Rodney Campbell's Blog

Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building…

by on Aug.05, 2010, under Life, Photography

I’ve been trying to express a more creative side to my photography and to that end I spent a lunchtime this past week exploring the inside of the Queen Victoria Building to find some interesting scenes and angles to shoot and to create some more arty and interesting looks.

These are all high dynamic range (HDR) images created by merging multiple (3) different exposures of the same scene to create the final image and look. For some of the final images I then post processed the colour images into various black and white (monochrome) variants with different looks that I felt suited the scene.

The individual frames are taken at 0, -2 and +2EV and as they were all shot indoors in low light I had to both increase my sensor sensitivity (ISO) as well as use a very low shutter speed (especially for the overexposed +2EV frames). I’m also using my Sigma Ultra Wide Angle lens which goes down to 8mm to give a very wide view. In these conditions getting a nice sharp shot is made much more difficult and shooting them handheld even more so.

I actually took my new Benro carbon fibre monopod with me to stabilise the shots and I did end up using it most of the time (even after the security guard came up to me and told me that the use of tripods were not allowed in the QVB). I did quiz the guard indicating that I was in fact not using a tripod (“tri” “pod” meaning three legs) but was in fact using a “mono” “pod”. I understand that when using a tripod the three legs do stick out and could cause a trip for a passerby but the monopod goes straight down to my own feet. Anyway I was just a bit more discreet with it’s use from then on and generally rested the end of the monopod on the top of the front of my shoe just in case they were concerned with it going on the floor (even though it does have a rubber end).

“Stained with History”

D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 11mm, 1/8 sec at f/8, ISO 1600

“Stained with History II” – Colour

D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/3 sec at f/8, ISO 800

“On Rails” – Colour

D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/4 sec at f/8, ISO 1600

“On Rails”

D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/4 sec at f/8, ISO 1600

“Stairs and Rails” – Colour

D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/5 sec at f/8, ISO 1600

“The Grand Spiral II”

D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/6 sec at f/8, ISO 3200

The Queen Victoria Building, or QVB, is a late nineteenth century building by the architect George McRae in the central business district of Sydney, Australia. The Romanesque Revival building is 190 metres long by 30 wide, and fills a city block, bounded by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets. Designed as a shopping centre, it was later used for a variety of other purposes until its restoration and return to its original use in the late twentieth century.

The site of the Queen Victoria Building was the location of the George Street Markets, and was selected for the construction of a grand government building. Architect George McRae designed the QVB in the ornate Romanesque Revival style with the express purpose of employing a great number of skilled craftsmen who were out of work due to a severe recession. The building was completed in 1898 and named the Queen Victoria Building after the monarch.

The completed building included coffee shops, showrooms and a concert hall. It provided a business environment for tradesmen such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers, and florists. The concert hall was later changed to a municipal library and the building was partitioned into small offices for Sydney City Council. The building steadily deteriorated and in 1959 was threatened with demolition. It was restored between 1984 and 1986 by Ipoh Ltd at a cost of $86 million, under the terms of a 99-year lease from the City Council and now contains mostly upmarket boutiques and “brand-name” shops.

Ipoh finished a $26 million refurbishment in 2009. The changes include new shopfronts, glass signage, glazed balustrades, new escalators connecting ground, first and second levels and new colour schemes.

Stained glass windows, including a cartwheel window depicting the arms of the City of Sydney, allow light into the central area. The intricate colonnades, arches, balustrades and cupolas make the exterior a visual feast of Victorian fussiness.

Inside, the building consists of four main shopping floors, the top three pierced by voids protected by decorated cast-iron railings. Much of the tilework, especially under the central dome, is original, and the remainder is in keeping with this style.

Source: Wikipedia

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