Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tall Story

Eureka, I Think I've Got It

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON



As a proud photographer, a proud Melburnian and a proud Australian, it is my very great pleasure to be able to share a unique subject with you today, in response to the Photo Hunt theme of "High". Our very own Eureka Tower here at Southbank, beside the Yarra River in Melbourne, is the tallest apartment building in the world. How tall? Make that 300 meters tall, comprising 92 storeys, with the amazing Skydeck established as a major tourist attraction.

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 (above) was taken in mid-2007. I was walking towards Southbank and shot this on a whim, without even breaking stride. Why? Because it just seemed a fitting way to capture the solitary splendour of the towering landmark.


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.

50 comments:

imac said...

I would hate to live on the top floor and the lift out of action haha.
Nice one David.

Katney said...

Magnificent photos as always!

I have a "High" post (Is the theme "tall" or "high"? Does it matter when you get images like these?) Anyway, mine are "high", and will automatically post at midnight my time. In the meantime, I've been out and about in Seattle and have posted a few views from our excursion.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I LOVE the fog in July photo... not to say I wasn't as pleased with others, but that one really caught my imagination. Lovely!

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

That third shot down is startling and powerful - bet its a cracker on a large scale - great post!

Jeff B said...

I feel as though I've just had a personal walking tour of part of your beautiful city. Striking images David.

Dan Mega said...

Nice work David

Dave Coulter said...

That's a cool building, and of course your shots bring out the best.

BTW, Chicago is also celebrating Earth Hour tomorrow. It's gotten a fair amount of press, and ComEd (our electric utility) is also a sponsor. I happen to think is one of Australia's finer gifts to the world!

CrazyCath said...

Those are incredible shots David. I love the one at 5 am with the sculpture, the one with the brilliant blue sky behind the building and the one where it disappears into the fog. Absolutely brilliant - and without any enhancements! You have just given me a personal tour around a bit of Melbourne - something I've always wanted to do. Thank you. :0)
That new camera you've got is something else ain't it? Talk about up close and personal!

Thanks for the reminder re Earth hour.

aims said...

These photos are amazing David. The one with the sculpture is sheer beauty!

Andrea said...

Amazing and beautiful pictures.

Napaboaniya said...

Nice one with the fog :)
I can't imagine if I'm working or living on such high floors with the lift on maintenance!!*GULPZ*
Have a good weekend David :)

My PH here & here

Jules~ said...

David, these are great shots! I am trying to decide which one I like more and it is a toss up.
I am really enjoying reading your perspectives on photo taking and things.
I have to tell you, more and more when I get my little camera out I hear you in my head (well more like see your words go across my brain since I don't know what you sound like) giving out great advice. I find myself looking for the good shot opposite from where I start. Thank you for helping to make my novice picture taking even more enjoyable.

leslie said...

As usual, fabulous shots. But I must admit I'd never ever live above the 3rd floor of any building. I figure I've still got a chance to survive in case of fire or earthquake. I think my favourite shot is the one where the top of the building disappears into the fog! :D

eastcoastlife said...

Wow! What a magnificent building!

After experiencing a swaying building for a full 4 minutes (due to an earthquake hundreds of kilometres away)when I was living on the 18th floor of my apartment, I vow never to live in another high-rise building! The view may be awesome but the thought of not making it alive to the ground level is too scary!

jennifer h said...

Excellent images, and they are all appealing for different reasons. I, too, like the building shrouded in fog, from that angle. Imagine looking out your window to see that fog surrounding the building?

Maggie May said...

Wonderful photography! Makes me feel giddy!

archiearchive said...

That clouded image is wonderful, David. That is a great photo-essay, a lot more coherent than my scattered thoughts on the subject

Zathyn Priest said...

I love the one of the tower disappearing into the fog. Kind of like the stairway to heaven with a millenium twist.

Mya said...

Great shots! Very impressed, here. Melbourne looks stunning.

Thanks for your visit to my humble blog and your kind comments.

Hmmm...I wonder if Sarko has remembered to turn the Eifell Tower's lights off for Earth Hour?

I'd better give him a call...

Keep up the fantastic work.

Mya x

Shrinky said...

Beautiful shots as ever, David - particularly loved the one of the tower disappearing in to the fog.

