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Posts from the ‘Fine Art Photography’ Category

Experimenting on a Bride and a Groom

A couple of weeks ago I showed you some of the photos I took at a wedding I photographed in October, here is a link back if you would like to look again, or see for the first time, With this Ring.  I was pretty certain after I did the photos that I would want to do more things to the images, and experiment more with them.

One of the concerns the couple had, was that while they liked my work, they didn’t want the wedding images to be too dark.  I knew that was going to be a challenge, so I have been playing and trying some new things I have seen and worked out.  So today I thought I would show you those images.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-0045-2I worked on this one a lot.  I hope it looks a lot better than the original one.  I didn’t show the original the first time, so you will have to take my word for it, and I know the couple loved it.

I also used the images with them to make my first composite.  Before the wedding, I met them, we wandered around where they wanted their images, and had planned everything, so we thought.  Then a week before the wedding, we found out the Melbourne Marathon would be on the same day, and all those places we were going to photograph would be a “no go” zone for us.  We had to think quickly.  We decided on the other end of the city, but there was no opportunity to get in there to check it out and see what was possible.

On the day, what we thought we could do, we couldn’t, there were things in the way, and so winging it became the order of the day.  I can’t stress how important it is to check out places before hand.  Make sure you go over them, look at all angles.  Google search the day and make sure there are no events on that day that you need to be aware of.  What happens if it is raining, is there a wet weather plan.  So many things to consider.


We took some photos around a lovely old fountain in Spring Street with the Treasury Building in the background, you can see in the above image.  Though I was happy with the Treasury building, the other buildings in the background were ugly.  Very 1960’s, with their square shape and no lovely design features.  I realised after that if we had gone to the other side of the fountain, we could have got the Windsor Hotel in the background, a very old, very classy hotel.

So I went into the city a couple of weeks ago on a day that was similar to the wedding, so overcast, and took some shots of the hotel.  I didn’t have anyone with me to focus on, so I used the tourists to focus on, set my camera on manual focus and took the shots I wanted.  This helped with the depth of field.

LeanneCole-windsor-0447This is one of the ones I got.  I know it is out of focus, it is meant to be.  Helps with that idea that they were all taken at the same time.  Then I took one of the photos of the two of them in front of the other building and put them in this one.

LeanneCole-sashbee-0447-2It is my first real attempt at compositing, but I am happy with it.  There are mistakes I made and there are things I probably need to fix up, but I think it is all stuff I can work on.  Makes me think this is possible.  Maybe I can do a lot more of this.  I hope it looks like the image was really taken in this spot.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-0891-1I am not so sure about this one, but I wanted to show you because there were a whole heap of yellow taxis parked out the front and I had to do some work to get rid of them, and all the people at the entrance of the hotel.  Again, not perfect, but it does excite me and I love fixing these kinds of problems.

I have some more photos, I will put those above and the others in a gallery for you to look at.

The Work Evolves

Through various things on the internet I have been learning new ways of working and, yes, most of it has been through creativeLIVE and all their different instructors.  I don’t copy what other artists do, that is definitely wrong, but I do take what they do, well bits and pieces of it.  I know when I look at my work flow that there are things that I do that I got from this artist or that artist, but when I put them altogether I get my style, well that is the plan.

So I have been doing the fine art portraits for a while now.  I still love doing them, but doing them always in the park,  well, I need to change and I want to start doing something more with them.  I want to combine my love of architecture with the portraits. So I have been thinking about doing more compositing.  Actually start compositing.

It isn’t something I have done a lot, I have experimented a little bit, but I want to get more serious about it.  I have been working on my Photoshop skills and I think I have the skills now to do some really great images.  I also think my past experience as an artist who painted and did a lot of drawing, has to help.  I understand how an image is put together and the elements that make an image believable.

So what is compositing, for those that don’t know, I found a definition from Wikipedia, here it is, “Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene.”

scmont-hpm4843So I would be able to go to somewhere like Montsalvat and take images of places there, without a model, then take some photos of models, or clients, in my new portable studio and then composite the person into the image I took at Montsalvat.

It isn’t going to be as easy as it sounds, but I think I know what I need to know to be able to do it.  I know the way I shoot the model will be very important and the lighting will have to fit the scene that I am going to put them in.  I will have to make sure colours are correct and that type of thing.  I think I have the knowledge to do it, and I am very excited to try it.

scmont-hpm4960I could put someone standing in the doorway here, or even further back.  Doing this kind of photography is part of the reason why I bought the 50mm lens, so I could shoot everything with the same lens.


