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Weekend Wanderings – Snapping the City in the Dark

city-light-train-trails-melbourne

Last Sunday I went into the city for another Social Snappers Photography Excursion for a night photography session. We met at the MCG at 6pm, ended up at Flinders Street Station, and finished around 9.30. The idea was that we would start on the bridge that goes over the train lines, photograph the city from there, then slowly make our way along Birrarung Marr and end up at Flinders Street Station, or near there, to photograph car trails. I knew the area from riding a bike a few years ago, but I had never tried to photograph it, so it was new for me too.

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The plan had been to try and get the sunset, but by the time we got there it was pretty much over, I think it was because there were no clouds.  One day, I will get it.  It was a beautiful clear night so we couldn’t complain about that.  Being a Sunday night also meant that there weren’t many trains.

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So from there we started walking to the city.  There are paths and they are quite well lit, so it wasn’t hard to find our way. I think the most curious thing was that so many people wanted to know what we were shooting, or why we were taking photos.  I think seeing a group of women out taking photos is not something people see every day, it is something that I hope to change.

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This is the Birrarung Marr bridge.  It helps link the city with the MCG.  The MCG is one of our major sports arenas, possibly Melbourne’s oldest.  If you know about Melbourne, you would know how sports mad this city is.  The photos we got from here were wonderful, but it was an area that drove us insane. They have speakers on this bridge that play music, like folk ditties and stuff, and they have more than one going at a time.  It is horrible.  You can’t hear anything, and, well, you just want to enjoy the sounds of the area, but no, you have to listen to a whole bunch of songs and music playing at the same time.  Please Melbourne, turn off the music.

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This is a massive sculptural piece that is by the river.  It used to be in front of the National Gallery of Victoria, but was moved a few years ago. Not an easy piece to photograph.  There are too many things in the way, rubbish bins, bright lights.

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Finally, we went back into the city, where we all had fun taking photos of the car trails.  This is an iconic image and most people want to get it.  Every time I go and take photos here there are always lots of other photographers there as well. It wasn’t as busy as it normally is. Sunday night probably had a lot to do with it, but it was nice to get more photos.  The above photo is another stacked image, I can’t remember how many, I think around 20.

It was a very good evening.  One of the women that came along has said that she was feeling a bit shy, and was worried about doing this sort of thing, but she said that I gave her lots of information and that she learned a lot.  Her tripod broke and we had to share mine, which was fine.  She started using a lunch box to support her camera which, surprisingly, worked rather well.  I had so much fun, and I can’t wait to do more of these excursions.  I really think Social Snappers is such a great idea, it is good to go out with a group of women and just enjoy taking photos.

I’m running behind today, I was out all afternoon photographing Lake Albacutya, and then last night doing the milky way at Jonesy’s Bush Retreat.  Today, I’m off to Nyah West for my workshop on landscape and night photography, that should also be really good.  So for now, I have a gallery of images from last Sunday.  I hope your weekend is good and you get lots of chances to take photos.

 

107 Comments
  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    Who knew nighttime could be so colorful! That sculpture is cool like a cross between a starfish and a giraffe. 🙂

    September 27, 2014
    • It is great Jackie, I love taking photos at night, just not by myself. She is quite a successful sculptor here, her name is Deborah Halpern, I think that is how you spell it. Thanks Jackie.

      September 27, 2014
  2. Wow, your city has wonderful architecture and vistas! great photography. 🙂

    September 27, 2014
    • I think so too John, thank you.

      September 27, 2014
  3. Beautiful photos Leanne. What is that Eiffel Tower like building? It looks a little bit like some laser lights. Its such a shame that I am not in Australia, these sessions sound so much fun, and I could learn so much from you.

    September 27, 2014
    • That is our arts centre, has a big spire on the top of it which they light up at night. It is a shame, more so too because it seems hard to find people here who want to do them, but I will keep trying. Thanks Andrea.

      September 27, 2014
  4. More great images – I especially like the one with the path and street lights

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you Diana, that was the my mother liked best too.

