City sparkles in light of new photography tours

21 November 2022

Slow down and see the city in an unexpected light with a festive series of city photography tours.

Even if you’ve spent your life in and around the city, there’s still something new to discover every day, according to City Precinct president Carly Michael.

Carly’s family ran the iconic Michaels camera and video store on Elizabeth Street for more than 45 years. That’s where she processed film and developed a lifelong love of both photography and the city.

Now she’s keen to share these twin passions with us in a new series of four festive photography tours. The two-hour Christmas Film Photowalks are designed to reveal the city’s understated gems. They run in the evenings from 4 to 8 December.

‘With all the Christmas decorations and activities happening in the city, we think it’ll be a beautiful way to see the city,’ Carly said. She and a fellow photographer will lead the tours.

‘A trip to the city is always an adventure. Enhance your skills, get a tour, open your eyes to places and small businesses you’ve never seen before, and have something to share.’

While smartphone cameras will do the job just fine, the tours are a chance to borrow a 35mm film camera and frame the city like a pro for the day.

Taking photos with film is a kind of ‘digital detox’, according to Carly. A break from the instant gratification of the photo free-for-all on our smartphones.

A chance to slow down and be more present.

‘There’s something magical about taking photos with film. When you only have 36 exposures on a roll of film, you become more sensitive about what you take a photo of,’ Carly said.

After the tour, the film rolls will be whisked away to be processed and converted to digital files, readymade to bejewel our social feeds in peak sparkle season.

‘Photos taken on film have a different aesthetic to digital photos. A lot of Instagram filters mimic film. That’s the irony: people want the imperfections that film provides.’

The tours will also introduce participants to small business owners and artisans in postcode 3000, at work in top-floor studios, basements and arcades. Hidden eateries. Indie fashion houses. Bespoke men’s styling. Walking tour gurus. Art galleries.

‘What makes Melbourne unique are the laneways and the small quirky businesses you find when you’re looking for something else,’ Carly said.

‘You almost need to be shown where they are so you can discover who they are. Going on a tour, you can be a visitor in your own city.’

City Precinct received funding for these events through the Melbourne City Recovery Fund – a partnership between the CIty of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

Discover more Christmas Festival events across the city between now and 25 December. Use the handy gift finder and festive guides to plan your trip. And here’s how to shine local this Christmas and support your neighbourhood businesses.

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