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Posts from the ‘Fine Art Photography’ Category

Starting the Year as I Plan to Finish

Happy New Year

It is the first of January as this post publishes, and I no doubt will be fast asleep, well I hope I am.

In the last 12 months I have concentrated on learning things and trying some things.  In between I did a few art images. Admittedly the year started badly with a bad back that meant I couldn’t sit for very long and wouldn’t able to spend a lot of time working on images.  As the year progressed I still didn’t do many, but it is something that I want to get back to.  Robyn’s One Four Challenge was great to help me get back into it and realised that perhaps I should be doing more.  So I am hoping to do a lot more of this next year.  It is something I love doing a lot. My back is so much better now and it is much easier to sit for longer periods of time.

I have gone through this blog and the one on my website and found images that I have enjoyed processing.  Some you have seen, some you may not.  Funny when I look at them now, they are nearly all architectural, I had really noticed that before.

Be careful with the celebrations, but I hope you all have a great evening bringing in the new year.

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.

From This to That

Oh man, it is currently 39ºC and a top of 43 is expected.  You can’t go outside on a day like this, you just melt, so perfect weather to spend on the computer and work on photos.  I had forgotten how long it can take to work on an image.

Remember this image from the weekend?

city-20140111-6467I decided this morning that this would be the image I would work on.  I really liked the composition, but I wasn’t happy with the view either side, so I wanted to work on that.

LeanneCole-city-20140111-6467-3hpmI cropped the image, and then I went through all my photos and found something else that I could use in the background.  It was interesting doing that, it kind of changed the whole way I wanted to approach the image.  I think it was great thing to do, and I think I would really like to do this more, it could be a great thing to experiment with this.

I have played with the colour, the curves, and added textures, all sorts of things.  I like the effect of the different layers.  It ended up being a massive file and was taking so long to do anything.

A friend of mine made a donation this morning to the blog, thank you Nia, and we got talking about some of the work that I will be doing.  I thought I might use this opportunity to tell you about a project I am going to be doing during the year with a woman I have known for many years.

Teresa is a textile artist and we have been trying to find a project to work on together for a while.  We have been playing with ideas, and we have finally come up with an idea.  We are going to use my portraits as the base, but the dresses the models wear are going to be made out of paper.  I will take photos of models in those dresses and then Teresa will take those dresses and do something else with them, that may or may not be used for other dresses.

I am really excited about this project, I love the idea of being a sculptor as well and making the dresses.  I think it will a fun project.  We really want to see if we can get an exhibition at the end of it.  One of the other things we thought we might see if we can do is a crowd fundraising thing to help raise some money for the project.  We haven’t decided completed.

During the time I have been writing this the temperature has gone to 40.3ºC, so I am sure it will reach the expected 43 very soon.  I will put the images into a gallery so you can see them a little bigger.

The New Year Begins

Last night was the end of 2013 and I had all these great plans to go up to a hill near us and see if I could get some images of the fireworks in the city, but I couldn’t stay awake.  I’m getting to old.  Though I had an idea of what I wanted to do today, I couldn’t think of any images, then I remembered some I had and I know if my daughters see these I will probably get into trouble.

LeanneCole-brionyklara-0346Here are my daughters on one of their last days of high school.  They get to dress up, so Briony went as Madeline and Klara went as our cat Tiddles.  Seems appropriate for Klara.  They both made their own costumes and I think they should both be proud of what they did.

We are in a transition period here at our house.  They both finished high school at the same time and now they are waiting to find out what happens next.  They are both off to University, but we are not sure what courses they will be accepted into yet.  Big changes for all of us.


Klara with our cat, Tiddles

This post was not intended to be about them, but about where I want to go in 2014.  What my plans are.  I don’t have a lot, but there are some things I really want to achieve in the next year.

In the image above I have started learning some new techniques for skin retouching.  I thought I would start the year off by trying something new.  It wasn’t a great photo to try it with.

LeanneCole-Briony-4941I think the technique worked a lot better with this one of Briony.  I am trying out a technique I learned from Joel Grimes when he was on creativeLIVE recently.  I think I like it, but I need to practice it a lot more.

The image above was also taken with my wide angle, something I picked up from Joel.  I quite like it and this year I hope to experiment a lot more with portraits and try using difference lenses to see what I can achieve.

One of my biggest plans this year is to really do more of the portraits.  I want to do a lot more and experiment a lot more.  I like where I began, but I want to make them my own and the artist in me is crying out to do more.

I would also like to master compositing this year.  I want to get a lot better at it, that way my portraits can be exactly what I want.  It will also mean building libraries of textures, and backgrounds.  I have the portable studio set up now, so now I just need to go for the Leanne Cole Look.

A friend and I are going to be working on a project together, I don’t want to go into too much just yet, but we are hoping to do a project with her textile background and my photography and end up with something we can show in a gallery.  I also want to try and get more of my own work into some galleries as well.

Architecture is something I love doing, but doing the fine art images of it kind of got sidelined last year, so I want to get into that a lot more.  I miss working on the building images that I take.  I have tended to just take them, process them quickly and put them into the a Weekend Wandering post, which I will probably still do a lot, but I would like to start picking some images and seeing what else I can do with them.

