Blog

As per usual I’ve had a few photos up on Instagram this week and will put them into a gallery for you, but first I wanted to tell you about a tutorial I wrote for Digital Photography School. Here is the link:

How to Make a Sketch Inside a Photograph

It is one of those tutorials that you might look at and say you don’t want to do, but for those of you who want to learn more about post processing this is a great one. You will learn how to use layers, layer masks, how to copy a layer mask and how to put more than one image together. Try it, see what you can do and then see how you can use the skills on other images.

Give it a try and see how you go.

Instagram

I’ve been experimenting with the Samyang 12mm Fisheye a lot this week and I know I put up a heap of photos the other day, but there are some in this next selection that haven’t been here before.

The lens has to go back to the company soon, it has been incredible to play around with. I might have to consider adding one to my kit sometime.

I will leave you with the gallery.

sunrise-point-lonsdale-pier-colour

Back in May I did a post on my photography wishlist. I did it for some fun, but I also knew there were things on that list that I did really want. Since then, I’ve changed my mind about some of them, still want some and have got some. I am going to repost what I wrote here for you and put in the updates.

So here is my wishlist.

  • A new camera, a Nikon D810 or D750. I am not sure which. I think they are both great cameras.

I would still like a new camera, though I think I would go for the D810 by Nikon now. Still with what I know and the gear I have, it does make sense to stick with it. I’ve been noticing a lot of hot pixels when I do long exposures and I’m wondering if that is just something I have to put up with, or if it is something that happens with older cameras.

  • A 28-300mm lens by Nikon. I love this lens and would really love my own.

When I had this lens I couldn’t imagine living without it, but since I haven’t had it since June, I can’t say I have really missed it. I manage very well with what I have. If I could have anything I think I would wish my 24-70mm was a little longer, so maybe the 24-120mm would be a better lens for me. 

  • Maybe a Nikon 24mm Tilt Shift lens. I like architecture and wonder if I should get one, but then I was with someone recently who had one and it was a bit of mucking around to get the photos, so not so sure now.

I have now decided that I don’t think I could be bothered with it. So this is also coming off the list.

  • A slightly smaller tripod, I would like some new carbon fibre legs from Gitzo.

This is still on the list, though I think I have found the one I want, only it is from Benro instead. I’ve been loaned a travel tripod from them to try out and if I’m honest, I really don’t want to give it back. Actually, I think I’ve made up my mind I won’t be. Hoping I can get a good deal. It is exactly what I wanted. It is light to carry around most of the time and great for photographing the city.

  • A geared Really Right Stuff tripod head with a L bracket.

I finally got my L bracket, but not from them. I found a great alternative from Sunwayfoto. I also got a new top bit for my tripod so the L bracket fits it very easily. It is great. The bracket is like the Arca Swiss brackets, so fits all those as well.

I love the L bracket and it has been one of the best purchases I’ve made. I had got one from Manfrotto, a total waste of money. I hated it.

  • Complete set of Formatt Hitech ND Filters for my Nikon 14-24mm lens.

I have to say this has been a long time wish and I finally got some last week. I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet, but I will be very soon. I got the holder and the 10 stop and 16 stop for that lens.

  • Pay for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for about 5 years.

This is still very much on the wishlist. I couldn’t live without these programs so it would be nice to just get them.

  • Maybe a Tamron 150-600mm lens.

I haven’t really been out taking bird photos for so long, and, if I’m honest, I have never really thought of myself as a bird photographer. I think I could take this off my list.

  • New laptop.

This is still on it. My husband and I are having small disagreements over which I should get. He thinks I should get something that will be a lot more expensive, and I don’t think I need one that good.

I can’t think of anything else. Is your list close to mine? What would you get?

If you want to see what you might have said here is the link to the previous post, My Photography Wishlist.

docklands-boltebridge-colour-melbourne-longexposure
Bolte Bridge, Docklands. I used this image for MM, but it was monochrome.

