Quick reference guide to Melbourne Photography, from street to landscape and cityscape
I was thinking for a while to write a quick reference guide to photography in Melbourne.
There are plenty of opportunities for any photography style.
The most popular area for travellers is the CBD (Central Business District), this is where you can do some great street photography.
Take a tram to the beachside, either Port Melbourne or St Kilda, for some landscape photography.
Finish off with architectural photography in Docklands.
But let’s get down to the specific type of photography with the best spots in Melbourne for that.
In this guide you will see
- 1 Subjects and Photography in Melbourne
- 2 Photography shops in Melbourne
- 3 Melbourne Map with all the sites in this post
You can read also
- 25 Best photography spots in Melbourne
- Where to stay in Melbourne (the best areas and what to avoid)
- Melbourne Photo Gallery
- Best places to visit in Melbourne (including some real hidden gems)
- Great Ocean Road Drive
- How to get from Melbourne to Sydney, all the possible options (with photos)
- Best photography locations in Sydney
Scroll down on this reference guide for a list of the places where you can buy a camera or you can repair it (always essential when you are in a new environment and you experience a problem)
I usually run every second Saturday or on-demand (private one-to-one sessions). I love this city and I can’t stop myself exploring it alone and with over fellow photographers. If you are interested, you can check here more information on when and what we will do
Subjects and Photography in Melbourne
I do not usually venture too much in the city for some street photography and this is one thing I want to do more in future.
The most important thing is to get out there and catch the moment as I did for this photo made at Flinders Street Station.
I like this area around 8am and 5pm, busy with commuters always in a rush.
That gives us photographers plenty of opportunities.
Another great spot is Southern Cross station
I have also organised a full gallery with Street photos I made in Melbourne.
Sometimes it pays off to look up in the sky.
This is for sure an unusual architectural decision.
The impact is really amazing
This photo was made using 3 exposures and the HDR technique.
The central exposure was done with shutter speed 1/160 sec at F/4, ISO 200, focal length 40mm (Nikon D600 + Nikkor 24-120 1:4G).
The other two photos were under/overexposed of 2 steps.
Black & White
This was a hard decision to take.
I have many black and white photos, especially in the city.
I thought however that a long overexposed photo, 100% de-saturated, of a small pier in St Kilda, was a shot to be included in this list.
Melbourne is an easy-going city and this picture gives absolutely a sense of it.
Having the 3 people seating at the end of the pier watching the horizon helped to give a sense of dreaming as well
For more images, you can check my Melbourne Black&White Photos Gallery.
I was walking along the Yarra River.
It was dusk time and there were few rowers out in the Yarra.
I decided to decrease the saturation in post-production and give a vintage effect, as sometimes I had with expired films.
I liked the end result.
The Yarra River at sunset time is a great place, with the rowing clubs busy with the business people looking for some exercise after a day in the office.
I suggest the river as well as Albert Park for some vintage photography
This is really a difficult subject.
This is where I have my most challenging time.
You always read in any photography magazines and websites that you need to find a different corner to have a shot that stands out from the crowd.
Easy to say it, hard to make it.
When I take a photo of an iconic site I usually google the place and see what is around.
The typical result is…..everything you can think of.
Based on my experience there are three ways to have a better composition.
First, check around for a high point of view, this could be a building closeby or even better a multi-storey car park.
Second, if you are in a city, check for the sunset light reflected by any skyscraper around.
Third, add an iconic person together with the site.
In the case below I waited for the sunset light coming from a closeby glass building which worked as a gigantic light reflector.
Go to Flinders Street Station around 2 hours before sunset for a similar composition
For more images, you can check my Melbourne Iconic Photos Gallery.
The skate parks are always great places to catch awesome images.
The big one in St.Kilda is just the perfect site to visit.
Located in front of the beach, it is a fantastic spot to be at sunset
Green and the city
Any city has green areas, Melbourne has lots of them.
Mixing buildings and green areas is never easy.
This is a great spot as you can split the photo into two layers, the foreground with the Yarra River and the park, and the background, with the city buildings, both connected through the Birrarung bridge.
For more images, you can check my Melbourne City & Land Photos Gallery.
Hidden city sites
This is a real hidden corner of the city you should not miss and guess what, it’s right in the centre of the CBD (Central Business District), just an easy walk from Federation Square
Photography in Melbourne can also turn in great surprises, as this chamber that I found under South Yarra with the entry along the Yarra River
For this photo, I used a technique called Light painting.
The light in the tunnel was poor, to say the least.
I decided to have a shutter speed of over 5 minutes and with a torch illuminate the graffiti areas.
In this way, I had a correct exposure just where I wanted
Is it a rainy and foggy day?
Are you walking around the city in the middle of the day with that harsh sunlight?
Many possibilities of interior photography, no worries.
Patterns inside the buildings are a great subject.
I loved the floor of the St.Paul’s Cathedral and even better the two priests in front of the altar.
For more images, you can check my Melbourne Architecture Photos Gallery.
Besides the churches and cathedrals, great subject in the rainy days, you may have a look also to the galleries between the famous Melbourne lanes.
The Historical Collins 333 below is a great example of what you can find.
This is also the most unknown gallery, another great subject for our photography in Melbourne
There is a famous photography quote that says “The best camera is the one with you”.
And guess which camera is always with us, the one on our mobile.
I do use it quite a bit
iPhones and Smartphones have evolved so much.
You can actually take stunning photos and you have also control of lights, focus points and so much much more.
If interested, I run a Mobile Photography Workshop every second Saturday where you can learn a ton on taking control of your camera, improve your composition and enhance your photos.
Photography shops in Melbourne
This is not by any means a fully comprehensive list, just a few handy shops that provide a good service.
If you want to highlight anyone that I missed, please add a comment below and I will modify the list, as easy at that
- Michaels : it is still one of my favourites. True, gear tends to be more expensive here however it is compensated by some great advice of the skilled photographers that work at the shop. If you already know what you want I would probably go to the next one in the list
- digiDirect : another of my favourites for customer service.
- Ted’s Camera
If you are after a camera, my suggestion is to start with Michaels and walk down Elizabeth and Lonsdale to compare prices and suggestions.
Have a look also to the Best Travel Camera guide that I regularly update new models that I test. This may help you even more before going to the shop.
Once you made your mind on the gear you want, you can also check online.
You may always find better offers, however, there is no professional service that may help you for a start-up period
If you have problems with Nikon, Canon, Leica or Fuji in Melbourne, head to Camera Clinic (56 Easey St, Collingwood).
They are the Official independent support for Victoria.
My experience with the service was not that good I must say and I ended up dealing directly with Nikon Australia in Sydney, however, you can have better luck.