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“Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery”

A quote by Charles Caleb Colton.  I know that Friday’s were about me doing reworks, but as I am now changing the day that I do the Bluestone building for Deaf Children Australia, I decided to do something different today.

When I was doing my Fine Arts Degree we had a lecturer that used to tell us to copy the masters, copy the television, copy lots of things to learn how other artists produce their work.  Of course you can’t copy it and call it your own, but it is a great way to learn.  So in that vein, when I took photos of Alannah, I took some shots with the intention of copying some of Brooke Shaden’s images.

leannecole-scalannah-4760-4

When I first saw Brooke’s image, I pretty much knew how she had done it, but I wasn’t totally sure if I could do it.  As it turns out it was a lot harder to do than I had thought.  I tried several times, and the above is my latest attempt.

One of the things that I have found quite useful in doing a lot of this work is my understanding of drawing and images, how shadows work, and what shadows look like.  It is times like that I am so glad I studied art.  I don’t always get it right, but that is okay.  I have had to work on the shadows quite a bit, but also I had to get rid of areas as well.  The hair was probably one of the hardest things to do.

I don’t mind the outcome and I have learned a lot trying to do it, but I know that Brooke’s image is better.  I can handle that. 

Website

I have been continuing to make changes to my website, the other day I was playing with the colours.  I can’t change them on www.leannecole.com.au yet, but I have changed the colours on the Fine Art Portraits Page.  I also did a new banner, which I would like to put on the website when I work out how.

Everything is slowly coming together which is really nice.

47 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on blaming the norm and commented:
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, is opposition the sincerest form of hatred or love? Things I ponder.

    June 21, 2013
  2. Interesting post…I’m not of course at your level, but have spent years drawing and I’ve found that my past artwork somehow comes through my present photos. I’ll have to try imitating you some day…if I can ever figure out how to use photoshop! 🙂

    June 21, 2013
    • It had never occurred to me that having a past that included drawing would help with photography, really help, but it does a lot. I have noticed on CreativeLIVE they are often explaining things to people like perspective, I just never realised that people who do photography may not really understand that. Determination, that is the key to figuring out Photoshop, I am sure you have that. 🙂 Good Luck.

      June 21, 2013
      • Determination yes..time no. But I’ll get into it sooner or later if I really need it. And of late, I’m becoming more and more interested in the things that could be done with that program.
        Yes, I think you’re correct about drawing and photography…one just takes for granted the knowledge picked up from the other arts, and it just seems so easy to come out with a good photo…but if you think about it there is more to photography than clicking away.

        June 21, 2013
      • It does take a bit time, that’s for sure. Sounds like you might be trying to find some time soon.
        I think you are so right, there is so much more to photography than just clicking, and I think that is where some people go wrong, they don’t really think about why they are taking an image or what they are trying to achieve.

        June 21, 2013
      • I started just because I wanted to do something different…then, when I started blogging, I wanted to use illustrations without running into copyright problems, then it just started becoming great fun and some interesting stuff comes up…but when I take pictures, I very often have a story in mind and the scene speaks to me so I click it…from then on…it becomes history…of course many photos I take remain in a folder, but I’ve surprised myself sometimes using a photo that should have been recycled, but turned out just perfect for a poem or story!

        June 21, 2013
      • I go though a similar process, my images have a purpose, not always for art, sometimes to show an area, but mostly for art. I am always trying to show some sort of drama in the images. Doesn’t always work, and like you said, sometimes they never leave the folder on the computer, I have lots in those. That is great to hear that you can find your images for other things. Great idea.

        June 21, 2013
      • 🙂 glad I could give you an idea!

        June 21, 2013
  3. My photography is of a journalistic style, but there are still many masters out there to learn from. I have no formal training in art.

    June 21, 2013
    • I think there are masters for all styles, and we can all learn from them. I think if you want to do fine art photography it helps, though it certainly isn’t essential.

      June 21, 2013
  4. gorgeous photo, Leanne!

    June 21, 2013
    • Thank you, I wish I could take credit, but happy I managed to get something to work.

      June 21, 2013
  5. Maggie Beck #

    Leanne, while your image, “Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery”, is very clever, well composed, and visually compelling, it is your recitation of how and why you created the piece that I like. As an educator, I can tell you that the process of copying something, then making it your own is the first cracking of the door to innovation. Congrats on your success here! Best, Maggie

    June 21, 2013
    • Thank you Maggie, I have put my own take on it, but ultimately it is Brooke Shaden’s image, I can see that, and I think it is fantastic, but I do think it is the only one like it I will do. I am glad you like why I did it, it is a great lesson. Thanks again.

      June 21, 2013
  6. nice, so how did you do it???

    June 21, 2013
    • Took a photo of her sitting in a corner, then took another one of her in the same place with her head upside down, and then put the hair on the one of her sitting. Then made it look like she was on the ceiling.

