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Posts from the ‘Victoria’ Category

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.

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.



Up for Discussion – Astrophotography

Last week I mentioned how I was getting into something new and trying out taking photos of the stars.  When I talked about it last week, many of you had lots of advice, but I thought it would be great to get all that advice together in a special post.  So today’s post is about Astrophotography and hopefully a place for lots of information.

I can’t lie, I don’t really know what I am doing when it comes to photographing the stars. I’ve done some reading and watched some tutorials, but I can be stubborn and just try to learn as I go.  I LeanneCole-stars-5807did try doing some a couple of years without any research and it was a massive fail, so this time I have done some and I have had some results.

The type of photography I’ve been doing has been more to get the stars.  Setting the camera up on the tripod, putting it manual then setting the ISO on 2000, or thereabouts, aperture f/2.8 and then the shutter speed at 30 seconds.  I get stars with my 14-24mm lens.  I really like what I am getting.

LeanneCole-stars-5799This Easter weekend I have been at my mothers house in the Mallee and it seemed like the perfect place to take some photos of the stars.  I went out two nights in a row, to two different places.  I used the Star Walk app on my phone to let me know where everything was in the sky and set the camera up to get the milky way. I got good results I thought, I wasn’t disappointed. For this kind of photography I think the next step for me is learning more about the stars and then processing the images.  I don’t really know what I am doing when it come to processing them.

I tried to do some star trails, but I wasn’t too successful, so I gave up, I need to learn more about doing those.  I suspect the thing I need to learn more about is patience here.  I did set the camera up in my mothers backyard, and had a go at doing some 20 minute exposures.  I got some trails, and luckily Woomelang isn’t too bright a town that the images weren’t too blown out.  They weren’t great, but I did get something.  I think I need to work out how to compose better too.  Actually I need to do that for all the star shots.

I have several apps on my phone now to help me with all this.  As I said, I have Star Walk, though you have to pay for this one, it is around $3 or $4 I think.  There are some others that were recommended to me, Star Finder, Planets, Google Sky Map, ISS Detector.  I haven’t used those as much, I still need to sit down with them and check them out more.  I LeanneCole-stars-5984have a couple of apps for the moon, the one I use the most is Phases of the Moon, it is free, but you can pay for it so you don’t have adds.  I think I will do that, it is good to show some support for these things.  I also have one called Lunar Phase, but I like the previous one more.  I also got a Compass App, always good to know the direction.  The other day I also decided to get an app so I would know when sunrise and sunset were, I have used this one quite a bit since installing it.

When I did the post about this last week people talked about stacking images.  Taking a series of images and then you stack them. Apparently you can get software to do this, but I haven’t tried looking yet.  I haven’t had anything yet that I thought would be worth doing that with, but hopefully I will get to do more as I go.  I need to work out how to do the star trails.  I also need to find out some more information about my camera and the remote shutter release.  I might have to read the manual.

I don’t know a lot and I know there are people out who are the same.  If you do this what advice would you give someone starting out? What equipment would you recommend? Do you use any special apps on your phone?  If you do, which ones?  Have you experimented with software?  Which ones would you recommend?  How would you go about doing star trails?

This doesn’t just have to be a place for people talking about what they know, do you have questions about doing astrophotography? Perhaps the people who are more knowledgeable can answer questions too from people reading the blog.

These posts are a great way to share knowledge, so please contribute.

I will approve them, as long as they are nice and not nasty in any way.  I am travelling home today, so I won’t be able to respond today, but I will try and get to them when I get home. I will approve them from my phone.

Feel free to respond or reply to other comments.  It would be good to generate some discussion.

Finally, don’t forget to get your images to me for the MMC8 tomorrow.

Here is a gallery of the images in this post.  They were all taken here in the Mallee.  The first two on the same night, and the third, the second time I went out.  I’ve been experimenting with some light painting as well.


Weekend Wanderings – Werribee Mansion Part 2

When you go to Werribee Mansion you have the option of going inside.  We decided that we would, since it only cost nine dollars it seemed like a good option.  The best thing about it was that we didn’t have to go on a tour, that we could just walk around on our own.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5328The inside just says opulence everywhere.  There is so much art work and the attention to detail is wonderful.  I love seeing this kind of detail in a building.  Not sure about the animal heads, but it is in keeping with the times. There was a Hippopotamus stool in the games room, apparently from a hunt in Africa.  I couldn’t photograph the games room, there were too many dead animals.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5352The house has been set up a lot so you can get a glimpse of what life was like back then.  I do love this teaset, I would really like that porcelain.


Everything was so over the top.  You could be mistaken for thinking it was an English country home, which is what they wanted people to think.  People had trouble letting go of Mother England.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5390I love the stairs, though was disappointed with the big window, it was quite plain, especially when you compared it with the rest of the house.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5403The master bedroom, we couldn’t get over how small the bed was, especially when we think about the size of the beds we see now.

I am going to leave it there, and leave you with a gallery of images from the inside of the Mansion.  I think I will have to go back at some stage, it would be nice to do it at a different of the year.

Happy Easter.


Weekend Wanderings – Werribee Mansion Part 1

This last week I had an opportunity to go to the Werribee Mansion.  I went with a client, it was her last One on One Photography lesson with me and  the outing was her choice.  I haven’t been to Werribee Mansion for many years, probably over 20, actually I think I went there when I first started doing photography, I might have negs of the outside.  The Mansion is part of Werribee Park, and the Werribee Zoo is the same precinct.  You go past the zoo to get to the mansion.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5287As you walk up to the house, you walk through some beautiful landscaped gardens.  The house entry is through the main gates with the gate house.  It is nice seeing this kind of thing here in Australia.  We don’t have a lot of homes that have this kind of grandeur.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5288This is from the Park Victoria website, “Werribee Mansion was completed by wealthy pastoralists, the Chirnside family in 1877. Built in the Italianate architecture style, Werribee Mansion boasts 60 rooms in several wings. Following extensive restoration, many of the Chirnside family’s items, including clothing, furniture remain on display.”

