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Posts from the ‘Portraits’ Category

No Longer a Teenager

Today is my daughters birthday.  I know it isn’t something I normally blog about, but this morning she let me take her to the local park to take some photos of her.

LeanneCole-brionybirthday-7737Today she is turning 20 and as her mother I can say I am so proud of her.  She has had a rough few years but has really come out of it well.

LeanneCole-brionybirthday-7866It was fun trying to get images of her.  Not the images you normally get when people pose, but the images of her as I know her.  The way she laughs and smiles.  We gave her the skirt for her birthday.

LeanneCole-brionybirthday-8054I think she is beautiful and has grown up to be a wonderful person.  It was so much fun going out with her this morning to take her photo, it has been a while since she let me.  Normally she pulls silly faces, and she did do that, but if you wait after she pulls one, she smiles and starts laughing, so I got some lovely ones as well.

Happy Birthday Briony

A gallery for you to look at the images individually.

Casual Portraits

This week has been a hard week.  I’ve been taking lots of photos and checking out places to go and take photos.  I am very tired, so today I am not going to talk a lot, I thought I would show you some portraits that I took recently of a young woman.

She was great to photograph and we had a lot of fun.  I will just put the images into a gallery for you.  Enjoy your day.

Taking Action

Recently I have been thinking about doing more portraits, though not so much the fine art ones, but more just normal portraits.  I still love the idea of doing portraits of teenagers as they are finishing school and moving onto the next part of their lives.  I have discussed this before, the idea of doing them here, and how the whole concept of Senior Portraits wouldn’t work in Australia.  I am still thinking of names, but I did get to take some lovely photos of a friends daughter last weekend.

LeanneCole-alannah-1883She is a gorgeous girl, but has issues about her body (what teenage girl doesn’t?), so we did more head shots, which I think she was more comfortable about.

I have been looking at lots of portraits lately, and looking at what the photographers do to them.  I have also been hearing a lot about actions. Actions are like recordings of processes in Photoshop that you can then play over and over again.  You just click a button and then things happen before your eyes.  They are quite amazing.

I seem to see actions everywhere at the moment.  You know how when you suddenly become aware of something, how it seems to be all around you, well, that’s what’s happening with actions.

You can find free ones on the internet, and you can also buy them.  I was given some actions by Lara Jade when I did an online course that she was teaching.

LeanneCole-alannah-1883-ljaAfter a couple of clicks, this is what I got.  You can change some things, but it can give you a great overall effect.

Then during the week I was sent a discount coupon for Greater than Gatsby.  They sell actions, and you can end up with some great ones, the following image was done with one of theirs.

LeanneCole-alannah-1883-ggaOf course you have to learn how to use them, and I am sure eventually I will get the hang of it, but it is interesting to see what results you can get with them.

I purchased The Radiance Collection from Greater than Gatsby and it came with 110 actions.  I have only played with a few of them so far, but I was really impressed with what you got.

LeanneCole-alannah-1815-2This image I did myself.  I tried some things I had learned from Lara’s workshop.  I don’t mind this at all.  My next step is recording my own actions.  I have tried it a couple of times, and some things have worked and some haven’t, but I think I just need to practice more.

I think I am going to like actions, though I think it could be something that I need to work out how to do myself.  I hope my friends daughter likes what I have done to her images.

Here is a gallery for you.  The first image of each pose is the original with hardly any editing, and then the actions applied to them.

The Eyes Have It.

Recently I have been doing some internet courses and learning how to retouch skin. There are so many ways to do it, and I guess eventually what you have to do is work out which one works best for you.  Today I thought I would try a couple of different ways.

LeanneCole-briony-7107-oThis is the image I decided to use.  I took this shoot the other day in the city when we were just sitting around.  She liked it, so I thought I had a winner there.  I have been looking for some images that I could do some skin retouching on, and I thought this one would be good.  So I just processed this in Camera Raw as I do with most images. The other obvious problem was her sisters face in the side, so I thought a square crop would work best.

LeanneCole-briony-7107I tried using Joel Grimes technique for skin retouching.  I think it is a little harsh, and she really didn’t like it.  I like aspects of it, but she thought the eyes were too intense. I did try to explain to her that her eyes are intense in this image.  It is funny when you look at only this one, it looks okay, but then when I compare it with the next one I did, it does look strange.

LeanneCole-briony-7107-2This one is a lot softer and I used a different technique, I did some of what Joel did but left out some of the steps in the beginning.  She still thinks the eyes are too much, but she doesn’t seem to realise her eyes are like that.

It isn’t perfect, but it is interesting.  I am trying to learn frequency separation.  I have just purchased another workshop and am working my way through it. It has lots of tips for skin retouching.

I think if I want to do portraits then I need to learn as much about skin retouching as I can.  I will put the above images in a gallery so you can see them separate from the writing.

On the Run

Today has been very busy and so will tomorrow. I spent majority of today meeting new friends. My blogging friend Nia and her husband are here visiting Australia and this morning I showed them around my city.  It was so wonderful to meet someone scemily-20130930-7317from another country because of our blogs, it is so cool.

