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Introductions: Alan Wright

Today I would like to introduce you to Alan Wright.  He is another Melbourne based photographer and I know one day I will get to meet him.  He goes to some amazing places to take photos and I want to go to some of them to.  I have got to know him more because of Facebook and that is where you will find him, Alan Wright Photography.

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There are places that he has taken photos of that I have been to as well.  It is always very interesting to see how other photographers interpret places, it helps give you inspiration and ideas.

I asked Alan where he was and how long he had been doing photography for.

I live in Werribee Victoria and I love being here because I am very close to The Great Ocean Road and Point Lonsdale. I have been shooting for around 3 years and I only learnt how to use a camera because I went to Thailand and I wanted to take a photo of a sunrise.  I shot in auto, like most newbies, and the flash kept popping up. Then it would flash the beach and the photo looked strange so I knew a guy who taught lessons on cameras so went off and got shown about cameras and the rest is history really.

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His long exposures are amazing and I really like seeing what he does, and what he photographs for them.  I get so much inspiration looking at them, and they always make me want to know  where they are, and how he took them.

I asked him why he takes photos.

I take photos as I am a chef and it can be very stressful. It is my release from the stress and pressure. I also love going out into nature and just being calm and at peace. Nothing better than standing in a river and feeling the water in your shoes and getting that shot no one else will try cause they’re scared of jumping a fence and getting wet.

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While Alan does do some monochrome work, I really enjoy seeing his colour images. I really like the colours of his work. They are warm, many of them, and the light invites you into the images.  There is something about the depth too, like landscapes that go on forever.

I asked him about inspiration.

My inspiration is just trying to always capture what I see in my eyes and being able to come home to show others the great things I saw. I have also decided I want to enter photo competitions and just push myself as much as I can to get better and excel. Last year I set a goal to within the next 5 years get a shot that is worthy of a silver award and 2 months i did just that and also got 24th place in the Ameteur section for the loupe awards. So that was a massive thrill to be included with people I look up to and respect have my name next to theirs. Now its to push and get a Gold but lets aim for 10 years for that lol.

Alan-Wright-Introduction1021I know there are lots and lots of waterfalls in Victoria, but I only know a few. I almost had a chance this week to find some new ones, but unfortunately it was happening on a day I couldn’t go.  I hope there will be other chances. I have seen some spectacular waterfall images by Alan and I want to try and get some of my own.

I asked Alan about gear.

I shoot with a Nikon D800 and a Sony A7. My fav lens are my Nikon 16-35 and my Art series 50mm. I always seem to have a ND filter on my lens and i own a few brands like Lee, Hoya and others.

I would like to thank Alan for giving me permission for featuring his work here on my blog.  You can find a lot more of Alan’s work on his Facebook Page, Alan Wright Photography. I am going to put a gallery now of his work, I’m sure you will love it as I did.

Weekend Wanderings: Another Trip to Flinders

As I mentioned yesterday I spent another morning at Flinders a few weeks ago for Social Snappers. It was a different morning and the sea was angrier.  There was no sunlight until later in the morning and definitely not while we were at the blowhole.  We went for breakfast and then down to the pier.

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It was threatening rain the whole time and we did think we would get some, but we didn’t.  Windy was really how it was. There is such a mixture of colours over the rocks.

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The waves were banging against the rocks and I was trying my best to get the waves as they exploded.

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There was a heap of foam in the water.  I don’t know, it was really disgusting, but I don’t know what it was. Any ideas?

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We went into Flinders for breakfast. While we were sitting out the front there was a big commotion out the front of the place we were at, in the main street.  It turns out a koala was crawling along the ground and then climbed up a tree. Not something you see every day in towns. I took this with my phone and put it on Instagram.

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After breakfast we went down to Flinders pier, though we walked in the opposite direction towards this old pier, not much of this one left.  You can see the sky had cleared and the sun was out in little bits.  It did turn out to be a lovely day.

I’m off on another adventure today, exploring yet another part of my wonderful state.  Not sure if I will get a lot of photography done, suspect it will be more of a scouting trip, check it out for future trips.

I have all the above photos and a whole lot more for you to look at and will put them into a gallery for you. I hope your weekend isn’t as wet as mine.

Weekend Wanderings: Early Trip to Flinders

Back in January I took a trip to Flinders, a town on the coast and while I posted the photos that I took around the Flinders pier I never showed the ones of the blowhole that I took just out of town. I was thinking of using them and to my delight I discovered I had already processed them.  Today I thought I would show them to you.  I plan on showing some other photos of the same place soon, maybe tomorrow, but taken about a month ago.