      September 27, 2014
  5. Beautiful photographs! I’ve never had much success with night photography. Trying to capture the colour while maintaining a true sky has been my particular challenge. I am always, therefore, especially impressed with night photography that manages to balance the bright lights and the dark sky and shadows while also capturing detail and that is precisely what your photographs have succeeded in doing.

    September 27, 2014
    • I think a lot of people find it quite tricky, but it really isn’t that much harder than daytime, except you need a tripod and a much longer exposure time. Though I have found that compact cameras don’t do well with night images like these. Thank you Papict.

      September 27, 2014
      • I own a tripod I rarely use. My kids don’t have the patience to warrant me carrying it with me. I tend instead to just brace myself against something to reduce camera shake which works sometimes. I’m sure that is where I am going wrong for the most part.

        September 27, 2014
      • I have members in my family the same, LOL, unfortunately at night it really is a must, though a solid surface to rest it on can work too.

        September 27, 2014
  6. Totally love the light trails.

    September 27, 2014
  7. Your photos are fabulous. I have so much trouble taking pics at night, but these are truly keepers!

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you, they can be hard, but not as hard as you think. I did a post on it on my other blog on my website a while back.

      September 27, 2014
  8. tuinkabouter1965 #

    Wow, beautiful!! I have to go out at night more 😉 But like you said not alone..

    September 27, 2014
    • No, not alone :D, thank you, it is great to get out and get some shots.

      September 27, 2014
  9. Amy #

    The clarity of the nightlight photos is stunning! These are master pieces!

    September 27, 2014
    • What a lovely thing to say, thank you Amy.

      September 27, 2014
  10. Absolutely stunning! I’m inspired. Also, what a great idea Social Snappers is. Well done!

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you Dee, I hope it is a good idea, I think it is a great way for women to go out and take photos.

      September 27, 2014
  11. Jen #

    Good stuff, Leanne, I love nighttime shots of cities! Glad you met someone you could help out and enjoy spending time with; I’ve shied away from photo walks because I’m so shy. It was good of you to make her feel so welcome. 🙂

    I think you are right about the piped-in music, that sort of thing drives me batty. Isn’t the natural music of the night and the city enough on its own?

    Have fun shooting the Milky Way, can’t wait to see the work.

    September 27, 2014
    • It was good to have company, and not problems helping out someone else, I think that is what I am therefore in these groups. Photo walks can be hard, and they can be a little big and intimidating, I’m keeping mine so there are never more than 10, I think that is a nice number.
      The music was shocking, I should write to them.
      Thanks Jen, I’ve already got some great shots, and hopefully will get some more tonight.

      September 27, 2014
  12. Hi Leanne, Isn’t it funny how you don’t always notice things around you during the day, but they stand out at night, like the Federation Bells. The light trails in front of Flinders Street Station are really good too! Chris

    September 27, 2014
    • That is so true Chris, some things really stand out at night. Thank you Chris, I love doing those light trails. YOu might have to join us on one of our outings one day.

      September 27, 2014
  13. Marvelous set of images…

    September 27, 2014
  14. Love your photos and I would love to join a social snappers group as I am too timid to go out by myself, especially at night. The photo from the bridge is excellent. I agree with you about the canned music in public places–horrible. Thanks Leanne.

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you Ardy, people like you are exactly why I started social snappers, for people who don’t have someone to go out with, enjoy photography and would like to meet other people who also enjoy it. The bridge was great to get photos from. The music sucked big time, yuck. Thanks again.

      September 27, 2014
  15. Melbourne looks so pretty and I love learning about it through your blog. I so wish I were there to partake in the Social Snappers! It looks so fun. I loved the impromptu use of a lunchbox. :).

    September 27, 2014
    • That’s great Laura, it is a great city. I wish you could too, might have to bring them to you, 😉 Oh yes, she did well with the lunchbox, I’ve seen the photos. Thanks Laura.

