Monochrome Wednesday – The MUB

Yesterday I did one of the Manchester Unity Building (MUB) that I thought was boring, but for Monochrome Wednesday I have one that I think works a lot better.

The other morning when I went into the city and took the photos along the river, what I was really hoping to get was this one of the Manchester Unity Building.

A few months ago I showed you an image of the Flatiron building in New York for Monochrome Wednesday, to see it again click here. When I did that image I knew that I wanted to try something similar with buildings here. I really loved that one of the Flatiron.

It occurred to me that it would only work with special buildings. Well, that is what I’ve been thinking, I could be wrong and will be trying it with others. Melbourne has some wonderful architecture and I knew the Manchester Unity Building (MUB) would be perfect for it.

I have a few others in mind as well, but this is the start.

Taking the image

I knew that I wouldn’t be as lucky getting this shot as I had been for the Flatiron. The morning I went to that one in New York there was almost no one around. However, the MUB sits on a busy corner. There are trams going in both directions on both streets. People are constantly walking past it. You also have the added problem with cars. While no cars are allowed on Swanston Street, the same can’t be said for Collins.

Evening was totally out of the question for all those reasons I just spoke about. So it was going to be an early morning photo session, but which morning. Really, there seemed only one that would work, Sunday. The trams don’t run as often, you don’t have as many cars or commuters walking along Swanston to get to work.

It took a few mornings, as I had to wait for daylight savings as well. In winter or before it started would have meant getting there too late. Though, one thing I didn’t count on was the lights on cars, even after 7 am. Plus many cars have their lights on no matter what time. Last Sunday I finally got it.

The shame is the trees. I really hate the trees that line the streets of Melbourne. I know they make the streets look pretty, but you can’t see the wonderful architecture that we have here.

It is a one minute long exposure taken with my Formatt Hitech Firecrest Ultra 13 stop ND filter on my Fujifilm X-T3 and XF16-55mm lens. Billy had the honour of holding it all very still, my 3 Legged Thing tripod.

So this is what I got.

Monochrome Wednesday - The MUB

Joining in

It would be great if you would like to participate, especially if you enjoy the monochrome images. If you want to contribute there is a Facebook groupTPM Photos which you can join and share your images. Of course, if you are blogging no reason why you can’t post your own. I like this challenge and it is nice to be thinking in monochrome again.

Monochrome Wednesday – The MUB

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  1. It’s a beautiful, beautiful shot, Leanne, but I can’t agree with you about the trees.

    I work with black-and-white film myself, and I always find myself attracted to the Manchester Unity Building. The first photo I ever took of it was an early morning shot, around 6:00 a.m., in winter, on the south-western corner of Swanston street, so you have what you might call the ‘Collins street profile’ of the building facing you. The plane trees had lost most of their leaves, though not their spiky nuts, and the branches, framing the black profile of the building with its brilliant windows at dawn, was like a milky way, a galaxy of black stars surrounding, grasping the shining tower.

    There’s something very “Metropolis” about the Man U Building. The faience of the façade seems to exude a throbbing, electric energy at dawn and dusk, as though it’s a great machine, and I think your picture captures that quality perfectly. Thanks for posting.

    1. I don’t do a lot of black and white, sometimes wonder if I should do more.

      The problem I have with the trees is that you can’t see the architecture as well, which is what I’m interested in. Winter is definitely the best time to photograph there.

      I have to agree it is, I think it is one of the best buildings in Melbourne. Thank you Dean.

  2. Dedication paid off and I love how you worked out the best time to photograph – looks gothic, love the effect of the lighting tapering off at the sides – makes me want to go into Melbourne and look at things again, plus love how your photos have their own border – thanks for the share and info.

    1. Thank you Pauline, yes, the time of day came with years of photographing it. I think you should go in Pauline, it is fantastic. You’re welcome.

  3. Love the balance of the black and white. Keep saying I will re look at some of my images although I know that it is better to take with mono in mind

    1. Thank you Diana. Can be really good converting photos, some are so much better in mono that’s for sure. Give it a go and let me know how you go.

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