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Closed for Business

This morning I got up and went out to take photos around the industrial areas near where I live.  They aren’t factories or anything like that, but small businesses, like garages, plumbers etc.  I had this idea of doing some images and doing that empty landscape type of thing that I have been working on.  I drove around and took quite a few photos, and then I got home and started looking at the photos.  I have to say it, I didn’t like any of them.  It was so disappointing.  I have picked one and done some work on it.

I tried quite a few things with this, but nothing seemed to work.  I liked the sunburst over the building, but it ended up being too hard to work with.  I just put a bit of blur over the top, and masked out some of it.  I made the image darker. lightened some, then added some vignetting.  

Perhaps part of the problem was that I had no real idea of what my plan was, or what I wanted.  Actually that isn’t true, I did have an idea, but when I got there the light was wrong.  We have had cloudy skies all week, but the sun came out this morning, and the shadows were too long.  I didn’t find it as inspiring as I thought it would be.  Maybe later in the day would be better, or maybe overcast.  I don’t know, I need to rethink the idea.

On another note, I don’t know if I told you that I entered some images in a competition.  I didn’t win, but one of the images did get a silver award.

I don’t know if it really means anything.  Two other images also received Bronze awards.  I haven’t worked out if all the images get awards, either gold, silver or bronze, or if only some do.  I have no idea really, it is the first time I have ever entered a competition like this.

104 Comments
  1. That’s fantastic. When I read “Closed for business” on my tweetdeck pop-up, I thought you were shutting up shop so to speak. So glad you aren’t.

    Fantastic job getting a silver award and two bronzes. You must be so proud of yourself (and rightly so) brilliant 🙂

    August 26, 2012
    • No, I’m not going to stop blogging anytime soon, I hope.
      Thanks for that about the awards. I am proud, though not sure about the whole thing, but it gives me some confidence. 🙂

      August 28, 2012
  2. Hi !

    I think your photos are really GREAT. SUPER ! ! !

    Greetz from germany – lichtbildwerfer

    August 26, 2012
    • Why thank you, that is so nice of you to say.
      Greetings back to Germany from Australia, nice to meet you.

      August 28, 2012
  3. Congrats on your awards!

    August 26, 2012
  4. Congratulations – you deserve it. Your photos are wonderful, before Photoshop and after!

    August 26, 2012
    • Thank you, it is always great to hear that people like my work.

      August 28, 2012
      • Hi Leanne,

        I was showing your work to some guys at work today. We do a lot of design work, but one of the things we are interested in is incorporating more photo editing into our images before we incorporate them into a product or design. Do you do workshops in photo editing? They are both qualified graphic designers, so know a lot about photoshop but have only done limited editing work. I thought it might be great to get someone like yourself in to do a one day hands on workshop with them (and me selfishly because I would love to learn as well). Is that something that you would consider?

        Kindest

        Susan

        August 28, 2012
      • Susan, I’m interested, do you want to send me an email leanne@leannecole.com.au

        August 28, 2012
  5. Congrats to the award, really a good photo

    August 26, 2012
  6. Don #

    Congrats on the Silver Award.

    August 26, 2012
  7. Great photo – well done.

    August 26, 2012
  8. Pat #

    Congratulations on your awards!

    August 26, 2012
  9. Well deserved awards!

    August 26, 2012
  10. It’s always nice to be recognized for what we do and you deserve it! I understand how you feel about kind of just “heading out” and hoping the light is right etc. and being a tad disappointed. Just goes that way with photography! That’s why it’s so exciting when you get that one picture that just pops.

    August 26, 2012
    • Thank you, it is nice to have the recognition. I am so with you about the pitfalls with photography, it often happens that way. It is rare to go out when the conditions are perfect and everything is good with what you are photographing.

      August 28, 2012
  11. I too thought that you were shutting down . Glad that your not. Congratulation on your silver medal, it makes you feel good when your work is recognized

    August 26, 2012
    • No, no, the blog is staying put for the time being. Sorry I scared you. Thanks about the award, it is nice.

      August 28, 2012
  12. Good deal on the silver! That is a really good photo too, and the business is bolted shut. Around here, it’s too often and they never open again. But that’s another post topic…

    August 26, 2012
    • Thank you John, the award was a nice surprise.
      That happens a lot around here, businesses are closing everywhere. The government is trying to help, but I don’t know if it is working.

