Saturday, February 07, 2009

Contract Bridge

Portrait Of A City Coming To Life

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON



If you shot an inanimate object every day for a month, you’d still be able to endow it with different qualities each time. Shoot it from a different angle. Shoot it at a different time of day. Shoot it in differing light. Each time, it will look unique.

I’ve shot Princes Bridge several times in the past three years, but I try and cloak it in a different guise each time. That is part of the challenge for any photographer. And trust me, being able to find a different "personality" to any object or scene brings a grin to my face.

These two frames were shot before dawn, without a tripod. The first image was taken from the south bank of the Yarra looking north and the second one (below) was taken from the Flinders Street end of the bridge, looking south from the northern end of the Yarra River.

Why do I like the first image? For more than one reason. Because there was very little wind, the surface of the river looks glassy. That was a great starting point in the composition. Because of pooling light from alongside, the water actually has an emerald-green quality to it, as if someone has spilled a giant vat of oil paint. This in turn is emphasised by the circles of reflection from the lights of the pathway.

This meld of water, reflections, concrete and roadway in the pre-dawn darkness was perfect for what I wanted to achieve. An added bonus – and a fortunate one – was that the silver paintwork had recently been refurbished by a team of contractors, so the side rail of the bridge really stands out as a strong diagonal feature across the frame.

In the image below, I tried to make the most out of the side rail again, using it as my central point of interest in creating the image. The illuminated building is the Victorian Arts Centre, boosted by its own reflection in the water. And the sense of movement in this image comes from a single moving vehicle on the left of the frame, a handy motif of a city coming to life on a workday morning.


Visit TNChick's
Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Bridge".

38 comments:

katherine. said...

I love water reflections. What I really like about the first one is you took the shot from a vantage point where one would not normally stand and see the bridge.

TheWritersPorch said...

David... the shots are beautiful!
I love the Artistic Workmanship
on the side of the bridge!Awesome!

Carol

theArthurClan said...

The photos and the reflections are stunning. You truly have a gift for finding the "unique" in every single shot you take.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos, and for explanation of how you captured the scenes. I truly appreciate that you are always very gracious, and generous, in sharing your photography tips.

Carolina said...

Hi David, I like the first photo the most. A sort of calm warmth I sense from it.
How is the bushfire situation?

imbeingheldhostage said...

Those are gorgeous! I love the reflections in the water and the colors on the second.

GreenJello said...

Maybe you should do exactly that-- take a photo of the same object for a month. Put them on a webpage, side by side. I think it would make a fascinating study.

Kelly Deneen said...

Beautiful photos! I sure wish the photography skills I am seeing today would rub off on me. :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing contrasts of the same 'inanimate' things just bring them to life, with your photography, David.

Rene.

shooting star said...

i like the first pic too....and ur quite right about clicking something over and over..since i got myself my first DSLR..i have been shooting random objects in my house over and over....and i find that every time..in a single object, diferent shots come out very very different and distinct

Mojo said...

You don't even have to take a new shot every day for a month. If it's a large object, you can get a month's worth of camera fodder in just a few minutes by zeroing in on specific details. Often those closeup views are much more interesting than the whole.

I'm in lockstep agreement with ya on finding new faces for the same things though. And that first shot is simply brilliant!

Interesting title you chose for this post too... when my Photo Hunt publishes in a bit, you'll understand why it made me smile.

Willow said...

I learn something about photography every time I visit your blog, David. Thanks!

Poutalicious said...

The first one is good in so many ways. As for the second, I like the little bit of action on the left, like you said, to give it meaning.

jinksy said...

The first makes me think of ancient Rome, and the second of a pleasure boat - not bad for just a bridge...

George said...

I think both pictures of the bridge (and the reflections) are beautiful.

Artist Unplugged said...

These photos are beautimus! I like the reflections from the water and the side of the bridge.

cheshire wife said...

The top photo is just fascinating but I can not put my finger on the reason why. Maybe it is the detail on the bridge.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Those are beautiful shots! Well done, David!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Hi David, What a nice blog you have. It is so much more professional than mine (but it's all about the fun, isn't it?). Your photos are excellent!

I don't know if you have visited my www.redbirdacres.net webpages yet? I'm a MacMahon / McMahan also and have oodles of family info there! Mine ended up in America: starting in Virginia and slowly working their way south. My birthmother's maiden name was McMAHAN. We're all the same family. :o) So, HOWDY cousin from Georgia and welcome to my pages! Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by. ♥ ∞

Angela said...

That first image looks like you are hanging over the edge of the bridge instead of being on the other side. I like that sense of suspension.

Meredith Teagarden said...

Beautiful work, David. I appreciated hearing your thoughts on the photos and why you shot them as you did.

archiearchive said...

Lovely compositions, both. I enjoy my visits here as you give me ideas for my own photography. Even though I am much more of a point-shoot-and-tidy up later photographer your comments about your own photography gives me hints on improving my "snap"shots (and some of my puns)

Corey~living and loving said...

GREAT post David! and it has given me an idea of a project for myself. Thank you so much for the inspiration. :)

Braja said...

"If you shot an inanimate object every day for a month, you’d still be able to endow it with different qualities each time."

so true...I find the same thing. And yes I did read the rest of the post, I didn't just snip the first line and comment on it :)))

KISSEDALOTATOADS said...

Wow, great photos and wonderful bridge

A. said...

Wonderful shots. I love the reflections in the water. Beautiful.

Lene said...

Goodmorning to the city with the great bridges :)

Have a nice day :)

June said...

Wonderful photography!

ancient one said...

Wonderful shots as usual. I love the explanations you give with your photos. You are a good teacher!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I like the first one better, but both are great shots.

Cheers.

Carin said...

What a good idea to take pictures at different times of day and from various angles.
Looked back a few posts to find out where this bridge is situated and also saw the beauty of this bridge in daylight.

Becky said...

I just love the first image. Great composition and lighting. Thanks for sharing it with us. And thanks for sharing how you captured it.

Click here to see my contribution.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

you never disappoint--bridges are such a good subject they connect people and places

Brita said...

Beautiful photos. I like the first one very much.

PowersTwinB said...

You are so correct, that water looks like glass! Two beautiful photos! It's my 1st time visiting, but I will be back often! My hunt is up, but believe me, I havent an ounce of the talent you do with a camera!

Easy Dessert said...

Those are some beautiful bridge photos! Really nice! :)

victor said...

Beautiful shots!! Thanks for sharing!

have a nice weekend

Carver said...

Beautiful shot David for the bridge theme. I was thinking about you because I remember your post a while ago about a bad fire near where you are and then today was reading about the terrible fires in Australia. I am so sad for those affected and hope you are well away from it. Take care, Carver