Just a brief note to all those lovely new followers on this old blog of mine.

I no longer post on Victoria A Photography and have branched out into 2 new Blogs…….. the first one under my name, Vicki A Alford – Photographer (at vickialford.wordpress.com ) for exploring Black & White Photography.

My second blog, Living with Nature (vickialfordnatureblog.wordpress.com ) is all about my love of Nature (of course).  I try to get outdoors for a walk regularly, although that is dependent upon Melbourne’s fickle weather and my fickle chronic right foot/ankle pain from an old injury/surgery.

My experiments in Food Photography in 2013 were heaps of fun, but damn hard work as it was taking me 60-70 shots to produce just one decent photo and took up too much time, so that subject is on the back burner for the time being.  Maybe I’ll get back to it one day.

Who knows what the future holds, but then that’s the best part about ‘early’ retirement – I may have chronic pain and other symptoms from a plethora of chronic health conditions, but the freedom of being able to get out and about exploring Nature and Photography whenever I like, (and am able to), makes each new day a Blessing in itself .

The Illusionist – Street Photography in Melbourne’s CBD

While sorting and reviewing some Street Photography yesterday, I came across a series of images of an Illusionist I had photographed twice 12-15 months ago (in the city CBD).

The images were made with the camera on continuous shooting as he was moving too fast for my usual slow thinking and response. Whilst none had really sharp focus, the two images below show how he created his illusions. It must have taken a lot of practice with his hands (and maybe a mirror ? to study how onlookers would view his act).

In the first image, you can clearly see that his right 4th finger and his left thumb are holding the seemingly ‘floating’ ball and it’s not floating in mid-air at all.  In the second image he is clearly holding each ball with the muscles around the palm of his hands.  With the speed of his movements, these illusions were actually very cleverly performed.

In other illusions he was moving one leg high to one side not unlike a karate or martial arts kick.  Unfortunately my photo is too blurred, but no doubt the onlookers would be focused on the high kick and less on watching the balls, so his sleight of hand would go unnoticed.  One couldn’t help but admire his skill.


A review of some of my Street Photography – Old & New

While I’m labouring away on my Photo Library, thought you might like to review some old street photography images.

Most have been posted before on my Blog, but some are new(ish).

Enjoy……I’m sure you all know the drill. Click on the first image and go from there.

A walk in ‘Signage’ Heaven AND Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum advena)

(refer to yesterday’s post for the meaning of this post).

2 nights ago I finally found the name of this, my favourite, fluffy grass.  I love it.  I see it everywhere but never knew the name of it until this week – Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum advena).

It has to be one of the prettiest of all the grasses in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.


It is particularly attractive when the light from a sunset hits it in a flower bed near the Herbarium (up the south-western end of the Royal Botanic Gardens).

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……………..and of course, the following images are ‘Signage Heaven’.

Now you know I have a sense of humour.  By the way, my current task of identifying all my flower photos doesn’t stop me going for a walk  – it just means when I’m home on the computer, I’m not blog following.  I think I scored about 5 names I was looking for out of yesterday’s walk.

Life on the Water Surface (and Lake Edge) – Nymphaea Lake, Royal Botanic Gardens

Posts will be sporadic (at best) while I finish my Image Library (including identifying all my flower images).

In the meantime, some old images will have to suffice.



Life in the Undergrowth – Fern Gully, Royal Botanic Gardens

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Here’s that Laneway Restaurant again………………

IMG_3945I went into Melbourne’s CBD specifically to do some shopping on Wednesday afternoon, but of course carried my camera (just in case).

I didn’t photograph much in the way of new subject matter to share, but did take a few more images of that lane way restaurant next to the old GPO (General Post Office).

By the way, there’s scaffolding all around the old GPO and I can’t possibly imagine what they’re doing, as it’s fully renovated with shops and a central gallery.

Or it was!

I’m wondering if there’s little pedestrian traffic and the shops are not making any money.  Perhaps they’re restoring/renovating it back to it’s original use as a turn of the century Post Office OR a new tourist destination? The newer modern Post Office that was on the next northern intersection is closed and now a building contraction site.  Or are post offices on the way out (due to the lack of ‘Snail Mail’ these days).   I’ll keep you posted, (via photos of course), IF anything interesting arises.  Ironically, I was actually planning to go inside to photograph the beautiful architectural detail of the old building’s interior Wednesday afternoon, and of course, the GPO building site was closed off to the public.

I made a photo of the entrance to the lane way restaurant so you could get an idea of how dark it is (to photograph the interior) from the street.

I never cease to admire the beautiful iron gates which mark the entrance.



The candle holders which were on the exterior GPO stonework a week or two ago, were hiding on a dark ledge inside the restaurant entrance on Wednesday and I had to use a very slow shutter speed to capture them in reasonable light, so some of these handheld shots are much softer in focus than I would like.  I can’t handhold the DSLR steady under about 1/50 (or 1/40 of a second at best).  I had to go down to 1/30 of a second for a couple of shots.  Seems to me that the more I try to stand still and hold the camera steady, the more I wobble or breathe heavily with the effort.

I try to not go above an ISO of 800 on my DSLRs.  I have used ISOs of 1600 (in which the noise, or graininess, in not too bad), but ISO of 3200 & 6400 on my DSLRs would show too much noise (unless you wanted a ‘noisy’ effect).  I almost never take a tripod to the city centre.  It’s cumbersome to carry on public transport and too much weight to cart around when I’m shopping, so 99% of the time, it has to be handheld shots (and hope that children or crowds don’t bump you as you press the shutter button).



At the moment, their entrance display is of old shutters on the left hand side.  I much preferred the candle holders on barrels I photographed in April 2013.  They added more mystery and a touch of the Exotic East to the narrow entranceway.

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On the pedestrian area outside the restaurant, they have some tables and chairs under a small canvas marquee, but even that area is a little dark – I don’t often see many customers in that dimly lit space.  Perhaps they should have the candles lit on each table during the daytime  – they have a table with candles in those lovely silver lanterns on a sideboard in the marquee anyway.

Nothing draws a cafe, or restaurant, crowd more than lots of occupied tables.  Potential patrons think it is popular and highly sought after when it’s crowded.  Or that’s my take on the subject.




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