Melbourne Webb Bridge © Michael Evans Photographer 2019

The Melbourne Project…

Architectural photography in Melbourne

As much as I love my day to day commercial work, I believe that for any photographer it is important, if not essential, to also pursue personal projects. Photographing for paying clients of course means that the images produced will (hopefully) conform to everyone’s expectations in terms of your established style and content, whereas a personal project naturally gives a wonderful sense of creative freedom, a chance to explore, make mistakes and develop a new way of looking…

Melbourne details…

Having lived in the beautiful city of Melbourne for over 20 years, I found myself drawn to trying to unveil the character of the city through it’s wonderful architectural details. Naturally I also captured some wide angle views, but it was more about really looking at the city, and seeing those little details that are hidden in plain view. So often we walk in a familiar environment with our eyes at street level (or in a mobile phone induced trance), and yet if we just look up, there is really so much waiting to be discovered. If we were to translate the expression ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ into photographic terms, it could perhaps be said that ‘familiarity breeds blindness’, and so with camera in hand I began wandering through the city at a relaxed pace, looking up, looking down, and so capturing details and shapes that I once may have missed. Not having a deadline or defined brief became extremely liberating, as I combined street photography captures with architectural details and some long exposure experiments. I have displayed a number of these images on my Instagram feed, however I am also notoriously bad at regularly posting to Instagram, hence this blog post.

Melbourne in black and white…

I must admit I have personally always disliked the black and white style of wedding photography whereby a portion of the image (usually the bouquet!) is in colour, and yet I found myself producing this exact effect throughout my project! When I first started shooting I didn’t really have an intentional style in mind, it was just as I started evaluating and processing the images that a darker black and white theme began to appear. For the colour images I found myself increasing both saturation and contrast beyond what I would normally, but again, I was only pleasing myself, and I do enjoy the final result…

Prints of Melbourne…

Having shot cards full of images over 3 or 4 days (over a two year period), I produced a series of composite prints as shown below which are currently on display in the Regent Gallery in Preston, Victoria. For a clearer view of all the individual images I have added a category on my website under the PORTFOLIO tab entitled ‘Melbourne project’ – https://www.michaelevansphotographer.com/Portfolio/Melbourne-Project/thumbs

Melbourne project - a series of composite images from the beautiful city of Melbourne Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne 01 © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne project - a series of composite images from the beautiful city of Melbourne Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne 02 © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne project - a series of composite images from the beautiful city of Melbourne Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne 03 © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne project - a series of composite images from the beautiful city of Melbourne Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne 04 © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne project - a series of composite images from the beautiful city of Melbourne Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2019
Melbourne 05 © Michael Evans Photographer 2019

Of course I still have so many areas of the city that I have to re-visit for this project, such as St Kilda and the Botanical gardens, which although I have been to on many occasions over the years, I have to explore for myself with a bag of lenses.

What did I learn form this..? Well of course I am going to say that I discovered so many wonderful architectural details, but I also really understand why Melbourne has been voted ‘worlds most livable city’ on a number of occasions. It has such incredible beauty charm and warmth and such easy accessibility. Is this project finished..? Like the city, I suspect it will continue to grow and evolve over time; for me it is a very rewarding way to spend the occasional free hours wandering with no particular destination in mind through the lane ways, past the new stadiums and marveling at the Victorian architecture… I have noticed when watching people examine the prints that there is a very gratifying excited curiosity from the viewers, as they struggle to place certain certain images and details; many buildings such as AAMI stadium or the MCG are obvious, but where for example can the art deco golfer be found in the city..?

For the interest of other photographers, I captured the majority of the images handheld with the Canon 5DSR; typically I selected the 11-24mm f4 L, the 17mm TS-E f4L, the 24-70 f2.8 L II and the 70-200 f2.8L II as my standard lens complement. I also used the wonderful 50mm f1.2 L and the 85mm f1.2 L for a few images. I normally carried the camera with a lens attached, while having a couple of others in an easily accessible Think Tank Speed Racer belt bag, which makes changing lenses on the fly very convenient.

Once again, a closer view of each image is available on my website – https://www.michaelevansphotographer.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s