I have already spoken about my weekend wandering posts and what I want to do with them, so if you missed that, go back a couple of days.

I have enjoyed writing for and I really want to continue doing that.  It would be good to get some work into some magazines, though not really sure how possible that is, but will continue trying.

The last thing that I want to achieve this year is to build my business a lot more.  I did okay last year, considering I was transitioning from the cycling photography to other things, but I would like to do a lot better this year.  I am going to have to learn how to market myself better.

So I don’t think there is anything there that isn’t really achievable, I need to stay focused and to be positive about where I am going.  This blog is, of course, an integral part of all of the above and you will see it all happening.

I hope you have some great plans for the year ahead and hopefully we can all achieve them.  Good Luck.

The Evolving Continues

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how I wanted to start doing some new work, compositing images.  I have slowly started planning some work and experimenting with that.  Then last week I showed you a wedding photo that I had done a composite with, changing the background.  So this week I finally got around to going to Montsalvat in Eltham to take some photos that I could use for compositing.

I have to be careful with these photos, I had to pay $22 an hour to be allowed to take photos and I am only allowed to use them here. So I took some photos and will try experimenting with them, but I am still deciding if I would ever use Montsalvat again.

LeanneCole-thea-montsalvat_1666The background was taken at Montsalvat in the big room above the Great hall.  These windows are so gorgeous and the light coming through was lovely.  I have some plans for the images, but I need to photograph my model first.  I really wanted to try compositing one, so I got one of the images I took of Thea in my class last Saturday and tried to composite her into the image.

I am not sure the image really works.  It was a difficult one to do.  Thea was sitting on some steps outside and the light was quite bright.  I had to work a lot to tone that down.  I did take a quick image of one of the girls sitting on the lounge and used that for reference with the light.  I like the idea of it, but if I was going to do one for real, I think I would dress her differently and plan the shoot with the background image in mind. I am reasonably happy with how the actual compositing went and I did learn a lot doing it.

LeanneCole-briony-1710I asked my daughter to kneel down and pretend she was praying.  I like the composition, couldn’t resist doing this image.  I took other images of this without her so if I want to try and get someone in it that is more appropriate I can.

I thought I would show some of the images that I got to try compositing with.  I am not sure if I will use some or all or none, but this is what I got while I was there yesterday.  I will include the above images as well.

Emotion Coming Through

On Saturday when I taught my class I got some many fantastic photos of my model and so I have prepared two more for you today.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1449I do love this table, it is quite amazing.  I also love this pose, though I do wish her eyes were different.  I love the feeling of the image, is she just lying there because she is feeling depressed, or is there more too it.  I did tell her to pretend she was dead, as though she had been poisoned.  I think the image could convey many things.

I know a few people have asked me how I edit my images.   I don’t want to do a tutorial on it, but I am looking into software that I could do a screencast of it and then make it go faster for you, so you don’t see everything, but you get an idea of how one of my images comes together.  I don’t know much about this kind of software, but if I find out I might try it.  Though would prefer it to be free, so if anyone knows anything about software, screencasts for Windows, I’m all ears.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1561I was trying something different with this image.  I told her to pretend she was terrified sitting in the corner, and then I worked on making the image darker.  I wanted to convey a scared girl trying to hid in the corner at night.  The original image was so white, so it took a bit of effort to get it like this. I am not sure the scared part really came out.

I am really happy with where my images are going.  I do feel like I am growing as an artist and the work feels more like my own, rather than me imitating what others have done.

The weather has been horrible here, but we are finally seeing some better weather.  I really want to get out and some preparing images for the compositing, so this week looks like the first time I can do that.  So fingers crossed it holds and I can get on with it.

As I did the other day, the before and the after shots, one after the other.

Weekend Wanderings – Photographing a Model

Yesterday I was teaching a class at Living & Learning Nillumbik in Eltham. The class was about photographing people.  I had such a wonderful time and had some fantastic students.  We spent more time taking photos and usually at the end a class I do a quick editing section, but we had such a great model that I decided that we should keep taking photos.  I told them I would edit some images and put them up here for them to see.  I hope you enjoy seeing them as well.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1422We started by doing some photos inside with one of my very crinkled backdrops.  I  had to teach them how to use natural lighting, and how to bounce light around with a reflector.  The dress she is wearing is one I got recently from a vintage market.  I took quite a few costumes, which I think made the class more fun, well I hope it did.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1477Then we had a break, a change of costume and we headed outside.  I have never really taken advantage of where the centre is before.  There are so many places around it to take great photos.  I knew there were possibilites, but I never realised how great the images could be.

I know this is a bit of a weird weekend wandering, but taking a class is a great thing to do on a weekend.  There are classes everywhere.  I teach some, but there are many others.  It is a great way to learn and a great way to meet like minded people.

I am going to put all the photos in a gallery now, I am going to put the original, almost unedited photo, only processed in camera raw, first then straight after the image the edited version.  I hope the students enjoy the photos.