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Travel is intoxicating. When we travel our senses are on high alert, open to sights, sounds and smells purely because they are new to us. As a photographer, or creative of any kind, it’s hard not to be inspired by all this newness. Traditions, clothing, food or architecture like we are unused to tend to light a fire and before we know it we’re off creating something, capturing the things we are learning about this new place. Inspiration comes easy.

Conversely when at home we tend to miss things. We are so used to the details of daily life that it becomes hard to see the beauty of our own home. We walk right past streets, people or landscapes that to any visitor are new and exciting. We are complacent and our creativity suffers, and it takes something big to make us look up and take notice.

I’ve been as guilty as anyone of this. I’ve often spent weeks or months between trips without making a single photo. Feeling uninspired or just being too “busy” (busy being code for laziness). Then it takes me a few days each time to get back into the swing of things. So I’m starting a project. This project is to document my home town of Melbourne. The idea is both to get myself out more often to keep creating as well as take a look closer look at the place I live, exploring the pockets I haven’t seen before and finding new things in parts I’ve visited many times. Melbourne is a big, multicultural place, so there is plenty to find if you look for it. This should be fun.

I’ve made a start already by exploring the banks of the Yarra River, finding compositions of the skyline from both sides. It’s kind of low hanging fruit- Melbourne’s a pretty place- but it’s a start. I don’t know what this idea will turn into. I think I’d like to just see where it leads rather than plan too much out, but whatever comes of it I do know I’ll at least be better for the exercise. Here are some of the first shots for this series.

Sunset over Yarra river and Melbourne skyline
Queens Bridge and Melbourne skyline along the Yarra River
Yarra River and Melbourne skyline at sunset
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Looking through some recent and not so recent images of Melbourne for a client request, I realised that I don’t get out and shoot my home town nearly enough. Which is a shame because it is a great place to photograph with a lot of varying subjects. The city skyline, while not as imposing as some larger international cities, is full of interesting lines and reflections. Modern architecture contrasts with heritage buildings, places like the Queen Victoria Market and various laneways buzz with activity and street art gives the CBD an edgy feel.

I put together this small gallery of images of the city centre and surrounds, just because. I have also promised myself I will make more time to photograph Melbourne and all its variety.

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