Changes

There are things that have changed and things that I want that are more to do with photography in general rather than just with gear.

Ambassador

I keep seeing this word being used for many other photographers and it carries a lot of weight, but I don’t seem to be able to get anyone to think that I am good enough to be an ambassador for. It is frustrating and quite depressing really. I don’t know what else I have to do.

seafarers-bridge-yarrariver-docklands-melbourne

 

Writing

I am really enjoying the life of a writer and I would like to do a lot more of it. I would like to write for magazines as well. I would be more than happy to earn most of my money from it.  I don’t know if that is possible anymore, but I am going to continue trying.

I’m also planning on doing a lot more writing for this blog. As I said previously, I do want to start doing reviews, perhaps some tutorials, some articles on photography. Time is going to be my biggest factor. It would also be good if I could get companies to advertise or sponsor posts. Though, having said that, I need to be clear that the posts would always be about photography. I’ve been approached in the past and so far have turned many down because I don’t like what they want me to do for them.

Finally

I think that is about it really. I keep hoping that some of the opportunities that other photographers get will swing by my way, but it isn’t looking hopeful.

How is your wishlist going? Have you changed you mind about some things? Maybe you have been able get some of the items you wanted? Let me know.

melbourne-summer-clouds-yarrariver-still-2

The other night I went into the city to take some photos of the Bolte Bridge. I had wanted to do the sunset there. I met my friend Chris and we made our way to the base of it. On the way I put the Samyang 12mm fisheye on and took lots of photos with it.

I have been writing a review on the lens and that has been a great excuse to get out and try it out. It is such an interesting way of seeing the world. I think you will again.

Here is a gallery of images. I hope your weekend is going well. Here it has been raining on and off all day, also been very cold. Apparently summer isn’t quite ready to arrive yet, I’m complaining mind you.

Here are we are again, and it is time to take a look at what I’ve been up to.

Lensbaby on Digital Photography School

Here is the link to my latest article for Digital Photography School

What’s special about the Lensbaby Velvet 56 and is it for you?

This is my review of the Velvet 56 lens. I really like it. If you like the article consider sharing it. Thanks.

Dynamic Range Magazine

We are getting the next issue ready for you. We have some articles and a feature on Kathleen Clemons, a fantastic macro photographer from Maine in the USA. It will be ready around mid November.

My Blog and Website

I am hoping you realise I’m trying to make changes here. The reality is that being a photographer is hard work and trying to compete with everyone is even harder. I have decided that I need to do my own thing. So what will that mean?

To start with I’m going to still be teaching and if people want to learn from me that will always be an option. I just don’t get enough people wanting it, so I have to start this rethink.

One thing I always intended was doing reviews here. I often get approached to write about products and I can’t always do articles for Digital Photography School. Many companies are happy with my blog and what I do, so I do want to do 14615622_10154064871102773_5325893430114501440_othat a lot more.

I just received a heap of new gear from Formatt Hitech which includes their new filter holder so I will be doing a test of it and will let you know what I think of it.

I’m also considering starting some small tutorials, teaching little things. Writing tutorials is hard work, but I may start doing some basic video tutorials. Not sure yet how this will happen. I do want to run classes for people who want to learn Photoshop beyond the basics, but I might do some basic tutorials here.

I have been thinking about some bylines for me and my site. I’ve come up with the following two:

Dare to Different!

Don’t just accept what the camera gives you!

They both reflect how I feel about photography, but would like to know what you think.

They are all just thoughts, but you should start to see some differences soon.

Photos

The photos today were taken about 3 years ago on a visit to Ripponlea. I really must get back. I would love to go there with my Lensbaby lenses. The gardens are stunning. Today I have some photos of the house for you.

lancefield-storm-approaching-monochrome

Please note this post had been scheduled and should have published 5 hours again, but WP missed it. No idea how.

