Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Sometimes, you just get lucky. You can have a great camera. You can have a great eye for composition. You can have lots of spare capacity on your memory card. You can have plenty of mileage in your rechargeable batteries. You can have great light. You can have great vistas. You can have a great city spread out before you. But it helps to have a little luck.
I shot this sequence yesterday morning, while it was still Wednesday in Europe, Canada and the United States – but it clearly surpasses the other photographs I was ready to post for Sky Watch Friday.
I took an earlier train than normal into the city and watched the greys and pinks and mauves of a classic Melbourne sky. I gritted my teeth when I could not get a shot of the dome of a Coptic church silhouetted against the brilliant dawn. But I didn’t realise that I would soon be richly compensated for my disappointment.
But it shone big and ponderous and low on the horizon – and it was shining a ghostly shimmering white, because of the fog.
I had my 18-125 Sigma lens on the camera, but I also had my 300mm lens in the bag as well. But there was no time to waste. I stopped in the middle of the bridge, crossed to the railing and started shooting the scene as commuters rushed past. In the space of two minutes, the sun was obscured. Such a narrow window of opportunity – and I was just in the right place at the right time.
If I had caught my normal train, I would have missed the sight completely. And if I had changed at Richmond as I always do, to get a direct train to Flinders Street instead of staying on the train (because it was crowded) through the entire City Loop, I would have been too early to capture these scenes.