      September 27, 2014
  16. A wonderful gallery of nighttime shots Leanne. Each one a winner 🙂

    September 27, 2014
  17. I love the cityscapes Leanne. Now I’m back in the big smoke I’ll have to get out and see if I can capture some myself!

    September 27, 2014
    • Yes, you will Alan, no excuses now. Thanks

      September 27, 2014
  18. a very beautiful set, leanne. great stuff.
    thanks for sharing, wishing you and your a good weekend.
    if i may ask, are women photographers afraid to go out on their own for night photography?

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you Ken, and I hope you have a great weekend too.
      Yes, many women are, I am, I wouldn’t like to go into the city on my own to take photos. It is quite unnerving.

      September 27, 2014
      • for some reason, i always thought australia enjoys low crime rate and therefore melbourne a relatively safe city to explore, even in the night. maybe not.

        September 28, 2014
      • It probably would be safe, but you never know, I have expensive gear, so I wouldn’t like someone nicking it, so I feel safer with others. Melbourne is relatively safe, but you never know, better to be safe than sorry as they say.

        September 28, 2014
  19. Great sum-up of night in a city!

    September 27, 2014
    • Thanks Sue, it was a great night.

      September 27, 2014
  20. I really love the sculpture!

    September 27, 2014
    • It is quite amazing Gypsy.

      September 27, 2014
  21. Splendid images, Leanne. Almost makes me wish I lived in a city, instead of in a tiny hamlet in open, agricultural countryside. No – only joking.

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you Keith, and I’m glad you are joking. I’ve been having fun up in the country for the last few days.

      September 27, 2014
  22. Photo of city in night is beautiful with different colors of lights and reflections.

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you, I agree, I love the city at night.

      September 27, 2014
  23. I love all your photos here! They’re just look magical, very vibrant!

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you, that is wonderful to hear.

      September 27, 2014
  24. Wow! Some amazing photos Leanne.. Got to say ‘I love Melbourne’ 🙂

    September 27, 2014
    • And you know I love it too. Thank you Julie. 😀

      September 27, 2014
  25. Really stunning night photography, Leanne. What fun you had. Melbourne looks so gorgeous by night, especially Flinders Street station. 🙂

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you, it was a lot of fun. I agree, Melbourne does look good at night.

      September 27, 2014
  26. Reblogged this on In Lee's Shoes and commented:
    Stunning

    September 27, 2014
  27. So nice when i will got a time i will do i central London too. You give me a inspiration now!

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you, that is what I like to hear.

      September 27, 2014
  28. Another feast for the eyes, Leanne! I love the Birrarung Mar Bridge the most!

    September 27, 2014
    • Thank you Nia, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of photographing that bridge before.

      September 28, 2014
  29. always a pleasure to see your photos, such great style and quality in your photos

    September 28, 2014
    • Thank you Ritva, what a lovely thing to say.

      September 28, 2014
  30. Fabulous night shots! My favorite is your Birrarung Marr bridge shot – absolutely stunning!

    September 28, 2014
    • Thank you, someone else said they liked those too, might have to go back and spend some more time there.

      September 28, 2014
  31. Beautiful photos Leanne, you teach me so much here, thanks for sharing.

    September 28, 2014
    • That is great to hear, I often wonder whether people do, so I am happy to hear that you have. Thank you Daniel.

      September 28, 2014
  32. michaelmulholland #

    Reblogged this on Michael Red Crow Mulholland and commented:
    Outstanding photo!

    September 28, 2014
    • Thanks Michael.

      September 28, 2014
      • michaelmulholland #

        You’re most welcome…

        September 28, 2014
      • 😀

        September 28, 2014
      • michaelmulholland #

        :E

        September 28, 2014
  33. These are awesome!

    September 28, 2014
  34. Great photos. 😀

    September 28, 2014
  35. Leanne, Loved all these photos but especially the BM bridge – great perspective, colours and shapes. How bizarre to have music blaring out in such a venue ….
    BW
    Julian

    September 28, 2014
    • Thank you, the bridge was great to photograph. I know, the music was very weird. Thanks Julian.

