melbourne

'Melbourne Street' Video

In recent months I’ve been experimenting with some video. As an extension of my interest in Melbourne’s urban landscape, I decided to explore an experimental piece that captures the city through my eyes. I wanted to combine a variety of visuals that celebrate the aesthetic and the energy of the city. Using a variety of stills and video as well as some experimental editing techniques, I’ve aimed to to produce a collage of urban fragments. Experimenting with moving image has inspired many new ideas and look forward to exploring more visual ideas in the new year!

I hope you enjoy Melbourne Street.


Reflections: A photo series

I’ve been out shooting footage for a short film about urban Melbourne in recent weeks. As I hit the streets to capture the essence of the city, I had the opportunity to capture some stills in the process. It’s been great to look for interesting new scenes in the urban landscape. I’m always looking at new and interesting ways to document my surrounds. I was drawn to the abstract qualities of the reflections from buildings in the CBD and it’s inspired to me to start a new series.

Here’s the image that sparked my enthusiasm! Stay tuned.

Urban reflection - Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Urban reflection - Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Surreal Street Photography Series

I've been exploring surrealism in street photography for my latest body of work. Inspired by Trent Parke and his incredible black and white images that encapsulate an ethereal quality while shot in our everyday surrounds.

The master of street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson was also influenced by surrealism.  For me there is something really exciting about playing with ordinary reality, and making it surreal. We are turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

There are many techniques that have been used when approaching surreal street images. Strange juxtapositions and scenes, silhouettes, double exposures, slow shutter speeds to create blur and the list goes on. Personally, I think the key is to take photos that suggest more questions than provides answers.

I decided to shoot with the iphone for this series. In order to capture the intimacy of these moments I needed to be virtually invisible. Here are some images from the series, as I set out to capture the streets with new eyes.

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'Picturing Footscray' - Photography Exhibition

Picturing Footscray is an open-entry photography prize that focuses on Melbourne's unique inner-west suburb of Footscray.

Established in 2016, Picturing Footscray invites photographers of all capabilities to explore the streets of Footscray.

This was my first time submitting for the competition. I used to live in Footscray and still visit frequently to take photos.

The opening night was held at VU Metro West, in a salon-style exhibition. There was an incredibly diverse range of images that celebrate the essence of this unique melting pot. Jesse Marlow, renowned street photographer was this year's judge and he presented the 3 winners. I've been inspired by Jesse's street photography since moving to Melbourne, so it was a highlight for him to be there on the night.

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My entry for the competition is in the centre above.

My entry for the competition is in the centre above.

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Jesse Marlow presents awards on opening night.

Jesse Marlow presents awards on opening night.

Tailors Mark - Autumn/Winter Shoot

These images are from a recent shoot with Tailor's Mark, a boutique tailoring company in Prahran, Melbourne. I had the pleasure of working with them on their Autumn/Winter shoot to advertise their suits and shirts for the season. They wanted to combine some corporate street shots in the CBD, as well as a more casual vibe that captured the atmosphere of Autumn. We chose Carlton Gardens which is beautiful at this time of year. Thanks to model, Ben Temby.

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Changelings - Press Shots

Just recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the talented musician 'Changelings'.  We first worked together late last year and he approached me again to produce some new press shots for his upcoming album. We are both really pleased with the results, and Webb Bridge in Docklands proved to be a great location for the shoot.

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Changelings - Press shots

Recently I was approached to work with an exciting artist on the rise to take some press shots for his upcoming album. CHANGELINGS is the creation of 24 year old musician Jay Penaflor, who began a small acoustic project as 'Jay Penaflor' and recorded a few EPs, before reforming under a new name - CHANGELINGS. It was great to connect with Jay and we're both really pleased with the results. Looking forward to collaborating again in the future. You can listen to his work here.

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'Hope Street' - Street photography series

Over the last few months I've been working hard on creating a body of work that explores the beauty in mundane and extraordinary in the ordinary. Shot in suburban Melbourne, I've aimed to capture and celebrate the special moments that occur in our daily lives. I decided to shoot in suburbia, rather than the city streets that I usually draw inspiration from. It was this decision that made project began to take on an exciting new direction.

Shooting in the everyday landscape of suburbia allowed me to simplify the subject in the frame and to focus on capturing 'the decisive moment' I was seeking. Most importantly I wanted to capture the emotion and the images to resonate with the audience. Here are a few of my favourites from the series. You can view more here.

"Photography is an art of observation – it’s about creating something extraordinary out of the ordinary. You choose a frame and then wait until the right time for something magical to come along and fill it. ” – Elliott Erwitt

Abstract Mixed-Media: No.1

I've been feeling very inspired lately. I'm discovering more and more how the various projects I'm working on connect and feed one another. I've been shooting new images consistently and they're providing me with interesting source material for my collage work. I'm drawn to the abstract details that leave clues about time passed and the juxtapositions created when layers are peeled back.

Using various elements from my photography, I'm drawing inspiration from torn posters and the typography found on the street walls. I'm interested in recreating the layering, hiding and revealing what appears beneath. Equally, I'm intrigued by the role that typography plays when its no longer legible and becomes celebrated for its form rather than function. Aesthetically I'm drawn to the abstraction of the letters, textures, and how these ordinary, everyday elements come together to create an exciting composition.

8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

Details - 8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

Details - 8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

The Typeset - Melbourne

In recent months, my friend and fellow creative, Leanne Franks and I started a new project to share our passion for typography and sign painting. We're collaborating to chart out the type and signs of Melbourne's yesteryear. Not only are we drawn to their aesthetic qualities, but they also provide interesting clues about the city's quirky past and social history.

