Sunday, December 16, 2007

Brisbane Botanica

A group assignment to discover botanical subjects that are identifiably Brisbane.

Boyd's image cleverly frames the Story Bridge just within the grasp of a delicately beautiful and leafless jacaranda.

What could be more Brisbane botanical than the city botanic gardens? Martin's shot explodes with plant life.

Bare branches again superimposed against the planetarium dome at Nicole's favourite location, Mount Coot-tha.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Usually my early morning walks are categorised by calm weather. This was not the case the other morning, when the breeze was unusually strong. So, when I wandered past one of my old haunts, I couldn't help but notice that the University of Queensland flag was flying proud. I couldn't not try to get a shot with the sun back lighting the flag nicely. I only wish that there was a large white building across the street to reflect some light onto the facade so that it would be a little easier to expose across the full frame a little easier. (OM4, Tamron 35-80mm SP f2.8-3.8, f8, HP5 @ 400)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spring Flowers

This was taken on the same morning as "Fig". My intention was to gain inspiration by detouring via the City Botanical Gardens thinking that it would be full of spring flowers in bloom. Nothing could be further from the truth: Either spring didn't happen in Brisbane City this year, or I simply missed it! There were some low ground covering plants that offered up some blooms and I was determined to capture what I could. Sad to say, this was the best of the bunch (om4, zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro, f5.6, HP5 @ 400).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I have been awfully slack in recent weeks and have not shot anything of worth and decided to try and force myself to find a subject that I could get enthusiastic about. Detouring through the City Botanical Gardens early in the morning I found this fig, nicely lit from the side. I like the complex, almost abstract trunk that these trees develop, and the wonderfully textured bark - almost like an elephant's skin. This is not my usual architectural study, but I do like the strength of its form. (OM4, zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro, f8, HP5 @ 400)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


This is just another whimsical shot taken down by the river among the restaurants and cafes. I was really trying to highlight the wonderful architectural detail in the awning outside Vino's and thought that it might fit with my lines theme (I decided against categorising that way). I also thought the composition would be a challenge given the early morning light, the white fabric awning and the clear blue sky beyond. I wasn't using any filters on the lens, but I did tweak the scanned image it a little by upping brightness and contrast a touch. (om4, zuiko 50mm f1.8, f11, FP4 @ 125)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


There is not much one can say about this shot. I liked the idea of the solitude that this worker seemed to find early in the morning under the lone tree in the vast expanse of concrete on the river side of the Riparian Plaza. (OM4, zuiko 50mm f1.8, f11, FP4 @ 125)

Monday, September 17, 2007


This shot represents another whimsical moment in my photographic journey. I often walk to work via the riverside boardwalk, and this time I paused at the end nearest the Botanical Gardens. The dis-used ferry jetty is now the main access to land for the yachties who moor their boats along the City Reach. I particularly like the way all the tenders were together ajumble, a wonderful metaphor for the different styles of yacht to which they belong and, in turn, the owners who call them home. (OM4, zuiko 135mm f3.5, f11, FP4 @ 125)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bond Store

This shot is another in my study of Brisbane's Customs House. Under the grand old building was purported to be the original bond store. This window is set into the large stone wall that forms the riverbank. Judging by the inclusions in the wall, the wharf was once directly attached to this rock face and goods would have been loaded and unloaded from ships and held within the customs complex. I have no idea if these rooms are still accessible, but there is a certain romance they now convey. I particularly like the way this early morning light plays across the face of the stone to show the texture in all its glory. (OM4, zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro, f11, FP4 @ 125)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ode to Vince

A good mate of mine turned 60 recently and he is obsessed with all things bicycle. Having no clue about what to get him for his birthday, I decided that I would try to do a series of photos for him. I really wanted to explore square format, and went ahead to mount the results of wet printing each in a frame with a 5in X 5in window in the cut board. These are digital interpretations of the finally presented prints, although I think that digitising the negatives has degraded the feel of the images somewhat. I rejected for the final series a print of Brake that I took during this session and posted a little while ago. I find this type of project quite invigorating and that it gives a certain amount of purpose to my hobby. (OM4, zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro with extension tubes, HP5 @ 400)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Multiple Exposure