      June 22, 2013
  7. Shadows are a big key to imaging – I had an instructor tell me that to know where the light is, look to see how/where the shadows are cast and that without shadows, there is no texture. I always remember this tidbit when shooting.

    June 22, 2013
    • I think people often don’t realise that shadows also are what makes things more 3D or look 3D, they are very important. what your instructor told you is very true, always look where the the light is and understand how to use it.

      June 22, 2013
  8. Very cool on how you made her “float” to the ceiling.

    June 22, 2013
    • Thank you David, it was a fun experiment, well actually it wasn’t, it turned out to be harder than I thought it would be, but I did learn a lot.

      June 22, 2013
  9. great work…it is inspirational to me the way you strive to learn new techniques, and ideas,..thank you!

    June 22, 2013
    • Thanks Heather, I hope to always continue learning.

      June 22, 2013
  10. I learned to shoot by copying Eisenstadt’s entire Martha’s Vineyard portfolio. Imitation is not merely flattery. It’s also a great teacher 🙂

    June 22, 2013
    • It is a great way to learn, it can take a bit of work, but I think it was one of the best pieces of advice that I was given. 🙂

      June 22, 2013
  11. Leanne, I just love the your new websites. Will you still be keeping this going ???

    June 23, 2013
    • Thanks Viveka, it is evolving. At this stage yes, I will continue to do this, but I am not going to post everyday anymore, I don’t think. I will try for at least 5 times a week, but it is going to change I think. I am not sure how yet.

      June 23, 2013
      • Glad that you will be around .. and I can understand that you don’t have time .. to carry on as you have.
        Just love that portrait thing you’re doing and doing so good.
        Only so I don’t lose out on you.

        June 23, 2013
      • Thanks Viveka, I plan on being around for a long time yet.

        June 23, 2013
      • Sounds good to me *smile

        June 23, 2013
  12. I love this! The colors and the style are so rich and beautiful.

    June 23, 2013
    • Thanks Matthew, it has been an interesting image to try to do, glad I got somewhere in the end.

      June 23, 2013
  13. Striking effect.

    June 24, 2013
  14. poppytump #

    deftly done Leanne 🙂
    Its good to try and recreate like this .. you are learning all the time and its not going to be long before you’ll have your very own Leanne Cole ‘stamp’ its there really already.. you know that … people here can see it .

    June 24, 2013
    • It was a great exercise, I really had to think hard about some of it, and as I said, I had to learn some new stuff too so I could do it. I am hoping that will happen, I am working on it. I used to have some great ideas, and I am thinking I might need to go back and rethink some of them. Thank you so much. 🙂

      June 24, 2013
  15. This is really an interesting photo, whimsical. Your website is phenomenal. Powerful works of art. There are some there that I really want! It will happen.

    June 25, 2013
    • It was fun to do, mine is different to Brooke’s, and I had a few issues, but great learning exercise.
      Thank you, I have changed the header and the colour of the back ground now. I love purple, so it seemed a good colour to go with. Oh, thank you Nia, I really want it too.

      June 25, 2013
  16. Magical…absolutely luv it. Well done.

    June 25, 2013
  17. This is a great ‘first attempt’ at making a ‘Shaden’, Leanne! Sure, it needs some shadow work, but that comes with time and working them out. Fun to do, and really fun to see!

    July 1, 2013
    • Thanks 1000, it was fun to try one of her images, I might have another go at something soon, similar but not a direct copy.

      July 1, 2013
      • Seems to take a lot of ‘playing’, but I’m telling you, you are inspiring me to do some truly different things here!

        July 1, 2013
      • Some things to, I hope you do have a play, I look forward to seeing what you do.

        July 1, 2013
      • Right now, I’m so far behind with everything, Leanne–from the blog, to P’shopping to housework. I just seem to have lost some of my drive, which is why I say I need some adrenalin. A few bad nights of interrupted sleep, and it seems I have to go back to square one, and begin all over again to stick to a schedule of some sort. It’s just plain goofy, and the rainy, cold and cloudy weather didn’t help at all…Except for yesterday and today, when it finally warmed up, it has felt more like mid-Autumn here for over a week!

        July 6, 2013
      • It is so hard to keep up with everything, I have a number of blogs from last month that I haven’t looked at and might not look at, it is just too hard sometimes. I now have another heap to look at since I was away. I am starting to prioritise what I am doing. I have stopped posting everyday, and might even cut it back even more. I have really cut down the number of blogs I follow as well.
        It has been cold here, but not as cold as it was a couple of weeks ago. It is supposed to rain here today, but I don’t know if it will.

        July 6, 2013
  18. You’re website is amazing! Everything looks so beautiful 🙂 So excited for you!

    July 7, 2013
    • Thank you Amanda, it is certainly coming along, I am looking forward to getting on with it. 🙂

      July 7, 2013

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