      September 28, 2014
  36. Interesting and lot different scenic view and art sculptures. it make your night street photos amazing and interesting. Beautiful and superb works.

    September 28, 2014
    • That is one thing about Melbourne, they have put in a lot of work to make the city look good, there are some great places to take photos. Thank you Cattan.

      September 28, 2014
  37. fantastic photos of a fantastic city!

    September 28, 2014
    • Thank you Cybele, you might have to visit one day.

      September 28, 2014
  38. LB #

    The series of photos are beautiful and I can’t help but be attracted to that first one. I just love a cityscape at night!

    September 28, 2014
    • Thanks LB that is one of the ones that I have tried to do a few times, I keep trying.

      September 28, 2014
  39. The massive statue has respinded well to the night photograph with the reduction in distractions. I enjoyed them all. The black background makes everything ‘pop’.

    September 28, 2014
    • That is great, thank you so much. I agree about the black background, it is good for that.

      September 28, 2014
  40. Thanks for the mention!! Your photos are AMAZING!!!

    September 28, 2014
    • You’re welcome, I should have done a link, but I was tired when I did it and have to admit, trying to get things done quickly at my mums. So sorry for that. Thank you, yours were good too, and thanks for coming, it was a great night.

      September 28, 2014
  41. What I love about these is the intensity and boldness of the colour you’ve captured. Great stuff.

    September 29, 2014
    • Thank you Richard, I think that is one thing about night photography that I do really enjoy, is getting those colours and how amazing the lights can look.

      September 29, 2014
  42. superb. kudos for consistent image quality and style on all photos.

    September 29, 2014
    • Thank you, I do try, I like to think I am slowly getting better, but maybe I have hit my style and should be sticking with it.

      September 29, 2014
  43. Melbourne at night is truly beautiful. One day. One day. I will get those night time photos. lol
    These are simply beautiful and truly stunning Leanne.

    October 2, 2014
    • I hope you get to one day, maybe when you have your girls weekend we can slip out one night and do some. Thanks Suz.

      October 2, 2014
      • Well we shall aim toward next year sometime then 🙂

        October 3, 2014
      • Sounds like a good plan.

        October 3, 2014
  44. Lovely photos and lovely accompanying story. I miss Melbourne, it’s my home city but I live in Auckland now. It’s funny how absence makes the heart grow fonder. I love your pics they make me homesick 🙂

    October 14, 2014
    • Thank you, I would miss Melbourne so much, so I understand, but isn’t Auckland beautiful as well? I’m glad you like the photos, but sad that they make you feel homesick.

      October 15, 2014
      • Yeah NZ is amazing for the nature, but the city has nothing on Melbourne with all its cool little areas with nice shops and bars. That sort of thing isn’t found here on such a massive scale and I miss the big city life of Melbs. But the nature here is really special, turquiose sea water, volcanos and mountains. It’s worth a visit for your photography for sure!

        October 15, 2014
      • I would love to go there and photograph the nature, it seems like an amazing place for that. I really want to do that at some point, just not sure when. Melbourne is great for all that stuff, it has a great culture. I love the city.

        October 15, 2014
  45. I love your trailing images too by the way Leanne, you are brilliant at what you do, are you a professional, maybe you should sell to the papers

    October 14, 2014
    • Thank you, great compliment, problem is there are so many people who are very good at this, and the papers don’t like paying much money, unfortunately.

      October 15, 2014
      • Bummer!

        October 15, 2014
      • Yep it is.

        October 15, 2014
      • You can turn photography into wall canvases, postcards, giftcards and such here. It’s a good way to monetise your art

        http://www.redbubble.com/

        October 15, 2014
      • I think we all know about this, and I know that you never really sell anything. I tried it for a while, and sold one card.

        October 15, 2014
      • Really awwww crap I’m sorry I suggested it, didn’t realise it was like that 😦

        October 15, 2014
      • Yeah, it is too hard to sell images, I don’t really try anymore.

        October 15, 2014

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