Brisbane in Monochrome is a collection I add to gradually, which has been in the works since early 2015.
The pictures were taken between ports of call, often on public transport or near stations or stops. I’ve used a Lumix GX7, Sony A7s and a Fuji x100s for various shots. Honestly, the camera has never made that much difference, so I’ve neglected to specify per-photo.
A quick note before I start waxing lyrical about black and white – this collection is going to be a book. To hear more about this when the time comes, send me a tweet.
On Black and White
It’s been said that black and white photography is closer to the soul of people, and I’d say this is true. Colour photos tend to highlight details that might be aesthetic, but detract from the subject. Does it go for cities too?
Black and white photography is an interesting artistic phenomenon. At a quick analysis, it can be seen that many monochrome shooters are mimicking images from the past – when colour was not available. Thus it might seem a bit retrogressive to shoot in black and white.
Besides that being true in many circumstances, black and white photography has it’s own virtues. Just as the blind often have heightened hearing, in the absence of colour aspects otherwise obfuscated become obvious. It’s not always appropriate, but it makes sense often enough for many photographers to work in black and white without the option of colour.
I enjoy working in monochrome when I shoot – seeing the world in terms of light and shadow. Many of the photographs below, especially the more recent, were taken as jpegs in monochromatic mode and are not converted from colour.
Black and white unifies the world. It removes the differences between things, making the figures below and the towers above seem as if all they are all constructed from the same element: light.
But it also extrudes depth from a scene, the focus on light giving priority to form.
These photographs are embedded from Flickr and you can click through to see more, and more detail.
In no particular order.
Ted Smout Memorial Bridge (Redcliffe to Sandgate), viewed from Brighton (above and below)
Flats at Brighton
Brisbane Port from Brighton
Albert St, near Queen St, looking up in the rain
Burnette Lane, the Brew side.
And on the other side, incidentally close to where public hangings were carried out in times gone by. Long gone by.
Renovations on George St
The City from Herston
Looking across the mouth of the River, where the industrial works and Port of Brisbane loom closer than usual on the horizon. Beautiful in its own right.
The Hamilton Eat Street Markets
It could be behind any pub, anywhere in the world, but this is behind the Embassy.
Near Bean, George St Laneway.
Busses, trees, people of all kinds. Adelaide St, where I cross every day, not less when I need to visit my local camera shop.
Just behind the swanky buildings of Elizabeth St, another world exists.
The alleys off Adelaide St show off an older, almost industrial side of Brisbane, literally behind the facades.
Where Adelaide and Edward meet. Looking northwards to the Meriton towers. People wait to cross both ways. Smokers hover around the bin, watched nonchalantly by the sippers Starbuck’s glass.
I cross the Victoria Bridge on foot almost every day. In the afternoon the sun lowers over the river to the west, throwing shadows across the freeway and buildings. I have so many shots inspired by this.
A small storm flashed over Brisbane. At the time I was on the bus heading from Boondall to town, and used a manual focusing f1.4mm 85mm lens to peer through the wet and rippling windows into the rain.
This triangular contruction doubles as a skylight to the art gallery below, and feature on the terrace above. I guess the idea comes from Paris.
Kurilpa Bridge. It gets trash talked for it’s weirdness, but I don’t mind it.
Smoke lingers amongst the buildings, giving Brisbane more depth.
Down by the South East Freeway, which looks much bigger from below than from across the river.
New Farm Park. Trees older than you or me.
Where the Victoria Bridge meets Southbank.
Adelaide St Bus Shelters. Midday sun, dappled by trees, highlighting every imperfection of the canvas shelters.
I was nearly mauled. Bearded Dragons roam free, basking in the sun, at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).
Victoria Bridge, top side this time.
The social centre of Brisbane, where the Queen St Mall meets Albert St, got a beautiful glass sunshade sometime in the 200s. Much of Brisbane hasn’t changed in the 20 years since I was 15, so when this went up, it was like time skipped a beat. As an afterthought, who can remember Southbank before the EXPO renotvations?
Where Victoria Bridge meets South Bank. Bikeways, walkways, roads and busways intersect.
The River and expressway.
George St Laneway leads from George St opposite the casino to Bean’s unassuming low set door, hiding amongst a mess of construction and camouflaged against the beautifully graffitied walls.
Forget your umbrella?
Two friends share a chat at one of the most commonly photographed (from) locations in Brisbane – the Cultural Centre Busway pedestrian overpass, that connects the State Museum and Art Gallery to the Lyric Theatre.
Lower Burnett Lane leads down to Brew, another favourite place to grab a cuppa. On the journey down you always pass a colourful crowd enjoying the freedom to hang out wherever, whenever.
In the CBD, the buildings bounce the sun to each other, creating intriguing patterns on the shadowed sides.
This is why there is always camera in my hand or within hands reach. Heading to the Digital Culture Center (The Edge) at the State Library (another place to grab a coffee and do some work), I was passed by this guy, belly riding down the ramp while chatting on the phone. Some people just live on another level.