The weeks roll on, and we are over half way though the third year of MM. It certainly isn’t the same as it was in the beginning and we don’t get the numbers we used to, but, can I say, I really don’t mind. I do find this quite easy to manage, and that is good. Shall we get on with it then?

The next theme is going to be Travel. Your interpretation. See if you can do something different, that is my challenge to you. The theme is for the first MM in November only.

REMEMBER: If you would like to join us the instructions are at the bottom of the post.

lancefield-storm-approaching-monochrome

If I were going to give mine a title I would call it storm approaching. About 10 to 15 minutes after this it started raining and we left the town. This is the main street of a small town called Lancefield. It is amazing what you find in these towns to take photos of. I will be going back there.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.


1/ dpb photos

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2/ One Day | One Image

held-at-bay-melinda-green-harvey


3/ sv-takeiteasy

mm3-27-memory-of-elaine


4/ Rajiv Chopra


5/ MyBlog – solaner

mmc27-600_2495-et_w


6/ THE SHADY TREE

the-shady-tree


7/ Crow Canyon Journal

crow-canyon-journal-mm-3-27-banyan-tree-maui-hawaii


8/ Bren Ryan of RyanPhotography

The House at Great Comp Gardens


9/ THE WORLD IS A BOOK…

0w5a0308


10/ THE RUNES OF THE GATEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER

road-to-wicklow-small


11/ rainy day reflections

hauntedhouse_rainydayreflections-com


12/ Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different

madison-dainty-dachshund


13/ Lisa Chelkowski

fullsizerender


14/ MICHELLE LUNATO PHOTOGRAPHY

mm-3-27-mlunato-photography


15/ Stupidity Hole

from-inside-a-cave-small-stupidityhole


16/ ARTKORPPI II

artkorppiwordpresscom_mm3_27_water


17/ gottatakemorepix

zion-canyon-in-autumn-by-steve-bruno


18/ Leanne Cole

lancefield-storm-approaching-monochrome



Monochrome Madness each week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Thursday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.

sorrento-pier-long-exposure-victoria

It is almost a year since I got serious about Instagram and in that time I have gone from about 340 followers to 10.3 thousand. I like to think that is a great achievement, though I don’t know if it is. Mind you it has taken a lot of work to get that many and I’ve worked really hard. I haven’t really seen any benefits from it, but I do love Instagram and the images you see from others are awe inspiring. I get so much inspiration from looking at what is there. I’ve found new places I want to go and photograph.

One thing that I have found, is that I know, I don’t want to be a landscape photographer. Instagram is flooded with images of waterfalls and mountains with lakes in front of them. It has always been my thing to try to be different. It is so easy to fall into the trap of being the same as everyone else. Play the popularity contest.

I believe you have to be true to yourself and do what makes you feel good. I want my work to stand out from the crowd, and I know that often means an image won’t get so many likes, but it has to be about more than that.

I am an artist first, always. I don’t like to think of myself as a photographer, because I’m not, not really. Yes, I take photos, but I do so much more as well. I’m an artist and my medium is photography, and maybe Photoshop is also my medium. I love seeing what I can do on the computer and I will work on an image for hours, over a whole day sometimes. This is what I do.

I am going to start talking about this a lot more, I hope you won’t mind.

Here are my photos from the last week on Instagram. If you want to find out more about the images, take a look at my Instagram feed, there are descriptions and tips there.

Another aspect of switching over to this blog is that I can revisit old posts and update them, or just post them again. The following post was one of my first Up for Discussion (U4D) posts on my old blog. Once I publish it here I will delete it from the old one.

This post looked at why we blog, or why I blog. It generated a lot of discussion and it was fantastic to read what people thought. So I am reposting it, and at the bottom I will update with now. Why I’m still blogging.

