Last weekend was Open House Melbourne, an opportunity to be a tourist in my home town as many buildings open their doors to the public. I took the opportunity to visit Government House, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Capitol Theatre, Melbourne Town Hall, State Library of Victoria and the new Architecture Building at The University of Melbourne amongst others during the weekend. As I’ve done in past years, I took plenty of photos of the great buildings Melbourne has to offer. And once again I’ve included some of the great ceilings, such as this one from the new Architecture Building.
From all mythical nations the fantasy folk gathered at Treasury Gardens in Melbourne, dressed in their magnificent winter garb. Setting out on a procession through the city streets, a Wintervalk, it was a jubilant parade with bright banners, baubles, magic and more. I followed along capturing the adventure, and some reactions from the mundane onlookers as they passed by.
On the second anniversary of my first photowalk I joined the Melbourne Photowalkers on their third anniversary photowalk, a river to river walk. After meeting at The Reverence Hotel in Footscray, we travelled along Footscray Road from the Maribyrnong River to the Yarra River.
This was a tough walk for me given the conditions. Light rain in the middle of winter and little more than shipping yards and an abandoned rail line to photograph for much of the walk, it pushed our creativity. I find the massive gantry cranes and container ships fascinating. Our walk concluded near the dominant Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.
Every year, on the Labour Day long weekend, Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre plays host to Golden Plains Music Festival. Nestled among giant pine trees the amphitheatre plays host to local and international musicians. There were plenty of photo opportunities over the weekend, including sunset over the scenic Inspiration Point.
This evening I ventured to the beach to capture a shot I’ve been aiming to take for a while; the Melbourne skyline nicely lined up behind the Brighton Beach bathing boxes. Taken from a distance with a telephoto lens, perspective compression brings the two sets of buildings close together. As summer draws to a close there was perfect weather for this shot.
Once again on a beautiful summer’s day faeries amassed from across Melbourne at Treasury Gardens. The Faerie Queen and Faerie King led a grand procession of Faerie Folk through the streets of Melbourne. Accompanied by a cornucopia of other fantasy creatures, and adorned with streamers, bells, bubbles and other fancies, the rade was quite a spectacle. The merry folk concluded the rade with a picnic at Fitzroy Gardens.
New Year’s Day was quite wet, and was overcast much of the day. Just before what would’ve been sunset I arrived at Mentone beach for the New Year’s Day Photo and Firespin. It was nice to briefly catch up with a few of the regulars and thanks to Paul Pavlinovich, Charles Strebor and Trace McLean get a few nice fire play shots.
From No 35 Restaurant at Sofitel Melbourne amazing views overlook much of Melbourne. I was fortunate enough to visit for breakfast and enjoyed this view over the Yarra River, including Princes Bridge and the iconic buildings lining the entrance to Melbourne.
Along Southbank there is Alexandra Gardens, the Arts Centre spire, Hamer Hall, and a cluster of tall buildings including Eureka Tower. Along the river near Sofitel are Birrarung Marr, Federation Square and Flinders Street Station.
From Eureka Skydeck 88 there are plenty of vantage points from which to photograph Melbourne. With the building roughly in the shape of a star, it’s possible to look into the next window along through the gold coating. Sometimes, however, it’s possible to view spectacular reflections of the city alongside the direct view.
Reflected is Abbotsford and East Melbourne, including the Hilton and Carlton and United Breweries. On the right is the direct view over the CBD and along Drummond Street and Rathdowne Street in Carlton. The sharp building edge divides the image and gives the impression of a diptych.
In 2010 I travelled to the Philippines for the first time, travelling mostly around Cebu, including several trips to Mactan Island. Here I visited the Lapu-Lapu Shrine; a memorial to the tribal chief who, in April 1521 during the Battle of Mactan, defended against the invading Spanish, including defeating Ferdinand Magellan. Lapu-Lapu is remembered as the first Filipino hero.
The story goes that Magellan was confident of victory; that the natives would surrender to his more advanced weapons and armour. With his men Magellan waded in armour through the shallow tidal flats. Lapu-Lapu and his men, unencumbered by armour, outmanoeuvred Magellan’s attack, killing Magellan and forcing the Spanish expedition to retreat. Standing on the shore looking out it’s easy to imagine the difficulties Magellan faced.