Friday, November 28, 2008

Tourists in our own town - Part 2

When Boyd first mentioned the topic of our group shoot, I thought immediately of the shiny new 'Brisbane Eye'. I took this photo before attending a play at QPAC and decided that a tourist's view would want to encompass the entire wheel. So here it is in all its dizzy glory!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tourists in our own town - Part 1

One of the reasons that I have enjoyed posting to Monochrome Brisbane is because it forces me to see things from different perspectives. In setting an assignment to produce an image that a tourist might take away as somehow capturing the city was another way of forcing a different point of view.

My selected shot captures a view of the Story Bridge taken looking west from atop the cliffs near Newfarm. The buildings from the central business district rise in the background and the foreground shows the river that winds its way through the city from east to west.

I admire the majesty of this old steel span bridge and have featured it in a number of other posts. For this assignment I thought that a night shot revealing its twinkling outline with the more modern structures behind and languid river below would tell a tale about Brisbane life that tourists might recognise after only a day or two. (Mamiya 645pro, Sekor 80mm f2.8, f16, HP5 @ 400, scanned from 10X8 wet print)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Mt Cootha Sunset

Continuing on with a water theme, this sunset was taken from Moreton Bay using a Finepix 5600 at the long end of its telephoto lens. I'm rather amazed that the camera's meter was able to cope and provide quite a reasonable picture.

Apart from cropping and some minor sharpening, the image is an unmanipulated grey scale copy of the colour version. The Mount Cootha television towers are clearly visible on the left.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Forest Lake

Well, here is the eponymous feature of the suburb that I call home. (Eponymous, I’ve been waiting to use that word in a post...)
I was doing a shoot to capture reflections recently and this one didn’t quite make the cut due to the surface being disturbed by wind and ducks and whatnot.
Can’t really do those big sweeping vista shots. I’m more of a detail photographer. But by abstracting this image into fairly contrasty b&w, maybe it works just as a study in tones and shapes...

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Probably few visitors to the Greek Club in Edmondstone Street South Brisbane would fail to notice this wall frieze in the foyer.  I took this in May 2008, but unfortunately this image turned into a "sleeper". One of those photographs you think has potential but you are just not sure what to do with it. Initially I thought it looked better in colour but obviously I have since changed my mind - hence its posting on MB. Taken with my Leica and a monopod, with flash I think.

I reckon he's trying to balance the family chequebook under her gentle but insistent guidance.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Natural Hues - Magnificat

For those who live locally, "Natural Hues" is a photographic exhibition by our very own Nicole. Ten beautifully shot macro images of her favourite subjects, of which "Magnificat" is one. Running 1st -30th September at the Graceville Gallery (10am-5pm Mon to Fri and 10am -4pm Sat and Sun). The gallery is located at 463 Oxley Road Sherwood (Tel: 3379 1288). Image taken with my 5MB Leica using bounced flash.

City Reach

This is a departure from my ususal postings and is inspired by Martin's 2006 post called Monochrome Brisbane. I had to make a trip across town the other evening and decided to take the opportunity and stop at the top of the Kangaroo Pt cliffs with camera and tripod. The original colour versions of these are posted at another site, but I decided to desaturate them and also post here. I will need to revisit this location with some trusty HP5 loaded to experiment more with exposure and composition. (Mamiya 645pro, sekor 80mm f2.8, f11, Kodak Portra 400vc @ 400)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Brisbane Art Deco Part 6

The geometric deco design of stylised shape and form replaced the the equally stylised but organically based geometrics of the Art Nouveau period. Initially a luxurious style using expensive materials such as ivory and jade, later artefacts benefited from the the introduction of Bakelite and plastic, which significantly reduced production costs. The style itself was named from the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Art Deco developed rapidly and its influence is readily seen in period fashion, jewellery, sculpture, the graphic arts and of course architecture, (which provide the most enduring and commonly recognisable examples).

The subject of this post is a French Art Deco table lamp (circa 1930), which contains a not atypical contradiction of simplistic and detailed forms, often found in lamps and glassware from the period.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Brisbane Art Deco Part 5

For my reading of Art Deco I wanted to capture a grittier, more industrial feel for the application of the style. I knew of some buildings in South Brisbane that I thought might make reasonable subjects, and found Substation No.58.

My preferred image of this subject captures some of the iconic shapes, but also shows that not everyone now keeps the Art Deco remnants in pristine condition. I particularly like the textures here, but also that the essence of the style are still recognisable through the grime and the decay.

I have included some shots below of the subject that I thought didn't quite make it, but help to convey that this very plain building had touches that combined different materials, textures and lines. (Mamiya 645pro, sekor 80mm f2.8, HP5 @ 400)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brisbane Art Deco Part 4

I am making no apologies for posting something in colour as the mint green interior of the Tattersalls Arcade has to remain intact to show it at its best. And since the overall scheme of this image is still monochromatic, I think my fellow bloggers will humour me!