Part of the problem I have now is that if I take a model or client to a place like this to take photos, one, it will cost me so much more money, but secondly I can’t expect a model to wait around for people to leave so we can take photos.  Somewhere like this is quite touristy, so there are often people around.  However, I can go on my own, take the photos I need and then place people in various spots.  It will also mean I can use the same locations for multiple people.  If I take photos of these places carefully, I could get a whole library of images just for compositing.

scmont-hpm5058There are still many things to consider, but I am hoping to try my first one this week.  I am so excited.  When I do the shoot for the model, I will also photograph the portable studio for you to see. Though if you have seen any of Jennifer Thoreson’s work, you would know what I am doing.

Here are the photos I took at Montsalvat last year.  Not so sure about the processing anymore, but I hope you like the place.

Trying to Get What’s Up Top Out in the Open

This is a problem that all artists have, and one that quite a few people here have asked me from time to time.  Do I have a clear idea of what image I want to get?  Well, I try not to, if that makes sense.  I have learned that the image in my head is never what the end up product will be.  It can be so disheartening.

I have found that is it best to have an idea, but not a clear picture, then when I get something close I am happy, well relatively.  Then sometimes I am blown away and it is such a wonderful surprise.  However, to get to that shot there is always lots that don’t work, or the ones that are experiments and they haven’t quite worked how you wanted them too.

LeanneCole-emily-20130930-6720I have had this image in my head, not of anything in particular, but it is more about colour.  The images are dark, with lots of blue and green and the highlights are probably more golden.  I like this idea and the colouring, but I have to work out how to make them happen.  So I have been trying lots of different things with some images I took recently.

LeanneCole-emily-20130930-6981I don’t know if they work, but I like where they are going and there are definitely things in them that I like and want to keep trying.  It might be better to take shots that are meant for this sort of thing though, rather than using shots that were meant to be used for something else.

LeanneCole-emily-20130930-7250I have been trying things that I learned from Sue, and Lara Jade, and a few others.  I have been trying Sue’s burning and dodging, but it is a lot harder than it looks, so easy to go too far.  I need to practice a lot more.  I don’t know that these are successful, but it is nice and I like the general look.  I think I need far more experimenting though and have some other things I want to try.

So off to do some more experimenting.

With This Ring

Most of you know that a couple of weeks ago I photographed a wedding.  It isn’t something I normally do, but Sasha and Bianca saw my portrait shots and wanted me to take some wedding photos for them.  I wasn’t the main photographer there, and I tried to make sure that I didn’t get in his way, but I also managed to get some wonderful shots myself.  They have approved the photos and now I can show you a selection of the 1300 photos I took that day.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-0302-2This one is probably my favourite from the whole day, though there were a lot more that came pretty close.  I put this image up on Facebook on Saturday and was amazed at how many people liked it.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-0857-2I also put this image up on Sunday and again, so many said that they thought it was beautiful.  In truth, it was a beautiful wedding.  A lot of things didn’t go as planned, but we went with it and just did what we had to do.  I managed to get some amazing photos and I do feel really privileged that I was asked to take photos for them.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-0337We tried lots of things, and some worked and some didn’t, but the great thing was that they trusted me and were willing to let me try many things.  The ones that did work were brilliant.  I think having the two photographers worked really well, the other one ended up doing the photos that the groom wanted and I concentrated on the bride and helped her to get what she was after.  Then while he was doing the family photos I went into the reception area and photographed all the little details that I thought she would want, as a reminder of what it looked like on the day.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-1018-2I think you can tell from this image, that the day was crap, it rained on and off, and this was one of the very last photos I got in the city.  As soon as we got into the cars after this it really rained.    Though, it turned out to be good because if it hadn’t rained we would not have got the first photo I showed you.

They were such a beautiful couple and so wonderful to work with.  She kept saying she was being a bridezilla, but really she wasn’t, it was just really easy to see how much it meant to her for the day to go well.  She was never rude, or angry, in fact I thought she was a fantastic client.  I love it.  They wrote me a wonderful review on, what more could you ask for.

I am going to put a lot more into a gallery for you now, and you can browse through them.  I hope you like them as well.  I never thought I wanted to do weddings, but if I could do more like this, I would be very happy.

Trying Not to Blend In

My whole life I have tried hard to not fit in, well maybe that isn’t the right way of saying it, but I didn’t want to be someone that people overlooked because I didn’t stand out.  I would wear clothes that would make people notice me, don’t worry I didn’t wear anything over the top, well only once or twice.  I don’t know why I was like that, perhaps something to do with the family I grew up in and the feeling of never being good enough.  Not something I need to discuss here, but you get the idea.

LeanneCole-yvette-20130922-5620So today I thought I would talk about that idea as an artist and how hard we try to stand out from what is around us.  Last week, was it last week, I said something about how someone had said nothing was original anymore, it had all been done before.  It is a fairly true statement, there are always going to be differences between people’s work, but I know there are many people doing the same sorts of portraits that I am doing, but I have to find a way to make mine stand out.

It is a strange idea, I know, but at the same time, the idea that nothing is original is also quite a freeing idea, if that makes any sense.  It means, I can just do what I like without the worry of treading on someone else’s shoes.  I used to get so depressed when I saw someone working the same as me, and then I would think, damn, now I have to change what I am doing.  Well, I don’t think like that anymore.  If other people are doing the same, well that is fine, I just have to be better.

So now how do I make myself stand out from what everyone else is doing with portraits.  I don’t want to do images that are the same as what everyone else is doing, like all the baby photos where all the babies are in baskets, or naked on lovely blankets and quilts.  Don’t get me wrong, they are great shots, but I would want something different, so am I the photographer for those people? That sounds really catty, but I don’t mean it like that, I just mean, that I want to be able to give clients images that are not the usual of what you find everywhere.

These are ideas I am still working on, I know this post is probably confusing, but I think what I am trying to say is that while I know that nothing I do is going to be so original that no one else is doing it, that doesn’t mean I have to do what everyone else is doing as well, that I can still find something that is mine.  Well that is the plan.

I am going to show you some of my favourite portraits that I have taken now.

I am so surprised at how many there are, I didn’t realise I had taken so many, this is just some of my favourites.

Business Cards

I wanted to also give a little update on so new business cards that I have ordered.  We had that discussion a couple of weeks ago about how I can be a architectural photographer and a fine art portrait photographer, how to make them connect but also be different.  I went to the Moo website, they do fantastic business cards and stuff.  I saw that they do like a portfolio pack, which is basically just getting a few different cards with different photos on each one.  So I got 250 cards, 5 different photos, so 50 of each.  They are plain and simple, and when I get them I will show them to you.  Some have architectural images and some have portrait photos.  I think I will slowly add more so I can carry a mini folio around with me.

Because I ordered them, I was emailed a special offer for you, well I hope it is.  It is about referring a friend, or referring me.  So have a look if you need business cards, they do a great deal and their cards are really good.  Here is the link, Refer a Friend.

Working on Families

This last week has been so busy with the wedding photos and I am glad to say that I think I am done, well, done until the newly weds get back and we go through them.  I am happy about that, I have heard that they like them so far.  I put them up on my website with a code so only they can view them.  They have had a quick look and I am relieved that they are happy with them.  They were a great couple to photograph.

For today, and since I have some time, I thought I would show you some photos of the baby that I shot, not a good word to use, but you know what I mean.

LeanneCole-alison-8054One of the things I’ve been trying to work on is making the images softer and perhaps not as dark.  I am not sure I am succeeding with that, but I like the softness of this one.  Something only a mother knows about.  There is such a connection and bond between a woman and her child when she is feeding that child.  It is special, and I am so happy that Alison allowed me to photograph her while doing this.

LeanneCole-alison-8085I let this one be a little dark, because one of the things I remember about this shoot was how much we tried to get Sara to go to sleep.  She wouldn’t, and this is the closest I got to that.  I wanted the image dark, as it reflected what we were trying to do here.

LeanneCole-family-8122-2A family portrait.  Alison said Ben would be hard to photograph, he doesn’t sit still long enough.  She is right, he is hard to photograph, but we managed this one.  Not a typical portrait, but I do like the way they are all connected and involved in what is happening.  It is a happy family unit.  I did do this without all the textures and layers, but it seemed so boring, so plain, so I played and experimented.  I like this.  I hope they do too.

Strange Kind of Day

Or maybe strange week.  It really has been.  I am swamped with work, well that is a good thing.  My coffee machine broke and I don’t seem to be able to get it repaired, so I have to get a new one.  Then this morning I was watching something on creativeLIVE, well a course I purchased, and Sue was talking about creativity and how nothing is original anymore.  It was something that was told to us over and over when I was doing my Fine Arts degree.  It is good to be reminded of it.

LeanneCole-emily-20130930-7240Now my head is swimming with stuff and I am confused about what I am doing.  I know that doesn’t make much sense.  It must be the weather, a thunder storm is happening right now as I am writing this, I know the weather does affect me and the way I think.

I went to a Business networking lunch today run by Banyule Council for Women in Business, I assume that is me.  It was interesting.  It was supposed to be an opportunity to network.  I don’t know if it was any good for me, I suppose time will tell.  I am still trying to work out this whole networking this.  I did meet some lovely people so hopefully that will be great.  It was also nice introducing myself to everyone as a Fine Art Photographer.

Sorry, very confusing post today, pretty much sums up how I am feeling.  The guest speaker today was a woman called Megan Quinn, she was a great speaker and she said a lot of things that really hit home and I need to do some thinking.