      August 28, 2012
  13. Congratulations on the Silver. I dig that photo!

    August 26, 2012
    • Thank you SSR that is great to hear.

      August 28, 2012
  14. Excellent news on the awards – well done. For me the top image lacks a focal point. I need something more to grab the attention. There is potential with the sunrise but maybe an evening glow on the front of the buildings would be easier to work with. Just a thought.

    August 26, 2012
    • Thanks on the award Andrew, appreciate it. I am with you on everything you said about the image, I was very disappointed and I haven’t even gone back to the rest of the images. I’m looking for other subjects now.

      August 28, 2012
  15. Congrats on the silver award – I doubt ‘everyone’ gets a medal/award otherwise why have the competition right?

    The problem I’ve had with trying to post a photo everyday is that sometimes you just didn’t catch it right. But there is nothing wrong with admitting that. Like you said the light didn’t turn out the way you wanted but I’ll bet you are going to go back to this spot a few more times and you’ll catch it just as you envisioned it. Looking through all your work – you certainly have the skills to capture it perfectly.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you, I hope you are right, it would be horrible to think they are worthless.

      Thank you for the confidence, I’m not sure about that area now, I will think some more on it, I have started pursuing some other options. I might have to rethink the whole thing.

      August 28, 2012
  16. Congrats on your success! Fabulous!

    August 27, 2012
  17. Elise M #

    Congrats on your image awards!! And, I also thought you were closing… Tricky title!

    August 27, 2012
    • Thanks Elise, I will have to be more careful with my titles in the future.

      August 28, 2012
  18. Congratulations on your award 🙂
    The other photo seems like it would be hard to work with…not as textured somehow as the stuff you usually do.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you Heather, 🙂
      I agree with you, I tried adding texture, but it just didn’t work, nothing I tried seemed to work, so I did very little in the end.

      August 28, 2012
  19. I am not so sure you should give up on this project so soon. I had a similar experience when I started my highway photos, photographing from a moving car, an area through which I frequently travel. At first I thought the photos were really lousy. One reason was that I had always envisioned doing a series of ‘heroic’ large format, black and white images of this area, and then never got around to it. It began to dawn on me that the photos were ‘lousy’ because the subject was ‘lousy’ that is depressing, and I did not particularly like the environment. Then I was totally surprised when SXSE Magazine picked up a dozen or so for publication. I have to admit those photos fall under the definition of ‘dead pan’ and ‘typography’, neither schools of photography that I subscribe too, and which I generally disdain. However, I am doing them, and I think they ‘work.’
    So………………..

    Best wishes – christian

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you Christian, I think you have to be okay with what you are doing. I had a vision, and after going out to see if I could capture it I found I couldn’t, that isn’t bad, just maybe time to move on to something else, I still have plenty of ideas. I might try it again another time, but right now I have to give it a total rethink, like maybe waiting until the height of summer, and the heat and that really stark bright light we get might really suit it, who knows. Will see. Thanks for your encouragement, and congratulations on getting your work picked up, that is so cool.

      August 28, 2012
  20. As hard as we try, Leanne, that pesky Sun just doesn’t always want to cooperate, does it? Yet, I think the image looks good…maybe it’s one to walk from and come back to…I see the possibilities of you working your brand of magic!

    Congrats on the awards…spectacular!!!

    August 27, 2012
    • Thanks 1000, I think it is one to walk away from, and maybe go back and photograph another time, the sun is indeed very pesky at times.
      Thanks about the award. 🙂

      August 28, 2012
  21. Congrats! Lovely images, even if not quite what you were trying to do. 🙂

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank Zelmare, it is nice to know they aren’t universally hated. Hey I hear you are getting a son in law, how wonderful.

      August 28, 2012
      • Yes, aren’t I lucky – another son! 🙂

        August 28, 2012
      • I am sure there will be more daughters along the line as well. 😉

        August 28, 2012
  22. Alice #

    I do like your silver award image. Of course it means something.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you Alice, I hope it does.

