Dark sunshine

Little concrete windows The Australian state of Queensland is best known for bright colours, balmy weather, natural beauty – and the sunshine of its sub-title.

But I came home with some shots that defy this notion. We arrived in Brisbane during a relentlessly wet spell, while some of the city’s architectural features looked moody and overpowering, like the edifice of the University of Queensland’s main building in the photograph above.

The Eleanor Schonell Bridge, which provides a link to the St Lucia campus across the Brisbane River, looked imposing against a stormy sky. The Botanic Gardens’ hothouse was admittedly bathed in light, but has a space age quality in black and white.

The morning after a night in one of the city centre’s clusters of tower blocks was sodden, and the view to a neighbouring skyscraper proved bleak and daunting.

There are two sides to every story, even in the sub-tropics…

 Click first image to launch the gallery

Visit Photo Shop - white brick (2)

Botanica

We were waiting for the light to fade so we could see Brisbane shimmer from the vantage point of Mount Coot-tha.

As luck would have it, the Botanic Gardens are just further down the hill. They are packed with a huge variety of plants which thrive in the sub-tropical climate and a particularly moist, balmy autumn. The hothouse seemed almost a needless luxury.

I decided to switch over to my macro lens for this visit and was overwhelmed with natural details to capture as we wandered around this beautiful collection. 

green

Click first image to launch the gallery

Resting water dragonThis chap was happily resting in a pile of wood chips as we walked around Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens. Australian Water Dragons are quite a common sight there – and will pose for photographs… Click to enlarge.

300

300selection

This is a moment to sit back and enjoy the photography. This is the 300th post on mikeosbornphoto, and marks two years of taking images and sharing them on this platform.

These composites are two random slices from my media library, which has slowly grown since April 2012. It’s a snapshot of people and places I’ve captured, from strangers to my most devoted supporter, Dermot (he’s on the bottom right of the first image, looking out from London’s Shard).

This is my chance to say thank you to fellow photographers and bloggers who support every post, to those who might just visit once. They’re all much valued.

The thing is, what next? A steady, satisfying momentum has established itself and I know what I really like doing. But it wouldn’t do to just stop there – plenty of challenges lie ahead.

Those bloggers help with this, including amazing self-portraitist Malin Helleso, who suggests I should try turning the camera on myself. And young, talented Portuguese photographer Diogo Pereira, who is teaching me how to take HDR photographs. A very first collaboration – with my closest photo blogging comrade Richard Cooper-Knight - is also being planned.

This is a good chance to share and enjoy more ideas, celebrate what we like best, and make it bigger and better…300selection2

Tassie old and new

There were beautiful beaches and stunning blue skies, but Tasmania fuelled my great love for architecture and capturing it in photographs.

Now many people claim that Australia is a new nation and has little history to speak of. Judging by the buildings around the island, there is a decent timeline which can be easily detected today.

Second city Launceston noticeably oozes with facades from the colonial era, which have been preserved and often sit happily over modern shops and offices.

But hurtle to the present day and there are plenty of stark, impressive and contemporary lines gracing Aussie’s smallest state alongside its past. Here are just a few I collected on my travels…

North London vista (2)

 Click first image for the full gallery experience

Southerly seaside

Anchored shellAustralia’s island state of Tasmania sits to the south of that vast land mass, a hour’s hop by plane from Melbourne.

Tassie is about the size of Scotland or West Virginia, and packs in an awful lot of coastline. We drove from the coastal capital of Hobart up the east coast, passing through seaside towns with familiar names like Swansea to the ochre rocks of Bicheno.

Our travels also took us to the north, stopping at Beauty Point and stunning Freers Beach at Port Sorrel. The tide was out and there wasn’t another soul there – apart from hundreds of sand crabs scuttling around.

The towns are comfortingly sleepy and old-fashioned, while the coastline is beautiful, especially under a cobalt blue autumn sky. If you’re going to Tasmania, don’t stray far from the seaside.

Velvet sheen - clean (2)

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Hobart craft

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