Reddacliff Place

I was wanting to use this project to explore the telling of a story in one frame. The recently completed Brisbane Square has quickly become an icon of the city centre with its large and distinctive spherical public artwork and controversial building. However, less well known is the area dedicated to the late Trevor Reddacliff, in recognition of his work on urban renewal and making Brisbane more “liveable”. Hopefully this shot conveys a different view of this easily identifiable location. (OM2n, zuiko 50mm f1.8, f11, HP5 @ 400)

5 Brisbane Minutes

After debating whether to follow a traditional film approach for this exercise, I still ended up with a digital image. This is a an overlaid multiple image taken of City Hall over a five minute period. One wouldn't believe the number of pigeons that wanted to fly into the shot! Thankfully, I was using a remote so I could keep a lookout for erratic flight paths.


Having previously seen dramatic examples of multiple exposures taken using a motor drive, I thought I would experiment using this technique with Ilford film and my Nikon F80. Nearly all of my attempts involved at least 4 images Unfortunately most of the negatives were quite grainy however in this example I think it helps promote the idea of the rough texture of the ice on which my daughter was skating. A blue tone has been added to the digitally scanned negative to reinforce the feeling of a cold environment.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

2007 Ekka - Ferris Wheel

I have to admit to borrowing my colleague’s tried and true strategy of presenting the ordinary in an extra-ordinary fashion to add some sparkle to subjects that have the potential to be clich├ęs; hence the less typical viewpoint and a diagonal presentation of this image. A digital colour image given a monochrome treatment coupled with a soft blue wash.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Belgians from the Belgian

It's not often one sees horses trotting through the CBD, but this lovely pair were harnessed to an open carriage at the top of the mall on July 21. I found out the significance when I walked behind the carriage to see a sign from the Belgian Bar inviting people to drop in and celebrate Belgium Day. It would be appropriate that the horses themselves were Belgian Draughts and they certainly looked it. Anyway, I joined the group of camera/phone wavers who were trying to line up a shot and zoomed in at 190mm.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Customs facade 1

The facade of Customs House is dominated by four ornate columns standing proud about the main entrance. I particularly like the way that the early morning light washes back off surrounding buildings to softly illuminate the intricate detail of this most magnificent building. This shot is intended to convey the quality of the work that is evident throughout the structure. (OM4, zuiko 135mm f3.5, f5.6, FP4 @ 125)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Point on Eagle

I have been working quite earnestly of late with doors, lines and CH projects. However, there are times when a shot is just begging to be taken, just for the heck of it. This is one of those shots — pure whimsy. Every time I pass this piece of public artwork it puts a smile on my face, and given that 175 Eagle is beside Customs House, I have been passing often. I hope that this captures some of the joy the original gives me. (OM4, zuiko 135mm f3.5, f4, FP4 @ 125)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Customs at dusk

I tend to be a creature of habit, and I have found that I most often photograph early in the morning on my way to work. Perhaps this is borne out of a general reluctance to photograph when too many people are around, in case one might ask what I am doing. One reason for choosing to embark on my Customs House series was to force me to investigate the effects of the different light and different lives of the subject. This shot was taken late on a Friday afternoon. I wanted the sky to still be bright, but I also knew that the veranda areas would be well lit to give the building a warm glow. Shot hand held and wide open, I would probably want to at least use my monopod and stop the lens down a click to improve the sharpness if I attempt to use this light again. (OM4, zuiko 50mm f1.8, f1.8, HP5 @ 400)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Riverfront Place Streetside

This shot was taken from the Eagle Street side of the Riverside Centre, sort of like a mirror image of my earlier Seidler Swoosh post taken from the river side of this same complex. In this frame you can see the trademark architectural detail of the flowing lines common to each of Seidler's Brisbane towers. I composed this to capture the interesting line detail that makes up the entrance, and the way that the frame for the extended glass-topped roof is silhouetted in the morning sun and reflected in the glass walls of the lobby. Although the main doors to the complex are included, they certainly are not features of the scene. (OM4, Tamron 24mm f2.5, f5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lamp on Queen