I don’t really have a post for you today but I have written one for so please go there and take a look.  The post is about Finding that Niche in the Market Place which is a topic we have talked about here before, but I think I have gone into more detail.  Well, I hope I did.

I also wanted to let you know that I have now booked a place and have a date for my Photographing People classes next year and you can get lots of details on my website,

Tomorrow I am going to the coast with Nia and her husband and we are planning a great big trip along the Great Ocean Road.  It is going to be a mammoth trip, but I should also get lots of photos to show you.  I can’t wait.

The Lady at the Sea

Most of you know that last weekend I went to Point Lonsdale to take some photos of Kelly at the beach.  She was going to be my model, well, she was my model, but things didn’t go as planned.  If you don’t know what I am talking about look at my post last Sunday.  The weather was shocking, it was raining, and the tide was so far in that there almost was no beach.  She was fantastic and did a great job modelling through.

LeanneCole-kelly-20130928-6597-2The whole session threw me for a six, I wasn’t quite expecting it to be like it was, and then there weren’t a lot of options.  We had to work fast while there was still sand there, before it was all underwater.  It was a very wild, wild day.

LeanneCole-kelly-20130928-6710This is probably my favourite from the day.  She is wet and it could mean a lot of things, you can decide for you what it means.

I really want to be able to do these images again, maybe try some other outfits, and see what else we can get.  Maybe go further a field, some where like Lorne, the rocks there can be really good, though people might be a problem.  I do know that she was great to photograph, nothing was too much trouble and being a drama student, got what I was asking her to do.  Thank you Kelly.

Here is a small gallery, with the above images and 2 others.

Now for the winners of the activation codes for Mass Watermarking.  They were picked randomly, out of a bowl, and they are

So if you can email me, or I will email you, you can get your activation codes, congratulations.  My email is

You can download the software at Download Mass Watermark, you put in your activation code, but then you need to close it and open it again.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

Doing the Work

Trying to work on art images isn’t as easy as it sounds.  I need to know what I want to work on, where I want the work to go.  What are my goals for it?  What are the long term plans?  What are the plans in the short term?

I have been working on these images for about 3 months now, and I am really happy with what I have done so far, but I know I can do more.  By that I mean, I still think I might be all over the place and I want to narrow it all a little.  I think I want to concentrate more on one topic, so to speak.  Though, for the portraits of other people, then they will all over the place, and the client will dictate what the images will be.  However, there is no reason why I can’t have my “fine art images” that will be separate from my “fine art portraits”

With that in mind I have been watching some of the creativeLIVE workshop that I purchased that featured Brooke Shaden.  She did a lot in it about inspiration, defining your style, working out your themes and how to work.  There is some good stuff there and a lot to think about.

20130822_104820One of the things that I felt I needed was a visual diary that I could put all the thoughts together in one place, along with drawings, designs, and photos.  I have used notebooks for much of my photography, but I tend to use only one and it contains all my information on all sorts of things.  It feel necessary to categorise things, put them in their own pigeon holes.

I purchased a new A4 visual diary, it is one from Milini, they used to be made by Daler-Rowney.  I love these as the paper inside is really nice.  It is a nice cream colour.  I find many visual diaries and sketch pads so stark, the bright white paper blinds me.  They come with a black cover that is like fabric, but again, I wanted to make it more special, more along the lines of what I want to do, or where I want to go, so I covered it in cheesecloth that I have ruined, in a way.  Gives it a lovely texture.

Another thing I do is put my favourite perfume on my notebooks and diary, makes them more personal and more mine.  It is important to me that these things are mine and not to be shared.  I wonder if that says I have a problem with sharing?

So I have a lot of thinking and working out to do.  I sort of know the direction I want to go and getting that inquiry for the wedding has really got me thinking.  I got married 23 years ago, and when I got married it was done quickly and cheaply.  We thought we were going overseas to live and the only way I could go as well was if we were married, so married we got.  I wore a dress that I already had, and there was no church service, there was no reception.

At the time I understood, but then a couple of years later when a friend was getting married, I didn’t want to know about the wedding.  It took me a while to realise that the real problem was that I was jealous that she was getting the wedding that I didn’t.  I didn’t get the wedding that I had dreamed about my whole life (I am Muriel).  So I have been wondering if I could explore that notion of brides, weddings, and the hopes and dreams that go with them.  So, my new journal is going to be used to go through these ideas and to help plan a new series of images.  I am quite excited about the prospect of where they may go.

I also thought I might show you some more images from the last shoot I did.  I got permission and she told me which ones she liked, so I will show you those and a couple of others.

I love the colours that are coming out with these images.  I think they look great.  There is a painterly effect that reminds me of the old masters, and it was definitely a look that I was going for.

I am going away this weekend.  Myself and two friends are going to Ocean Grove again.  We are staying in a place that is in the same complex as last time.  It should be a nice relaxing weekend, with lots of photos and lots of time to think and work on my ideas.

We have booked our accommodation with Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads Stays, the same people who looked after us last time.  The place we are looking forward to eating at is Barwon Orange, we have eaten there a few times now and never been disappointed.  I am not sure what images we will be doing, but no doubt it will be good.  The place we are staying in has free WiFi  so I should be able to get a post up with some of the photos on Saturday.