The building in the first image is actually the hotel that was built beside the original mansion.  The image above is the mansion as it is today.  Beautiful sandstone house.  No expense was spared here, though surprising, it wasn’t as large inside as you would expect, but I have those photos for you tomorrow.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5445Wonderful balcony off the first floor that you can stroll around on.  It was really large.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5552When you head out the back there is a sculpture garden with some interesting sculptures.  I think I found my accommodation for my next trip, you will know what I mean when you look through the gallery images.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5628When you head out the back there is an assortment of out buildings, like the stables, the smithies hut, and the old mens hut has been restored.

LeanneCole-werribee-20140415--5600I love this, the “Ha Ha Wall”, which was basically a ditch with a wall on the other side, you can see the wall behind the sign.  The idea is animals would graze and then go down the ditch and realise they couldn’t go any further.  It was a way to keep animals in paddocks, but not have the view obstructed by fences, so it really was ha ha to the animals.

I am going to put the images into a gallery for you now.  Tomorrow I will show you the photos I got from inside the Mansion.

Weekend Wanderings – Zoo Walks

After our Open Vehicle Adventure at the Werribee Zoo we went and had lunch at the Meerkats cafe, I think it was called, before deciding to go for a stroll.  While most of the zoo you can’t see without going on a safari, either like the one we did, or the one that is free with entry, there is a small section that you can walk around and see.  This part looks and has a similar feel to the main Melbourne Zoo.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-140403023You can see the gorillas at both zoos, but they are in a much larger area here, well it seems larger.  We only saw one of them.  Another we saw briefly at the end, but it was over the hill.  It was nice to be able to just wander and see what was around.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-140403017Like most Zoos, well I think they all do this, the gardens around the enclosures and walkways are really beautiful and there are lots of things to photograph along the way.  Using the 70-300 meant I could get some great shots like the one above.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-140403006We stayed with the hippos for a long time, watching them come up for air and then going back down.  It was like a game of hide and seek, they move around a lot under the water and you can’t see them when they go under.  There is a place to watch them, but from where we were you couldn’t see the mother and her baby.  You can only see them when you go on Safari.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-140403013The lions are so big, so beautiful.  They were just hanging out.  It was nice.  There is a massive glass screen so it feels almost like you are with them.  There was a male lion, but he was right over the side sleeping.  It was nanna nap time apparently.

It is another nice zoo and the grounds are just wonderful and they have done a lot to make it work in the environment that it is supposed to be, so many African styles of plants and buildings.  I won’t talk anymore, I have some more photos for you to enjoy in the gallery.

Weekend Wanderings – Zoo Safaris

Recently when I was doing a One on One Photography session my student told me about this amazing experience she had been on at the Werribee Zoo.  I knew as she was talking about it, that I would want to go on.  It was called a Open Vehicle Adventure and you get to go out into a smaller vehicle and they take you up close to the animals.  It costs a lot more money, but you know that you will only be able to do it with up to 14 people and it was so worth it.  We went during the week so there were only 5 of us on our adventure, which was really nice.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-1404034357You are driven all over the park, and where they can, you are taken off the road to see how close you can get to the animals.  The animals just keep going about their business and don’t seem to care about the rest of us.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-1404034481They have a new baby hippo there and she was playing around and poking her head out to see us.  You could only see her on the Open Vehicle Adventure or the other safari tour that is included with entry.  We were allowed to stay longer and got to see her poking her head up a lot.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-1404034627Can you see how close you can get.  This guy, Leroy, the Rhinoceros scared me as he headed straight to where we were. You don’t realise how big those horns are until they appear to be coming straight at you.  Of course we moved so he couldn’t hurt us, not that there was a chance of it happening anyway.  I think the Rhinos were my favourite from the day.  I have never been so close to animals like them before.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-1404034570How wonderful do the giraffes look.  They just sat there, well, until we went over to say hello, then they all stood up.  Have you ever seen a giraffe standing up?  Let me tell you it isn’t graceful.

LeanneCole-werribeezoo-1404034568For everyone else who has just paid their entry, they travel around on a vehicles, like the one in the above image.  It is where all the kids are.  I imagine it would still be a great experience, though very loud, you could hear it from a distance.  Ours was much nicer, quieter and well, we got closer.

You get to talk to a person who works there as well, our guide and driver knew lots about the animals and she also told us a lot about what the zoo is trying to do.  How important the breeding program is and how they are trying to stop animals from extinction.  The Werribee Zoo started out as an agistment place for the animals at our main zoo, then they starting letting the public in.  It is nice to see the animals in much larger open spaces.  Apparently there are plans to get elephants there some time in the future.  That will be exciting.

I had never been to this zoo before, but I know I will go back.  They have some other Wild encounters that I think I would like to try as well.  I have been enjoying my trips so much that I am now considering becoming a member of the Zoo, it is a great to support them and then I get free entry.

Just wanted to add something about the lens, as a couple of people have asked me, I used the 70-300mm lens again, the really cheap one I told you I had, though I also used the cropped sensor in the D800 so I could really get 140-450mm.

I have a lot more photos for you, the ones today are just from the Open Vehicle Adventure, there are other parts of the Zoo, but will show the photos from there tomorrow.  Enjoy your Weekend, happy snapping.