Westgate Park_A Location Shoot in Melbourne's West
Westgate Park is located near the Westgate Freeway in Melbourne’s west. I’d often looked down onto the park while driving across the Westgate. The view was particularly good towards the edges of the day when the warm, low-angle sun would sweep across the park caressing the trees and dancing on top of the water. I decided to visit the park to explore possible photo opportunities. Sunset seemed like a good idea so I arrived early to explore the location. It’s bigger than I expected and I found myself walking and photographing for several hours.
A highlight that surprised me was the range of interesting architectural elements scattered around the park. It’s possible, as evident in the image at the top of this article, to photograph some of them with the city in the background. Central to the park is a small lake which reflects the setting sun and, as night approaches, the artificial lighting along the bridge. My visit to Westgate Park was a lot of fun. Numerous glimpses from above had whetted my appetite. I’m really glad I made the effort to explore the location. I was rewarded with numerous surprises and some photographs with which I’m happy.
A word of warning: it’s not advisable to be out photographing alone in such an isolated location after dark. As photographers our gear makes us targets and, while concentrating on image making, we may temporarily lose our usual street smarts and not be aware of the variety of unfortunates, undesirables and down right nasty people who sometimes frequent such places.
Melbourne is a beautiful and safe city. Nevertheless, as is the case in most unfamiliar environments, a measure of care should be exercised. Being out and about with another photographer may be enough to easy your mind. And of course there’s safety in numbers. As is the case in the natural landscape, a headlamp or torch may ensure you don’t leave any expensive gear behind and help you find your way back to the car. It’s amazing how quickly darkness can set in after you’ve finished your sunset shoot, particularly when it continues into the twilight.
I run a Night Photography in the City of Melbourne workshop. It’s a great opportunity for folks to get out and about and learn a range of tip’s and tricks to make beautiful night photographs. I design the workshop so that each group is large enough for you to feel secure and yet small enough so that you get plenty of one-on-one assistance. By the end of the 2-hour session you’ll be able to undertake your own night photography projects.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography