It’s difficult to describe how excited I was to shoot this old ocean pier in Melbourne, Australia. I was visiting my sister that day in Melbourne and she had lent me her car to come and check out this amazing photography location. So I packed the car with my gear and loaded up the spot in google maps and zipped off to Princes Pier. The Pier itself is probably only about 10-15 minutes out of the city and coming from Sydney it’s a fun drive because of all the trams. Melbourne has heaps of trams going in every direction! Driving along side them is a cool experience and brought back memories of my time living in Melbourne a few years back. I actually did my Masters in Art Conservation at Melbourne University and I love the city as it’s chocka block full of galleries and cute bars. I was also doing work in the mornings at Melbourne Museum and spent many hours going through its collection.
Getting back to Princes Pier though, I’d seen photos on the web of it and read facts about it that said it stretched out over 500 meters from the shore, but experiencing it was something special. I was running up and down the pier leaning off the edge to see under and I even climbed down a few ladders on the edge of the pier to the waters surface exploring. I wanted to see what it looked like underneath the pier and find the best possible angle for a sunset shot. There were quite a few fishermen casting their rods off the edge and I did get a few odd looks from them. One particular child offered up a few giggles and looks of interest as to what I was doing climbing up and down these ladders.
In the end I composed the image to accentuate the sheer size of these wooden pylons, the way they stretch off in the distance in straight uniform lines and to also give the image symmetry.
Topic for Discussion: Why I switched from Adobe Lightroom to Phase One Capture One PRO 9
Recently, a few weeks ago, I switched from Adobe Lightroom to Phase One Capture One PRO 9 as my go to catalog and adjustment software. I wanted to say that I am in no way payed by Phase One and that this was a decision I came to on my own. The reason I switched is complicated under the hood, but to simplify the answer it’s because Capture One PRO 9 (CP1 9) displays the RAW files from my Sony A7r closer to how the scene looked then Adobe Lightroom does. The reason for this is that Camera Companies, including the big ones like Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm, all don’t give out how their camera files are created. This is because they don’t want to give out their secrets to other companies. Programs like Adobe Lightroom, Aperture, and Capture One PRO all then best try to interpret how the these camera companies created these files, the data and coding they used. So in actual fact all the software programs are only guessing at how Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc. created their photos and they do their best to represent this data in visual form on your screen. There are a huge amount of different DSLR’s, mirrorless, point and shoots and all of these have to be accounted for by each program.
I’m never about telling people what cameras and software they should and shouldn’t use, so in no way is this post one telling everyone to switch immediately to Phase One software. I love trying new things and then sharing only the ones I enjoyed and only recommend things I think you guys would love too.
So, for me, I’ve found CP1 9 to represent the Sony A7r RAW files close to how they were shot. CP1 can actually be quite expensive as it is a professional software designed to be used for medium format cameras and pro photographers. But, they actually have released a Sony only version of CP1 where you can only use it with Sony Cameras and for me that sealed the deal.
At the end of the day, CP1 is like any other catalog and RAW editing program where changes are done using sliders and tools. After getting over my initial fear of using a program like this I’m finding the software to be user friendly and designed with photographers in mind. Just like Adobe LR you can save presets, known as styles, and the software comes with a bunch of styles built into the program for you to use including film and black and white ones.
Some other cool features of CP1 that I love using are the High Dynamic Range sliders, the clever clarity settings, the ability to control the individual areas of the colour spectrum as well as a clever saturation setting that will only increase colours that are lacking saturation and won’t affect already saturated colours.
So I only used 2 programs for this one, in which I combined 2 exposures. One exposure was shot for the foreground and another was then used for the sky.
Phase One Capture One PRO 9- to make all the initial adjustments to the images.
– On1 Photo 10 – An amazing Filter program to stylise your images. I used On1 Photo 10 to add the glow to the water and also get the toning right in the sky, which were both important to getting the look I wanted for the image.
How to get there:
I drove out to the Pier from Melbourne city, but you may be able to get the bus out here. I don’t think the tram goes all the way out in this direction to Port Melbourne, but you could take a combination of the two, tram then bus 😉 or just get a taxi of course.
Here is Princes Pier’s location on google maps for you all so that you can come and see how amazing it is some time.