Blog

yosemite-national-park-reflection-leannecole

My Gift to You

It is Christmas morning now and as I wait for the family to wake up I thought I would write a quick post to you and present you with my gift for the year. As I have done in the last couple of years, my gift is an image. It was hard working out which one to give away this year, as it is every year. In the end I decided to go with the following one.

yosemite-national-park-reflection-leannecole

It had to be one from my trip overseas to the USA and when I was going through them this one stuck out. It brought back some wonderful memories. Yosemite National Park was one of the absolute highlights of my trip and therefore my year. I would have loved to have spent more time there, but feel so grateful that I got to see it at all.

This is a view of North Dome, if memory serves me right, reflected in the river. There was a fire over the other side of it and you can still see some of the smoke from it.

The photo is a high resolution image so you can right click on it and download it onto your computer and print it out it if you wish. It is for personal use only.

Take care, and be careful out there, Christmas is a busy time on the roads. It is the start of the summer holiday season here. Summer has certainly hit us, with too many hot days already.

Merry Christmas

skyline-newyork-panorama-architecture-leannecole

Manhattan Skyline

The other day I had to do some work on a image unexpectedly and as I was doing some basic work to it, I wondered. So I decided to see what I could do with it and spent a lot more time on it.

skyline-newyork-panorama-architecture-leannecole

I really like the way it has come out. I did quite a bit of work on the buildings to bring them out a lot more. I used curves quite a bit to achieve that. I also like using the dodging tool as well. I added some colours to the shadows as well.

I had a similar image a while back, it wasn’t quite the same, it didn’t have the new World Trade Center, but I like having that in it. It is becoming an iconic building in New York and you know when you see it that  you are looking at New York. I also like that you can see the Empire State Building as well. The difference in heights between the two is quite amazing. That could be due to the fact that the ESB is a lot further back, still nice having it there.

I really want to do some shots like this of Melbourne, but we don’t have a big expanse of water like that for you to get it in the distance. Melbourne is far more closed in and our river isn’t that wide. We also don’t have that many large buildings. I have a few ideas and when I get my camera back I will be spending some time in the city seeing what I can get.

I’ve had some problems with the galleries here. Something changed somewhere, but I have got it all figured out now, well I hope, and you should be able to click on the images to see a larger version of the image.

saltpans-fence-posts-roadside-nyahwest

Previously I’ve spoken about the salt pans up around Swan Hill and in the Mallee, but today I have some more photos to show you. They are ones that I have done more processing too. It is a dilemma images like this. Do we do little to them to show how they really look, or should we process them in an attempt to highlight the problem and the environment.

saltpans-sheep-fence-posts-sealake

I did a bit to this. I don’t know if it adds to it or not. I think it turned out darker than I had expected. The colours are very much true to how I think of the Mallee. It is really not a colourful place and everything does seem washed out. In summer it is brown everywhere, or as a friend put it recently, golden. Even the trees seem a bit brown.

I loved what the salt has done to the fence posts. Really shows how destructive it is.  While I think it is beautiful, I know it is not natural. I mean the salt pan is a not a naturally occurring phenomenon and we should be sad about this.

The area in the image above was taken near Sealake on the way to Nyah West up in the north of the state of Victoria.

saltpans-fence-posts-roadside-nyahwest

This photo was taken from the road between Nyah West and Chinkapook. It is a quiet road and you can just stop and take photos. We did and that’s when I captured the above image.

Again, I have done more than the basic processing. I really wanted to show the environment a lot more. Bring out the fence and the ground it is surrounded by. It really was that colour too. I guess the algae is still on the ground. It hasn’t been dry for long, you could tell when you walked on it that it was soft and still moist. You do have to be so careful walking on it you can sink into it before you know it.

Sometimes it is better to let a scene talk for itself. While some processing is okay, I think sometimes it is better left alone. I wouldn’t do a lot of processing to these as then the message would be lost. I think they still ask you to think and react to what you are seeing.

 

lake-charm-back-pier-tree-3

We hear about inspiration everywhere and to do what we do, we have to have some kind of inspiration. What I think is inspiring won’t be the same for you, and vice versa. If we know what truly inspires us it can make our work so much easier.

