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)