I have been fortunate enough to be accepted as an exhibitor in the Ballarat International Foto Biennale Fringe Program this year. I will be exhibiting a selection from my Ballarat HDR Collection in the Long Room at Her Majesty's Theatre. You can view some of these images in the Ballarat HDR Gallery on this site. Currently I am showing a 'Square Crop' selection from my last visit this month.
Despite the digital HDR technique being somewhat at the 'cutting edge', it does reveal the texture and form in the Ballarat architecture that we often don't notice under normal lighting conditions. Also, since the images are taken at dusk or dawn, the ambient light is a mix of sunlight and electric sources of various colour temperatures. This can add a golden glow (from the sodium street lights) to the buildings, which contrast quite dramatically with the deepening blues and violets of the fading night sky. Look at the outside shots of the Gold Shop at the Mining Exchange and the building glows with gold.
Cars are one of the biggest challenges when trying to photograph the historic precincts in Ballarat as they dominate all the parking spaces in front of the buildings. Dawn offers a chance to get some shots without too many parked cars. However there are still plenty buzzing around the streets adding light trails to the long exposures needed at this time of day. These can be a plus and a minus. I don't recommend standing in the middle of a street trying to get a good composition at that time of day in Ballarat. I even saw one car drive through red lights across Sturt Street at speed! And don't stand behind any cars with your tripod setup as they decide to back out!
Graeme, the Theatre Manager at Her Majesty's has been very helpful, and has offered time for me to photograph inside the theatre itself. It will be a privilege to get this opportunity, but it will have its challenges as well. It will be difficult to photograph with a normal lens and all lighting is internal. The Long Room does offer a good opportunity to capture a mix of outside light, (including a glimpse of Craig's Hotel opposite) and the soft internal lights around the room. It will be an interesting day. Keep posted.