Union Lane, DJ’s Coffee Shop, and Sugden Place

I suppose it is time to start sharing some of the “gotta go to” locations rather than the more esoteric “hidden gems.”

Union Lane is one of several “sanctioned” street art laneways in Melbourne. Entry is via either from the Bourke Street mall end or Little Collins Street. The street sign is usually painted or has sticky art over it, so here is the entrance from the Bourke St Mall to confirm the location :

union lane

The laneway is quite well visited, so there are plenty of opportunities to get human subjects into your composition. There are a lot of people pointing cameras at a lot of different things, so blend in, and look for the right subjects.

Here are some rough shots to give you the idea of the location :

Always remember to walk a laneway both ways – different perspectives and opportunities will reveal themselves this way. Light can be a little tricky, so if you are shooting film, iso 400 is probably the go. Probably a good idea to bring along a wide angle lens.

The entrance at the Collins St end is great for composing images of people exiting the laneway.

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I love the contrast of the two subject groups in this composition from Union Lane. The  disinterested woman on her smoke break, in the shadows vs the visiting family channeling their inner city funkiness by taking the kids to see the laneway.

Taking interesting photos in Union Lane shouldn’t be too hard. Here are some from my personal stash :

As you exit the lane at the Collins St End, there are two more potential locations you might like to try.

The David Jones “hole in the wall” style coffee shop is one of my favourite haunts in the city. Whilst I have never actually tried the cofee, there is always interesting people there, focusing on their coffee service.

If you turn left as you exit Union Lane, you can’t miss it. The serving window adds some nice contrast to the scene.

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Once you have finished enjoying a short break with a coffee, continue up Little Collins St towards Swanston, Sugden Lane is worth a look. There is no super special street art or other highlights in the lane – just a very strong set of diagonal lines, diminishing towards the back of the lane.composition.


I haven’t really nailed a composition here yet, so the above shot is just a roughy from the Ricoh!

You can find the locations here on Google Maps.


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