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Posts from the ‘Landscapes’ Category

Weekend Wanderings – My Backyard, Banyule Flats

From time to time I get people saying that they don’t think to take photos of where they live.  I have been one of those for a long time, but recently I have been making more of an effort to go out and see what is there.  Well, that’s not true, I have being seeing it for years but not through a camera lens.  So during the week I decided that I am going to try and make one of weekend posts each weekend to be aboutwhere I live, so within a 10 km of my home.  Though more likely a 5 km radius, which is what I refer to when I mean my backyard.  I know there is so much here to photograph, but because I see it all the time I think people may not be interested.


LeanneCole-banyuleflats-7626This last week I’ve been going to Banyule Flats quite a bit.  If you google Banyule Flats you will see where it is and what is there.  I have lots of photos of the same thing really, but taken at different places.  I hope the photos aren’t too repetitive for you.  I just thought it would be interesting to go there at different times to see how it changes.  The photo above was taken early in the morning.  A place I think would be good for a sunrise and that is my next thing to try and get there. On this morning fog had been predicted, but there really wasn’t any.  I should have gone the following morning.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-7634Then I went on Wednesday night, the full moon.  I was curious to see what sort of images I could get using the moon as my light source. This spot I have taken the shot from here is a new one for me this week.  I discovered it when I was taking the first shot.  I usually go to a side bit, but I was thinking when I was there that maybe I could go around more, so I was getting wet walking though low trees and plants on the ground.  I was trying very hard to be careful, and then I found the perfect place.  When I was leaving, I took a slight detour looked up and there was a gate.  Not need to have gone through all the wet stuff afterall.

If you go somewhere like that and there are gates you can go through, then please remember to close them again. If people forget to close them then we might start finding padlocks on them.  I don’t want that.  Where I am the gates are there so you can go in there, but it keeps the dogs out.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-7663Then I walked around to the other side which is the more common side of looking at the swamp.  The moonlight created a lovely image this time.  It wasn’t long after a stunning sunset, so that part of it is still in the sky.  The swamp was so calm.  I like that you can see the stars as well.  I do like the images from this side with the moonlight.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-8143I went back on Thursday night hoping to get a repeat of the sunset that I missed on Wednesday night.  We didn’t get it.  We sort of got nothing.  The conditions were perfect, it was cloudy the forecast was for a great day the next day.  It was very windy though, so I don’t know if that had something to do with it.  But it is literally two minutes drive from my place, so I know I am going to head there for more.  I want to try and see if you can get a good sunset from there.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-8063Also on Thursday, just after I had taken the photos of Briony, we were driving home and talking about Kangaroos and big mobs of them, and Briony said, “look there are a lot”. On part of the road here there are paddocks for horses and cows and in the paddock was a large mob of kangaroos enjoying the morning sun and grazing on the grass.  Unbelievable to me sometimes how close to civilisation they are living.

I don’t know if I told you the story about my husband riding his bike home late one night late and he was coming up the road and he looked beside him and a big kangaroo was alongside of him keeping up with him.  It scared my husband and he stopped, just as well as the kangroo would have knocked him off his bike as he crossed in front of him.  We use to laugh at people who came to Australia that would think they would see Kangaroos jumping down the streets, because it never happens, then again, sometimes it does.  Where I live is not that far from the city, about 15km.  Melbourne is a big city and it stretches out a lot further from us.  I love it that you can see them here.

Friends of Banyule have lots of information about this area.  Don’t forget, I posted about this area once before because they want to destroy this suburban area so they can build yet another unnecessary freeway.

I am going to put the remaining images in a gallery for you.  I hope you enjoyed this look into my backyard and don’t mind that you will see more each weekend.  It will be interesting to see how things change with the seasons as well.  What’s in your backyard?

Revisiting Waterfalls

Last year I went to visit Ladies Bath Waterfalls near Bright in the Mount Buffalo National Park.  I showed images at the time and I showed another one this past Tuesday.  It has been a big week so for today I thought I might revisit the photos and try working on them again and playing around with some stuff.  I have two images for you.

Both done slightly different.  I am off now, I think I will work on some other photos as well.  Enjoy your day.

Weekend Wanderings – Landscape Photography Classes

All around the world on the weekend there are people teaching photography classes and people taking them.  Here is no different to anywhere else and yesterday I was teaching my new students landscape photography.  There is a place I take them in Eltham, and while not the greatest place in Melbourne, it is close to where I teach and they get to take photos and experiment.  I help out, but I can usually get a couple of photos myself.  It is good for them to see me doing this as well, I think.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-6951These gates are usually where I start.  They are so old, yet so out of place for where they are.  They do seem to imply some sort of old world grandeur that now is long gone. I don’t know if the gates have always been there and did lead to something else, or are more recent.  It doesn’t seem to matter, it is a great place to start.  It is contained, so they don’t wander too far.  Every class I have taken here have seemed to enjoy photographing here.  They stand afar, apprehensive to get in close, but you can see that they all want to.  As soon as one does it, they all go.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-0463It is good for them to realise that they should look all around, up and down, that good images don’t always come from eye level.  Looking up can also give a different view.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-6990Yesterday we went further a field than we have before and found a lovely spot to take photos where they could all wander around and just see what they could find.  I hung around so they could ask me any questions.  I think it is good to let them go off on their own too, see how they go.  I know in next weeks class there will be lots of questions once they have looked at their photos and maybe didn’t get quite what they wanted.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-7011It was nice for me too, to photograph somewhere new and see what I could get.  I will try this week to take some of these photos and do more to them and see what else I can bring out.  Turn them into fine art images, as opposed to just straight images with little processing, which is what you have here.  I like to show them the possibilities of what they can aspire to, if they so wish.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-6969I am also trying to show them that there is the big picture and also the smaller one.  I am trying to do more of this myself and so I try to encourage my students to take in the details.

We were lucky with the rain, it did rain a little, but then it went away and we had a great time.  It poured all afternoon, but we were all home by then.  I am going to give you a gallery now of more photos. Some taken yesterday and some taken in my last landscape class.  Happy Wandering.

Looking for Art in the Pink Lakes

Last week I showed you a heap of photos I had taken in the Mallee, well, more specifically the ones I had taken of the Pink Lakes.  There were two images that I withheld, the reasons being that I planned on working on them a lot more so I could see if I could get them good enough to enter some competitions.  I have done quite a bit on them, and am happy with where they are, but I need to see them.  I need to keep looking them and make sure there is nothing I want to change.  So today you get to look at them with me, if you want to.

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6198-1-2When we were at the wooden ramp I saw the sun reflecting off the salt, and I thought it looked stunning.  So I did, what I always do, I took a photo.  The sun was weird, still high up in the sky, but it was like the sunset had already started, there was already so much colour at the horizon.  It now looks like moonlight, and I may have made it too dark.  I will have to keep looking.  I might have to go back to the previous version that wasn’t quite so dark, though when I compare the two, I seem to be drawn to this.

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6263Not long after we saw the previous one, we parked the car and went for a walk.  We were on a track and we spotted this tree that had fallen over in the salt.  Obviously dead, but I really liked the way it was the only sign there had been life.  There is water here and the lake was a lot pinker.  I have tried to draw out the salt.  I think this is my favourite image from that trip.  This is one I think I mostly definitely want to enter into a competition.  I need to just look at it for now.  I think I have it pretty much where I want it, but I do know that sometimes I go back to an image and I do see things that I think I should change.

I really enjoyed working on these.  I know I keep saying that I should do more, and then I don’t, but I really should do more. Part of the thing that has been stopping me, has been my back, but it is slowly getting better and I can spend more time sitting now, and it isn’t a big thing anymore.  I think I need to go back through the images I have taken over the last few months and see what else I have that I might want to work on.

I will put them into a gallery now so you can get a better look at them.

A Small Glimpse of the Pink in the Lakes

Most of you will know that I went up to the Mallee last weekend.  I did go out and do some star shots, but I also went out on a bit of a trip to the Murray Sunset National Park.  One of the things that the park is famous for are the Pink Lakes.  I have wanted to go there for quite a while, and on Monday I finally got my chance.  I have to say, the lakes really are pink.

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6052They don’t have a lot of water in them right now, I assume after the hot summer we had, which was a lot hotter up there, most of the lakes have dried out.  They have had some rain, but not enough to fill them again.  To get the real pink I think you need the water, as it is the red algae in the water that makes them pink.

The image above was the first lake we came too.  We walked around a little, but then we wanted to move on. We planned to get there late afternoon so we didn’t have a whole lot of time. Really, the visit was to check the place out and make plans for more visits during different times of the year. I do have to say though that the flies in that part of the country are so bad, if you hate flies, I wouldn’t recommend going there.

One of the things we are thinking of doing is running some classes up there, maybe do some star photography, I think it would be a great place to get some photos, and there are some great things to do some light painting on.

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6201Not a drop of water in sight.  Well not quite true, the ground was very moist.  This was over and behind one of the big lakes.  We found what was left of one of the ramps used for mining the salt. The wood is all rotting, but strangely, also being preserved.  I do have other photos of it, and will show more in a Weekend Wanderings post this weekend.

When I saw this area I knew that I wanted to try and get some better landscape photos.  You know I don’t really consider myself a landscape photographer, but I have thought that I should try more and get better at it.  I was also sent some information about a International Landscape Photographic competition which I thought I might enter.  I don’t really enter competitions, too afraid I’m not good enough, so I think I should just bite the bullet and do it.  Perhaps it is the next step for me.  See if I am good enough.

Thinking of the possibility of entering some competitions, I did take some photos that I think I will process with that in mind.  There are at least two images that I took of the lakes that I absolutely love and would like to work on and see how much better I can make them.  I have about a month before the deadline for the competition, so plenty of time to work on them.

