the first day of spring
Here we are, back to the Melbourne of old - where the city's weather lives up to its reputation for being inconsistent, unpredictable and often rainy. For the past several years our winters have been alarmingly dry and umbrella ownership has probably dropped significantly, but this year's winter has been suitably wet and cold and miserable. And so it was no surprise that Melbourne welcomed spring with a dreary, grey and relentlessly wet Wednesday.
Eager to finish my film in time to drop it off before closing time, I took out the F4 for the walk between Flinders Street Station and Lonsdale Street in order to reach that often difficult exposure number, 36. (I have done this before on a different route, remember?) I also felt it would be good to test this particular film - a very high speed black and white - in (semi-)daylight because the previous shots on the roll were all taken after dark. The result was pleasantly surprising, as I think the obvious grain really suits that wonderful melancholia that a wet, cold city can evoke.
I also thought I'd try a couple of double exposures, basically because I don't do enough of them. The reason for this is that the nature of multiple exposures means leaving a lot of the outcome to chance, and I find it difficult to surrender that control - but it's a good exercise because more often than not the results are, at the very least, interesting. This image fascinates me - not because it's a perfect shot in any way, but because it shows a lot of potential for multiple exposure in black and white, and in the city. The juxtaposition of the old building with the modern shop signs is quite a good one, and the glow of the lights on this particular film is lovely.
I'll definitely be using this film in the city again. But as the weather inevitably warms up with the changing seasons, I guess the question is - will a less miserable city yield such promising results? And I suspect the answer is, of course. Because while Melbourne might be renowned for perennial teardrops falling from an endlessly grey sky, we know there's a lot more to her than that.