Catching up and a look back at the gardens of Rippon Lea

The weeks are flying by and before we know it Christmas will be here. I have a lot going on and a lot I want to do. I am trying hard to be productive, but I can get distracted quite easily at times, especially when it comes to going out and taking photos. Let’s take a look at my news.

Dynamic Range Magazine

As I’ve stated previously, if things don’t get better with it, meaning sales, then I am going to shut up shop with it. The people who have supported it have been amazing and I truly thank you for that. However, we do sell very few copies cover-finaland the money made certainly doesn’t cover my time, let alone anyone else’s who works on it. We are not giving up just yet, but the writing is on the wall.

To try and improve things for the next issue, which will be out in a couple of weeks, we are taking away the Photography by Women. I don’t know if that makes a difference, but there is this idea that if it is meant for women then it must be pink and frilly. If you knew me you would know that is not me at all. I never wear pink and am far more comfortable in black.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is how many people are surprised when they get it. Surprised at how good it looks and how professional the articles are. So it seems the pink and frilly thing continues, and people are expecting that and finding that it is really nice inside. So to combat this, we have decided to give away a previous Issue so you can see how good it looks. We have decided on Issue 3 to give away.

Here is the link that will let you download it for free,

Issue 3, Dynamic Range Magazine

That should work. We were really finding our feet with this issue and if you were to ask me, was probably the first one that we got right.

The Six Seasons of My Backyard

six-seasons-coverSales for the book have been interesting. I’ve sold almost none overseas, albeit a few, and sold a few here. I suppose I knew that people would be more interested in the book here, but I had thought I would sell more overseas. I guess you just never know.

I’m now getting ready for the book launch. It is going to be on the 24th of November, if you are in Melbourne and interested in going let me know and I can give you the details.

This Blog and Website

I have been talking about changes on this blog for a while and I think it is time I got more serious about it. I want to start being more professional with how I run it. I am figuring out that my writing is okay, certainly better than what it was, and that is where I should concentrate my efforts.

I’ve spoken about doing reviews here, but I also want to start doing some editing posts as well. I’m not keen to show people what I do, I think if I was earning a lot of money from it, yeah, I would be happy to. I just know that if I start sharing what I do then someone who is better at marketing than me will make a lot more money from it, and I don’t think that is fair.

However, what I am prepared to do is share my knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom, and maybe introduce you to other software editing platforms. I have been given a couple to play with, and I know at least one of them seems quite good and not very expensive, but more on that later.

That is about all for now, but start expecting some changes soon, maybe even next week. I would also be interested in hearing what you thought and if there are posts and such that you would like to see me do.


Today I thought I would show you more photos from my day at Rippon Lea in 2013. This time I have all the photos from the garden there. They are magnificent and if you go on a lovely day the photos can look stunning. I must go back with my Lensbaby gear.

You might be interested in …


  1. Leanne I so enjoy your blog and all the effort you put in. Your
    hard work and dedication to everything you do is so appreciated! Sorry to hear that the mag isn’t doing better .. I’m looking forward to reading this copy πŸ˜ƒ

    1. Thank you Julie, it is sad that it is happening, but it is what it is I guess. Not enough interest, perhaps time to move onto some new adventures. That’s great, should be out in just over a week.

  2. Your book is on my list, by the way. Actually, it’s at the top. I’m hoping to get it for me as a Christmas present, but I might buy it for my granddaughter. She needs the encouragement.

    It’s terribly hard to make a living as an artist. I couldn’t. I wound up a tech writer because writing was what I did well. I could earn a living in high tech. Otherwise, I’d have had to find something else I could do well enough that someone would pay me to do it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything but writing. Once I resigned myself to commercial work and not art, I enjoyed it much more than I imagined possible.

    1. That’s great to hear Marilyn, thank you. How nice that you want to encourage your granddaughter.

      It is very hard to make it as an artist and I keep trying different things to see if something will work. It is funny you saying that about the writing. I’m starting to come to the same realisation. I like writing and people seem to like what I write, so maybe I can go and take photos for research so I can then write about it and share my knowledge. It is pretty much where I am at the moment, my latest thinking. I’m also looking for other places to write for as well. So maybe I’m destined to be a writer as well, and you know what, I’m okay with that. Thank you Marilyn.

  3. It’s gorgeous. Elegant. Honestly, I expected nothing less. You are incredibly talented.

    Having spent many many years working for photography magazines, yours looks as good — better — than anything I’ve seen anywhere. It’s difficult to launch a magazine without major advertising money. It takes time. If you can stay the course, I think the very high quality of your publication will make its mark. I’m rooting for you!

