Melbourne’s Parisian underbelly

Highlander lane, night, by Dean Kyte
Highlander lane, night. Shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 film.  Shutter speed: 30.  Aperture: f.2.82.  Focal range: infinity.

Melbourne transforms itself into a foreign wonderland at night.  Armed with my Pentax K1000, I venture forth after-hours to capture ‘a Brassaï moment’—the moment when Highlander lane, between Flinders street and Flinders lane, reminds me of the square Caulaincourt in Paris—the setting of my first book, Orpheid: L’Arrivée (2012).

As a writer, I move from obscurity to clarity.  For me, writing is a flânerie through the chiaroscuro of consciousness and unconsciousness.  I enjoy the frisson of venturing into dark places which are foreign to me—like alighting from a taxi in a cosmopolitan European locale late at night, not sure where you are, barely speaking the language, some menacing silhouettes in the milieu to greet you.

Before I was ever a Melbourne Flâneur, I was a flâneur in Paris, the Mecca of flânerie.  In L’Arrivée I wrote about my experience of feeling both fearful and fearless, arriving alone, late at night, in a small Parisian square in Montmartre.  Despite barely speaking the language, I had a strange sprezzatura, a strange confidence in myself—in my mission and message as an artist—going forward.

Do you speak the language of the land?  If you are a writer in French, Italian or Spanish, can you make the obscurity of your message clear to readers in English, combining the formal and the vernacular with the bravura of the native-speaker?

With my Bespoke Document Tailoring service, I can help you translate the complexity of your experience into words which allow you to feel heard and understood by your readers.

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4 Comments

  1. Hello! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

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    1. Thanks for the shout-out from Dallas, I Fashion Styles. I get a surprising number of visitors to my website from Texas. It’s great to know what’s going on Down Under is intriguing and interesting to you folks up there in the Lone Star State! Thanks for reaching out.

      Like

  2. Thanks for your posting on this web site. From my own personal experience, many times softening upward a photograph may well provide the digital photographer with an amount of an artsy flare. Many times however, this soft cloud isn’t what exactly you had in mind and can quite often spoil an otherwise good picture, especially if you anticipate enlarging them.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, iFashionStyles.

      Although I didn’t do a lot of editing of this particular photograph (just lowered the light to make the shades of darkness more intense), the beauty of shooting on film is that the resolution of your digital files is much higher by default. Film grain gives you more latitude for creative digital editing, so if you do want to apply a softening filter in post, as I did with the photo in this post [https://deankyte.com/2019/08/07/network-with-a-melbourne-author/], I find the noise of the film grain adequately compensates for the loss in digital resolution.

      Like

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