Persistence pays off with photography

Finally got the shot in this beautiful Melbourne photography location.

Anyone who has walked along the Yarra River in Melbourne will tell you that the Birrarung Marr area is stunning. It has everything; close to Federation Square, food stalls (usually), sports stadiums nearby and amazing views towards the Melbourne skyline.

I've been to Birrarung Marr several times with my wife but a few months ago we spotted a composition that, for me at least, was new and really interesting. There is a wooden walkway which starts near the Federation Bells and leads all the way up to the top of a grassy hill. Towards the end of the wooden part are several metal posts that looked like they would frame an image nicely. Only problem was that at the time there wasn't a cloud in sky which wouldn't have worked for the shot I wanted. More importantly - I didn't have my camera with me.

So began a few months of coming back to the location in the hope of getting better conditions. I wasn't after perfection, just enough going on in the sky to make the image memorable. It was winter in Melbourne so I reckon I visited 4 or 5 times with equally rubbish results.

My luck changed a couple of weeks ago when I headed up to the walkway on a Sunday evening. A look up at the sky told me rain was likely but possibly still potential for some colour. As I reached the walkway and got set up the sky burst into colour! It wasn't completely lit up but there was enough colour here for me to work with.

I wanted to try two versions. A quick exposure before the sunset to bring out the detail in the clouds - this is the featured image for this article and my favourite of the two. The second one I wanted was a long exposure. Both of them would be framed by the posts. 

As you can hopefully see from the images, I got what I wanted! Initially I thought the long exposure was nicer but after a bit of post-processing I ended up being happier with shorter exposure - I'm pretty happy with both of them though. I should note that the long exposure did better on Instagram..

In the end my persistence paid off, in my opinion. I knew what I wanted and kept going back until the conditions worked in my favour. Maybe I need to 'work to the conditions'? I think to an extent that's true but if you know you want certain light or weather then stick to that and keep trying to get the shot you planned. What do you think of the two images? Which is your favourite?