Mima said...

My fav is the second one - with the fog disappearing the top of the tower, although the last one comes a close second with the wonderful horizontal lines. We have been around turning off all the appliances this morning, and the lights will be going out at 8 pm our time too!

Akelamalu said...

WOW I don't like heights - Blackpool Tower has only had the pleasure of my company once - it was enough!

However I love your photos David especially the second one where the tower is disappearing into the cloud.

WillThink4Wine said...

Love the photographs, especially the skyline shot on Sturt Street, the colors are magnificent and framed so beautifully! High praises to you!

SandyCarlson said...

I couldn't handle the heights, David! These are wonderful photos, as usual.

Jeanette said...

Gday David I was passing by and just popped in.. Beautiful photo's. Its 2 years since ive been in the city. I have a fear of heights so you wouldnt catch me going to the top of Eureka towers..
x melbourne now retired to country..

TAMY & the SGT said...

wow - awesome pictures!

ellen b said...

Whoa! These are some amazing shots. The foggy one is very cool. Have a great weekend...

julie said...

David, I really liked the progression of the quality of photos you posted. Being atop the building during winter must be a really unique experience, like one is floating among clouds.

Great weekend to you. And I saw on TV how you guys turned off your lights in Australia.

My PH:j
Sky High

Moving-Up Day

Lori said...

These are fantastic. I think I'd be scared to live in the building, but it would be fun to visit.

I love the photo with the fog, but I think my favorite is the 5 AM shot. It's both beautiful and peaceful...and I love the color.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's one tall building.

Sandy Kessler said...

another subject I'm so touched by Australia's tribute to the earth- darkening etc.

lynn said...

How beautiful that first one is. I could see greetings cards made out of that. Why not open a shop like i have? Have a look in my sidebar David.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

what amazing photos!

Dragonstar said...

Wonderful series of shots David. I'm having trouble following links today, and I've not been able to find the Eureka Tower. I'll Google it later.

Son has seen "Ghost Rider" and he recognised the bridge arch.

Just wanted to say that I managed to get hold of a copy of "Vegemite Vindaloo" and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Can't wait for your new book now!

ancient one said...

Great Photos as always!!

joan said...

Hi David,

What beautiful photos. Can't decide if I like the fog shot or the the early morning one the best. Either way, you live in a beautiful city and those wonderful photos.

Flo said...

These are great photos. Love the one of the buiding in the fog - great.

Mine's up over at Flo's Place

John said...

This is great David!
Amazing and beautiful pictures as usual. Well done.

dawn said...

Those are fabulous photos and a great depiction of the theme this week. I was in Melbourne in the 80's for a couple of months. That was a long time ago, now that I write that. I put the Calgary tower on for my photohunt theme.

John said...

That would make me happy. By the way it will make it easyer for me to find my way home ;-)

Cheers John.

debbiemomof2 said...

Wow. Beautiful.

John said...

Thanks David! I really appreciate that. It`s an honour to be among all your good choices on your blogroll.

John.

claudie said...

These photos are gorgeous! So interesting points of views! Bravo, really!

Colin Campbell said...

Fantastic photographs. I love the one of the building going into the clouds. A modern day jack and the beanstalk.

BlogScope said...

I like the way you put consistency in your photography, indeed you have a very nice post!!!

Check mine HERE!!!

Have a great Weekend!!!

denz said...

Wow! I love your picture, just keep it up and enjoy!!!

check mine also:
PHOTOHUNTER-1
PHOTOHUNTER-2

Happy Weekend guys!!!

everydayhealy said...

Eureka Tower? Thanks for sharing! That's interesting! Must be very expensive though. :)

KISSEDALOTATOADS said...

Those are some goreous photos! Have a great week.

Nap Warden said...

Wow David...These are really amazing shots! I am a bit bias, I am an urban cat:) Melbourne looks like a lovely city.

Sorry I haven't been around the blogosphere, I have been drowning in blog designing...I can see the surface now:)

JesieBlogJourney said...

Wow! The Eureka building is very high. There will be nice views looking down from the building on what is going on Yarra River. I remember that the Yarra River hosted dragon boat races. But I don't know whether it still does that or not.