The Tattersalls is a marvellous blend of Neoclassical and Deco from the early 1920s. The medallions and friezes of the interior are set off by the sweeping curves and colour schemes. They embody a common theme in Art Deco where amidst all the clean lines one might find an isolated spot of ornamentation obviously influenced by Classical or even Rococo styles.

The Queen Street facade of the arcade is more Deco than Neoclassical as evidenced by this window (captured in a return to black and white!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brisbane Art Deco Part 3 - Pseudo Deco

This is one of three photographs I have taken in support of Nicole's interest and probably the most appropriate to post first as it not only compliments the previous image theme wise, but also steers us back to Nicole's art deco focus. No prizes for guessing where this is. I must say I'm a little surprised that this door hasn't been nailed by Boyd in his wanderings. The title refers to the style I think it's trying to portray, although whether that's deliberate would require a query of the designers, whoever they may be.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Knights of the Cross

I took this image some time ago, in 2007 I think, when I was deliberately wandering the streets of Brisbane looking for subjects of the type taken by my colleagues. If it isn't obvious from the history of my posts, I am not a big fan of architectural photography, it is a highly specialised area which my friends are exceedingly good at but causes me no end of frustration. However with the recent "burst" of door posts, I thought I would submit this image. I quite like the Moorish curves and points over the doors. I could almost imagine a Crusader in battle armour, white tunic with red cross, standing with drawn sword on the steps.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Brisbane Art Deco Part 2

The Manor Aparments building on Queen Street is likely to be the first that springs to mind at the mention of Art Deco. This extrovert structure bursts with every kind of adornment and one day I hope to find a crane and capture the menagerie of weird and wonderful American style gargoyles. These few detail shots will have to do for the present.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Brisbane Art Deco Part 1

I am going to beg my fellow bloggers' indulgence on this particular topic. Art Deco is an era that fascinates me. The age of beautiful cars, fountain pens, home furnishings, and of course architecture. The western world was breaking away from the mould of recreating the past and pushing forward to something new. Punctuated by war and just between the flamboyance of Art Noveau and the depression of Utilitarinaism, the Jazz Age stands as a final fling at societal originality that permeated life in its entirety.
My flagship in this exploration is the key example of Deco architecture in Brisbane, the University of Queensland.

308-322 Queen Street

This is one of the most stunning neoclassical buildings in the CBD and I pass it nearly every day in the rush to work. Boyd has captured gorgeous detail images of the severely styled door so my take on it is to step across the street and catch it in its frame.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Something's Brewing

To answer the question, 'Does Nicole ever take a "messy" shot?' Here is my reply, 'Once in a blue moon'.
Somewhat in the same style as my laneway shot, here is a fairly busy - but still contained - image from a well known Brisbane landmark...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Post Office Square II

Time for another square shot. Experimenting with high-key and shadow.

Arrangement in Grey and Black

(With apologies to Mr Whistler as this looks nothing like his mother! Well, maybe by a raving cubist...)
I've just spent another happy weekend pottering about with Camera 2. Almost walked past this but swung round for a shot before scurrying across at the pedestrian lights. Fellow bloggers, spot the location...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Nearly a month after I got my new baby - Nikon D300 - we finally got to go out for a shoot. Up until now we have been doing mainly tabletop work in preparation for a certain upcoming exhibition.
So, at last, here is the inaugural location shoot with my new camera. This is one of the little laneways off Elizabeth street which makes me wonder how one drives in if somebody else wants to come out...?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sneak peek

For some time now the old National Bank building on the corner of Queen and Creek Streets has been undergoing a major renovation, which now looks almost complete. I was walking past as some workers were carting material and tools inside through the main doors that they had left it ajar. I couldn't help but stop and catch this view with a new (to me) 35mm lens that I was giving a bit of a test. Luckily I did take the time, because the next pass through had the door firmly shut, so this is my only frame showing the interior. I think that this shot is far more successful than my earlier post of the same subject (National Bank), but I would love to know what you think ... (OM2, zuiko 35mm f2.8, f8, HP5 @ 400)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Rainy Afternoon

The rain was wonderful to see this week and I had a couple of frames at the end of a film to wind off. I found myself holding umbrella in one hand, OM2sp in the other and walking through the city with other commuters trying to find my way to the train. Even though the light was relatively low, the combination of HP5 developed in Microphen gives a quite nice tonal range.(OM2sp, zuiko 50mm f1.8, f5.6, HP5 @ 400)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ramblin' Man

The title is an obvious reference to the make of car, and a less obvious reference to the Allman Brothers 1973 release of "Ramblin' Man"; the chorus;

Lord, I was born a ramblin' man
Trying to make a living and doing the best I can..

from which started going around and around in my head when I spied this vehicle. It was one of a number of "old" cars in a car-park adjacent to the lake in my suburb, about to whisk a heap of Year 12 students to their formal at the Greek Club. I have no idea as to the pedigree of this motor but the chrome, blue duco and white sidewall tyres which grabbed my attention, I think lend themselves nicely to conversion into this monochrome image.

