The Melbourne Museum has just opened a new experience. The Royal Exhibition Building, completed in 1880 for an international exhibition, has just finished the first stage of a major restoration, and a week ago they started taking small groups for a tour, starting at the Museum, strolling across the open space to the Exhibition Building, down to the basement, then up to the promenade on the roof of the building. The view from the roof is impressive, letting you appreciate the intricate design of the gardens around the Exhibition Building and the Museum. But the image that stood out to me was the simple one I shot inside the building – I stood directly under the centre of the big dome, leant back, and shot straight up. I felt I would fall backwards, and thought that was silly, until I saw two others do exactly the same, and react the same way.
You’ll notice a couple of places which are still covered. Some of the intricate paint was damaged by water leaks and is covered to stop paint flaking off until the restoration can reach those parts. You may not appreciate that the restoration is made more complicated because this building is still used regularly: students still sit end-of-year exams in the great hall, and for regular exhibitions like the Car Show, and… Apparently this is the last of the great 19th exhibition buildings still actively being used for the purpose for which it was constructed.
This was shot on a Sony A1 with the Sony 24mm GM at f/8, 1/800, ISO 12800. I haven’t cropped it at all, but I raised the black level to show more detail.