Customs House in Brisbane, completed in 1889, is an icon in the city and it has a colourful history. In Customs from Queen, posted a little while ago, I mentioned that I was considering embarking on a small project to capture different aspects of this most magnificent of our buildings. Well I am considering no longer, and this post is the first of my series to present one subject in many different lights (so to speak). This shot is taken from the other side of the road, where I noticed that the decorative street lamp had a top that echoed the dome atop the main subject. I could not resist using this as my first post because it is the dome that most immediately identify with the structure, and I have tried to capture the essence of its shape but use a shallow depth of field so not to reveal all of the detail in one frame. However, I think that this still gives a hint of the building's decorative style and presence. (OM4, Zuiko 135mm f3.5, f5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Friday, July 27, 2007

River walk

It was a beautiful morning in Brisbane, and I missed a great opportunity for a photo when taking the middle born to school at sunrise and wasn't carrying a camera. Not to be deterred, I loaded a camera and decided to start working on a couple of new projects on my way to my office job. I wandered down by the river, and from a high vantage point noticed the interesting shadows forming on the river walkway. When I am taking shots like this I often wonder what the "regular" morning commuters see when they travel through the same space. (OM4, Zuiko 135mm f3.5, f11, HP5 @ 400)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

National Bank

When you put your money in a bank you want some confidence that it is going to be secure. The old National Bank building on the corner of Queen and Creek Streets definitely gives this impression through its very presence, including its impressive old set of doors facing Queen St. Although the doors are no longer in use, and unfortunately often the target of graffiti vandals, the brass name plates proudly hark back to a bygone era. (OM2n, Vivitar 55mm f2.8, f4, HP5 @ 400)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Union Jack's

Door shots wouldn't be door shots if I didn't have one or two very close ups to complement the set. This one was taken of the main doors to Union Jack's Ale House on Charlotte Street. When I walk past on my way to work early in the morning the doors are always securely shut, and the ornate but rather rustic handles complement the varnished timber and iron straps perfectly. I have always thought that this establishment is a bit of an oddity in the centre of sunny Brisbane, but I suppose any marketing tool, including a fully set of armour in a perspex case, can help a business survive. (OM2n, Vivitar 55mm f2.8 macro, f2.8, HP5 @ 400)

Sunday, July 15, 2007


For a bit of fun today I set myself a task of taking some bicycle component shots (thanks Lydia for providing the model). I thought that cogs and chain, alloy and carbon fibre could make for some interesting compositions with a square crop in mind. I couldn't quite envisage what to do with a brake lever, but I thought that I would persist to try and get something worth posting in relation to my series on lines. So, although not my regular architectural piece, I like the way the the machined alloy catches the light to take on a fluid appearance—almost abstract but still identifiably a brake lever. (OM4Ti, Tamron 90mm f2.5 with 21mm Extension tube, f8, HP5 @ 400)

Customs from Queen

Another example from my exploration of wide angle studies of Brisbane doors. I am unsure of this shot because I have not attempted to correct the perspective, so the verticals are converging quite dramatically. Strangely, however, I don't seem to mind the convergence in this case too much because it seems to give a sense of presence to this wonderfully grand building on Queen Street. Most people who pass the building tend to remember the structure for its dominant domed roof, but I think that its columns and entrance are equally impressive. A photo study of Customs House might be another challenging project for me to explore in the coming weeks and months. (OM2n, Tamron 28mm f2.5, f8, HP5 @400)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Girls' School

The St Stephen's Girls School is a building facing Charlotte Street within the Cathedral of St Stephen's precinct that is quite obviously now no longer used as a school. I know nothing of its history, but it has a wonderfully ornate pair of iron gates chained shut and an impressively imposing door. I can but imagine a nun taking a daughter from her parents at the gate, shutting it firmly behind them before leading the girl onto her education within the church. I used my 28mm prime to get very close to the gate in order to have the ornate iron cross out of focus and the door framed by the foreground detail. (OM2n, Tamron 28mm f2.5, f4, HP5 @ 400)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Condemned 2