    1. Thank you so much Marilyn, that is so good to hear.

      Thank you again, we are incredibly proud of the magazine. It has been a real shame that it hasn’t been that popular. I know what you mean, I suck at marketing, it has been a real problem for me. Thank you, but I think I’m ready to move on. I need to start earning some money.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Leanne, and some very insightful comments here. I agree with Robert. Running your own business and making a living out of it can be vert unpredictable, and if it’s something like photography or writing or painting, then it is very dependent on another’s personal taste – and of course if they do chance upon your work. A few years ago I took a year off to pursue freelance writing and see where that it would take me. Fast forward to now and I am working in a routine office job. I do make enough money to be able to afford the camera equipment I want and have been going out on the weekends seeing what I can do. But of course if you can do what you love 100% of the time, that is really sweet.

    I have been following your blog for quite a while now, and it has been very inspiring to see you achieving quite a bit with what you do. As I said in my last comment, your photos are changing and getting bolder – and it is something that makes me come back. Things seem to change on the blog here, but I like difference and it is never boring here.

    Lovely photos of Ripponlea and hope you get to go back again soon. I was there a few weeks ago and it looks like what I see in your photos. But I don’t think any of my shots are entirely the same as yours πŸ˜€

    1. You’re welcome Mabel. It is hard work, but I don’t really want to give up just yet. I think I am lucky in that I don’t have to earn a lot, but I want to, so I continue to try. I am enjoying the writing quite a bit and I get the impression people like what I write, so I want to continue doing that. so I am going to start looking for places to write more. I want to build this blog up a lot mroe as well.

      Thank you Mabel, it has been a while. Things do change and I’m not opposed to it, but I would like to try some new things. I am glad you never find it boring.

      Rippon Lea is stunning. I really need to go back, but I suspect it might be getting too late in the year now. I’m sure your photos were amazing. πŸ˜€

    2. I hate telling people what to do, but you really should not give up on what you do. Your photography is unique, and you are certainly making what you do, you. I’ve always enjoyed the UFD posts, and no doubt your writing on the subject of photography is strong and informative.

      Thanks, Leanne. I took some shots of the Ripponlea house. After a couple of hours wandering around I wanted to take shots of the house from more angles – but they were setting up for a wedding then, lol. I went to Montsalvat today. Also a good place for photos πŸ˜€

    3. Thank you Mabel, that is really nice of you to say, I hope it does go somewhere.

      Shame about the wedding. Yeah, I’ve been to Montsalvat before, they can be very funny about people taking photos. πŸ˜€

  5. I think that you are right to remove the reference to women in the strap-line as the content should easily be able to stand on its own feet without special pleading. It is always going to be difficult to make money out of photography when so many good photographers are happy to put content and advice on sites for free.

    1. Thanks Tootlepedal, we had hoped we could find a niche market, and I think we did, just not one that the niche was really interested in. That is so true and the trick seems to be finding areas that you can do well in. I think I am finally starting to figure that out.

  6. My gosh, Leanne, you have mad job skills. Teaching, mentoring, writing, desktop publishing, Photoshop, public speaking, tourist guiding, typing,… I could go on. I used to do temporary work so I didn’t get bored. If you need to….

    Just don’t think you have no.specialized skills
    😊 Be your own protagonist, advocate. You have skills that are needed in business. Trust me. πŸ˜‰

    1. Well, when you put it like that, I guess I can do a lot, but since doing it for myself, I’m not sure how much would count. If I need to . . . .what?

      Thank you Robert, I appreciate that. I guess the skills I feel I lack are marketing, time to learn perhaps.

    2. Yes, sometimes we have to do one thing to do another and if that happens you need not worry about a finding a job if it comes to that. Hopefully you won’t have to, however. That was what I meant to say.

  7. I am sorry to hear you are taking away the Photography by Women issue. I’m from Lewes, Delaware, USA, and enjoy your emails. The Rehoboth Art League Delaware) is having a show of women artists and the Coastal Camera Club is doing a companion show at the league called Celebrating Women. This will be in March.
    I enjoy your emails and the magazine. I hear you about sales. It is tough. We had 10 art galleries in Rehoboth and now have 2. I’m on the Board of the Art league, and sales are tough. Strange times.