One of things that I get a lot of inspiration from is movies. There are films that I find really visually appealing. Perhaps the actual story may not be great but how it looks and what they have done to it is fantastic, to me. I can name a few movies that I find inspiring, The Matrix trilogy, Lemony Snicket, and The Day After Tomorrow. Do you have some favourite films that give you inspiration?

Social Media this week

As usual I have some of the photos that have been on Social Media this week.

redrocks-anglesea-greatoceanroad-victoria-australia-3699

This was taken on top of a cliff near Anglesea.  I took it earlier in the year. I’ve been finding some older photos to show on Instagram.

melbourne-watkins-bay-pier-longexposure

A long exposure of a small pier near Watson’s Bay. I took this just after I first got my filters from Formatt Hitech. I was playing around with them to see what I could get.

lake-charm-back-pier-tree-3

This has been my most popular photo on Instagram ever. It was shared on a couple of other sites which was nice. It has also had more likes than any other image I’ve ever put up. One could say it is one of my most successful images. I’ve even sold it.

goldengate-bridge-silhouettes-sanfrancisco-sunset

This is a new image that I did yesterday for Social Media. I made the blacks darker to give it a silouette look. Normally I hate people in my photos, but they do seem to work in this one. We were at the Golden Gate Bridge in Crissy Field trying to get a sunset, we didn’t get much, but I liked this.

arcade-333collinsst-melbourne-empty

I did this image today. It is a very popular place to take photos in Melbourne, well with some of us. Part of a beautiful building. I like this walkway which is beside it.

There were other photos, but I have already shown those to you in other blog posts.

view-melbourne-eurekaskydeck-night-sunset

The other night I was given an opportunity to go up to the Eureka Skydeck 88 and take photos from the 88th floor. It isn’t an easy place to do that. You are behind two sheets of glass and it is hard to stop reflections. I managed to do it, but you will have to wait until next year when I write an article on how.

melbourne-architecture-buildins-views-skydeck

It is lovely seeing Melbourne from this angle. Looking down on top of it. Though I wasn’t so sure when I started processing the images. There is a lot there and it was hard making sense of it. I played with this for a day, trying this and that. Still not sure about it, but it is time to move on. It did make me want to capture some different shots, so in terms of informing my work and giving me inspiration it has certainly done that.

view-melbourne-eurekaskydeck-night-sunset

We almost missed this. We were convinced that there wasn’t going to be any sort of sunset that we went elsewhere on the deck. Then when we moved we could see this. It was a great contrast, the colours of the sunset with the city lighting up. I was very pleased that we got up and moved around. I like the way the sunset is almost reflected in the city.

It is a great place to go and take photos, but also a great place to just sit and look. I like going up there and I am thinking of going again. Just be prepared, it does get busy, especially around sunset and if you want a good spot to watch it, then I suggest you get there early. You do have to take your photos through the glass, so pick clean areas and get your camera as close to the glass as you can. There is an outside area, but it can get very windy, and they have a wire mesh which makes it very hard to photograph through unless you have a small lens. I wish they had something like the barrier they had at the Empire State Building where you could still fit your camera through it.

One of the wonderful things about Melbourne is how flat it is, and you can really see for miles, so the Skydeck is a great way to see the city and surrounding areas. You really are overlooking the CBD as well. If you are in Melbourne I would recommend going up there. If you want more information here is the link.

arcade-city-empty-melbourne-leannecole

Empty Environments

Recently, since my return from the US, I’ve been doing a lot more work on my photos. I used excuses before, but I am starting to see that it is something I have to do, even if just for myself. Of course, the added benefit is that I can share the photos with you as well.

This last week I’ve worked on two photos. They are very different photos, but I think both convey a sense of isolation and emptiness.

saltpans-deadtrees-enironment-nyahwest-australia

I took this image up in the Mallee last week. There are salt pans up in the north of the state of Victoria. The salt up there is a real problem, but they do make great subjects for photos. Not all of them have the dead trees in them and fences, so when you find one that does you make the most of it.

