Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Tribute To Autumn

Scene And Unseen, On The Yarra's Surface

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


This sequence was shot early on Thursday morning, as I walked across the pedestrian footbridge that connects Flinders Street Station to Southbank. The sun was still at a very shallow angle and because it was a cool morning, there was a bit of haze around.

Normally, I would not even have taken my camera out of the bag. But I had barely taken half a dozen steps across the bridge when I noticed that there was only a very gentle breeze, which is extremely unusual for Melbourne, especially around the water.


So I shot these four frames quickly, in less than 90 seconds. The object of the exercise was simply to show you that on a hazy day, a reflection is sometimes more intense and robust in colour quality than the original object itself. That, of course, is the opposite to normal weather conditions in clear light and a standard breeze, when a reflection can never match what is above the water.

Scroll back and take a look for yourself. In the first shot, the row of plane trees themselves are not quite as striking as their water-enhanced rendering. In each frame, the bottom area (or the reflection) is better quality than the top.


If you're wondering why the breeze played a part, here's the answer. The normal Melbourne breeze ruffles the surface of the water, leaving no discernible reflection at all on the Yarra River.

I was about to put the lens cap back on my camera when I noticed this red-clad jogger going past. Naturally, I had to take the shot - because I knew the two people in black (or dark blue) would not be visible on the water's surface, while the red jogger would stand out like a beacon.


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44 comments:

Craig Glenn said...

Is it just me or is that red jogger riding a bicycle? lol

Nice photo's David.

Craig Glenn

Artist Unplugged said...

Lovely photos, amazing how the reflection is more vibrant!

joan said...

I love reflection photos, very nice David! All of our trees are in bloom for Spring while all of your trees are in Fall, never can get over that. LOL

Regina said...

Awesome shots. I like it. I haven't experience autumn.
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Mojo said...

I'd never noticed this phenomenon before -- at least not consciously. As amazing as the impressionist tress are in the first few frames, the one that really grabbed my attention was the third shot. Until you look at the full-sized version, it's difficult to tell where the bridge pilings stop and the reflection begins. Same with the wooden... whatever that is on the right. That's the kind of thing that draws me in every time.

Cheffie-Mom said...

The colors are beautiful in these photos, very peaceful.

Daryl said...

I love reflective shots ...

French Fancy said...

I never realised something as subtle as a breeze would make a difference

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I recognize this place...and you have beautifully captured it!!! Once again your taste and artistry are impeccable...The reflections are so crisp...and your vision again tranforms the ordinary...the ripples truly make the difference. Love it!

ArneA said...

It is so lovely to see your season colors when we are in the middle of this year first mud season.
Autumn dow under and springtime (soon) up here. Or is it you that´s on the top.
:)

Eddie Bluelights said...

Loved the reflections David.

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful shots as always and the reflection is beautifully vibrant! Thanks for the visit to "your world"!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

always red, very evocative..like the Banksy image with the child and the balloon, or when in thew film Shindlers list the (doomed?) child wearing a red coat amongst the blk and white...

clever trick

Margaret's Ramblings said...

Beautiful pics. I'll remember that about the haze and the slight breeze.

Margaret

E said...

I agree with Craig- it looks as if that red jogger is riding a bicycle.

Always fantastic pictures. It's spring here, I always forget that my friends on the other side of the globe have different seasons.

:)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Love these! I saw the most amazing reflective shot in the gym pool yesterday - a guy sitting on a chair at the edge of the pool, behind him a huge poster of swimmers, over head the metal struts of the roof support - the whole lot reflected on the mirror perfect pool surface. Such a shame I don't take my camera to the gym!

Tarolino said...

I've never even thought that reflection work best on a cloudier day. Thanks for this useful information. The first shot is lovely. Those trees certainly has taken on their autumn gear.

Ananda girl said...

Wonderful photos... as usual! I love reflections on water. They are so relaxing to look at as well as interesting. Thanks.

Maggie May said...

Definitely riding a bicycle David!
Lovely reflections on that water.

jinksy said...

I like the one before the red jogger. The buildings look like a high rise shanty town.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I love these photos, David. Hard to believe you're having fall when we're having spring. Fall is one of my favorite seasons!

Sheila :-)

Nessa said...

Water reflections always add more pretty to the picture.

cheshire wife said...

You are amazingly perceptive early in the morning!

Denise said...

That's one of the many reasons I enjoy coming to visit here, the lessons learned in photography. Great images, as always.

Christy said...

David - great reflective shots. I love water images and reflections are on top of that list although I haven't had much luck capturing them myself. Thanks for sharing.

Janie said...

What interesting observations about reflections on a hazy day. I never would have made that connection. Great photos and good learning experience for this amateur.

Kelly H-Y said...

AWESOME photos! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful photography secrets!!

Guy D said...

Impressive shots once again david, looks like a beautiful area.

Have a great week!
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Sujatha said...

A neat tip packed into some nice pics!

Lanny said...

Fall is my all time favorite season, thanks for sharing the colors.

Rob Inukshuk said...

Thanks for the lesson and the fabulous reflective pics.

Mary Elizabeth said...

Lovely pics!!! I love the colour of the trees, the reflections.
This is my first Autumn in Australia, I wish to go round and have that same look.
From Now and Then.
Mary Elizabeth.

lakeviewer said...

We all should go outside and enjoy nature. By the bye, I have an award for you; not that you need one, or have room for any on your site;simply put, you deserve this one.

Lee said...

Very much so, the obvious improvement in quality of color. Thanks David! It's amazing how fast the seasons are passing isn't it? You all are barely past one of your hottest summers of record with those awful fires and here you are into autumn. Up here in South Texas we are moving nicely into spring and the mountain laurel is blooming nicely.

Cheers!

Sarah Laurence said...

I find it fascinating the contrast between what we see and what the camera shoots. It is interesting how the water intensifies the hues. Reds do jump out on film. Fun series!

The Things We Carried said...

I especially liked the last photo's color. the red added what you expected, as I looked at the photos first and then read the post. Having never been to your part of the world, the photos strike me as unexpectedly modern. So many interesting sharp lines, right angles, and perfectly straight curves.

skywind said...

Oh, beautiful scenery, very nice photos. :)
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Louise said...

AWESOME reflections. I even envy your fall colors a bit. It's as cold as fall here (colder, actually), so some pretty color would be nice.

Arija said...

Really nice shots, especially in the early light.

Jenn said...

Beautiful autumn colors made more dramatic with the reflection. :-)

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Lovely piccies David, I see Autumn is upon you looking at the tree's. I saw alot of Melbourne this past weekend watching the coverage of the F1 Grand Prix. We both agreed it looks like a really beautiful place to live or visit.

Janet said...

I do love reflection photos. Lovely.

Moannie said...

And here we are watching as the acid yellow begins to burst on our trees. Great pictures David, and I do love the way you point us in the right direction, showin us to to REALLY look.

Clara said...

Beautiful photos. And you're right, that red is awesome.