not enough to get the light trails I was looking for.

Sun sets on the freeway.

The light trails are so much better, well coming out of the city.  Going in, not so good.  The sky looks fairly good, but again, it is a winter sunset, and not as spectacular as they are in summer.

Leading into the city

I quite like this composition.  One of things we are taught in photography is following the lines.  How do the lines lead you into the image?  Do they take you straight out?  I knew the light trails on the freeway would lead into the city, but I also knew they would disappear and you would have to make the connection yourself.  Once I was out there I realised that the lights that light up the freeway actually do it for you.

The sun was going down and the sky was getting darker.  I have taken photos before when it has been almost dark and you can get some amazing colours coming out.  Even in the dark you can sometimes get some amazing light coming out.  You should never dismiss the opportunity to take a photo just because it is dark.

The light is disappearing

I don’t know if the above photo is really a good shot, but I liked the contrast between the setting sun and the darkening sky.

Almost dark

The sun has almost set and I love the sky in this image.  I love the deep deep blues.  For me this is almost perfect, though I am sure it can be improved on, but will only know that if I keep going back to take the images.  I might also concede that the horizon is a little too central, but couldn’t do anything else with the freeway lights.

Then the light seemed to almost disappear.

Night time is here.

That was the last of the good light.  The sky was just black after this.  Not that it mattered, it just meant that it was time to move on.

42 Comments
  1. I really do need to try more nighttime photography . . . all I need is a city.

    July 13, 2013
    • Haha, yes this kind of photography works best with a city around. Though no city, doesn’t that mean great star trails?

      July 14, 2013
  2. Loved every photo. You do amazing work. Thank you ma’am

    July 13, 2013
  3. Love the freeway shots. I also thank you for the review on the Melbourne city shots which is so open and honest and underlines that one may not get great shots just because one tries, but that preparation and learning play a big part. Thanks LCP

    July 13, 2013
    • Thanks Mick, thought it would be an interesting exercise to try reposting, always good to go back see where you have come from.

      July 14, 2013
  4. leecleland #

    I really like this post. The comments you make, make me ask questions myself. The night sky over the freeway makes for a great series as the light changes. To me having the horizon so close to halfway is not a problem although it is supposed to be a no no. The balance of action in the lower half needs the night sky empty in the top half and I think it works here.

    July 13, 2013
    • I don’t know that I do this sort of thing as much as I used to, I try to do it on some posts. It is good to go back and remember what you have done, where you have come from. I think the horizon line needs to be where it needs to be sometimes, and you just have to put it in the middle. Glad you like, thankyou.

      July 14, 2013
  5. Wow Leanne. These photos are interesting to look at and they really show how much you’ve learned and put into practice in two years. I love the cityscapes.

    July 13, 2013
    • It is a strange thing going back, I wasn’t sure if I had improved or changed, I might have to do some more of this. Thanks Carol

      July 14, 2013
  6. Great atmosphere, thanks for re-posting!

    July 13, 2013
    • Thanks Dina, glad you enjoyed it.

      July 14, 2013
  7. If anything shows your evolution as a photographer, this does. Nothing ‘wrong’ with these old shots, but you’ve done so much since then and changed your style over time…they bear no resemblance to your current work.
    Still love the light trails from the cars, though…I don’t have the patience for that 😉

    July 13, 2013
    • That is very true, these were from before I learned HDR, and I am doing so much more with photoshop now. I agree, I still like these shots, but they are different.
      If you are using a tripod, it is just a matter of click and wait, about 30 seconds, not too bad. 😉

      July 14, 2013
  8. I love the highway – the top one is my favorite.
    The evening shot of Melbourne – the wide angle is my favorite.
    Your morning photo of the city – comes second.
    Some expert has told me that the best shots we get in the morning and in the dusk.
    Sorry, for not being around … my world has been a bit upside down lately – and I haven’t forgotten the sponsorship – need to refill my account .. will happen in the end of the month.
    Have a pleasant weekend.

    July 13, 2013
    • That’s great Viveka, I think I knew you would like these, they aren’t all dark, haha. That is true what the experts say, the golden hours for taking photos.
      Hey you don’t need to apologise, you’ve been through a lot lately and it is understand that stuff would happen. No stress about the sponsorship, if you can that is lovely, if you can’t then that is okay as well.
      Thank you Viveka.