The owner happy to pose with his pride and joy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wynnum Creek

We visit Wynnum quite frequently these days and I have always been attracted to this creek and its collection of moored boats. Unfortunately, most of them look like they have seen better times and bear the marks of long days sitting in the weather. Some appear to be work boats whilst others are obviously pleasure craft, patiently awaiting the return of their owners and the opportunity to again joyfully ply the Bay.

This image was taken using a Finepix S3 Pro and a Nikon G series 70-300 zoom I bought a year or two ago. I don't really know why I persevere with this lens, although purchased new, I generally find the quality of pictures it takes disappointing. I guess it's a case of "You get what you pay for!"

On the other hand, I am always pleasantly surprised by the images with my 5MB Leica, which I have started to lug around again. I really think it's more about the lens rather than the grunt behind it. Pathetic lens attached to a great body (which the S3 pro is), is always going to produce sub-standard photographs.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Silver Structure

The structure featured in this shot is the same at that in Abstract Study 6. This, however, was taken closer to the main support and has a distinctly different feel from the earlier study, although the time of day is very similar and the film treatment is the same. I quite like the effect that is achieved on a range of subjects when pushing this film by 2 stops in early evening light. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom and HP5 @ 1600)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Brisbane at Play

Brisbane at Play was the theme chosen for our latest group assignment. Having re-acquainted myself with the sport of sailing, (well actually since I sail but don't race I guess technically it's a pastime), I thought this topic would enable me to combine the fun of photography with this sport. I do hope my Monochrome Brisbane colleagues will forgive my selfish motivation! The sole proviso was that a person or people connected in some manner with the activity must appear the in the image.

Despite repeated mumblings that they don't shoot people my highly talented friends applied themselves diligently to the task and have provided excellent examples of Brisbanites going about the serious business of enjoying themselves.

Nicole's "Show Pony" is a great shot of an equestrian event at the Kenmore Show. We know little about the entrant herself except that both she and her powerful mount were beautifully captured in motion whilst bathed in morning light.

In contrast, Boyd has chosen to highlight a team sport by shooting the very Australian game of cricket in his "Change of Ends". This image was taken at a locally held match in the Graceville area of Brisbane. It presents the controlled hullabaloo of the batsmen and fielders rearranging themselves at the end of an over.

On any given weekend off the Wynnum-Manly foreshore, it is very hard not see the a sail somewhere out in Moreton Bay, and as I photographed these subjects just outside the Manly boat harbour, (which is within the confines of the Shire of Brisbane), I hope my colleagues will forgive any locational latitude on my part. Whilst St Helena and Green Islands further out are listed in the Brisbane ward of Wynnum, I have no idea what jurisdiction the bay itself falls into!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Crossing Edward

Same place, different times. I have continued to experiment with different techniques and approaches to my street essay. There is a busy crossing at the bottom of the Mall where Queen and Edward Streets meet. These two shots were taken at this crossing at different times of the day (one morning the other early evening) and with different film and lens combinations: the square one using an OM2sp, Tokina 35-105mm RMC f3.5-4.5 zoom and HP5 @ 400; the other with an OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom and HP5 @ 1600. I like the very different atmosphere that can be generated from essentially the same spot using very similar techniques.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hotel Carlton

A more convincing facade in many ways than the old Telegraph building is that of the adjacent Hotel Carlton. In its day this building must have stood magnificently on the main street of Brisbane, with three stories of ironwork and verandas now proudly fronting a shopping centre. The paint is peeling on the walls and the hardwood floorboards do not all look securely placed, but that doesn't really matter any more as no guests will ever again take in the view and their conversation and laughter will never spill into the street. (OM2sp, Tokina 35-105mm RMC f3.5-4.5 zoom, HP5 @ 400)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Telegraph facade

Along the Queen St Mall, and in other places throughout the City centre, there seems to be a push to develop new buildings but to keep the facade of the previous building. It has always struck me as an odd policy, because there will be a time where there are no genuine examples of architecture in the late 20th or early 21st Centuries. I am sure that future generations will think us mad not to have attempted to either save the original buildings or have our own designs that we think worthy of display. The Myer Centre, which recently celebrated its 20th year, has a number of these old facades hiding a modern multistory shopping plaza. The subject of this shot is one of those facades, that of the building that housed the Telegraph newspaper offices. (OM2sp, Tokina 35-105mm RMC f3.5-4.5 zoom, HP5 @ 400)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

