Photographing Graffiti in Melbourne, Australia

A beautiful street art image of the Hindu god Vishnu in Hosier Lane, Melbourne.

Do you like graffiti? If you’re like me you love graffiti and hate tagging. One is art, the other vandalism.

A beautiful stain glass image of Jesus Christ in a church in Chennai, India.

Beauty is Everywhere

The best quality street images move me almost as much as stain glass windows, which I think are incredibly beautiful. My favorite pub has beautiful stain glass windows, as do my favorite churches. One I can reach through a leisurely river walk, the rest tend to involve overseas travel. In some ways these locations are of equal beauty, dependent upon the light that shines through the windows. 

I enjoy photographing street art and always feel good when I do. Unlike stain glass windows, street art has a limited life and our photos help preserve the memory of the original work, and also bring it to life in new and, sometimes, profound ways.

Photographing the Elephant God

The image at the top of this post was made in Hosier Lane in the City of Melbourne, Australia. It features the Hindu deity Ganesha (i.e., Ganesh), commonly known in western countries as the Elephant God.

This particular work was probably painted a few months ago and has already faded somewhat.

Garish colors reign supreme in this close up study of Hindu deities on the front of a shrine in Chennai, India.

Those of you who’ve journeyed to India would have seen the myriad of religious iconography that appears on Hindu temple walls. Newly painted works are often extremely vivid in color. Yet it’s the older, faded ones that are probably more attractive to most visitors from western countries.

This particular painting had faded somewhat by the time I photographed it. I’ve processed the original file to bring back the sense of life and color that it processed when I first saw it. Before much longer it will likely have been tagged, again and again, and fade to the extent that it will be painted over with a totally new work. Thus its life will come to an end. However, through this photo, it lives on and takes on a new life of its own.

When composing and processing the image I worked to enhance the sense of balance within the image. The raised arms do this, but you’ll also notice the arrangement of colors throughout the frame and how the yellows and greens, in particular, are evenly spread throughout the image. This technique allows the eye to easily move from one area to another area of similar color. The result is a harmonious and pleasing image. And the dance continues.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru