Friday, May 08, 2009

Cloud Controller

Looks Like Another Golden Anniversary

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


It’s just before dawn and I’m on the freeway. The first city exit is on my left and as I indicate for the ramp, I can see pink spreading quickly across the low cloud scattered across the eastern sky. Decision time. Do I pull over as soon as I find a parking spot?

Here’s the equation. My view will be obscured by several structures. Yes, I have a long lens, but I don’t fancy my chances of a great shot here. So, do I drive on for another five minutes, park my car in a multi-storey car park on the fringe of the city and then hot-foot it down to the river?

I take the second option, knowing that the pink tinges will have vanished by the time I get there. About seven or eight minutes later, I’m down by the river at Southbank, with Princes Bridge about 250 metres away, between me and the sunrise.

I’m not surprised to see that the colours have changed drastically. Now they span gold and several shades of brown. Do I walk or sprint to the bridge to get a clear composition of the sky? No, I decide to compose a shot that is distinctly Melbourne.


I include the bridge and I choose the overhanging branch of a nearby plane tree as a handy motif. It’s very quiet because even the early-morning trickle of office workers has not started. There is no one on the riverbank, no one on the footbridge and no one in my immediate vicinity.

Because of my solitude, I hear a soft but familiar Melbourne sound. It is the sound of kayakers’ oars as their glide through the still water. It’s only at this stage that I notice the golden glow across the metal handrails in front of me.

Half an hour later, the sky is overcast and grey. It’s a bit like life, isn’t it? Sometimes you have to make an effort to see true beauty rather than the mundane. And it’s always worth it.


For other participants in
Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

56 comments:

Hilary said...

Pure gold.. beautiful.

Daryl said...

Definitely worth it

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

WOW! a series of stunners!

g said...

Stunning, that color. It is so hard to capture in pictures what we see in the sky. You've done it here.

Artist Unplugged said...

Oooooo, these are just scrumptious photos, thanks for sharing your trek to get them!

in another lifetime said...

wow, it looks like there is a forrest fire in the sky.

subtorp77 said...

David, amazing! I missed many a good shot on hols, either from bad weather or bad drivers. Most of my "on the move" shots were blindly aimed through the windscreen! And 'tis true here; blink and you miss the best show on earth.

Mojo said...

That's a sky right out of the movie Independence Day. Beautiful!

Sylvia K said...

Exquisite colors and composition! What a perfect morning shot! Particulaly love the last one! Thanks, as always David, for sharing the beauty!

lakeviewer said...

Oh colors! I'm tired of my grey skies. Gold.

p.s. I followed your advice on posting links with no success. It goes to show that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. Or, maybe, I like to be hopeless by now.

Moannie said...

All that glisters, in this case, is pure gold. Wonderful.

Shadow said...

how quickly the skies change...

Ananda girl said...

Our skies never look like that! It's breathtaking. Nice work, David.

~Just me again~ said...

I love the first one, absolutely gorgeous.

Sink said...

I love that you use words like "equation" in your everyday writing.

Janet said...

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

ferocious golden flames

Sherry said...

What fabulous photos! What a fabulous sky!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I think the inclusion of the city scape takes this from mundane to exceptional...this isn't just another beautiful sunrise...Gorgeous shots! AS ALWAYS!!!! ~Janine

Craver Vii said...

Golden, David. I especially liked the philosophical statement at the end. Thanks for finding beauty and helping others open their eyes to it as well.

Kim said...

You're so right about life. It's a lot more work (so often) to see the beauty.

Sabenindam said...

Awesome composition David. These photographs are awesome. Thank you for sharing.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

oh yes it is the same view I look at things and it drives some folks nuts:)

Eddie Bluelights said...

Brilliant, David

Elizabeth Bradley said...

It's all about that last shot for me.

Jientje said...

Glorious.

Loved the last two sentences.

Maggie May said...

Wonderful photos. Well worth the trouble you went to & those trees do help to frame picture 1&2.

Greyscale Territory said...

Love the golden glows! Especially enjoyed the insights into your thought processes along the way!

RuneE said...

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But that is only partly true...

naturglede said...

This photoes are gloing! Love them all:)

Cheffie-Mom said...

This post is golden. Thanks for looking out for me on my "left out letter". LOL!

erin said...

a trio of fab captures the colors WOW...my favorite is the last...awesome.
have a wonderful weekend.

Lola said...

Distinctly Melbourne... precious. The photos are pure gold, but I love the writing just as much.
Ciao

Photo Cache said...

I wouldn't mind getting caught in a traffic jam when the sky is this pretty to look at.

Tarolino said...

It definately was worth it. Sometimes the sky can really change for the better and much more drama is added on by waiting for the pink moment to pass. The early bird catches the worm. I whish I was a morning person when I look at these wonderful shots over the cityscape. Your description made it all come to life som much more too.

Thanks for your nice comment on my GH photo.

Thumbelina said...

Definitely worth the effort. So glad you do. Great shots.

Pop over to see my kite flying if you get the time. I am particularly chuffed with it!

Colin Campbell said...

As always interesting and beautiful.

Deborah Godin said...

I got a real kick out of your narration, and of course the photos are spectacular!

The Texican said...

I love sunsets. Dot did start this didn't she? Thanks for the reminder

archiearchive said...

A golden start to the day. Great stuff.

Annie said...

Certainly David. But where I am in New York, I feel like I am in a painting every time I go down to the park! Absolutely beautiful every time...gray skies or not! Have to take a photo every day!

It is a little like where I live in Brisbane...not difficult to see the sunset every evening form my back verandah! How lucky I am!

Love that golden sky...!

J Bar said...

Really beautiful shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

susieofarabia said...

Truly spectacular, David!

Bradley Myers said...

Fantastic colors, great sky watch photos.

Michele said...

Great photos.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I read your bio now I'm totally intimidated. Don't let that bother you though. I intimidate easily.

Janie said...

You do have a great eye for beauty, and, as usual, you composed great shots.

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

Absolutely beautiful.

bowledover said...

Glittering skies. What a great start to the day.

Susan said...

What a sky, and what photos! My nephew's in Australia, and now I'm envious!

Regina said...

Beautiful.

Kendris said...

Beautiful shots! Great job of capturing the moment!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I cannot get over the color of the sky. We usually have red, orange, or blue skies. But the color of the golden Australian skies that you've captured several times is awesome.

Sheila :-)

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

I love the last shot-- beautiful!

Shey said...

Ahh! Such a joy to see these series of photos. They take my breath away. :)

joan said...

Gorgeous!

PurestGreen said...

I love this story. You know you're a die-hard when you "drive for another five minutes, park in a multi-storey carpark and hot-foot it down to the river."

I can't recall the number of times I've crawled on the ground or scrambled across uneven country, trying to find the perfect angle.

Thanks for visiting me on No Chickadees - what a treat to have found you now:)