Photography in Canberra – what else is out there?

By 13 June, 2009 14

Apart from the obvious landmarks and tourist destinations, where are Canberra’s best, and less photographed, locations to shoot? Where are our ‘hidden gems’?

Landscape, architecture, abstract, people, flora, fauna, day, night - I’m interested in anything and everything as a subject.

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14 Responses to Photography in Canberra – what else is out there?
#1
astrojax1:42 pm, 13 Jun 09

well, go put yourself in any location at all – really, any location – and then make yourself stand about and look for 24 shots of things within a ten foot radius of you and see what remarkable images you can get.

get a friend or ten to stand next to you and all do the exercise and be amazed at the extraordinary differences in points of views and images ‘seen’.

that said, there are a lot of nice images to be found scouting the grounds of anu, the parliamentary triangle (outside the ‘usual’ touristy places; notwithstanding the lovely image of the suffragette fountain part of the oph eastern gardens posted here recently by a poster whose name i humbly beg forgiveness for not recalling your name…), the wetlands over by duntroon and along the varied intricacies of canberra’s wide bike paths…

happy snapping!

#2
Foo2:53 pm, 13 Jun 09

What else is out there? A whole city and rural surrounds less than 20 minutes away. And thanks to the master plan for the city, we’ve got great tracts of undeveloped land running right through the middle (well, possibly less than we used to). Put your boots on and go for a walk, you’ll find something interesting to shoot, and finding it is half the fun. While we don’t have the history and romance typically found in older cities (of architecture in particular), Canberra’s a great place to shoot. It’s easy to get around, and most things are less than half an hour away.

For flora and fauna, the National Botanic Gardens are OK, but mainly for smaller things like birds, lizards and the odd wallaby. http://www.anbg.gov.au/anbg/ Yes, I know it’s a major attraction, but it’s still good shutter fodder. So is the war memorial, and as a plus, shooting the exhibits can be technically challenging, especially when it’s a fifty foot long submarine in a dark hall.

Tidbinbilla has some great stuff to shoot on the animal front, like remarkably tame emus, and other large birds, as well as some nice terrain. You can even shoot some great pics safari style from the comfort of your heated car if you choose. It’s a bit like fish in a barrel out there in places. Then there’s the deep space tracking station just round the corner. And Gibraltar Falls, and the whole area around Corin. If you can still get into the old Yarrallumla brick works, it could prove interesting. Further afield, some of the older railway stations have a certain charm. The train spotters (I think it’s the railway historical society for proper) can let you know when the steam engines are running (if you’re into that sort of thing).

If you’re interested in shooting people, and your friends don’t have the patience to sit for you, hire a model. Somewhere like ozmodel.com will put you in touch with a number of locals who model part time or as a hobby. Shooting a trained, experienced model is so much easier than shooting an amateur. Some will do a TFP (time for prints) shoot, but an hour or two with a serious model is worth the expense, especially if you’re starting out. And they won’t mind waiting while you fuss around getting the lighting just right.

But yes, future anthropologists could be forgiven for thinking that the extent of Canberra was the parliamentary triangle as that’s about the only photographic record we commonly have. (With the exception of a few talented lunatics taking 10 minute exposures of storm water drains painted with a torch – nice work that one). On the topic, Flickr and Picasa should let you find a few local photographers and you can draw inspiration from their work. Any readers feel like posting a link to their portfolio? And astrojax might be onto something, though the chances of RiotACT organising an event with more than ten people that doesn’t involve bikes and beer might be slim. =)

Happy hunting, make the picture yours.

#3
Steady Eddie4:04 pm, 13 Jun 09

Foo, your enthusiasm for the Botanic Gardens is not shared by The Canberra Times which has done a hatchet job on them on today’s front page.

#4
BerraBoy684:09 pm, 13 Jun 09

The wife and I were lucky enough ten years back to have been invited by Sir William Deane to have our wedding pics taken in the ground of Gov’t house. The are simply amazing and if you get the chance to have a good look around without thousand of others also milling around, I urge you to take it. For mine it is one of the most beautiful place in Canberra.

#5
sepi4:17 pm, 13 Jun 09

The CT slammed the lack of funding to the botanic gardens, making it run down and the plants dying off from neglect. They didn’t slam the poor old gardens themselves – it is stil a great photo spot, altho in decline. You can see water dragon lizards right near the cafe.

#6
bubzie4:26 pm, 13 Jun 09

http://www.flickr.com/groups/canberra_act/

heaps of ideas/insparation here :)

#7
Danman4:53 pm, 13 Jun 09

bubzie beat me to it…

Oh and anything that looks good at day looks 10x better at night…

#8
Art6:36 pm, 13 Jun 09
#9
threepaws7:22 pm, 13 Jun 09

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I will set myself some ‘assignments’ over the coming weeks and if my shots are any good :) I’ll post a slideshow.

Keep ‘em coming!

#10
prescott8:32 pm, 13 Jun 09

As bubzie says, the Canberra ACT flickr group is a good place to start, it’s quite an interactive forum. There’s also a number of other Canberra groups focusing on photos of different events / places around town.

http://www.flickr.com/search/groups/?w=all&q=canberra&m=names

A personal fave of mine is the Mt Stromlo observatory. Even post bushfires, the burnt out domes make for some interesting backdrops and textures, eg: (I hope she doesn’t mind me posting)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/allyeska/3414544002/

#11
emd10:02 am, 14 Jun 09

There’s a Canberra group on Red Bubble, mostly photographers. Lots of great landscape shots.

#12
MattB12:05 am, 15 Jun 09

Don’t forget it’s not just a matter of where, but also when. Frosty Canberra mornings can give you some great shots. But take care of your camera in the cold as you don’t want condensation to form inside – google for some tips on how to prevent it.

#13
deye12:11 am, 15 Jun 09

Foo said :

If you’re interested in shooting people, and your friends don’t have the patience to sit for you, hire a model. Somewhere like ozmodel.com will put you in touch with a number of locals who model part time or as a hobby. Shooting a trained, experienced model is so much easier than shooting an amateur. Some will do a TFP (time for prints) shoot, but an hour or two with a serious model is worth the expense, especially if you’re starting out. And they won’t mind waiting while you fuss around getting the lighting just right.

I’ve found that you get better responses from Model Mayhem than ozmodel.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/ use the browse function and use the state search dropdown to look for “Australia – Capital Territory” pity more model sites didn’t cater for Australian’s in this way.

#14
astrojax9:48 am, 15 Jun 09

other avenues for models is through hair salons (who want shots of their work, esp at hair shows) and cit design school, who have a fashion course and the designers often have contacts with models – these people are often looking for a modelling career and might be happy to ‘practice’ modelling while you ‘practice’ photography!

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