Monday, June 27, 2005

Me acting funny at billboards

Some days ago, I saw an article at BBC about the moon appearing to be larger than usual these few days. Sure enough, I saw the (apparently) huge moon on Saturday night while walking home after sending a guinea pig to a 24 hour vet and finding upon arrival that it was already dead. Exactly 7 days in my care and it dies; my cousin would never trust me with her animals anymore.

Anyway, back to the lunar business. It was just a bit after moonrise, and next to the skyscrapers, the moon was definitely not to be ignored. Potentially magnificent photographic opportunity!

Today, I checked the Melbourne Planetarium for the moon’s behaviour for today. Most relevant to me were these 2 bits of information:
Moon rise at 9.55pm for Saturday night
Moon rise at 106 degrees (16 degrees South of East)

After consulting a map of Melbourne for a suitable location for a “moonrise over river” shot, I decided I’ll leave my place at 9.30pm and take a leisurely stroll across the city to the Yarra River.

I waited at Batman Av on the North bank of the Yarra River

The Moon rise was spectacular to the eye. Very low in the sky, it was a rusty red disc obscured by trees. When it was in proper sight, I realised that the digital camera had only 3x optical zoom- definitely insufficient. The 35mm film camera, an Olympus iS-1000, had 4x, but that was still not enough to stare straight at the moon. Drat…so much for the walk. At times like this, the Olympus C7**UZ series with its massive 10x optical zoom would be most handy.

Well, no close-up moon rise photos unless I get hold of a decent telephoto lens assembly, which is not likely at all. I’ll do some night scene shots then, since I’m already in the city centre with a tripod and 2 cameras.

I saw a set of billboards at the Arts Centre. These boards are illuminated by bright lamps placed at a walkway just below the boards. An interesting idea came to me:
What if I mount the camera on a tripod and point it at the board with a 10s timer, and posed myself in front of the lamp? A self portrait in silhouette, splashed all over a billboard.

It did not work- my shadow would inevitable blot out the entire light beam. And as such I resorted to plain finger gestures. What a bore.

The boards. Top image from

The lighting mechanism.

A rude finger. A feisty one, isn’t she?

A dog head, but I messed up my fingers, so it looks like a pair of blunt scissors now.

I walked around the city for 2.30 hours, snapping many pictures- some good, mostly not; some interesting, mostly not. More to come.