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This was shot just over 24 hours ago, as I stood on tiptoe (even though I’m six foot three!) to try and get a clear shot over the heads of onlookers at the annual Moomba parade.

I watched this marching band coming down the street and I knew there was a chance of an interesting reflection in the polished brass of the tuba. Because I opted to use my 70-300mm lens instead of my standard 18-125, I knew I’d be able to get a very tight frame with interesting depth of field.

Sure enough, this frame (one of about four that I shot very quickly) shows not just the sky, but the city skyline behind the band, as well as performers who still hadn’t emerged into my restricted field vision. Interestingly enough, the interior of the tuba shows an inverted image of the tightly-packed crowd in front of the band.

The purple peaked caps of the musicians (as well as their white music sheets) make for an interesting motif in the foreground blur, while the dark background comes from the foliage of date palms and other trees across the street.

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 REFLECTIVITY, March 2010.

Featured in IT’S IN THE DETAIL, March 2010.

Featured in BRASS INSTRUMENTS, May 2010.

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Tags

melbourne, trees, music, reflection, band, moomba, onlookers, brass band, sheet music, marching band, alexandra gardens, street parade, moomba parade

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at davidmcmahonweddings.com

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Comments

  • Shubd
    Shubdover 4 years ago

    Oh wow !!! … This is brilliant .
    I too have a shot of a reflection in a trumpet . Now I wish it would be this sharp !

    Btw … I have a poser on “http://www.redbubble.com/people/shubd/art/47847... to … ?
    Want to attempt ?

  • Thanks very much, Shubd. The light was strong when I shot this, but the marchers were about 30-35 metres away. Really enjoyed your poser, too!

    – David McMahon

  • Jenni Greene
    Jenni Greeneover 4 years ago

    Great work David, as usual. Great lightling and composition, DOF works well too.

  • Thanks very much, Jenni. Lucky the sun was shining brightly, but an hour later it was bucketing down with rain!

    – David McMahon

  • Themis
    Themisover 4 years ago

    Really good catch (it helps to be tall :-)) – I like the image-within-image thing a lot

  • Thanks so much, Themis. I was lucky with the weather. About 90 minutes later and the sky was completely overcast!

    – David McMahon

  • PBWright
    PBWrightover 4 years ago

    Holy cow! That’s really neat!

  • Many thanks – lucky they had the skyscrapers behind them!

    – David McMahon

  • AliceDoodles
    AliceDoodlesover 4 years ago


    Your cohosts Cee and Chris

  • Thanks very much, Chris and Cee.

    – David McMahon

  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKover 4 years ago

    Wonderful capture and great reflections on the brass showing the whole length of the parade…

  • Thank you very much, Don. Appreciate your feedback, as always. I guess that’s one way to view a whole parade, in the reflection!

    – David McMahon

  • Linda Bianic
    Linda Bianicover 4 years ago

    Great catch David,, good shot for that lens, I assume hand held!! Congrats on your feature in Its in the Detail, I just saw it come up!♥

  • Thank you, Linda – yes, it was handheld, ducking and weaving through the crowd!

    – David McMahon

  • GemmaWiseman
    GemmaWisemanover 4 years ago


    A one dimensional macro transformed into multi-dimensional depth! To see eternity in a wild tuba!

  • Thank you, Gemma – reading your comments is always an education in itself. You bring perspective to art criticism, and I thank you deeply for this comment.

    – David McMahon

  • Linda Bianic
    Linda Bianicover 4 years ago

    If I did that with my lens, all you’d get is blurred bums,, I am only 5ft 2…. maybe thats an idea?/ lol

  • I know a friend who used to carry his own footstool to be able to shoot downwards and get the right angle!

    – David McMahon

  • Linda Bianic
    Linda Bianicover 4 years ago

    hahah,, been there, done that !! have a handy dandy fold up camping stool,,

  • That’s the way to do it – or to stand on a beer crate and then drink the beer!

    – David McMahon

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