Melbourne, Australia's food and fashion capital, presents the visitor with many things to do and see; and many unique vistas for the photographer.
Much is made of its rivalry with its northern cousin Sydney. Still, there cannot be any comparisons as each city has its own unique qualities and stand on their own as marvellous Australia cities. Melbourne presents itself as a very cosmopolitan city with a lovely multicultural fabric that makes Melbourne a pleasure to visit. It is not only about sport.
The European feel to the city with its restaurant's, cafes, and beautiful laneways provides for an easy and pleasurable experience around the city and St Kilda, South Yarra and Carlton. Add to this that it is the fashion capital of Australia (not to mention the sports capital as well).
There has always been something special about black-and-white photography that can evoke an emotion and tell a story that colour photography seems not to. It can focus the viewer on particular elements of the photograph that may be lost in a colour image in the same way that depth of field can. Without the distraction of colour, the notion of black-white photography is left to structure, tones and luminance to convey the message.
The Garden State: Melbourne is a city of gardens and avid gardeners, which is evident with a visit to any renowned leafy suburbs or any magnificent public parks. Close to the Melbourne CBD are many historic gardens, including Fitzroy garden. Spectacular anytime of the year, the gardens take on a wonderful ambience in the colder months. The deciduous trees reveal their wonderful trunks and branches. The morning autumn fogs transform the impression of these wide-open spaces into a wonderfully moody scene that is familiar to any European traveller.
St Kilda: Located on one of the most picturesque points of Port Phillip Bay, St Kilda is a must for anyone wishing to visit Melbourne. During Edwardian and Victorian times, St Kilda was a place for Melbourne's elite and a tourism destination for day-trippers. During the mid 20th century, St Kilda became a red-light district renowned for prostitution, drugs, and life's seedier side. It has certainly changed since then and is a top tourist destination for anyone wishing to visit Melbourne. St Kilda Beach offers diverse activities and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. It is a huge drawing point on those hot summer nights when Melbournians spend the twilight time cooling down in the refreshing waters of Port Phillip Bay.
The Palais: The site of the current Palais was formerly the location of 'Palais Pictures, which burned down in the early 1900s. A replacement was planned, and Walter Burley Griffin began designing a remodelled Palais Pictures, which began construction in 1925. An unfortunate fire did not see his vision come to fruition. A subsequent design was built and opened in 1927. Over the years, the classic Art Deco theatre has hosted events as diverse as The Bolshoi Ballet, Jesus Christ Superstar, Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Melbourne International Festival, John Butler Trio and many more. Located on St Kilda's Lower Esplanade, the Palais creates an excellent generation link with parents dropping children off at a concert venue that their parents dropped off.
Block Arcade: Melbourne is renowned as the shopping capital of Australia, and the proliferation of shopping tours to the Victorian capital is a testament to the fact. The Block Arcade is a beautiful example of a classic 19th Century shopping arcade with its exquisite etched glass roof and mosaic floor (the largest in Australia). The complex is classified by the National Trust and is on the register of the National Estate. The arcade is so named due to the late 1800's Melbourne tradition of 'Doing the Block', meaning to walk up and down the very fashionable shopping strip of Collins Street. Today, Block Arcade is full of unique retail shops and excellent cosmopolitan cafes. It maintains its original vision of a being modelled on those of Milan and London. Dutifully restored, the décor of the arcade retains the feel of yesteryear and the warmth of what was initially envisaged.
Melbourne Docklands: The Docklands is a region west of Melbourne's CBD that transformed an unused area of Melbourne's waterside. Located close to Southern Cross Station and the stadium precinct, the development created a modern commercial, retail and residential area, invigorating this side of the city. Like any city development, the construction initiative reveals a life of its own.
Venture away from the city, and there are so many attractions within easy reach (Victoria is a compact state with the NSW-Victorian border being a bit over 3 hours away.). The Great Ocean Road, The 12 Apostles, the Victorian High Country, The Victorian Alps & ski fields, and the Murray River runs from the Alps along the border with NSW to the northwest corner of the state near Mildura and Wentworth.
The Surf Coast: The Victorian Surf Coast is a short drive from Melbourne and is one of Australia's most scenic coastal drives; The Great Ocean Road begins at Torquay and meanders along the coast through wonderful seaside towns of Anglesea and Apollo Bay. From there, it traverses the beautiful Cape Otway and onto the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell. Being part of the world's longest south-facing coastlines, the weather coming off the Southern Ocean creates some wonderful meteorological creations.