I found that in my pursuit of both my current themes—doors and lines—I have been shooting predominantly with either a standard lens or a medium telephoto (usually 135mm). Carrying my camera to work I tend to minimise the kit that I use, and seem to have fallen into a bit of a trap of taking these same lenses each day and not necessarily thinking about other alternatives. Yesterday I deliberately took a 28mm prime and 35-80mm zoom to see how this change of kit also changed the way I treated locations. This post is a follow-up to my original post of these doors in "Condemned". Rather than taking them front on, I have attempted to use the additional width that I had available to capture more of the dilapidated building that is still barely standing around the doors. (OM2n, Tamron 28mm f2.5, f8, HP5 @ 400)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


St Andrew's Uniting Church on the corner of Ann and Creek Streets has fascinated me since the my work moved to the building across the street in the late-1990s. For a while my desk was in a place that allowed me to look out over the bell tower and admire the building's strikingly simple form. One thing that I have never been able to quite work out with this, and many other churches, is the statement made by the door. Ones like this seem to me to be so intimidating that they either do not encourage me to come in and seek sanctuary or threaten that once I enter I cannot leave. (OM2sp, Zuiko 50mm f1.8, f2.8, FP4 @ 200)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Abstract Study 5

This shot was taken looking from the Brisbane River boardwalk to Riparian Plaza early in the morning, specifically capturing the levels containing the car parking services. This section of the building is a stone-like grey, with lightly coloured projections and ventilation slots. When the early morning light hits the projecting fins they are rendered a brilliant white, but the remaining areas are in various depths of shadow with the grey of the building tying the composition together. (OM2n, Vivitar 35–105 f3.5–4.5, f8, FP4 @ 200)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Seidler Swoosh

Just around the corner from the Riparian Plaza (shown in my previous post) is another of Harry Seidler's towers, the Riverside Centre. The building was completed in the mid-1980s and has become somewhat of an icon, not because of its quite wonderful architecture, but because it has been the site of a regular Sunday market almost since it opened. This post intends to show the part of the structure that forms a focal point for the building's Brisbane River-side entrance. In the early morning light I thought that the rendered white curve (a strong theme in this complex) could provide a strong line to draw the eye through the scene. (OM4, Tokina 35-105mm f3.5-4.5, f16, FP4 @ 200)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Riparian Entry

Located at 71 Eagle St, Riparian Plaza is the second tallest building in the CBD and mixes commercial and residential spaces. Designed by architect Harry Seidler, it has trademark architectural features of dominant curves and a cladding that in places looks almost like reptilian scales. I can't really decide if this shot fits better with my door theme or with "lines", although I definitely shot it with lines in mind. (OM2n, Tamron 135mm f2.8, f5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Abstract Study 4

Early morning light and glass towers on Eagle Street combine to create some very interesting reflections. These relatively recently planted palms are located next to a wall that is textured with long vertical lines. I wanted to play with the effects of the long, bright reflections playing on the tall, straight trunks of the palms with the dark texture behind. Possible it doesn't translate as well as I hoped. (OM2n, Tamron 135mm f2.8, 5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Abstract Study 3

I have given the doors a bit of a rest to go back to my line studies for this post. This shot involves a rather familiar theme involving the lines of one building reflected in another of the modern glass towers in Eagle Street. I like the way that the reflected lines match the patterns in the building to make the panes appear strangely concave. I rotated the original image 90 degrees to the right to add a little interest. (OM2n, Tamron 135mm f2.8, f5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Casino Back Door

Brisbane's Treasury Casino is located in the former Treasury Building. One entrance, off Elizabeth Street, used to be the access to the Registrar General's office. It now has some modern glass architectural features, similar to those that can be seen at 95 William St. I particularly like this shot because the early morning light seems to highlight the elegant features of the old, and places the casino entry into a shadowy part of the composition. (OM4, Tamron 135 f2.8, f2.8, FP4 @ 200)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


The Cathedral of St Stephen is a favourite subject of mine, although it rarely features in my posts. It astounds me that this particular door on the west wall always seems to be open, no matter the time of day or night I find myself wandering past. This characteristic combined with somewhat over-engineered doors and solid sandstone walls seems to say to me that the cathedral is a tremendously safe place, but one that is always welcoming. (OM2n, Tamron 135mm f2.8, f4, HP5 @ 400)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Club

