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Posts from the ‘Art’ Category

Weekend Wanderings – Up Close to Rippon Lea

Rippon Lea is part of the National Trust.  I joined the National Trust for two reason really, one, so I wouldn’t have to pay entry into place like Rippon Lea and secondly, to support them.  It is great that we have places like Rippon Lea that we can go and visit.  We no longer have to “apply to the housekeeper” and anyone can go. Back on track, I went there the other day with my friend so we could try out our macro lenses.  She has just purchased one, and I had the one that Nikon had lent me, the 40mm Micro DX lens.

LeanneCole-ripponlea-20140325-9279One of the best things about going to Rippon Lea are the gardens.  It seemed like the perfect place to try out the macro.  So every shot in this post is done with the macro.  A macro can be used for normal images too.  I took my Nikon D300s with me this time because I didn’t want the cropped frame of the DX to keep confusing me.  It was also nice to use the D300s again, I haven’t used them since I got the D800.

Just quickly the above image is a HDR done with Photomatix Pro.  I don’t know if I told you that I accidentally deleted it from my computer, so I had to get a new copy.  I was very happy to find that there is a new version out, I don’t know how long it has been out for, but regardless, so I thought I would try it with this image. Not a great image, but I don’t know if it was the image, the software or the lens.  I suspect it might really have been the photographer.

When we were coming in we were asked if we would like to do a tour of the place, inside, and since it was in ten minutes we decided why not.

LeanneCole-ripponlea-20140325-9243The inside is very nice and decorated extravagantly, the biggest problem was the light, there wasn’t much of it.  I didn’t want to turn the ISO up too much on the D300s, too much noise, so I end up with a lot of blurry images.  A tripod would have been nice, but it wasn’t allowed, I assume, so I settled for the small things.

LeanneCole-ripponlea-20140325-9246There were little things set up every where and I just concentrated on some of those.  Wasn’t always easy because of the light, but you do what you can.  It is nice to have a lens that can go right up to things, but I am still struggling with the macro.  I did what people said, closed the aperture down, used manual focusing, but it was still very hard.

LeanneCole-ripponlea-20140325-9254After the tour we headed out to the gardens and explored with our cameras.  I didn’t think I would be able to get bees with this lens, because of how close I had to be, but it was nice to find one that didn’t seem to care that I was hovering around.

LeanneCole-ripponlea-20140325-9271I did manage to get some images that I liked, but it was a struggle.  I found the auto focus very hard, my eyesight is not great, and so I turned the auto focus back on.  I like that the with Nikon D300s and the D800 that I can move the spot around in the viewfinder for focusing, and so I found it much easier to move the spot to what I wanted focused and doing it that way.  I seemed to get a lot more hits when I did that.

Last weekend my students were trying out the macro, it was great for them to see how the macro works, and it has been great for me too.  I really thought, oh I will get one and then done, lots of macro shot.  I see some images on the internet that are so good, and I wonder how they did it.  Maybe macro photography isn’t for me after all.  I am going to have another shot at it before it goes back this week, but in all seriousness, I am not sure that I want to get one now.  I am thinking of trying the extension tubes on my 50mm and seeing how I go with that, but I can’t justify spending so much money on something that would probably be just for fun.

Rippon Lea was the perfect spot for testing out the lens, it was a warm day, but they had plenty of flowers out.  So I am going to share what I got with you now in a gallery.  I better get ready for my class, portraits today, always a great class.  Enjoy your weekend.  I have visited Rippon Lea before, click here if you want to see the Weekend Wandering post I did on it.

The Challenge of Black and White

Recently I have been doing a lot of black and white.  Challenging myself, trying to see what works and what doesn’t.  I have never been a believer that every image is better in black and white.  I always felt that you should take it image by image, however, that doesn’t mean that some images don’t just cry out to be black and white.

I was talking to Laura Macky the other day and we were both talking about how we don’t do it enough.  That we really should push ourselves to attempt more.  I have always found this blog to be great for pushing me.  So we thought, let’s challenge ourselves. So today’s post is our first.  Of course the biggest hurdle to overcome was the time difference, she is in the US, so she will do her posts on Tuesdays, and I will do mine early on Wednesday morning.

LeanneCole-rialto-1This is my image for our first challenge, the building is the Rialto Towers.  For many years this building was the tallest in Melbourne, it has been surpassed now, but it is still an amazing landmark.  There was an observation deck up there as well, but I think it is has closed now.  Possibly due to the one now on Eureka Tower.

I did this image as a HDR initially, but I have also added other parts back in, then made it black and white.  I do have two versions of it, as there was something in the colour one that I really liked, so maybe I will show that another time.  The image was taken the same morning as the train ones, I have to say that the high ISO was annoying, so I might try going back.

Laura has sent me her image as well, and if you want to read the post on it, then you can go here Lines and Patterns and Cars, Oh My.

lines-web3Different images from each of us, but they both have very similar themes, lines and shapes.

