Melbourne Skyline

You would know it if you are following my Facebook page or are used to seeing my images from 20 years ago, but I love photographing the dynamic, subtle, graceful and amazing colours that spread across the sky. Here in my apartment just outside of the city of Melbourne, I often photograph the sky above the CBD, from the small light window in my back room. Let me share some of my favourites, some recent, others not so recent works of mine.

stormy sky Saturday 30 June 2012 Continue reading Melbourne Skyline


Profile shoot and Sydney trip

I’ve been asked to photograph some profile photos for an organisation. I have been pretty busy photographing artists and their products at artists market over the summer. Profile shoot is a very different work completely – it is about getting the consistency across all images of various people, so that the organisation can show its integrity in the team when the profile photos appear on their website and corporate publications. While in the market I focus on the vibe of the place, inspiration I get from the artists who hand craft their works, and using natural lighting as much as possible, day or night, profile shoot is basically a studio shooting. I would bring in my ‘studio setup’ to the client location, and line up my subjects one by one. In this occasion, my client has people in multiple locations in Melbourne and another office in Sydney, so I’ll set up the same lighting condition in 3 different places. It should be pretty straight forward, though.

Once it is confirmed, then I’ll be shooting in Melbourne locations this week, and they’ll put me on a plane to come to Sydney next week. I’d better check the airline’s allowance for check-in luggage. Lighting and backdrop, it is a decent weight I’ll be travelling with!

Oh, just in case you are not following my Facebook page, let me share a few of my recent images.

Rose St Artists Market - 2 March 2013

From The Rose St Artists Market in Fitzroy – Bee, a talented painter and my sister, appeared at this long-established artists market on 2 Saturdays in March. I went with her to give some moral and transportation support, and I photographed some art works there after getting explicit permission from stall holders. Those artists are really lovely people, and their products are really amazing. Let’s make sure we photographers respect their art and share their beautiful works. You can find those photos on my Facebook page, with links to the pages of those artists (where I know it). Hopefully, my sharing their works through my photographs will help their art, and hopefully, help my photography. I think it would be nice if we could help each other through respect for each other’s art.

Rose St Artists Market - 9 March 2013
Beautiful jewellry and what an apppropriate stall setup with the branch of tree syncing with the design on necklace… seen at The Rose St Artists Market

Rose St Artists Market - 9 March 2013
A vase made out of local Australian rock, to be used for flower arrangement. Comes with made-in-japan kenzan (needle base). It’s got an amazing glow when the light falls on it…

Blenders Ln Artists Market - 6 March 2013
Beautiful ladies at Blenders Ln Artists Market – I enjoyed photographing there almost every Wednesday during the summer, particularly when I get to chat with gorgeous girls like these… but it had to come to an end for the season. We only need to wait for a little over half a year and it will be back on when it gets warmer in the city of Melbourne. Nicky, middle, is one of the organisers and has been a great supporter of my photographs from this market; she’s taken off to Canada for a couple of years – I wish her a great journey and lots of fun.

Aireys Inlet
It has been an exceptionally hot summer here in Melbourne. We had a record number of consecutive days of 30+ max temperature or something like that. Every year I go overseas to the winter cities during the new year and that would pretty much be it for summer in Melbourne, but this year I was tempted to drive down to the beach a few times. I would spend the day in a gallery or library with the cool air con till early afternoon, and pack my swimming pants, beach towel and paperback of Haruki Murakami or Peter Mayle to drive 1.5 hrs to this quiet beach as people start to leave it. I like it like that. But I think the summer is finally coming to an end. I’m typing this in my room with jeans and cardigan on.

Sunrise Saturday 16 March 2013
Some days I’m in the right place at the right time to capture the breath-taking beauty nature spread in their canvas for everyone. This is just before the first light of the day comes above the horizon.

Dusk Saturday 16 March 2013
And that’s the same day just after the sun has set below the surface.

Change of season is definitely here. We are treated with some heavy rains (as you might have seen on Formula One telecast from this city during this weekend). Soon the daylight saving will be over, so we can go to bed when it is actually dark, and hopefully I can get back into more street photography chasing those shadows in reflection. It would be nice to put together a decent series to display on some wall in a gallery. Well, that is the plan for the year.

On the beach

Bells Beach

I woke before dawn. Putting the camera and tripod into the car, I drove along the Great Ocean Road. The sun was up by the time I arrived. Surfers were floating waiting for a decent wave, and the sun just came out on top of that cloud. What is waiting for me down that winding road?

First light

Another favourite spot down that road – the lighthouse in Aireys Inlet. There is not much of touristy stuff there. Just a simple white light house, and a beautiful sand rock formation and the fresh water flowing into the sea.

Ah, we live in a beautiful part of the world.

Winter morning

冬の夜明け 1
winter morning 1

7am. My eyes opened early. I had thought about going for a morning drive up the hills before going to bed. But that was more like 2am and I set an alarm to 8am. Funny how our body just responds to that kind of intention. It does me all the time – and it never wakes me when I have no reason to wake up.

I rolled my head on my pillow and saw the pinkish-orange of the eastern sky between the blinds, and got out of bed. Grabbing my EOS 7D from the shelf and climb up barefeet to the balcony above. The sun is about to rise.

It’s just an ordinary winter morning. But I want to follow it when something touches me, even just a gentle brush of it. My eyes are not quite open yet, not at 2 minutes of waking time. Opening and closing eyes I try to lubricate them. The camera’s in a good shape. It went through a maintenance and cleaning last month where its focus was corrected, everything cleaned and I now have a lot more confidence looking through its view finder.

A few clicks and  my barefeet started to feel really cold so I stepped back inside. Sunrise is at before dawn, the sunrise is after. That’s always been the way. Still a few more minutes before the first direct light hits me here, but waiting barefeet on a frosty ground is not quite my cup of tea.

冬の夜明け 2
winter morning 2

Rolls of calligraphy script hang here and there. What is it about the hand-made paper and scripts that just touch us so directly and differently from the rest of the mass-produced cold concrete?

冬の夜明け 3
winter morning 3

The view out of my window that I’m so familiar with. Curry rice yesterday morning and the night before, and this view – I realise I’m home now.

冬の夜明け 4
winter morning 4
冬の夜明け 5
winter morning 5
冬の夜明け 6
winter morning 6

Pool of water, either the dew or some unnoticed rain yesterday, is frozen solid. It’s below zero this morning around here.

It used to feel like it cuts my ears cycling to the high school on a winter morning like this.

冬の夜明け 7
winter morning 7

I was thinking of making my first trip to my relatives’ and friend’s graveyard up the hill, to send my regards for the new year, but maybe the road up there is frozen at places. So maybe that can wait. They can wait, it’s not like they’re going anywhere. Perhaps today is for a visit to the shrine or temple somewhere, for a traditional new year’s visit, a week late?


Another morning, I hear the jet boost its engine for take-off. How I’d never noticed it for years I’d lived here. I wonder if it has to do with some construction that is going on at the edge of town, did a 4-story public housing function as a sound proof wall for us, from the airport that’s almost 10km away to the west?