      August 28, 2012
  23. Good onya mate. (Sorry, don’t get to speak like a country skip much anymore. Need to practise sometimes so I don’t lose the skill) But seriously, well done, an award’s an award, I say add it to your title – Leanne Cole, award winning photographer… :0

    August 27, 2012
    • Onya, yourself, all youse out there are great. How’s that for some lingo, haha. Sorry couldn’t resist. You mustn’t lose the skill.
      Thank you Natalie, I was wondering if I could now call myself that. 🙂

      August 28, 2012
  24. You certainly deserve great recognition for your fine photo work, also the Silver Award for this amazing picture. Congratulations!

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you Truels, I really appreciate that. I have never really won anything with my photography before, but it certainly makes me think I should try some more comps.

      August 28, 2012
  25. Congratulations on the silver and bronzes! That’s a great image. On the light industrial image – I don’t think it’s you so much as the subject matter – those areas are anonymous bordering on the psychotic. I’ve always found it impossible to get anything interesting going in that kind of area – they defy you – too blocky, too metal, too obvious, no discernable features, no texture to grab hold of, the landscape around them is often also boring (and in my case there are very few people about). What I’m trying to say is don’t beat yourself up about it.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thanks Richard, I am happy it won the award. As for the image, I think everything you said is so true. I was disappointed initially because I thought that I had nothing, which meant nothing to post, but then I think sometimes it is okay to post a nothing photo, I’m not perfect. Really I’m not, haha. Thanks again Richard.

      August 28, 2012
  26. Leanne, the picture that receive the silver award is really nice. Don’t question the way awards are split, just think some judge liked it, and the other two too. Congrats!

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you, that is a good way to think about it, I am far to skeptical sometimes.

      August 28, 2012
  27. Well done Leanne, an entirely justified award…… keep up the good work

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you so much John, I will try and keep it up.

      August 28, 2012
  28. Congrats on your silver award (and the bronze ones too). I like the picture that won the award – seems full of life. Unlike your image of the factory which may have too much grey in it? It certainly does not seem to have any energy in it.

    August 27, 2012
    • I know what you mean, I just couldn’t get anything out of that image, I was so disappointed. I really like the image that the silver award was given to, though I think I have done some much better ones since, so I am looking forward to entering some more. Thanks Colline

      August 28, 2012
      • Do enter Leanne. You are a really talented photographer and at least this way more people get to see your photos.

        August 28, 2012
  29. Effin awesome! Congrats, fellow Melburnian! 🙂

    August 27, 2012
    • Haha, thank you, how wonderful to find other Melburnians in the blog world. 🙂

      August 28, 2012
  30. I know the feeling of not getting a “keeper”, but I am so happy for your silver and bronze awards and I love the photo you won with. Dramatic and draws me in! WTG and love your work (passion). Inspirational to me.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you so much, I really appreciate everything that you have said. I love hearing that I inspire people, gives me a sense of purpose. Thanks again.

      August 28, 2012
  31. I also know the feeling of planning to go out and shoot something brilliant and it just does not come together…its frustrating!! But – there will be a better picture tomorrow, I promise. Congrats on your fantastic awards – well done!

    August 27, 2012
    • I think you are so right Angela, there is always tomorrow and there are plenty other places to go and shoot some. Thank you.

      August 28, 2012
  32. Fantastic news on the awards! Your image that won the silver is one of my favourites! Oh, who am I kidding? I LOVE them all! Haha!

    I like Closed for Business very much. It really captures a mood… great work! The coloring really sets the tone, I think. All that grey and the vignetting… as if there was no energy left in the building, which of course is very appropriate, given the title of the photograph. There is something a little ominous about the blurred out sun (which if this were captionless, would really have viewers wondering what it was) that lends very nicely to the overall effect.

    Congrats again, on the awards. Very deserving!

    Veronica

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank Veronica, you made me laugh, glad you love them all, seriously not all, I do do some crappy ones sometimes.

      I don’t think I like the image, I don’t know it lacks something, I don’t know what. I would like to try doing them again one day, I think they would be better then. Glad you like it though, thank you so much.

