Well, after booking it way back on Christmas Day last year, on Saturday I finally had the chance to go on my full day photography tour of Melbourne with Mark Gray Photography. And what a fabulous day it was! My good friend Brooke came along for the day, and we had a wonderful time! There was only 7 of us on the day (the groups are limited to 8, but one person had to pull out the day before), so we all got a good amount of one on one time with Mark at each location. We all met up at 8.15am in town, and were quickly loaded into the minibus for our transit to the banks of the Yarra, for our first technical session. A great introduction technical discussion, which was followed by our first actual photo session - located on the bridge over the Yarra just at the Tennis Centre, looking back up to the city. Had a play around with white balance and different f/stop settings, and also tried out the polariser, and basically just got used to handling my camera on the tripod. We then wandered along the banks of the river up to Birrarung Marr and tried to get some shots of the bells, but unfortunately they were surrounded by scaffolding, which made it a bit tricky! Another city skyline shoot from a different angle, then it was time to head back for another technical session.
Lots of great information and handy hints and tips, and then it was time to head down to St Kilda for our shoot out on St Kilda Pier. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn't brilliant, but I still tried to put into practice some of the tips we'd been tought re: the rule of thirds etc.and checking the image for sharpness, given that all the boats moored were rocking around quite roughly because of all the wind. A lovely lunch was had at the Beachcomber Cafe, and then it was time for another transit, down to Brighton Beach for our final technical discussion, and then a shoot down at the Beach Boxes. Again, the lighting wasn't brilliant, but it's still good to try and use the tips we'd been given about leading lines etc.
Then, after a chilly half hour on the beach, it was time to head back for afternoon tea (mmm, coffee and apple and cinnamon muffin!), and then we headed into town for the final session, which was what I'd really been looking forward to all day - the twilight shoot on the banks of the Yarra river.
Well, what a beatiful evening we had! We set up across from Flinders Street Station, and just watched the lighting change, almost by the second. I took many gradul photos, every minute or so, and looking back through them now, it's awesome to watch the night time descending on the cith skyling. We were starting to get longer exposures - up to around 15 seconds, and then it was time to move to our second last location for the night - up on the bridge at the Arts Centre.
This was just the most perfect location, and it was the most perfect evening for the shoot - I was getting 15 second exposures, that turned into 20 second exposures, and my favourite shot of the evening was a fabulous 25 second exposure! Just magic! The light had gone past it's useful level, so we headed over to Flinders Street Station, and had a play with capturing light trails at the intersection, and then at 6.30pm, it was time to call it a night.
Anyway, here are some pics of my day ... I am really, really pleased with how the first 2 shots turned out. The lighting wasn't great for the earlier part of the day, but I will be going back to those locations again one day, when the lighting is better, and will hopefully get better shots.
So, here you go ...
Brooke and I were just buzzing with excitement all day, and it didn't stop on the drive home. We were absolutely exhausted, overloaded with information, but I'm so glad I signed up for the tour. Mark was just lovely, Tony the driver was great, everyone else on the tour was really nice as well, and I learnt so much. I can't wait to put what I learnt into practice again - and at least now I know how to play with my camera settings to get the different effects, and also what settings to change if I need to correct an image. A very worthwhile day indeed.
So there you go ... I had an absolute ball, and can't wait to get out there and play with my camera again!
But that's all for now ... talk to you soon!