You Calling Me A Blockhead? by David McMahon

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I took this shot from the Southbank concourse about six weeks ago. The sky was a flawless blue and – as often happens – I was struck by the complementary colours high above my head.

Because I shot this at a full focal length of 300mm, I was able to capture an unusual view of not one but two Melbourne skyscrapers.

Even though the windows in the IBM building (on the left) are square, they took on a strong diagonal aspect because of where I was standing in relation to the two buildings. And, as a continuation of the geometrical theme, the patterns of Eureka Tower’s facade (on the right) appear as distinctive rectangles.

By shooting this tight composition, it looks as if I have divided a single frame into three disparate elements, yet all three of them combine to bring you a single, familiar Melbourne sight.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 70-300mm lens. F8, 1/350 sec, ISO 200, focal length 300mm.

Featured in 300+ GO LONG, December 2009.


Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • micheleirene
    micheleireneabout 5 years ago

    I love how the buildings compliment each other in shapes and colours. So well seen and framed David :)

  • Thanks very much, Shelly. Strangely enough, it was the colour of the sky that drew my head up – and the perception of the shot just snapped into my brain!

    – David McMahon

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenabout 5 years ago

    Great perspective and like the contrasting colors. Looks wonderful David !!

  • Thank you very much, Sean, really appreciate it. Interesting to think this was not a pre-meditated shot at all. Just looked up at two buildings I see several times a month and – wham – you get a new perspective!

    – David McMahon

  • Diana-Lee Saville
    Diana-Lee Savilleabout 5 years ago

    Cool! If you look at it too long it becomes one of those eye puzzles…almost looks like the blue of the sky is the side of the building!!!

  • Glad you like this one, Di – especially the comment about the Magic Eye 3D puzzles. That’s very kind of you. Nice new avatar, too.

    – David McMahon

  • Michael McCasland
    Michael McCaslandabout 5 years ago

    Terrific geometrical composition.

  • Thank you very much, Michael. I find that about 5-10 per cent of my photography is influenced heavily by geometry. I must have paid close attention to maths in school …!

    – David McMahon

  • Betty Mackey
    Betty Mackeyabout 5 years ago

    In the photo the bright, flat, blue color of the sky looks like some other architectural element. Have a bright uncloudy day, David!

  • Yes, Betty – I’m so glad you see that too. That’s such a great comment!

    – David McMahon

  • Merrilyn Hunt
    Merrilyn Huntabout 5 years ago

    Yes I am calling you a Blockhead! Whaddya gonna do about it? Unfortunately I recognise at least one of these buildings, David … can we not get away from it even here on the sacred Red Bubble turf?

  • Er, um, not a lot ….! Yep, I thought you’d recognise where this was shot!

    – David McMahon

  • CeePhotoArt
    CeePhotoArtabout 5 years ago

    Your cohosts Cee and Chris

  • Thank you, Cee and Chris.

    – David McMahon

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1about 5 years ago

    Looks like an abstract painting – wonderful shot!

  • So glad you like this one, Shulie. The idea suddenly occurred to me and then I saw the symmetry of it!

    – David McMahon

  • Ken McElroy
    Ken McElroyabout 5 years ago

  • That’s wonderful news, Ken. Thank you very much for the honour.

    – David McMahon

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