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)

Friday, March 21, 2008

MacArthur Sculpture

This sculpture is now almost one of Brisbane's hidden treasures. Well, maybe not so hidden, but it is outside the first floor window of MacArthur Chambers on the corner of Queen and Edward Sts. Now this area of the city is dominated by skyscrapers, it is not so easy to view the sculpture from many good vantage points. This building has recently been renovated to include a shopping complex and apartments, but its character facade was largely retained. I like the light in this early morning shot to retain detail in the white figures and a sense of history in the textures and patterns of the building behind. (OM2n, zuiko 135mm f3.5, f8, HP5 @ 800)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Water feature

My last post got me thinking about same spot, different time and day. I then remembered that I had rejected a shot for our recent Repetition project that was taken of the same part of the Queen St Mall as "Morning Conversation". Although the water feature is now undergoing renovation, on this morning it was filled and operating after a long time being dormant during the drought. I shot this mainly for the repeated pattern in the feature itself, but also for the "mirror" effect between the bins and the men, and the patterns in the chairs. I particularly like the tones that can be obtained when using FP4 for this type of image. (OM2n, zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro, f8, FP4 @ 125)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Morning conversation

Often at the "top" end of the Queen St Mall (between George and Albert Sts) there is a collection of different people sitting, watching the world going by, smoking, or just trying to get started for the day. I like the way this area seems to attract different types, who often strike up conversations with others they might never normally contact. Maybe it's the trees and relaxed atmosphere that seems to so nicely capture what it is like to live and be in Brisbane. I found these folk exchanging pleasantries early in the morning before they headed off in different directions, presumably to work. I think in my Queen St theme I will have to return to this area to capture different crowds at different times. (OM2n, zuiko 135mm f3.5, f8, HP5 @ 800)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Secure Deposit

My last post suggested that I was going to start a new "project" of sorts, earlier ones I have started have been "Doors", "Lines" and "Customs House" (the labels are useful to see the threads). I have discovered that these little pursuits need never really end, and I can keep revisiting the themes as I continue to explore photography. The new theme that I am going to use as a focus is "Queen Street". I intend, to create different images from the street, including architecture, street shots, portraits, whatever. My first post combines my earlier study of doors, but this one is from the old Bank of New South Wales on the corner of Queen and George. I have long wanted to take this subject, but something was always wrong. The light was soft on this morning and I had loaded HP5+ and was pushing it to 800 (more film experimentation) with a view to developing it Microphen to show a friend how I do things. I like the old feel of this shot, but also the way that it conveys solidity and security. (OM2n, zuiko 135mm f3.5, f5.6, HP5 @ 800).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Carrying on from my last post, I did take some shots of humans. What I learned was that a 28mm lens is just a touch too wide. To capture an image of these Hare Krishna devotees dancing and chanting with drums and cymbals, I asked permission before moving in close to take the shot. I had to crop the right part of the frame quite considerably to eliminate unwanted clutter and, even then, the subject seems to fall into the distance too quickly and not command the eye. I will have to get that 35mm prime I have been after and give one of them a go. As for other details, it was almost dark and pushing HP5+ to 1600 did cause the grittyness that I was after ... sort of. Maybe development in ID11 didn't quite hold the shadow detail as well as I wanted. This did get me thinking of another mini project to pursue, but more of that next time. (OM2n, Tamron 28mm f2.5, f8, HP5 @ 1600)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Abstract Study 6

I have been quite unproductive of late and have not had material to post. Decided that it was time to start experimenting with film and processing etc again. Loaded the old OM2n with HP5+ and decided to walk down the Queen Street Mall at dusk. I pushed the film 2 stops (to 1600) and had a Tamron 28mm f2.5 lens in the hope to get some hand-held shots at about f5.6 for a bit of depth of field. I thought that I would look to shooting some humans, but it turns out that my first posting from this roll is of the structure in the centre of the mall. I took this while frustrated at my unsuccessful attempts at the wildlife.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Our latest group assignment was inspired by the current Andy Warhol exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). In keeping with recurrent themes in Warhol's work, we set out in our fair city to capture some of the Pop Art spirit by focusing on creation of an image that presented an aspect of repetition.

Nicole has presented a 2 by 4 array of positive and negative views of the iconic Mr FourEx (spelling is rather varied) from the Milton Brewery. Notice that the original image was taken in harsh light and that the shadows give this the solidarity of a photograph pretending to be a posterised Andyism!

Martin has taken a similar approach by constructing an image that draws on the Warhol themes of repetition and the mundane. His 3 by 3 images of lunch and hands shows his colleagues from a different perspective.

Boyd's image of the side of the GOMA building attempts to capture aspects of repetition within the built environment.

Each image captures in its own way repetition from a Brisbane perspective. If you are wanting to see how Andy did it, then you better hurry because the exhibition is on until 28 March. Visit for more information.