Muscle Expos and Long Expos.

Collective Capture with JesseDGraham. Please click on images to view in full - previews are cropped.

Last weekend, I flipped the tables on my friend Jesse and opted to support him in his chosen shooting location. Melbourne city and the Arnold Classic. Usually, Jesse is among a small group of my friends who are punished with mountain hikes in blistering heat or freezing rain, walking through rivers, and pre-dawn wake-ups. 

Jesse was venturing to the city to capture portraits for his 1000 Portrait Project and I thought it would be a good opportunity to challenge myself to capture some midday long exposures of the city.

I find that the difficulty with daytime long exposing cities is trying to get vibrant colours into the frame. Something that makes the image pop and captures a feeling.

Jesse and I met up and headed through Southern Cross Station to get to South Bank. I've always wanted to capture something that highlights the interesting architecture of this building. Jesse waited patiently, surrounded by other people's rubbish, while I quickly snapped a photograph.

Handheld | 16mm | f/6.3 | ISO 250 | 1/20 sec

What I really enjoy about this image is that it captures the life of a train station as your eyes move across the frame. On the left, a young girl whose journey has just concluded. On the right, a train ready to depart so that other people can embark on theirs. 

Handheld | 16mm | f/6.3 | ISO 250 | 1/20 sec

Once on South Bank, Jesse and I stopped to do some lighting tests for him to setup and capture portraits of people leaving the Arnold Classic. A few clicks of the shutter in and it was us who were being approached by passersby, rather than us having to approach them. The more Jesse shot and I stood around with my camera set up on my tripod, the more attention his buff subjects gathered and we had soon gathered a small cueing of people wanting to have their portrait taken.

This was a golden opportunity for me to step aside and whip out the filter kit. I added a Nisi 10 stop NDF to my kit and set up next to Sandridge Bridge - another shot I have wanted to capture for a while. I wasn't overly satisfied with the result but I'm going to shift some of the blame onto the cloudless sky here. Due to the angle of the sun, the bridge was covered in harsh shadows. I took two exposures of this scene and masked in the bridge to bring its detail back into the frame.

16mm | f/9 | ISO 250 | 4.0 sec + 25 sec

After a few hours of walking around the city, we found our way to Bourke Street Mall to capture some interesting characters in the crowd. Once again, with Jesse occupied by capturing portraits for his project, I scoped out some potential compositions.

The theme of the day: things I've wanted to shoot for a while but never got around to doing. I've been eyeing off the old GPO building and this long hallway of arches for about a year... which is pretty much half of the time I've been properly shooting images for. I finally caught it at a time with no people walking through it, after a lot of waiting.

It wasn't quite the image I was hoping for and perhaps with greater editing, it could be, but I felt that the more I tinkered the less believable the image became. Plan abandoned.

24mm | f/11 | ISO 100 | 2.0 sec

The day finished with us sitting on the steps of Parliament house and discussing our love for Melbourne. I snapped a quick handheld image with no intention of using it but thought I would include it in here anyway.

Handheld | 16mm | f/4.0 | ISO 500 | 1/50 sec

If you would like to hit the road or head to the city to shoot together, please send me a message through my contact page here. If you would like to check out Jesse's 1000 Portrait Project or perhaps feature as a face, check it out here.

Thanks for reading.