I will put these two images into a gallery for you now.  Enjoy your day, it is a public holiday in Australia today, ANZAC day, and I know each year I say I will go in to photograph the march and I never do.  Perhaps next year I will see if I can get up early enough for the dawn service.



Trying the Same Again

A friend of mine, who is also a keen photographer, was saying to me recently how much she loved one of my photos and really wanted to see if she could get the same or similar image.  She wanted me to take her where I had taken the photo.

scmelbourne-hdr1I am sure many of you will remember this one.  It was my header shot for some time.  It is funny how the memory plays tricks.  We could both remember it as having a sunset behind the city.  When we went out last weekend to capture the image, we were so disappointed that there wasn’t a sunset.  Then I looked up the photo again and was so surprised to see there hadn’t been a sunset here either.  I think it must have been the colours that were in the final image.

The above shot was taken almost 2 years ago.  It is a HDR image, I was doing so many of them back then.  I still like the image, but I had always wanted to go back and always meant to, but somehow never got around to it.  It was nice to do it again.

We were disappointed.  There was no real sunset, it was quite pathetic really.  There were hardly any trains.  There weren’t many lights on in the city buildings.  So I know we will go back again.  Here is what I got.

LeanneCole-traintocity-4244It is quite a different looking image.  I know I said there were no trains, it was true. I have taken all the photos I had with trains and put them on one image.  I like the effect.  This image is certainly earlier than the previous one, lots of street lights and things haven’t come on yet.  I did make the most of the sunset that we got.

Things have changed since I took the first one.  I do have more experience.  The first one was taken without a tripod, the second with.  I just didn’t have it with me the first time.  I have a new camera and a new wide angle lens.  My knowledge of Photoshop and compositing has grown a lot.

I think it was a great thing to do to go back after two years and see how different how I would make an image. I still love the first one, but I also like the second one, for different reasons.  I will go back again, we are planning on doing it another evening, when daylight savings finishes, but we will go back during the week, see if we can get more of the peak hour trains and the city going into early evening.

I will put both in a gallery for you to look at on their own.

Weekend Wanderings – Parks in Heidelberg

That would be parks in Heidelberg, Australia, a beautiful part of the city of Melbourne that seems to be largely unknown about.  One of the best kept secrets if you ask me. When we first moved to this area over 20 years ago, we didn’t like it.  Not at first, suburban blues is what one friend said to us.  As time went on we learned to appreciate this unique area and now we love living here.  So many people who come to our place for the first time are amazed that their are paddocks across the road with horses in them.  It is like living in the country, but we are not that far from the city.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0982I went out early, and started taking photos just before sunrise.  I wanted to get a lovely sunrise coming up behind the tress, but as it always is with my luck, there wasn’t much of one.  Perhaps, I just need to keep going out.  LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0989As the sun came up the landscape was covered in this beautiful golden glow.  It was a spectacular morning and a great morning for photos.  I almost didn’t know where to start.  I did start with the building above, though this wasn’t the first photo.  You will see the first photo in the gallery.  The area was covered with mist, but by the time I got the camera out, it had pretty much disappeared.  I had planned on going earlier, but I slept in.

Almost forgot to mention that this area above was used for the fairground scene in the movie Charlotte’s web.  Apparently they painted all the trees in autumn colours so it would look like autumn.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0988Like the photos I showed you last week, there are lots of places for water around here.  Lots of swamps, Billabongs and such, but with the summer they have all dried up.  Funny we had all that hot weather for about two weeks, and that was about it, but we haven’t had much rain.  The leaves are starting to change colours now, so winter is on the way.

I took this shot especially because can you see the footprints in the foreground?  I am not an expert, but I would say they are from a wombat.  Obviously decided this was not the right path, you can see where it went up on the left. Something that people don’t realise is how much wildlife lives in our local parks.  The other evening when I walking in another part with a friend we saw about 15 Kangaroos grazing on the grasses.  She was really excited, she doesn’t live around here, close, but I was, well, we see them all the time.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0995There are lots of walking and bike tracks through the parks and first thing in the morning there are lots of people out walking, jogging or cycling.  It is a thriving community and we all know what we have here.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-1007These old silos are just down the road from me.  I drive past them nearly everyday, but I have found them to be so hard to photograph in the past.  I had tried photographing them years ago, but thought they didn’t photograph very well, so hadn’t tried again.  However lately, I keep driving past them thinking there must be a way, and it might depend on the light etc.  I thought I should just start photographing them over and over, see what happens.

I was going to take photos of them this morning, but then realised I had the 14-24mm lens on the camera, so thought “what is the point”.  Then as I was heading home I saw the golden light on them and knew I just had to try.  They aren’t too shabby, but would have been better with a different lens.  Must take more than one lens with me when I go out.  Lesson learned, I hope.

I have more photos of the glorious morning in Heidelberg, I hope yours is good today as well. You know, I’ve said before how I don’t think I am very good at landscape photography, but I have this whole landscape world at my doorstep, maybe it is time I practiced more.  Here is the gallery.