Tuesday, September 06, 2011

When you wish upon a star

Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 142-8714

It’s really fitting that the base of this Kylie Minogue statue is a star, because the ex-“Neighbours” actress has been one of this country’s biggest stars since the Eighties.

Notice something strange? If you look really carefully at this image, you’ll see that the singer’s right foot is on the left and her left foot is on the right. But that’s because her legs are crossed in this famous pose, as her arms are raised heavenwards in triumph.

Interestingly enough, the model for the Docklands statue, unveiled in 2007, was not Kylie herself but a body double, Sophia James.

If you take a look at the image below, you'll realise why the feet are so unusually positioned. And as you can see, I wasn't the only person shooting the statue at the time!

 Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 142-8700

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Here's A Visual Mystery For You!

Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 124-5919

Time to put your thinking caps on. Can you work out what on earth I've shot here? Are they Lego-like building blocks? Are they extras on the set of a Toy Story film? Are they colourful cogs in some futuristic mechanism?

No, they're actually a row of little "floral people". Each of them is about a metre high. Each was a different shape and painted in a different colour. They were simply meant for toddlers to put their head and shoulders through, and were in display at the Moomba fairground here in Melbourne.

I shot this in March 2010. Because I had my long lens on, I was able to find an angle lining up each object and shooting them in a tight frame creating a visual puzzle. It's all about angles of perception, really ...

But this is what the brightly painted figures looked like when viewed normally!

 Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 124-5916

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wedding Presence

Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID:135-2148

My new wedding photography site has been launched. It is here and if you have the time, I'd like to know what you think of it. Feel free to critique the design, the content and the display.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Cue the theme music from Jaws

Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: CanberraJuly2011-7997

It might look like a fearsome carnivore, but it’s completely harmless – and it’s inanimate as well!

It’s simply a potted indoor plant outside the restaurant at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra. The shape of the leaves caught my eye and when I found the correct angle, enabling me to shoot it in silhouette against one of many lamps, I knew I had an unusual result!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let There Be Light

Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 139-7018

These stage lights had me mesmerised at a recent function. They went through various colour sequences, with several swift permutations and combinations that utilised every colour of the rainbow - and then some!

There was swirling fog all across the stage, being blown by fans in every direction. I studied the lights. Then I studied the fog. Then I studied the lights again. Then I studied the fog again. Of all the light sequences and colour combinations that continued to flash, I knew which one would look the most striking.

But the real challenge was not just to wait several minutes until I had the red main light and the three blue lights. The real challenge was to wait until that particular combination of lights appeared when the fog had just the right density.

(Bear in mind this is just a low-resolution image. If you want to see it full size, you can view it here on my Red Bubble site.)

I needed just enough fog across the stage to give me the density that would work best with the blue and right lights. Too much fog and the lights would have been blurred. Too little fog and the lights would not have had the right effect.

I'll leave it to you to judge ...

Monday, July 04, 2011

The King And I

 Image copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 139-6914

One day Elvis was in the shop window - then he was gone. There's this beautiful white building in South Melbourne that is more than a century old. It has huge old-fashioned windows, a door that opens on the street corner, and a high turret at the apex of the V-shaped building.

It always catches my attention when I drive past this area, because it harks back to a different era and also because it is such a contrast to the other, more modern architecture that has sprung up around it. The building is now home to a place called The Costume Shop and about a week ago I noticed that one of the mannequins in the window was dressed like Elvis Presley.

I was determined to return to the area and take some shots of the figure. A couple of days later I made sure I had a few minutes up my sleeve. I parked down a side street, and walked over to the shop. To my disappointment, it hadn't opened for the day, but I decided to shoot some images from outside. Interestingly, this was not as easy as it might sound, because of the reflections in the window.

Eventually I managed to find an angle where I wasn't getting too many reflections- and trudged slowly back to my car, disappointed that I hadn't been able to get into the shop. But the next time I was in the area, a day or two later, Elvis was gone.

