The Best Laid Plans

As the saying goes, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men, often go astray’.  Add photographers to that too.

A large group of us from Melbourne Photography Excursions headed down to Princes Pier and their famous pier pylons, on Melbourne Cup Eve.  It had rained most of the morning, skies were heavy and leaden.  Our original plan was to photograph the pier pylons at sunset, but the sky was totally hidden behind a heavy layer of cloud.  The wind was blowing straight off the bay, and the added wind chill factor with the days rain made for a freezing photo shoot.  We did a group shot first….Maureen from Shoot Melbourne took our photo before we all froze.  Hardy lot that we are (thats hardy, not foolhardy!).

Melbourne Photography Excursions

The MPE group

To add to my woes, my new ND filters hadn’t arrived and I was using my ND10.  This is an extremely dark filter.  I have to focus, then flip the switch to manual focus and add the filter as once its on the camera just hunts in the dark for a focus point.  This works fine if I take very long exposures.  Beyond 30secs I need to go to bulb mode.  No problem, I will use my remote switch in bulb mode.  Hmmm huge problem, remote is flat as tack and I don’t have a spare battery with me.  Drop ISO, drop exposure, come up to F22 and I ended up with a reasonable 30sec  long exposure.

the best laid plans

Princes Pier

Three ships were in port that night for the Melbourne Cup… we were all chopping and changing between photographing the ships and the pylons.  And moving around helped prevent hypothermia.

Cruise ships in town for Melbourne Cup

Cruise ships in town for Melbourne Cup

At one point the Spirit of Tasmania started steaming out of port bound for Devonport Tas.  With the wind whipping off the choppy seas I didn’t fancy their chances of a smooth crossing.

best laid plains

Spirit of Tasmania leaving port

sunset in the distance

Little Ray of Sunshine

Just as the sun went down, we were treated to a little pop of colour on the horizon and all cameras swiveled in that direction.  Not the sunset we were hoping for but as we didn’t expect one at all we accepted it gratefully 🙂

As night dropped the ships lit up and the pylons lights came on.. providing us with light to see…we threw the towel in around 8.30 and headed back to the warmth of the car.

darkness at the pier

City lights

Footnote #1:  My run of poor planning hadn’t finished… it seems when I repacked my bag I left behind the flat remote.  Fortunately all was not lost, as one of the members found it, posted looking for an owner and a week later remote and I are now reunited 🙂

Footnote  #2: Filters arrived 2 days after the excursion!

This entry was posted in piers and tagged , , , .

One Comment

  1. Ruth November 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    Beautiful photos of the pylons and a link to Tassie as well. A successful day despite the cold..

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