We thought we wouldn’t restrict this challenge to just ourselves, and invite you all along to join us.  If you like you can email me a link to your post, or email me the image, I will feature your image with a link to your page.  I will do this unless I get 100’s, then I might have to rethink.

If you want to participate you must email me, or I will lose your comments on the blog or forget where they are.

Remember the time difference, in Australia we are 10+ hours GMT, or it might be 11 at the moment as we have daylight savings.  So for most of you, if you do your posts on Tuesday, then mine will come out first thing Wednesday morning, my time.  It is so confusing, we will work it out.

Here is a gallery with the images so you can see them a little better.

A River Runs Through It

Continuing on from the post yesterday, again I am looking at images that I can use for my One on One photography sessions.  Today we are going to look at the water around the city.  For me that includes all the river and to the Docklands.  There is the other end of the river, but I have to admit I haven’t explored it much, perhaps I should.  It is more parks.

sccity-hpm0298-2cepFor many of my followers you will have seen many of these images before.  They have all been on the blog in the last couple of years, some of them multiple times.

Another thing I have been wondering about is if I called them the right thing.  I call them one on one, but should they be called something more personal, like Individual Photography Tours/Lessons?  Should I give them a more snappier name 12One, so they are One to One?  Or perhaps One on One is better.  Maybe I could come up with a logo or something.  It is just that they aren’t always just one on one, they could be two on one, or three on one.  I just don’t want to miss out on clients because they didn’t understand what I was offering.

Then I wonder if the website I have is good enough, will people understand what I want to sell them. Have I talked to much, is the layout crap?  My website is a WordPress blog that I have made into a website, so I don’t have a lot of control on layout.  I can’t work out how they do the CSS, so that hasn’t helped.

I have another gallery for you, and like yesterday would really love to hear which ones you like the best.  It was fantastic the response I got yesterday, thank you to everyone.  The one of Flinders Street Station would have won if there had been a competition.  So here are the photos from the waterways.

Taking a Look Around the City

Most of you know by now that I am now offering One on One photography sessions for anyone who wants to take better photos, or anyone who wants to get the best photos of Melbourne when they come here.  I am trying to get my page together, but I realise I need to have photos.  I need to show people that I can take photos, and photos of what is in Melbourne, also beyond the cliched stuff.


I have been planning trips into the city to get photos, thinking I didn’t have any, then a friend reminded me that I have been into the city so many times that I must have thousands of photos, so this morning I went through them.  I do have a lot, too many for one post, so I thought today I would show you the ones of the city, and tomorrow we could look at the ones I’ve taken of the Docklands and along the river.

What I would love you to do is to let me know which ones you like the most.  I want to put a gallery together on my website and I need to narrow down how many images.  I just think if you like them then I can’t go wrong.

Before I show you the gallery I have to show you a testimonial that I recieved from my wonderful friend Nia.  Nia is also a blogger and writer, her blog is Nia Simone, Author.  Nia and her husband were in Australia last October and I got to meet her and show her my city.

A Walk through Leanne Cole’s Blog

Our guided tour and photography lesson with Leanne Cole was a highlight of our visit to Australia. She welcomed us, made us feel comfortable, and adjusted our tour to meet our needs and interests.

For example, I told her I wanted to absorb how she sees things as an artist so niashe asked me if that meant I wanted her to take photos. I said yes, exactly! I absorbed so much, not only in how she sees things but also in how comfortable she is with a DSLR. She broke me through feeling intimidated by the big camera and I finally graduated from my compact.

Our day was fun, educational, and not work, just the way I wanted. We took photos of alleys, arcades, lamps, buildings, train stations, bridges, waterways, all at a relaxed and fun pace while we learned about each place, stopped for a leisurely scone and coffee break and chatted about Melbourne, Australia, photography and blogging. Every place we went, including the beautiful shop in the arcade where we shared pastries and coffee, were places I had seen on her blog.

In fact, I felt like I was taking a walk through Leanne’s blog! Having that layer of memories from her beautiful blog added richness and enjoyment to touring Melbourne.

In addition to listening to us, customizing our tour, providing photography instruction when asked, and taking beautiful photos of me and my husband for us, Leanne provided an architecture and cultural history of Melbourne. Having the insights of such an informed and interesting local artist enhanced our tourist experience and left us with wonderful memories and more cultural understanding.

The tour also oriented us to the city and we felt confident enough to navigate to a local’s place that evening to enjoy our kind of dinner. A lovely ending to a personalized and full, yet relaxing day.

Nia Simone

from California

Thank you so much Nia, I really appreciate this testimonial, and I had a fantastic time as well.

Now here is the gallery of Melbourne, please let me know which ones you like.

Merry-Go-Round Stops

The other morning when I went into the Docklands, I was so happy with how quiet it was there.  I just don’t like getting people into my images, so it was a great opportunity to get a heap of images that I could play with.  So I wanted to try something, and have just one image for you today.

