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Melbourne - you little beauty!

Do you remember a time (not that long ago) when we couldn't travel? Same.

I made a promise to myself during that time that I would never take for granted ever again the sheer unmistakable joy of being able to go somewhere, anywhere else that I wanted to visit. A recent trip to Melbourne justified that promise I made to myself. And it was fabulous. Here's what I got up to…

Most visitors to Melbourne rave about the food, the drinks, the shopping, the culture, the art, the history and the overall feel-good vibe that this fabulous city generates 24/7.  Sure, I did *dabble with these things (read on) but the main purpose of the trip was to further enhance and hone my photography skills by capturing the city and surrounding areas in a whistle stop tour that most certainly did not disappoint. 

And who better to learn from and be guided by than one of Aussies's very best photography schools - Mark Gray photography, who is considered by many to be Australia's new leading landscape photographer. I signed up to his exclusive Melbourne workshop which is a highly unique 10 hour, 1 day event custom designed to help you learn the skills required to capture professional quality landscape photos in only one day!

You can learn more about Mark and his tours by visiting his website.

His Insta is (obvs) worth following too.

Rather than sitting in a boring classroom environment, budding photographers are escorted around Melbourne and taught essential technical photography skills while visiting stunning locations at the optimum time of the day. The day was structured to include the necessary technical discussions and ample time to capture 6 different locations.

My tour started and finished at the iconic Flinders Street Station and meandered through magical Melbourne stopping off at the following locations: 

  • Swan St Bridge Yarra, for the city view

  • Princes Pier Pylons at Port Melbourne – probably my fave of the day I think because of the colour of the water and the play with lines and angles

  • Brighton Beach Boxes – standard Instagrammable location, but we had the twist of it bucketing down with rain, so this proved really challenging, but ultimately rewarding.

  • Lagoon Pier – moody out at sea - rain stopping

  • Twilight shoot at Southbank – night city view

  • Night shoot at Flinders station – capturing movement – trams, lights, lines.

It was a really special day and I got so much out of it. I've vowed to apply my learnings to my ongoing photography journey. In fact I've already signed up for my next course. I can't tell you where just yet... but it will be magical. I know that already. Stay tuned peeps.

So, with all the images I'd taken safely in the can (technical term) I was free to explore the other sides of all that Melbourne had to offer. In no particular order or preference, here's where I went and here's what I did:

Central Melbourne is made for mooching and mooching is what I did. Street food (obviously) and window shopping (I limited myself to buy just a few things).

I marvelled at the artworks and art installations around the city and was leftwishing that Levin was as cool and arty as this metropolis.

I caught up with dear friends and got tickets for an obligatory show.

I visited (lucky me as it was the last day) of the Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse Exhibition at the NGV (more info here). I was drawn to the footwear (obvs) and headpieces… and as it was packed like sardines in this exhibition, which meant there wasn’t the time or space to actually take a lot in or read the muse/mythos behind each piece, so I took photos of what spoke to me (top tip).

I checked out the National Gallery of Victoria’s classic collection – Hello Picasso, Hello Dali which was incredible.

I spent way too long watching the Aussie birds do their thing on St Kilda Rd strip – Why can’t Levin be this cool - ha!

I went to ACMI, (the Australian Centre for the Moving Image) which is Australia's national museum of screen culture including film, television, videogames, digital culture and art. I took in the Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion exhibition. It showcased Inspirational women of the screen (over 120 years) – leading gender revolutionists. The mix of video, sound, fashion and photography meant it was a really special exhibition. So good. More info on this here.

It was a HUGE long weekend that offered no time to rest as there is so much to do here. If you haven't been to Melbourne then you really should. And if you have been to Melbourne then you should really go back. Soon. Tomorrow. Now.

I salute you Melbourne and I miss you already.

Thanks for reading, see you next month.