Why I Blog 

from February, 2015

I wrote my first blog post on WordPress, in September 2010, however it wasn’t my first blog.  I originally started in January 2010 on Blogspot, First One.scharcourt20120527-0890

I started a blog for a couple of reasons, one was because I was photographing cycling and trying to sell the photos. A guy who worked with my husband suggested that I start a blog, that people liked blogs.  Well it never helped with the cycling, but then it had a second effect. Suddenly I wanted to post, I wanted to share my photos, and over time I realised that the photos I was taking for the posts was changing.

I changed to WordPress in September because I liked the stats better. WP had much better stats, still do, you could really get an idea of what people were looking at, it scmplc1_8933was good.  Then I started meeting people, I started making friends.  I have met some amazing people virtually, I love seeing what they do. It has been such an incredible experience.

I really came to WP and blogging with the intention of using it to help me produce work.  In September 2010 I was trying to do lots of things, art wise that is, painting, printmaking, drawing and taking photos.  I thought having the blog would make me do work for it, but it really didn’t work out that way. Within a year of starting this blog I made the decision to give everything else up and concentrate on photography, I have never regretted that decision.

Then in November 2011 I decided to challenge myself to see if I could do a post every day, and post a photo each for the month of November, and since that time I have done a post nearly every day since.  With the exception of the odd here I still post everyday.  It works for me.

Posting each day makes me to go and take photos. Being a relatively lazy person, going out to take photos can be hard, so with the threat of a blog and the need for photos, I have taken far more photos than I would have otherwise.  I have found the blog a fantastic incentive to take photos.sctara20110731-0003

Conclusion

The blog has meant I have met people who I would never have met otherwise.  It drives me to get out and take photos to show people.  It has been an incredibly positive experience for me.

My blog now

October 2016

I have left WordPress.com and moved to a self hosted site, that would have to be the biggest change.  Part of the reason for that was so I would have more control over what happens. I can charge money for advertising if I choose and don’t have to worry about WP shutting me down.

scpointlonsdale-hdr7600-2Another reason was because so many people were confused between the two sites and many thought it would be better if I just had one, and I have to say, it has been much better. It is easier for people to find me, but also only doing one blog is much better to manage. It has taken a while to find my feet here, but it is slowly getting there.

Why do I still blog, well the answer is simple, I love it, and I love the people I have got to meet through it. From blogging I have been given some amazing opportunities. I have meet some wonderful people who are now friends.

Blogging still remains a worthwhile activity for me. It is still helps me to get out and take photos. I just hope that you still find what I have to say interesting and enjoy my photography.

So why do you blog?

NB: photos are from the first couple of years of blogging, nice to look back.

Recently I had a day out at Trentham. It is a small town, but very nice and very quiet, almost laid back. It is close to another town Daylesford, which has a reputation for spas and relaxation. While Trentham isn’t quite the same it is still a lovely town and very relaxing as well.

The main reason we went was for Trentham Falls. It is quite amazing and is Victoria’s largest single drop waterfall.

trentham-trainstation-waterfall-pub-victoria-3776

Photographing waterfalls in bright sunlight is a nightmare and that is pretty much all we got. It was a bit annoying. Why are there never clouds when you want them? This waterfall has been photographed so much lately, I am almost sick of seeing it.

We headed into town for lunch after the waterfall. It is a quiet town and if you go during the week there are many places that will be closed.

After lunch we headed to the old train station.

trentham-trainstation-waterfall-pub-victoria-3801Train stations are always interesting. There are no running trains here anymore. The station is used for a market on the weekends. We were able to just wander around and take photos.

We then headed back into town and saw this.

trentham-trainstation-waterfall-pub-victoria-3885

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, really is a throw bad to the past. We don’t see many pubs like this anymore. I mean check this out.

trentham-trainstation-waterfall-pub-victoria-3938

I’m sure the stables aren’t really for horses anymore, but who would’ve thought?

It is such a pretty town and one that is great to visit. It is a very popular place on the weekends as it is only a couple of hours from the city. It is very easy to go there for the day. There is a bakery that makes great bread, but there is always a long queue, so get there early.