The sky was so blue in this image and it helped to make the decision that it should be a black and white photo. Sometimes stripping an image of colour means the viewer isn’t distracted by the colour. The image is all about the salt on the ground and how it has impacted the environment. I wanted the fence and that main tree to show that. It is a bit brighter in some ways to my usual images, but I think it still has the same meaning, the harshness of our world.

arcade-city-empty-melbourne-leannecole

A very different image, but still has that closed, empty feeling. A scene we don’t see a lot in the city. I took this image earlier this year while on a wander along Bourke Street. It was in the business area which would explain why everything was closed.

It isn’t all the time that you get somewhere and find that place is perfect for what you want. I just tried to emphasize the emptiness and give it more of a closed look. I wanted it to look like it had been closed for a while. Obviously there are other things I could have done to it, but I don’t have the right sort of images yet, something I will have to work on.

I did take out quite a bit of the colour, and added textures to the ground in a hope to make it look less maintained. I probably should have added more to other parts, but this is something I am working on. Using textures can be tricky and should be used with care. I like how the image has ended up, but no doubt in a year or two will cringe at it.

I’m looking forward to working on more. I need to remember that I have folders full of photos that I have taken before really and not done anything with. It is time I started searching through the archives again.

It is that time of the week again and it has been a good week as I look back on what I’ve done. I’ve been away up in the Mallee again to visit my mother, but, as always, I managed to get out to take photos while I was there. It is such a different landscape up there, and I really enjoy getting out, though, it was rather hot and humid one of the days and it wasn’t so nice.

As I usually do I have some photos for you that I have had on Social Media this week, specifically Instagram. Some are from the city and some from up in the Mallee.

city-storm-bridge-building-clouds-melbourne

I’ve shown this image before, I did it last weekend. I like the image and had to put it up on Instagram.

fishing-boats-water-docked-phillipisland

I took this photo almost five years ago. I really didn’t like the way I processed them back then, so I thought I would try it again. It is something I think I might have to try doing some more.

cape-schanck-pulpitrock-long-exposure

I processed this image earlier in the year. It was a long exposure taken during the day. I manipulated it a lot to get the look I was after.

redrocks-anglesea-greatoceanroad-victoria-australia-3528

Another image from earlier in the year. The red rocks give such a gorgeous tone to the image. I like the creaminess of the water as well. This was taken down near Jan Juc on Victoria’s coastline.

carnation-macro-garden-art-

I love my mum’s garden and it is great to get up there to take photos of the flowers and other things I find it in. I also like playing with the images to see what I can do with them.

desk-lamp-typewriter-antique-swanhill

This was in the last post that I did, so you don’t need me to talk about it again.

23624287565_a112442587_o

The landscape up there can be very stark. It can also be quite sad. Salt is a major problem and I like trying to capture the starkness of it.

dead-carnation-flower-garden

Some more carnations that were in my mother’s garden only these ones were dead. They were definitely past their bloom. Dead flowers can make beautiful subjects for photos.

I think Instagram has been really good for me. Besides giving me more exposure, it is giving me a real push to start producing more fine art images. I have really enjoyed getting back to doing them and showing them to you.

desk-lamp-typewriter-antique-swanhill

Today it has been really hot here. To say that our visit to Swan Hill and the Pioneer Settlement was silly is an understatement. Really not a great place to be when it is so hot. I did take some photos, but I don’t know if they will be any good. I did get one that I couldn’t wait to process.

desk-lamp-typewriter-antique-swanhill

This was in one of the shops, I think it was the stock and station agents, but to be honest, I can’t really remember. The interior was quite dark and all you could see was the light on the desk. I really like the way the camera saw it.

When I got home and started to play with it I wanted to keep that low light and tried to emphasis it a bit more. I also wanted a more sepia look to it, without it being a true sepia image. It is still colour, but has that tone. I tried to make it look like a memory, perhaps a moment gone.