      July 14, 2013
      • Leanne, I truly want to sponsor you .. ! You are so helpful to everybody else.

        July 14, 2013
      • That is so nice Viveka, but only when you are ready. Thank you.

        July 14, 2013
  9. I love the ones of the highway! Great pics!

    July 13, 2013
    • Thanks Joe, I think I enjoyed those more as well.

      July 14, 2013
  10. joshkellogg #

    Love it. I’ve been looking for a spot overlooking a highway for a while. I think I have a spot scouted, similarly with UMass Amherst in the background. Can’t seem to frame it though. Need a higher vantage point…. Very nicely done.

    July 14, 2013
    • Finding a good spot is half the battle, the place I did was perfect for it. I had been looking at the spot for years. Thank you

      July 14, 2013
  11. The blue, red and yellow combination is superb. Spectacular.

    July 14, 2013
  12. Thanks for reposting Leanne. These were new to me as I was not yet “born” two years ago – and I’m intrigued by dusk/night images. Loved the “leading into the city” because you can see a bit of the city and that creates an expectation. Lovely!

    July 14, 2013
    • That is great to hear, glad you liked seeing them. It is interesting to go back and see what you were in the past. I love your term “born” very apt really. Thank you.

      July 14, 2013
  13. poppytump #

    Great explanations Leanne to go with your shots . Love the curved sweep round on the illuminated highway leading into the City. You know what you want and you get it 😉

    July 14, 2013
    • I don’t know about that, but I do try, haha. Quite a few people talked about the explanations, I must have stopped doing those. Thanks Poppytump.

      July 14, 2013
  14. Hope #

    Absolutely gorgeous photos (but you guys drive on the wrong side of the road)! 🙂

    July 14, 2013
    • No we don’t drive on the wrong side, everyone else in the world does, haha. Thanks Hope.

      July 14, 2013
  15. You have got some powerful shots. Wao! I love the way you were able to track the speed of light.

    July 14, 2013
    • Thank you, it is a great thing to do.

      July 14, 2013
  16. Ben #

    Wow, love the freeway shots especially the one with lights leading into the city. I want to make that journey! It’s so interesting to see how the light changes over time and the way it affects the photograph. Thanks for sharing!

    July 15, 2013
    • It is the perfect freeway to photograph really, though you can only get great shots like this in winter, as the sun goes down too late in summer and then peak hour is over. I was amazed at how much the light changes as well. You are welcome, and thank you too.

      July 15, 2013
  17. I love shots like these – but Salisbury doesn’t quite have the same ‘bright city lights’!
    As for sunset/sunrise shots: I keep a sun compass with me so if I see potential for a shoot I can work out the best time of year to ensure the sun is where I want it to be. Sometimes though, nature conspires against us as the sun is never in the right place!

    July 16, 2013
    • Thank you Noeline, We are lucky with Melbourne in that it is a fairly flat city but there are surrounding hills, so you can get shots like this all the way around.
      I haven’t seen or even heard of one of those before, I must look into one. I have started noticing that the sun rises in different places and sets, and it all has to do with the time of the year. I am getting better at working that out.

      July 16, 2013
      • It’s nothing fancy – basically a credit card lookalike with north and south shown to orientate yourself with. Then a number of lines showing the sunrise/sunset positions during the year. The fancy ones have an in built compass but I have a loose one as it makes the card easier to carry – and you don’t need a compass if you’re checking on a map!

        July 17, 2013
      • That sounds really good, I wonder if they have one for here, I must check it out. Thanks Noeline, sounds like a great little device, I can see how handy it would be, especially for new places.

        July 18, 2013
  18. michaelmulholland #

    Great shots…

    July 16, 2013
  19. Beautiful night shots, Leanne…and the panorama image is just the best–‘picture postcard perfect’! Your Melbourne City Council really should consider purchasing that shot, in my humble opinion!

    July 23, 2013
    • They are very popular shots, I am sure nearly every photographer in Melbourne has one of those, haha. Thanks 1000.

      July 24, 2013

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