The image below for example, is a recent discovery of a ghost sign in Carlton North, "DeWitts Otis Tonic Tablets". The name was an early twentieth-century product for "making your nerves stronger and your blood richer", released amid the post-WWI pharmaceutical boom.

You can follow the project via Instagram at @thetypeset, and join us as we continue to discover more hidden gems around Melbourne. Enjoy!

Ottis Tonic Tablet - Ghost sign, Melbourne

Ottis Tonic Tablet - Ghost sign, Melbourne

Tarax ghost sign, Melbourne

Tarax ghost sign, Melbourne

Newmans, ghost sign - Melbourne

Newmans, ghost sign - Melbourne

Vintage Coke, ghost Sign - Melbourne

Vintage Coke, ghost Sign - Melbourne

Ghost signs, Melbourne

I've been out shooting a lot around Melbourne lately. I'm always inspired by the city surrounding me, the people and the urban landscape. As a designer, I also notice good typography and interesting signage. I love the old heritage buildings and ghost signs that are still fairly prevalent in Melbourne today. It's what makes this city so unique and interesting.

Here are a few shots I've taken of signs in various locations around Melbourne.

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Ghost sign, Melbourne
Ghost sign, Melbourne
Ghost sign, Melbourne

'Street Focus' - Melbourne street series

I've recently started a new photographic project, 'Street Focus'. I'm documenting people in this series, whether a part of the urban landscape or caught in a candid moment. In our daily lives it's so easy to fixate on what divides us—ethnicity, age, gender and class; instead of what unites us. I'm fascinated with the way we gather and act collectively on the street, on the tram, at work and having fun, it's all superbly similar.

I continually seek evidence that we do absolutely mirror each other despite our vast differences. Every day I am captivated to document the people and the places that surround me on the palpable streets of Melbourne, an incredibly diverse and dynamic place to live.

Street photography, Centre Place, Melbourne
Street photography, Swanston Street, Melbourne
Street photography, Melbourne

'Street Focus' Melbourne

My passion for street photography started about 5 years ago when I moved to London. I started out shooting on my iPhone for fun and was lucky enough to connect with the mobile photography community early in it’s rise to popularity. I built relationships with some excellent street photographers, such as founders of the Mobile Photo Network, Ollie Lang and Misho Baranovic. It was also around this time that Instagram launched and provided an excellent platform to share my images and learn from others.

There is a rawness and an excitement to shooting on the street that I find addictive. I suppose it’s because you’re concentrating on what’s right in front of you and really 'in the moment'. I photograph urban landscapes too, but I decided to get back out on the streets of the Melbourne CBD and shoot with a focus on the people of the city.

I wanted to get as close as possible to the subjects, which is of course very difficult. It’s quite hard to take a good photo of someone without them noticing. The iPhone provides a discreet and wide angle camera which makes it a good option for street photography.

These were shot on my DSLR at around 50mm, which is closest to what the viewer would see if they were actually there. I'm pretty happy with results and found it quite thrilling getting amongst the action and capturing the people surrounding me. 'Street Focus' will be an ongoing series documenting urban Melbourne. Stay tuned for more images soon and follow the series here on Instagram.

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Urban Fragments

This image is one from my ongoing 'Urban Fragments' series. Capturing the rich urban landscape of Melbourne's streets has become a consistent source of inspiration for my work. I'm drawn to the layers on the street walls, the accidental collage of torn street posters, the texture and the typography all provide so much visual interest that is so often overlooked. I love the contrast of the pink and yellow against the strong black and white type. I hope you enjoy it too... 

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'TREND' Exhibition - Presented by RAW Melbourne

On Friday 10th of June I was selected to take part in the one night only exhibition, 'TREND', presented by RAW Melbourne. RAW is an independent arts organisation for artists and focuses on spotlighting independent talent to the public.

Every second month they hand-select and showcase approximately 40 artists in film, fashion, music, visual art, photography, performing art, hair and makeup. Naturally, I was very excited to be approached to showcase with so many talented artists.

Another awesome thing about RAW is that once you've showcased in your hometown, you can then showcase at any RAW city, anywhere in the world in places like New York City, San Francisco, London... and beyond!

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This was quite different to other group shows I've taken part in, as it wasn't you're usual white wall gallery exhibition. It was good experience deciding how to best display and hang the works. I created urban signage and designed some self-promotional postcards to accompany my display so that people could take away a little piece of my work, as seen below.

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All works are available as limited edition prints, framed and unframed. Email lesley.bourne@gmail.com for more information on pricing.

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Street photography, Melbourne

I've been trying to challenge myself with my photography lately and experiment with more with shooting film. I seem to be more thoughtful about my composition and lighting, and I can anticipate the 'moment' better which brings a true sense of achievement. Here are a few images I shot around my neighbourhood in Brunswick and Northcote.

Type Collages

After starting my 'Urban Fragments' photo series, I've been finding inspiration from the streets. I'm particularly drawn to the torn street posters for their texture and typography. I like the idea of taking sections of type and joining them together in a new way. With more of a focus of composition than legibility, I enjoy moving the pieces around with my hands until I find a pleasing result. This one is a work in progress, using pieces of torn street posters. I will now scan this in to refine digitally, ready for prints. 

'Urban Fragments' photo series

Here are the latest landscapes from my my 'Urban Fragments' series, capturing Melbourne abstract and up-close. I'm engaging with the streets around me with a fresh perspective and framing these small details that draw my eye on a daily basis.

These street walls are in themselves a canvas for texture, typography and photography to be revealed in abstract and interesting ways. It's the smaller details we are surrounded with and the beauty in the ordinary that I'm celebrating with these images. They have a strong focus on composition and typography and by cropping a small section and creating an abstraction, a new narrative can be created. More to come, stay tuned...

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