Project RAWcast’s inaugural Instameet, in partnership with NiSi Filters Australia was a bubbling cauldron of nerves and anticipation leading up to the event. When registrations starting rolling in, our spirits were high, as we saw genuine interest in the event. Then we passed one hundred registrations and they kept flowing in. Suddenly the thought of that many people making the most of the opportunity to try NiSi filters, jostling for the best tripod real estate along the banks of the Yarra, and wanting to meet us turned into a potential nightmare of logistics. As it turns out, photographers in Melbourne are awesome, friendly people and the evening was a resounding success.
We cannot thank NiSi Filters Australia enough for their continued support of everything we are trying to achieve with Project RAWcast. Having a sponsor that gets involved with our ideas and events really demonstrates that they are as passionate about the greater photography community as we are. There is no doubt in our minds that this Instameet was a huge success partly due to NiSi Filters being there. The most popular person on the day was definitely Andrew from NiSi as everyone wanted to try out the gear and ask heaps of questions. This left us to chat with everyone and offer advice as they photographed Melbourne, and we could see how excited they were by the results from using the filters. Thank you NiSi Filters Australia for helping to make the evening the best it could be.
We got to the starting point in Alexandra Gardens a little early so we could greet everyone as they arrived. One by one people gathered around and just when we thought we wouldn’t get nearly as many people as expected, Tassiegrammer and Kieran were standing in front of a large crowd welcoming everyone and discussing the plan for the day. This was a particularly nervous time as the event had officially begun. Fortunately, those nerves dissipated quickly as the open and friendly nature of everyone we spoke to eased our worried minds.
Our first stop on our walk along the Yarra was next to Princes Bridge on Southbank. There are multiple levels to shoot here but we chose to set up right by the water’s edge. The mass of people and tripods drew the eyes of passersby but all the eyes of the photographers were on the selection of NiSi Filters. Kieran and Tassiegrammer wandered around offering advice, suggestions, demonstrating the use of filters and just having a nice chat with the people we knew before and those we know now. The clear blue skies made standing in the sun a little too warm after an hour of shooting so we packed up shop and moved further down the river.
The shade was a very welcome aspect of setting up by the Sandridge Bridge. Those that missed out on trying filters at the first location got another chance here. It was great chatting to people and seeing the smiles on their faces after realising the long exposures they could achieve with a 10 stop NiSi filter. We were having such a great time that the evening was going by quickly. It was getting close to sunset so once again we moved on to another location, the Seafarers Bridge at South Wharf.
Dozens of tripods lined the bridge and the promenade shooting every angle. Some chose to look west at the setting sun, some chose the last hints of light on Crown Casino and its fire display. Others chose the bridge itself as the main subject. The sunset wasn’t the best Melbourne has seen and Tassiegrammer was quick to blame Kieran for this, but the photos being posted on the #projectrawcastmelb hashtag are evidence that you can still get amazing and creative images in any conditions.
One thing that Kieran Stone, Tassiegrammer and Andrew from NiSi Filters Australia really enjoyed at the end of the day was having people stick around to chat about photography and express their appreciation for hosting the event. Long after the light had faded we still stood on the bridge in the warm evening air making new friends and building strong bonds within the photography community in Melbourne. We are incredibly grateful to everyone that participated on the day and showed us how awesome the photographic community in Melbourne really is. The success of this first Project RAWcast Instameet will pave the way for further events in the not too distant future. Keep an eye out on our website social feeds and sign up for our mailing list for notifications of more photography events!