I have some more photos of the train station and the hotel for you to look at now. We did photograph some other places, but I think these are enough for today.  I hope your weekend is going well.

It is hard to know what to talk about this week. It has been busy but mainly because I am trying to get some writing done. I think this is going to be a short post.

The magazine

We are well and truly in the final stages for the next issue of Dynamic Range. We have another broad selection of articles for you. We are also so happy that Kathleen Clemons has let me interview her and we will be looking at some of her images. I’m sure those of you who get it will really enjoy it.

It will be the last issue of the magazine for those that subscribed at the beginning of the year.

Deaf Children Australia

I haven’t been there much in the last couple of years, but yesterday I went there to take photos as they celebrated their 150th anniversary of the blue stone building. I was looking at the building and thinking about how my work has changed since I was last there to photograph it, so I ask someone there if I would be able to go back. He just handed me his card. I think that meant yes. I will have to organise it now.

I will have to find some photos so we can see what I was doing and then we will have something to compare when I go back. Photos today are from 3 years ago.

Mentoring

I just want to talk about this briefly again, to help people understand what it is.

It really is about a discussion, a guide, a way of me to help you work out what your style is, or what direction you would like to go in. It is about me looking at your work, guiding you and helping you, but the thing that happens the most is the conversation, lots of that.

Other News

There isn’t really any. It has been good to see that people are enjoying the return of the Up for Discussion (U4D) posts. I have to start working out what to write about next week.

I think that is about it, sorry, as I said, I’m busy with writing, plus Tiddles, our cat, isn’t well, and we are a bit worried about him. He is staying at the vets tonight has they try to help him.

 

It is a bit late today, I am sorry. I’m having trouble with one of the plugins with this site. The publicize plugin isn’t doing what it is meant to do and when I do a post it doesn’t sent emails, or send the post to Facebook or to other places. I was hoping to get an update, but so far nothing from Jetpack. I will have to do all the work for it again. Anyway, here is the post.

The next theme is going to be Travel. Your interpretation. See if you can do something different, that is my challenge to you. The theme is for the first MM in November only.

REMEMBER: If you would like to join us the instructions are at the bottom of the post.

docklands-sunset-golden-hour-longexposure-monochrome

Some of you may recognise this image, though it is different. I also did this in colour and have put that one on Instagram today. It looked like an image that would also work in monochrome. There was a lovely pink in the sky and I tried to give it that feel as well.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.


1/ Marianna Meyer

079-copy-copy-copy-copy-copy-1545x809


2/ THE RUNES OF THE GATEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER

ballinskellig-sbeachsmall


3/ One Day | One Image

by-owner-melinda-green-harvery


4/ Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different

steam-engine-train-tjb9523


5/ Eunice

sleeping


6/ BoomingOn

misty-boomingon-wordpress-com


7/ Rajiv Chopra

27-sanjuan-copy


8/ MyBlog – solaner

mm26-610_4466-eb_w


9/ Crow Canyon Journal

crow-canyon-journal-mm-3-26-scottish-national-portrait-gallery


10/ The World Is a Book…

0w5a6131


11/ P N C O

de-schuur


 12/ THE SHADY TREE

theshadytree


13/ MICHELLE LUNATO PHOTOGRAPHY

mm-3-26-mlunato-photography


14/ rainy day reflections

oldbarn_mm_rainydayreflections


15/ Lisa Chelkowski

fullsizerender


16/ Stupidity Hole

bathtub-small-stupidityhole


17/ ARTKORPPI II

artkorppiwordpresscom_huurteessa_mm3_26


18/ gottatakemorepix

small-arch-valley-of-fire-sp-by-steve-bruno-at-gottatakemorepix


19/ Snow’s Fissures and Fractures

snowsfissuresandfracturesmmc3-26


20/ Leanne Cole

docklands-sunset-golden-hour-longexposure-monochrome



Monochrome Madness each week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Thursday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.