little bourke street

After some recent lomo disappointments and the realisation that I need to take my plastic-camera-photography back to basics, I challenged myself to finish off a film (four shots) on the walk from the bus depot at Spencer Street Station (Southern Cross, whatever) to Michaels. Suitcase wheeling behind me and Holga rattling against my necklace with each step, I set out on Little Bourke Street looking left, right, up and down for any kind of interesting scene.

The first one I came across involved a lot of writing on a large wall, with frequently placed and evenly spaced lights jutting out above it. What attracted me most to this structure was my surprise at having never seen it before. It's just a part of the city (west of Elizabeth Street) that I don't venture to very often. What attracts me most to this photo is the angle and the lights. What surprises me most about this photo is that it's evidently a monument to K-Rudd's 'sorry' speech - I was so taken with the aesthetics that I didn't even bother to read the words when I took it!

A bit boring, this one. At the time the sun was creating very sharp shading across the buildings and I thought it might be interesting. But I (once again) forgot that my camera wouldn't capture such fine detail.

At this point I knew I was struggling for a good shot. Two photos left. Two opportunities to get something nice. Or curious. Or surprising. Or blog-worthy.

Again, building + light + sky. This image reveals one of the drawbacks of having a viewfinder that doesn't see exactly what the lens sees - no amount of second-guessing will guarantee a perfect composition. You can see what I was going for... just didn't quite pull it off. Still, I don't think it's awful.

One photo left. Hmm. So far, the subjects haven't really been representative of the variety to be found along the Little Street. So far, it has just been looking up at mostly boring buildings. OK, stop looking up.

Again, kind of boring. Having said that, it is a scene that can be found in or just off most of the CBD's streets and lanes; for every dingy laneway with a dirty-chic bar full of hipsters and colourful (or socially relevant) street art there are a handful of dingy laneways or alleys that are just, well, dingy. Forgotten bluestone, upturned milk crates, ordinary grafitti, discarded club flyers, broken booze bottles - it's part of the city and, more specifically, part of Little Bourke Street.

The very next alley had vibrant, unique grafitti displayed lovingly all over the wall, and I considered shooting it before deciding that the dingy alley was a truer, edgier depiction of the city. Who needs pretty when I have dirty? What do I want with that flashy alley, the kind that would probably end up in some trend-a-rama tourist guide to Melbourne? My alley was hardcore. I had to risk any number of depravities - put myself at the mercy of any number of unsavoury alley-dwelling characters - just walking in there to get the shot. Yeah, I was totally keepin' it real, bitches.

Besides, I had finished my film.


  1. that first one is really lovely, gretty! and the third one i love as it is! i can't even think of what you were aiming for because i think it looks wonderful. particularly the building on the left; as i was reading the text around it, it blurred a little in my peripheral vision and it looked kind of warped, as though you'd used a fisheye lens!

    yeah, fuck fancy laneways! except, you know, that one we shot you in front of last night...

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  3. Hehehe! Um, see in the third photo how the light is not exactly centred? Well I wanted it to be EXACTLY in the middle of the buildings. I guess it still looks good, but I can't help noticing the fact that the light isn't centred! But thank you for your ace comment (and for last night!) x

  4. i love the first photo,
    its really great :)

  5. Nice work - I really like the trees fringing the second shot. Very Melbourne.

    Will have to look out for the Sorry building, too.