Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
This first shot (above) was taken with a little Pentax Optio 33LF, back in June 2005. I was walking down Flinders Street, early on a Saturday morning. I started shooting a city-based sequence long before dawn and by the time I got to this spot, the sun was just starting to cast a glow through heavy cloud in the east. To the west, the cloud was fragmented and the sky was a delicate range of colours.
I shot this from the northern pavement of Flinders Street. As you can see, construction of Eureka Tower was still in progress. To the right is the silhouette of the famous dome of Flinders Street Station and to the left is the perimeter wall of Federation Square, built to commemorate the centenary of Federation, which took place in 1901. The perimeter wall, interestingly enough, brings a touch of parallax to the scene. And yes, that's a bird in flight above the brown building to the right of Eureka.
This shot (above) was taken when heavy fog blanketed Melbourne in July 2007 - which is slap-bang in the middle of our winter. I shot two frames that morning, one horizontal and one vertical. The horizontal shot is a striking image, but I felt then (as I still do) that this vertical frame is more compelling.
To the left is the IBM building, to the right is the Langham Hotel, formerly the Sheraton. And disappearing into the thick fog is Eureka, the tallest symbol of the city I live in. There is something that is "just right" about this image, for which I was bent like a wannabe contortionist. This, and all the other photographs in this sequence, were taken with my Pentax K100D.
I shot this image (above) last October, just after five o'clock in the morning, on Sturt Street in south Melbourne. The colours of the sky were just right for this sort of skyline shot. And then I had a stroke of luck. The floodlights on the angular sculpture in the foreground are normally a range of pink and orange. But they suddenly turned yellow, probably in a final sequence before shutdown as dawn approached. I published a vertical frame from this series of shots the day I took them, but this horizontal frame captures more nuances of all-round colour and perspective. Yes, the colours are natural - and no, none of these images have been edited, cropped or digitally enhanced. That ain't my style.
This shot was taken (and published on this blog) in September 2006, from the footbridge conecting Southbank to the northern side of the city. I was actually shooting Princes Bridge across the water when I noticed a billiant patch of blue sky above Eureka Tower. I shot this frame exactly where I stood, using the metal arch of the footbridge as a natural prop.
Remember the famous motorcycle sequence in the Nicolas Cage movie "Ghost Rider"? That scene was shot on the same arch in this photograph. I shot this using a versatile 18-125mm Sigma lens. The focal length of this shot was a mid-range 58mm.
This final shot (above) in the sequence was taken about a month ago, the first day I was experimenting with my new 70-300mm Sigma lens. It was lunchtime on a warm Melbourne afternoon and this was one of the first frames I shot using the full focal length of 300mm. The top of the gigantic apartment building seemed so close that I felt I could almost touch it.
And if you're wondering, yes, Eureka Tower will turn off all lights for Earth Hour later today. That's not a tall story.