Swan Hill wasn’t really successful for us, but I should have known better. I grew up around the area and I know what the heat is like. There will be other visits I’m sure, perhaps in the winter.

river-bridge-railway-sandridge-melbourne

Yesterday I posted a blog post on my other site showing some images from my venture in the city of Melbourne the other day. It is my intention to continue working on a few images for this post. Ones that I do a lot more processing too. It is nice to have this blog to show my fine art photos more.

steps-federationsquare-raining-patterns

One of the really nice things about Federation Square is how it looks when it is wet. I love how the sandstone goes a beautiful golden and pink colour. It is such a textured and patterned place. These steps are around the back, sort of, near the river. I haven’t really taken many photos around there, but I must make sure I change that. When I processed this image I really wanted to emphasize the steps and the colours of them.  There was someone sitting up the top but I decided to get rid of them.

river-bridge-railway-sandridge-melbourneUnderneath the old railway bridge, the Sandridge Bridge, there are lots of patterns and shapes there as well. A strong steel structure. It has lots of arches and pylons. I think the long exposure of the water helps to highlight that steel. The water almost disappears. When I processed it I concentrated on the steel structure.

southbank-river-longexposure-clouds-nightI like the clouds in this one, but out of the three I think this is the weakest. There are too many things in it that I don’t really like. The clouds were moving very fast so it was easy to get the movement in a 30 second exposure. I think the whole image is too glitzy for what I usually look for. I really dislike the lights on the bridge as well. It is a scene I must go back to again, maybe after Christmas.

The trip into the city really was great and I still have a lot more photos to process, if I choose to. I am really enjoying exploring architecture again. I think I have missed it. I’m looking forward to seeing where my work goes in the future.

boat-harbour-mordialloc-sunrise

There is no doubt that you can get really caught up in Social Media. You can spend hours on it, but you do have to find a balance. We know that we have to use it to promote ourselves, so where is that balance? The more you use it the more promotion you get, but then you get stuck on it and you don’t get any other work done. I don’t have an answer for this, but I’m working on one and I may have some suggestions.

sunset-pier-stkilda-boats-people-1756

A trip to St Kilda Pier at sunset.

It has been suggested that you need to work out which platforms will get you the best benefits. There is no way anyone can maintain them all. You have to select which ones will be best for you and which ones will you be able to use. I use Instagram, Flickr, Facebook and do a little on Twitter.

bee-flower-macro-pollen-heide

A bee captured in the kitchen garden at Heide.

My favourite at the moment is Instagram. I’m trying to build up my following there and at the moment it is where I am spending most of my time. I’m looking at lots of work and seeing how others use it. I’m also trying to use it for our magazine, Dynamic Range. The number of followers is slowly increasing. If you want to follow the Instagram page here is the link: Dynamic Range Magazine.

bridge-river-crowncasino-sunset-melbourne

The other day I went to the city around sunset and captured this.

One thing that has been good about it is getting me to process a lot more images. Though, not just for Instagram, but also for Flickr and even more so for this site and blog. I used to do photos for my other blog and then talk about what I did to them, or the thoughts behind the process. I really want to start doing that again, but here.

lorne-waterfalls-macro-mushrooms-rainforest-2103

A bug carcass that I saw while looking at waterfalls near Lorne.

Instagram also means that I can go through old photos and use them again. It has been nice to have another outlet for them. I post everyday, sometimes twice, but that is rare. There is a philosophy about how often you work and that you shouldn’t post too much. People do get annoyed if you post too much and will stop following you.

I keep hearing that you have to allocate time to do it. Set aside an hour a day or something like that to spend on it. Limit the time or the whole day will go and you won’t get anything else done.

boat-harbour-mordialloc-sunrise

A boat moored at the Mordialloc marina at sunrise.

There are other sorts of Social Media, but Instagram seems to be the one at the moment. All the things I’ve been looking at are saying we should use it. I’ve increased how many followers I have, and that’s been great, but I haven’t seen a lot of benefits from it yet. When I do, I will let you know.

The downside is also that it is all about numbers. People take notice of how many followers you have. They even take notice of how many you follow. If you follow too many it doesn’t look good, apparently. Then there are the people that will only follow you if you follow them. Strange game. Good luck if you decide to go that way.

The photos today are ones that have been on social media this week. If you want to follow me, here is the link to my Instagram page, leannecolephotography.