Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 35: SLEEPY CITY IS WAKING UP - Swan Bells, Perth

When I first visited Perth, the capital of Western Australia more than 10 years ago, I saw a large city with a small city feel. It was very quiet after dark and didn't really have a lot of modern architecture, except for one, more later. 

Still being the fourth largest city in Australia after Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Perth has seen a huge change over the last 10 years. With an expected growth rate of almost 200%, it is forecasted to overtake Brisbane in 10 years from now. 

The start of the "new Perth" was the Swan Bells building, also often referred to as "The Bell Tower". Being one of the worlds largest musical instruments, it houses 18 working bells, of which 12 are very historic 18th century bells;   donated by the British government at the end of the previous century. They used to hang in the  St Martin-in-the-fields church in Trafalgar Square, London.

Given that boat building used to be a major activity at the Barrack street location, it is no surprise that the architects (Hames Sharley) gave the Bell tower a noticeable nautical theme. Its copper sails reflect Western Australias link with the water and mining industry. Swan Bells was named after the nearby Swan river, and saw completion a few weeks before the new millennium was born. 

I find it interesting how some people initially were against the tower as it obviously wasn't cheap. Modern architecture does however often give a great boost to a city; Perth being a prime example of this! 

Image details:

  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF16mm f1.4 lens
  • ISO 400, 1/340s, f8.0
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC using the Vivid Camera profile
  • Nik SilverEfex 2 for Black and White conversion
I find it really a shame that Google is discontinuing the Nik Software collection; to me it is still one of most powerful plug-ins for Black and White conversions... I guess, I'll need to look for an alternative soon. If anybody has a specific recommendation, I would like to hear from you!

Time permitting, I will try to blog about some of the other interesting project in Perth in the near future. Meanwhile, more Architectural images shot in the capital of Western Australia can be found here

Remember: "All architects want to live beyond their deaths" - Philip Johnson.


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