I do wish I had changed some things when I was actually taking the image, but there it is, I only had that to work with.  One of the things I have been wanting to play with is changing colours in the image.  Seeing if I can change the mood of it, make it seem something else.  I love the whole abandoned thing, and I love photographing abandoned buildings, but the thing I love more is to make somewhere that isn’t abandoned seem abandoned.  So I suspect you are going to see a lot more images like this.  Well, you have already seen some, but I have some plans for some things, and more stuff to try out.

I am going to leave it there today, I am busy learning some new stuff on the internet, more about that tomorrow.

A Different Way of Looking at the Shearing Shed

It has been a pretty heavy week for blog posts, that is two posts about subjects that we all feel strongly about. I thought for today I would just work on some photos and have a light day so to speak.

The image I choose to work on was one I took of the old shearing shed in Woomelang when I was last up there.  You have seen the image before, and I’m not going to show it to you again right now.  So here are two versions of it for you.

– click on the images above to see them on their own.

The first one is I played with a lot, trying some different things.  The second is the first one processed with Silver Efex with the Nik Collection.  I haven’t been playing with that a lot lately and it was nice to use an image in it.  The only thing with the second one was that I didn’t like it completely black and white, so I let a little bit of the colour come through.  I think a real black and white image misses the point, the colour of the shed.

I don’t know how I feel about these images, I am a little on the fence about them.  I liked them when I did them yesterday, but waking up with fresh eyes, not so sure.

We have a lot more hot days coming again, not as bad as last time, but still enough to be so annoying.  I suppose it will be a good time for me to be working on my photos and checking out some new things.  I am so glad we got the air conditioner  fixed.  Keep cool if you are in Australia, and keep warm if you are north of the Equator.

Sometimes There are too Many Things

There is no post today for, seems they don’t want me to write for them anymore, I think, I don’t know really.  They have stopped responding to my emails so I assume that means that they don’t want my posts anymore.  I thought for today I could a post for you about some other things, photography related, but they are little things.

How to tell someone to stop stealing images!

When I did my post yesterday I received a comment from someone who thanked me for what I had said, but she had a small problem, she (D) knew someone that was taking her photos and then pretending that they were their own.  I think the person taking the photos was taking them from others as well, I’m not totally sure, but still, if you knew someone who was doing this, what would you do?

D asked me, but I didn’t really know what to say, so I thought I would ask you and see what you would do.  Maybe give D some ideas on how to stop this person from stealing photos and pretending they own them.

LeanneCole-city-20131107-0165When do the images belong to me?  Follow up.

I got emails back from the State Library of Victoria and the Block Arcade.  The first building is a publicly owned building, belongs to the State Library of Victoria, and the other is privately owned.

The State Library of Victoria have pretty much said the same as what we would expect.  That amateurs are allowed to go and take photos, in most parts of the building, there are some that are off limits.  You can photograph the building, but you cannot photograph the library patrons.  I assume if people are in the images, but not the subject, then that is probably okay.

There is a photography policy and this is what was sent to me:

The policy states:
3.2.3 Cameras and video equipment: Library spaces and buildings
Permission is not required for non-commercial or private photography within the public areas of the Library building but:
• photography of other users is not permitted
• permission from the marketing and communications manager is required for photography in the Keith Murdoch Gallery
• the marketing and communications manager, media coordinator or venue manager should be contacted if the photography is for commercial or public relations purposes. There may be a supervision fee and commercial use is subject to a reproduction fee.
All photographic or other equipment carrying bags must be presented for security inspection when leaving the Library.

LeanneCole-city-20131207-5412The Block  Arcade also has similar restrictions.  It is a privately owned building and therefore they have a lot more restrictions in place about taking photos of it.

Here is part of the email they sent me:

The Block is a privately owned heritage arcade, we are thrilled that tourists visit us on a daily basis and they take photographs for their own
“memories purposes”.

However, we do reserve the right ourselves to the commercial use of Block
Arcade images in conjunction with our retailers e.g. Card & Caboodle.  A
variety of cards and postcards and tea towels have been produced over the
years via this arrangement.

It is such a difficult thing to work out, and I think when I wrote the original post on this I stated that it really is up to you to find out what is and isn’t allowed.  When you can and can’t sell photos of places is so different for each different building.

The one thing I haven’t been able to work out is if there is a difference between using an image for art, or to sell to people to hang on their walls and for using an image for commercial purposes.  So many people think that they are different.  I need to find this out, perhaps that can be my next challenge.

One on One Photography Lessons

Yarra River Bridge looking at Southbank

Yarra River Bridge looking at Southbank

I have been working on  my One on One Photography Lessons and getting them ready to start advertising more.  I really want to push them.

I thought I could offer them as either one 4 hour session, or one 8 hour session that can be broken up into two 4 hour sessions.  I would love to do more of these.  I thought people who might be interested in doing them would be people who want to learn photography, but I also thought that people who want to get good photos of Melbourne when they visit could get me to help them get those images.  Of course, I know Melbourne fairly well.

I like this idea,  so am working on webpage and hopefully can start advertising them.  That will be the next thing, how to advertise them when you don’t really have any money.

Enough of the little things, enjoy your day.