Watching the Marine Board Building

In summer the sun rises early enough that I can often see the sunrise when I’m out walking in the morning before work. I posted some photos here back in January and February  As the days shorten and the sun rises later in the morning I miss that special pre-sunrise time of the morning when I’m outside. It’s dark and it’s cold and it’s harder to make myself go out.

At this time of year, as we move towards the Winter Solstice, the sun is rising after 7.30 am and if I leave home early enough I can see the sunrise sky from the window of the bus. To my delight, one day recently when I got into town earlier than usual, I found that the morning light just after the sunrise gives everything around the waterfront a magical glow that in the earlier months of the year I’d have to be there before 6.00 am to see.

The waterfront presents endless photo opportunities as the buildings light up as the sun rises. This, perhaps, is the incentive I need to keep getting up in the morning when it’s dark and cold outside—the reward of the beautiful light play if I get to town early enough.

One building I have been watching over the last couple of weeks has been the Marine Board Building.

I know.

It’s not a favourite building of many (any?) people in Hobart, especially given its size, colour and prominent waterfront location. It became even more controversial when the building owner installed the (ill-fated and subsequently replaced) wind turbines on top of the building in 2010. I’ve heard more than one person say they’d love to see it demolished.

I don’t have a lot of photos of it. One that I can think of, from January, other than it maybe appearing in a couple of street corner photos. I hadn’t really paid much attention to it. It was just a brown building that no one liked. Until about three weeks ago, when I was wandering around the waterfront looking for something to photograph for my 365 days black & white photo challenge I’m doing on instagram.

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Marine Board Building | 23 January 2018 |8.16 pm

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Marine Board Building | 23 May 2018 | 8.16 am

The Marine Board Building ended up being my photo that day and I started to think it was actually an interesting building. I’ve been to look at it on other days since then and have been noticing how it really changes as the light changes in the mornings.

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Marine Board Building | 31 May 2018 | 7.47 am

On Friday I tried to capture a sequence to show this.

When I first got there I thought that the light was all wrong and it wasn’t going to happen. You know how some days you get good sunrise skies and others you don’t? I thought this was going to be one of the “don’t” days and was getting ready to leave when the light started working its magic.  It was captivating. The way the building changes in the light in just ten minutes as the sun rises is spectacular.

At first, it’s a dull brown building.

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Marine Board Building | 6 June 2018 | 7.47 am

Then the light hits the wind turbines on the roof, then the top of the building, leaving the bottom in shadow.

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Marine Board Building | 6 June 2018 | 7.50 am

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Marine Board Building | 6 June 2018 | 7.52 am

Then it works its way down the entire building and lights it up with this almost surreal glow. It changes from brown to orange to golden. It looks like a completely different building in this light.

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Marine Board Building | 6 June 2018 | 7.57 am

I couldn’t stop watching.

Part of this exercise was trying to find the best spot to take the photos from. It’s difficult because, with a phone camera, which is what I had, I needed to be far enough away to have enough room in the shot to correct the perspective later but also to not get too much clutter in the foreground, which becomes more of a problem the further away I am. Also, there also seems to be a lot of tour buses milling round just outside at the time I want to take my photos, which is also a challenge and restricts where I can stand if I want a clear shot of the building.

And the red cross? That’s part of an installation for Dark Mofo. It also gets in the way of my clear shot of the building but I think it looks kind of cool and it casts a nice shadow on the building that’s only going to be there for a couple of weeks.

 

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