GPO Buskers

For a number of days these two have been busking outside the main Post Office. Their persistence is admirable, because although the jazz that they play is enjoyable, most on commuters pass without tossing any money. This shot was taken as part of some tests that I am doing on gear before going on a short holiday. It confirms that I really should have tried harder to get a 35mm prime, because my Tokina 35-105mm used for this (and some shots to come) has neither the sharpness, contrast, nor the low light ability that I am looking for in a travel lens – a variable f3.5-4.5 as a minimum aperture just doesn't cut it. Luckily, my OM2sp seems to be working fine in all its modes, including Program, so I might take it as a second body. (OM2sp, Tokina 35-105mm RMC f3.5-4.5 zoom, HP5 @ 400)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


At the George St end of Queen St is the relatively new Brisbane Square and Radacliff Place. In this wonderful space is an installation piece called Steam, by Donna Marcus. This work is made up of a series of randomly dispersed large metal balls of different sizes with replica aluminium steamer baskets as their feature (more info). One cannot help but be drawn to them when entering the space, and many a photographer and tourist can be seen making images of them on any given day. I used one as a subject in my multiple exposure assignment shot in and Martin has included one in Push as part of his photographs of photographers series. I thought that I would attempt another composition here with a section of a ball and the top of the Mall shown in the background. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom, HP5 @ 800)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Crossing George

I like the collection of people who gather at the various sets of traffic lights waiting to cross. They seem to show a cross-section of society who move through the city at various times of the day. This group was crossing after getting off a bus just outside the casino, and were heading into the Mall. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom, HP5 @ 800)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Facade @ 240

From under what my family would call a Leopard Tree (Caesalpinea ferrea) I noticed the way the early morning light played on the side of the Commonwealth Bank building, making shadows and highlights that are not normally seen during "regular" hours. I liked the way this angle makes the building look like a charactature of something real, almost like a temporary facade for something more permanent later. As I stood, I though of how Martin's image of this building made it feel so substantial. So, with Martin's work in mind, I juxtaposed the comical effect of light with the leaves of the Leopard hoping that they would appear more permanent than the building. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom, f8, HP5 @ 800)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Abstract Study 7

At the top (ie George St) end of the Queen St Mall there is an eatery that has some very interesting architectural detail in its fit out and finish. One piece that caught my attention a long time ago is this piece of alloy that has been machined and polished in a way that leaves simple patterns in the metal. This is placed next to some glass to give an even more interesting effect with its reflection. I have been meaning to make an image of this subject for quite some time, and my current project seems to have given me the perfect excuse. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom, f8, HP5 @ 800)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sitting around

Many moons ago I attempted to capture the bronze statues outside the Bank of Queensland building on Queen St, resulting in my BOQ Bust post. As part of my latest project I have again been regularly passing these subjects (male and female sitting on the wall) and I have toyed again with a composition involving these striking pieces of public art. This time, however, I was determined to get some people of the city involved, and have chosen this shot, looking back over the adjacent cafe, to capture more of Queen St life. I like the way some patrons almost mimic the posture of the statue, and how these figure tend to blend with the background when the 35–80mm zoom is used at the longer end to foreshorten the perspective. (OM2n, Tamron 35–80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom, f8, HP5 @ 800)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tank St

I have found that this new little project has re-invigorated my interest and has forced me to get out and about with my camera, as I hoped it would. I also continue to experiment with genre, which focusing on the one area and looking for opportunities to make images (rather than hoping the images come at random) seems to be doing. This post is different in that it is really a collection of signs. It is what it is, it doesn't try to be funny or thought provoking, just captures another part of Queen St. I like the tones captured in this shot, which is what drew me to take it as I wandered west from Eagle St. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP, f5.6, HP5 @ 800)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Butt Out

With the introduction of laws that restrict smoking in buildings, many smokers are now forced to engage their habit on the streets. This has created some new and interesting challenges, like providing sufficient facilities to dispose of the butts. Unfortunately, some smokers do not completely extinguish the butt before depositing it in the bin, and often a very smelly fire smoulders. The look on this lady's face should help to convey just how this fire smelt. I tried very hard to capture the smoke rising from the bin, and the look on the lady's face was a bit of a bonus, although she could be sneering at me as I waited amongst the smelly haze for someone to walk past. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 SP zoom, f8, HP5 @ 800)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Loner on Queen

A couple of days after taking MacArthur Sculpture I was standing directly below the same spot. I noticed this man walking slowly against the flow of other pedestrians, hunched over and carrying a bag. It looked almost as if he was moving against all of society towards some other existence. I would have liked to have asked him his story, but it is probably rather mundane compared with my imagination about how he came to look like the way he did, on Queen St on that particular day. (OM2n, Tamron 35-80mm f2.8-3.2 zoom, f8, HP5 @ 800)