It was only a week that I got to spend in my old favourite ‘home away from home’ of Melbourne, but that was enough to keep my sensors wide open, have the camera ready and snap away whatever caught my mind’s eye.
After meeting all these cats, I continued on my walkabout, and came out with some snaps.
Citroen DS. What a beauty. I just love the way it sat in front of the store with presence.
And a car with very different cultural background
I actually have not tried this place – “Friends of the Earth”. The gentleman who looked to be one of the cooks (or is he the owner?) was having a break, chatting with his friend. I asked him to stay as I framed them with this beautiful graffiti wall.
She walked in and rested herself to light up as I was already pointing to this wall. I was actually waiting for somebody to walk across the frame, but seeing she did not mind the photographer I made this one shot at just the right time (I’m not on a telephoto; street photography is not spy photography – she knows I’m right there.).
There are some beautiful artwork everywhere in this area. There are messy spray paint, and there are art work. Case closed.
I enjoyed this sense of the shopping cart’s movement across from right to left. Is that a petrol tank on the right? Is this an engine powered cart? Beautiful fine day’s blue sky, orange light from low afternoon sun, power lines and structure. It would be interesting to go back at different time, different light, or even at night!
And last 3 shots back on Smith Street…
After photographing that talented artist on the busy Friday night city street, I was in the mood for a bit of sunshine, sweet pastry and good coffee. After picking up the vegetables and apples on bargain price at the market, I pointed the car towards the east. I couldn’t think of anywhere to go, really. A bit late to be heading towards the Dandenongs. Seaside, with more people on a sunny day like this? When I saw the traffic up ahead, I decided to turn away from the highway. Fitzroy, up the road and found a spot to put my car in, on a back street in Collingwood.
I grabbed the camera with 24mm as usual, and a couple of lenses in the bag today (especially after a struggle and desire for different angles last night) I started walking away from the car. Sun was shining, keeping me warm. Grabbing a few shots of flowers and plants, architecture… all in 24mm. My philosophy is make do with what you’ve got. Only when you couldn’t do it with what you have at hand, you know what you really need. Otherwise, there are just too many fancy new camera and equipments out there on the market. You can make most of your shots, from snap, portraiture and macro with a single piece of prime lens. You COULD do with a zoom lens, but I cannot keep so many different frames, from wide, standard to tele in my head, in order to quickly decide which frame to use. 24mm, or about 36 or 38mm or whatever equivalent in 35mm film terms, that is my ‘default’. I know that frame, and I know it perfectly well before looking through the view finder. I can’t imagine being able to have that system in me if I were using zoom lens as my ‘standard’.
Anyhow… enough of gadget talk. So I was walking. Then I met this girl.
Looking kind of bored, obviously waiting for the family to come open the door and play… Then she noticed me pointing my camera at her. Stood up, stretched, walked around me a few rounds, had a few sniffs, she decided I was all right.
Then she posed.
Paws together, straight all the way up to the tips of ears. She probably thought I was The Sartorialist or something. She’s got a coat with that scroll pattern of American Short Hair.
Once she found out I was not shooting for a street fashion magazine or anything like that, she told me to just go away. Or, she just ignored me, which is the same thing in cats’ language. Enough of you. Allez!
I didn’t leave quickly enough, obviously. She bit me on the left hand. Though it was a quick one, it was a little stronger than the gentle friendly bite, and her eyers were flapped to block mode. Got the message this time.
Down the road, another one was passing the other side of the street.
Seems this one was looking for someone. But the other is not showing. So I said hello. My left hand reaching out to meet, a little more hesitant.
He, I think, turned as I lifted my camera. ‘You talking to me?’ But he was not so keen on photos. He looked just like a cat my family had in Osaka years ago. The same pattern, same white of the nose, going up slightly higher into the forehead. Same colour eyes.
Before I could say another word, he took off.
As he disappeared, another one came down towards me.
She seems to be on her inspection walk. After making a few rounds of me she decided I was ok, and went on to checking the bush in her territory.
She was also generous to my request for a snap.
I thanked her and waved good-bye.
A block down the road, I came across this pretty busy looking house. And there she was. Could it be that everyone’s gone out and she’s left outside waiting to be let in?
Is that my family coming home? No. Not them…
A typical Melbourne girl, a mix of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Maybe a quarter of her comes from somewhere with strong sun and red earth? She’s no snob. Couldn’t care less if I was pointing my camera. She even left plenty of her fur of mixed colours all over my charcoal coat after insisting on riding on top of my shoulder to view her street from my perspective.
How this house is not covered in her fur is a mystery to me.
Hmm… not her either?
Incoming! Is that them?
Oh no. Not you!
Cat: GO AWAY!!
Dog: Sigh 😦
ANZAC Day fell on the monday on Easter Weekend, so Tueday was made a day off in lieu. After the painter finished his work on a wall in my flat, I set out in the beautiful afternoon sun towards, well, no idea! First it was Fitzroy Gardens, but without finding a suitable parking spot, I kept on driving till I hit Johnston, and then turned into Smith Street. The light was nice, and that sense of authenticity of Smith Street I always enjoyed, compared to, say, tourist-oriented Lygon Street or more yappie or gen-Y but Branswick Street. I found a spot towards the Gartrude Street corner, and walked back up north. Let go of expectations, open my senses. Here I go, my photowalk on Melbourne street.
I realise that this blog is not in the best format to present images, but if you don’t mind clicking on the image, I’d appreciate your looking at them in a slideshow format.
I never thought I’d like ’75’, but it does have a rather handsome face and hint of the power it has under its hood… Anyone recommend a decent condition V6 model I can afford? Or 1750GTV would be even nicer… Oh, and a service garage with a lot of experience in fine tuning old Alfa… for a reasonable price, of course. Ha, it’s all in a day dream.
Now, down shifting, I drove onto the Gardens in Melbourne and walked around the water and CBD.
I’ve decided to try something I don’t do very often: using a bit longer lens on the street. Street photography, to me, is about your presence, participation and immediacy, therefore can only be done with wide angle lens. It has to do with history, back to the time photographers like Henri Cartier-Blesson would walk around town with his leica and its 28mm. You’ve got to be in there, another step closer than you are comfortable with, to get a shot that speaks for itself. Long lens, like TV drama and movies, are for stepping back and watching from your couch. But on this holiday, I decided to put myself in that arm chair and see what the view is like. 85mm it is.
So that’s how I spent my Easter weekend. How was yours? Did you find your inspiration?
As promised, here is a series of photos from the surreal Grand Final saturday. As my friend said, I had never heard of a football match that finished in a draw! That is just unreal. How could that be? “Come back to the stadium next week – we’ll play again???” In the Japanese baseball, there is a best of 7-match series. But that means you will play the last match till it’s won, if it goes into the 3-on-3 tie. It is not going to extend the season, it is not going to leave all the supporters not knowing what to do with their function bookings for the night.
Anyhow, I am not a footy follower, so I don’ t know how the supporters of the teams felt. But before the match, I could certainly feel the sense of pride and enthusiasm. I walked around the town up until about half an hour after the match started, and captured some images. I’d love to hear your thoughts, as always.
Check out the rest of my photos from the Saturday below.