      August 28, 2012
  33. Congratulations on the awards 🙂 Those of us will vivid imaginations and time on our hands might see that sunburst as a post apocalyptic glow…

    August 27, 2012
    • I was hoping someone would say that about the sun, that is what I was thinking, but I couldn’t get it to work, maybe another time.
      Thank you about the awards, really appreciate it EllaDee. 🙂

      August 28, 2012
  34. Congrats 🙂

    August 27, 2012
  35. Claire O'Brien #

    Keep getting up early, please! You’re my kind of artist: the kind that makes my jaw drop and stops me in my tracks.
    Thank-you so much for stopping by and following my little blog with the big mouth. It has already gone straight to my head –

    August 27, 2012
    • I will Claire, what a fantastic thing to say, will you keep coming back and leaving comments like, please. I need encouragement as well, haha.
      It was a pleasure, to visit you and thanks for leaving an awesome comment on mine.

      August 28, 2012
  36. Congrats on the award for that wonderful image

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you so much, I really appreciate the support.

      August 28, 2012
  37. hutchphotography2020 #

    There’s nothing wrong with silver and bronze awards. Awards are important when won in the better shows. You should be recognized for your work. It is very good, and keeps getting better. I admire the way you are always trying new things and exploring different applications. As far as shooting on a bright day with hard shadows, I do it anyway. Most shots are somewhat disappointing, but occasionally I hit one I like when the shadows work with the shot. I would not have gotten the shot had I not gone out.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thank you Hutch, that means a lot. I am feeling better about it all. I am really glad I entered, I think it was an important step to take and I really should do a lot more of it. That is a lovely thing to say, I was just talking to my daughter about this, and I was saying that I have to believe that my work will continue to get better, I really hope it does.
      I do it sometimes, but I think there has to be better ways of capturing this, I have a few ideas and will continue to work on them.

      August 28, 2012
  38. Hey, great job! I’m glad you went ahead and entered – you needed to take that step.

    August 27, 2012
    • Thanks Marie, I am so glad too, I want to enter more now, haha. I really did need to do it.

      August 28, 2012
  39. hurrah for the silver award! well done!

    August 28, 2012
  40. Leanne! Congratulations on the awards. I’m glad you were recognized for your fantastic photography. 🙂

    August 28, 2012
    • Thanks Steph, it is strange to be given something like that, but I am happy about it now that I am over the shock.

      August 28, 2012
  41. iamrising #

    I hear you. I never know what to think about awards either. Mostly you’re just trying to gauge how well you’re nailing the connection we all share — with — with it — with god — with whatever – that THING that makes us all go, “Oh it’s beautiful!” The awards everyone gets don’t help you gauge anything. Really in today’s world we don’t even need them – the likes, the comments count, the re-posts – – THAT’s the award. Everyone’s a judge now, and counts for exactly *1*.

    August 28, 2012
    • That is a great way of putting it, It is nice to get the encouragement here and yes, I can tell which images are better than others. I use those indicators to help me work out which images to enter. Thank you.

      August 28, 2012
  42. Jack Brewis #

    Lovely news Leanne; well done on the award. You are superb

    August 28, 2012
  43. Francina #

    Congratulation on the Silver Award , Leanne .. after all your photos are beautiful.
    Ciao, Francina

    August 29, 2012
    • Thanks Francina, glad you like them.

      August 29, 2012
  44. Hi Leanne, a well deserved silver award- beautiful shot! As are all your pictures.
    K

    August 30, 2012
    • Thank you so much Mizz Winkens.

      September 8, 2012
  45. Oh my god, Leanne I had the same Idea but i was going to structure mine as like all these buildings that were started and never finished and just sit there and all the places of business that are closed down but they keep building more buildings. I started taking the photos for my next topic

    August 30, 2012
    • I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I haven’t been back, I think I have moved on, but good luck with what you want to achieve.

      September 8, 2012
      • Why everything OK

        September 9, 2012
  46. Beautiful image of the warehouse!

    August 31, 2012
  47. atrisnop #

    Congrats on your award.. Your photo is full of mystery. Like it a lot

    September 2, 2012
    • Thank you, glad you like it.

      September 8, 2012
  48. I hate it when I spend so much time taking photos and then come home and not like any of them, but congrats on that award!!! I think that’s awesome and that’s a great photo 🙂 I’m so happy for you!

    September 11, 2012
    • It is annoying Amanda, but I suppose it has to happen sometimes, otherwise you would never experience that absolute high you can get when you look at your images and it is like magic before you. I live for that. 🙂 Thanks on the award, I am proud of that. 🙂

      September 17, 2012

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