    1. It is sad, but we are getting desperate really, hoping something will save it. That’s great to hear you enjoy them. It is great to do things that celebrate women and what they are capable of, but this magazine just did get the support. Time to find another way.
      It is very strange time, and does make you have a rethink. Thank you so much Brook.

  8. This whole issue of making money from what you love is tough one. When I worked for myself I made money but that was 10-12 hour days 6 dsys/week and sometimes 7 days. Eventually I took a 40 hour job that paid just as much. It gave me time for other things.

    You write well and know your stuff, certainly. How to make it pay? An ad sponsored e-magszine and links to sellers like Amazon that pay a small percentage?

    Business is a harsh mistress and somewhere we have to accommodate its needs, requirements. Some personal compromise is needed, as much as I hate to say so. I know! I am much happier being retired for these reasons.

    I have thought about this for a while and do not say this lightly for I know you have strong beliefs and high standards Possibly not what you wanted to read but your photography is too good to be kept in a barrel, to be hidden away. Look for a compromise you can live with.

    Most of all, be calm, at peace with all this. Take care, Leanne.

    1. It is Robert, though I have to say I am lucky in that I don’t have to earn a lot, but I do have to earn something. I am qualified to do nothing really, so any job I manage to get will be very tedious and boring I’m sure. So if I can make this work, that has to be a better option for me.

      Thank you, it is good to hear that people think I write well. I have been working on it a lot. Yes, part of the reason I wanted to go self hosted so that running ads would be a choice. I do want to go down that route.

      I get what you mean about the compromises and I am trying that as well. I do some things that I don’t necessarily like, but know I have to if I want to be successful at all. That is such a lovely thing to say, I do like showing what I do.

      I will do all that Robert, thank you so much, this has been good.

  9. Leanne: Thanks for the Dynamic Range. I must say it is remarkable, with wonderful articles and incredible photos – and I can’t imagine how you and staff could manage to put out 70 high quality pages for each edition.
    The information on Lightroom itself is eye opening (no pun intended) as I am still working with Aperture and in need of change.
    I actually thought I had ordered one of the first editions, possibly even this one, but had never received it. (Mind you, I sometimes THINK I do things and only realize much later I didn’t.)
    I certainly can’t speak for others, but I’m surprised you have not reached some success with the circulation numbers. Having only been in the media business from a production standpoint (pressroom supply,) I know little about publishing, but your content certainly is impressive. M πŸ™‚

    1. You’re welcome, so glad to hear you think the same as us about it.

      I’m glad the info on Lightroom was helpful, I know many people who love it, I do, but I have to admit I love Photoshop more. Really depends on what I’m doing.
      Haha, I know that feeling, I have the same thing happen to me.
      Your reaction to the magazine is what we hear a lot, but then we just don’t sell many, unfortunately. I don’t know what the answer is either. Thank you so much for letting us know.

  10. Keen to go to your book launch which will coincide with my last day at work before our two months off!

    Re Dynamic Range – if people have pre-conceived ideas of what is in there, may be publicise the Table of Contents of past issues on social media. It seems such a shame that it might not be there for much longer. I don’t get that people verbally encourage but don’t follow through with a purchase for a mere $7 per issue! The same goes for the book! Funny seeing Julia’s cover photo on issue 3 again. What is she doing to make a living from her work?

    1. Thanks Chris, have you on the list for the invite when I get it done.

      I don’t get it either. I have done that with the contents page with every issue put it up everywhere. Perhaps people just aren’t interested in it. I don’t know. I think encouragement is free, but then when it comes time to pay out money, that stops. Sad, but true. I think she runs lots of workshops and she has a book and other things. I have tried running workshops, but people don’t seem interested. Oh well, maybe it is time to do that barista’s course. lol.

    2. Get a job and treat photography as a passionate hobby? Maybe, but I suspect it is not what you want to do! I think people buy what they like… and there comes another dilemma – do you dish out what the masses want to make a sale or do you do what you love and stay true to your art and earn a living doing something else.

    3. All very good questions and ones that I’ve been asking myself a lot. I really like photography, and I really like writing. Would I be happy making coffee so I can take photos, probably not, would I be happier writing about photography that would enable me to get out there and take photos, I think far more. I am finding far more to write about and think this is the direction I need to go, at least for now. I’m finding myself getting into a rhythm with it all, so that has to help. I think that is the direction I will go for now and see what happens.

  11. Thanks for these Leanne, Rippon Lea looks gorgeous, I’ve just come back from Melbourne and didn’t get time to visit, will definitely go there next time πŸ™‚

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