Vertigo - The Grand Stair Case (Monochrome)- QVB , Sydney - The HDR Experience by Philip Johnson

Vertigo - The Grand Stair Case (Monochrome)- QVB , Sydney - The HDR Experience by 


Yesd me hanging over that bannister again ! and yes I am infatuated with this staircase, but it has so many different angles to view it

Thanks for dropping in your viewings,comments and if i’m lucky FAVOURITES are greatly appreciated.

The Queen Victoria Building is currently undergoing a facelift at $37.5
million , one of the features is upgrading the paintwork to victorian period colours.

This image shows "The Grand Staircase* of Sydneys Grand Queen Victoria Building, and is an example of how grand old buildings can be restored ans still be used as money making concerns, in this case a grand shopping experience

The Queen Victoria Building, now affectionately known as the QVB, was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, as Sydney was in a severe recession. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen – stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists – in a worthwhile project. Originally, a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople, such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers and florists, were accommodated.

The QVB fills an entire city block bound by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets. The dominant feature is the mighty centre dome, consisting of an inner glass dome and an exterior copper- sheathed dome. Glorious stained glass windows and splendid
architecture endure throughout the building and an original 19th century staircase sits alongside the dome. Every detail has been faithfully restored, including arches, pillars, balustrades and the intricate tiled floors thus maintaining the integrity of the building.
The visual message of Sydney’s coat of arms, on the cartwheel stained glass window, is that the beehive depicts business, the sailing ship – trade, and the dolphins – the harbour. Panel 1, on the left hand side, represents the Council of the City of Sydney, and symbols of architecture, while the letters I.G.B. on panel 3, on the right, represent Ipoh Gardens Berhad, the Malaysian company who restored the QVB.

The symbols are of property developers – the builders. The bottom central panel represents the heraldic symbol of a finished building and the joining of two hands denotes the fusing of two cultures. There are many interesting and charming exhibitions and attractions throughout the building, along with portraits of the Queen. There is also a letter from Queen Elizabeth II to the Citizens of Sydney to be opened and read by the Lord Mayor of Sydney in the year 2085. Outside the QVB, on Town Hall Place, facing The Town Hall are the Royal Wishing Well and Queen Victoria’s statue.

For More Information :

Equipment – Nikon D300 Sigma 10-20mm lens
Technique : HDR 5 Bracketted images, Photomatix , Handheld

See Also


Philip Johnson is a Photographer located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Specialising in HDR photography his works have been shown in galleries,published in Tourism campaigns. His work will also be available as Jig Saws through Crown & Andrews Australia

Winner of the Art Unlimited Photography prize 2012

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  • Julie Sherlock
    Julie Sherlockalmost 6 years ago

    Stunning shot!!

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkealmost 6 years ago

    Gorgeous capture. Your work is so superb.

  • Dusker
    Duskeralmost 6 years ago

    I am feeling a little “heady” just looking down. You could be a candidate for training in “working safely at heights”. Great shot, love the black and white approach. Your explanation is great; I know the building as have driven past when visiting; had no idea how magnificent it was.

  • JennyMac
    JennyMacalmost 6 years ago

    Love this staircase too! Great shot! : )

  • Mrswillow
    Mrswillowalmost 6 years ago

    Looks great Philip….almost like a labyrinth!

  • Carole Boudreau
    Carole Boudreaualmost 6 years ago

    Splendid! Instant favorite for me!

  • SKCPhotography
    SKCPhotographyalmost 6 years ago

    Superb work.

  • CiaoBella
    CiaoBellaalmost 6 years ago

    I understand entirely your infatuation – brilliant image

  • Karen K Smith
    Karen K Smithalmost 6 years ago

    Instant fav..excellent work and yes now I’m dizzy!

  • patti haskins
    patti haskinsalmost 6 years ago
    Yes you did capture the M.C. Escher take. It is a whole new spin ,don’t you just love to round the corner with something so creative. Escher has always been a source of fascination.

    for me. He was a mathematician and I fled to the arts because I have math phobia, only as I grew discovered they are interchangeable.

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