The Queensland Club was another subject that my friend, John, suggested that I investigate as it has a rather grand main door. The Club, located on the corner of Alice and George Streets diagonally opposite Parliament House, is a three storey rendered brick building incorporating Italianate elements. Its main door is atop the stairs off Alice St, although the members seem to regularly use the alternative entrance off George St. (OM2n, Tamron 135mm f2.8, f8, HP5 @ 400)

Monday, June 25, 2007


These are the main doors to what was once a quite grand building at the bottom end of Edward St. Unfortunately, the building now stands derelict, showing signs of severe vandalism and the effects of a fire on the upper floor. It's doors, however, remain bravely hanging where they belong and tell a story of the destruction and abuse that has gone on behind them. This is a somewhat sad scene of, I suspect, another of our buildings not long for our city. (OM2n, zuiko 50mm f1.8, f5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mansions Door

The Mansions, an iconic terrace house at the top end of George Street, is a subject that I have not explored in the past. When I talked to a friend of mine about my current Doors Project, he suggested that it, and some other buildings that will feature in coming posts, might be worth a look—thanks John. The doors on the Mansions are not particularly spectacular in themselves, but the setting seems to suit their apparent solidity. I also particularly like the way that the detail of the columns provides a sense of elegance. It never ceases to amaze me what is out there when you roam about for a look, this building is only about 100m from where I go to work every day. (Shot with OM2n, Zuiko 50mm f1.8, f5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Side Door

Perfect Pancakes is a restaurant in a converted church at the top end of Charlotte St in the centre of the city. The old red brick building still stands proud, with most of its original external features remaining. This side door is now a rather shabby green, but it has a wonderful character. Athough it probably hasn't been open in a very long time, given that it now longer seems to lead anywhere, its hinges alone seem to tell a story about another age. (OM4, zuiko 135mm f3.5, f3.5, fp4 @ 125)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Yeoman of the Guard – Photographic Summary of Act 1 in 24 Images

From the Queensland Musical Theatre production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Yeoman of the Guard” which ran from mid May to early June 2007 at the Schonell Theatre, University of Queensland. A wonderful performance of one of the more serious Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and a great viewing experience too!

Whilst I had originally intended to post perhaps at most two or three photographs, the number and chronological sequence of these images lend themselves so well to a photographic narrative, that I just had to present them all. Well not quite, it took me some time to decide on a style that would enable me to present a large number of images in a fairly compact manner. I think this 4 by 6 layout with a single key image in each works well, although I did have to drop one image, originally having 25 in total. Ilford HP5 pushed 3 stops to an ISO of 3200 has done quite a reasonable job of capturing the contrasty scenes.

The other aspect of this process that I have become less sure of is whether posting these images represent "fair use" or a copyright infringement. Are these photographs a sufficiently small quantum of the whole performance? Certainly I have acknowledged the source, I don't believe this post detracts in anyway from the integrity of the producers or participants, and my only real motive in publishing them is community interest. Still..

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Victoria Bridge

Victoria Bridge leads from the end of the Queen Street Mall and Brisbane Square across the river to Southbank. I have long been fascinated by the way the street lights almost bracket the traffic and the way lines define each space given over to either pedestrians, cars or buses. I was aiming to capture these various lines and accentuate the space with darkly silhouetted light posts by taking a shot late in the afternoon. I took several frames, but like the way that the cars are all waiting in line to rush off in their various directions home.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Abstract Study 2

I was trying to capture the wonderfully fluid distortion of lines in the early morning river reflections. I noticed that the low angle of the sun created areas of deep shadow and bright highlights where the reflections were generated from the rendered concrete of the waterfront buildings. I am not sure that this image qualifies for my series on lines, but I am reasonably happy with the almost psychedelic (in a monochromatic way) patterns created and the tonal range captured (OM4, zuiko 135/3.5, 1/125s, f8, fp4 @ 200).

Saturday, May 26, 2007

In & Out

A blast from the past that fits my "Line" theme. I shot this image with Fuji Superia 100 in late 2004 but I have never been happy with it in colour. I thought that I would play with the scanner, desaturate it and let the graphic elements shine in black and white. If you are wondering, it is taken from the top of the walkway at the Regatta Hotel Ferry Stop. It is not my usual type of shot, but it is sometimes interesting to revist early frames to see how your style changes over time. I hope you enjoy.