Melbourne City Photography Retreat
I'm free! A whole weekend with no kids and no responsibilities! I can do anything I want...so I'm going to do some photography in the city.
After being a full time stay at home dad for over 4 years, the lack of time to myself was starting to get to me. I need my alone time and enjoy my own company. As much as I love my wife and kids, I can't be the best I can for them if I'm not taking care of myself too. So I booked a weekend in the city to focus on my craft.
My accommodation was a 1 BDRM apartment on the 38th floor in the middle of the city. A decent view to the east with floor to ceiling windows. I could spend all day just watching the city in quiet contemplation. But I had work to do.
The middle of November and already the Xmas decorations are plastered all over the city. Also not ideal as it instantly dates any photos taken and makes them more Xmas themed rather than general city shots. I snapped a few night time photos anyway, as well as potential stock photos as I walk around.
I skip sunrise the next morning as the forecast is for clear skies again and I do want some time to relax. Staying out shooting until 2200 and the thought of getting up at 0500 for sunrise isn't all that appealing either. So I just get a few shots from the window the next morning.
I spend the day wandering the city and markets, trying to get as many stock worthy photos as I can and just enjoy my freedom. No rush to be anywhere. No deadline to finish anything. No specific brief to meet with the photos.
As sunset time arrives however, I find myself snapping away some long exposures only to realise the location I'm at is a dud in terms of light. I head to my plan B location as quick as I can only to find construction in the area hinders access and also ruins composition. I still haven't taken anything portfolio worthy...
I force myself to head out the next morning after a very reluctant attitude to hearing my alarm. While walking to the my chosen location I see some red clouds forming over the horizon and, quickening my step, I start hoping for the best. The colour in the sky isn't progressing towards the city as I hoped and I just get a few reflection shots with the still morning air. Then I reach the spot I intended to shoot from.
The classic view of Melbourne's Federation Square and Princes Bridge is definitely photogenic. The subtle colour in the clouds provides an interesting, but not overpowering, backdrop to the main feature of the buildings. The facades glow golden in the morning light and I can almost anthropomorphise them, picturing them gently closing their eyes and serenely smiling at the warm sun light. The calm water allows for reflections of the bridge and sky to balance out the foreground. I have my portfolio shot!
I wander the city again during the day until the forecast rain makes me retire to the apartment. I experiment with some ICM on the buildings in an attempt to create interesting abstracts. The kind of photos that I like personally but hold very little commercial value at this time because I don't know how to convince others of their worth.
My last evening is spent watching a storm over the city. A few bolts of lightning had me excited for some more interesting shots, but it was still too light and the lightning too distant to produce any interesting photos.
Over 500 exposures. Only 1 likely portfolio worthy image.
Overall an great mini adventure into Melbourne which has given me more motivation to do more trips like this in the future.