As a good friend of mine quipped, Elvis had well and truly left the building.

There were no clues as to his whereabouts. Not even a pair of scuffed blue suede shoes.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pail imitation of his former self

Photo copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 137-5090

A couple of months ago, the Authorbloglets and I were in the bayside suburb of St Kilda and I was ambling along the Esplanade (the "Espy" to the locals) when I spotted this sight at the Sunday market. Naturally, I had my camera with me, so I was able to take the shot of this mannequin with the unusual headgear.

When I got back home, I posted the image on my Red Bubble site, which is home to more than 1000 of my images from around the world. I threw open the image in a worldwide title-writing contest and I received so many great entries that the result was a three-way tie! You can view the high-resolution version of this image, along with all the winning entries here.

And yes, one of the joint winners was Leslie, the popular Vancouver-based blogger who took the trouble to come all the way to Vancouver International Airport to have breakfast with me in August 2008.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The bride wore orange

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 139-6680

She was only three when the Steve Martin version of the film 'Father of the Bride' was released. But after the movie was over, she asked her father if he - like the Steve Martin character in the script - would play basketball with her the night before he walked her down the aisle.

Instantly, the father said yes. He never forgot his promise.

A few months later, the little girl - four years old by this time - refused to let her father throw out a pair of her orange socks. They were her all-time favourite socks, she declared. The father pointed to the fact that the socks had a couple of holes in them. "That doesn't matter," said the little girl, "they're so comfortable."

Several times, the father threatened to throw out those orange socks. They sprouted (as socks do, especially favourite socks) more holes, to the point where the father, mathematical by nature, actually pointed out to the little girl that there was a greater percentage of holes than there was orange fabric. But his daughter would not let him throw out the socks.

They were her "all-time favourite" socks, remember?

Before they knew it, the little girl was 22 years old. She was about to be married. Relatives and friends flew in from far and wide. The house was even more full of laughter and joy than it was normally, because so many loved ones had travelled nigh-biblical distances to be present at her wedding.

The evening before the wedding, they didn't have the time to play basketball. They had to be at the beautiful Gothic church with the sweeping bluestone steeple for the rehearsal. Afterwards, when evening had given way to a humid night, torrential rain lashed the city. It meant they were unable to play the game of basketball they had promised each other, just a few short years earlier.

The next day, the bride's makeup was complete. The hairdresser had finished. The flower girls were ready. The bridesmaids, her closest friends in the world, were waiting for the official photographer. The house radiated happiness.

The bride was about to step into her jewellery and her wedding dress.

The proud father, his heart bursting with joy and pride and oh so much love, put something into his beloved daughter's hands. It was a brand-new pair of orange socks. "Just perfect for a basketball game," he suggested with a big grin on his face.

The bride paused. She donned her Adidas shoes. And they played the game of basketball each had promised the other.

And the bride's mother? She dropped everything to videotape the special moment on the little girl's most special day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Try picking my most popular shot

Close-up of a building facade, Whitehorse, Yukon. IMAGE COPYRIGHT: DAVID McMAHON

Some of my blog friends would remember this unusual image, shot while I stood mid-stride (yep - the things we do for art!) across a pedestrian crossing on a September afternoon in 2008 in Whitehorse, capital of Canada's gold rush Yukon region.

So I guess it would come as no surprise that this is among my most popular images. But if you wanted to skim quickly over my top dozen and a half photographs, all you have to do is click this link on my Red Bubble site. You'll see square thumbnails of my most-visited images, all on a single screen.

I'd be delighted if you could leave a comment on this blog post, saying which ones you think have attracted the most views on Red Bubble - which is an online art and photography gallery that is free to join.

When you've had a look, let me know what you think. But if you're wondering about the answer, this image has attracted by far the most views, with this image about 700 views behind, and this one a couple of hundred clicks behind in third place.

PS: Yes, I've been away a long time. But it's always great to push the door open and see who's here!