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The sun was out on this morning, but the tide was coming in so we couldn’t see a lot.  Apparently there is a blowhole there, one day I’m sure I will see it, but I haven’t yet. I really like the rocks.

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I tried doing some long exposures.  The wind was going in the wrong direction however, so the clouds were going across.

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This was the view from some of the steps.  There were quite a few steps down, but it is nice down there. One of the advantages of getting there early is that no other people were around.

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I was a bit naughty and climbed a fence to take some photos of the bay next to the blowhole.  It looked like people were allowed up there at some stage.  It isn’t something I would recommend.

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The landscape in the area is very barren looking. I love the rolling hills with no trees, and the large crevices in the land.

It is a very lovely world down there, but very rough.  I mean the weather is.  The wind whips around and it can be very cold, like bone penetrating cold. I still like going down there to take photos.

I was down there about month ago for Social Snappers and the weather was very different.  Very moody, but you will have to wait for those, maybe tomorrow.  I hope your weekend starts out well and you get lots done. I have a fairly easy weekend planned which is nice.  Here is a gallery of more images for you.

Up for Discussion: Street Photography: A Few Myths and Misconceptions

Today we have another guest post and this time it’s from Sharon Morris.  She first approached me about the magazine on Facebook with a suggestion for a name, which turned out to be one that we couldn’t use, unfortunately.  She was interested in writing so I suggested she do a guest post and here it is.  It is on Street Photography, and I’m sure you will find it interesting.

Street Photography: A Few Myths and Misconceptions –

I cut my photographic teeth on the streets, falling into it instinctively, only after starting did I begin to follow other street photographers and read the myriad of thoughts about it online. Occasionally, or more than on occasion, I would find myself frustrated with espoused rules, particularly when they conflicted with my own experiences This post is an attempt to address a few of the commonly held furphies I’ve seen perpetuated by photographers of all styles and street photographers themselves about the genre. I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Leanne to set a few things straight… from my humble point of view… around this challenging and often controversial form of photography.

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Lets start with the two most common issues I see presented by non street photographers,

1) It’s an invasion of privacy – You should check when entering any country what the local laws and customs are regarding public photography, that’s a sensible practice and culturally appropriate. In Australia the law is clear, if you are in public view, walking down the street for example, then you are not afforded any right to privacy, and I am legally entitled to take a picture of you. Now just because I can doesn’t always mean I should, and that subjective judgement comes down to each photographer. Personally I believe in professional integrity as a photographer and respect for your ‘subjects’ should be paramount. Furthermore you can get yourself into legal bother if someone asks you to desist from taking their picture and you continue. Charges such as Disorderly Behaviour can be laid as a WA man found out in 2013.

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2) You require a Model release – A model release is required when an image is intended for commercial purposes such as to flog beer or burgers. No model release is required if you intend to show or sell the image for its own sake. Again though there’s no guarantee you won’t find yourself in a legal minefield if the person in an image decides to challenge your right in court, but it’s my understanding that as of this week, in this country, there is no imminent change to law in this regard….yet.

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3) Gear Matters – Not really. What matters is that whatever gear you choose is the most comfortable for you to use and accomplish your aim. Many street photographers will advocate for small cameras with a prime lens around 50mm. They believe using a compact is the key to being unobtrusive, which is paramount in grabbing candid shots. However I think the key to getting candid shots is to be quick as well as discrete, and there are many ways to do this, each person needs to work out their own style, but one way that’s most useful for grabbing a candid photo is obviously speed. This means having the camera you are most familiar and comfortable using, not necessarily the smallest. I shoot with a 6D and zoom on the street most of the time, I know it well and find it helps me to look like a tourist.

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4) You Need to Get Close – Again, no. Bruce Gilden is well known for having a style that is literally ‘in your face’. There’s few others who manage to pull off this approach and probably more than a few who have been on the receiving end a right hook for trying. It’s not necessary to good street photos to be up close and personal. Those who use a prime lens often need to be, but there are plenty of wonderful togs out there using a zoom to give a sense of space and place to their images.

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5) Have to Have People In Them – Nope. Evidence of people who have since left, scenes from a deserted street,  suburban landscapes are all part of this diverse genre. The classic mono shot in the busy city centre is but one of the many styles of street photography around these days. Three of my favourite Australian photographers illustrate this point beautifully. Trent Parke with his haunting rural like suburbia shots, Narelle Autio’s wonderful beach series includes spectacular underwater scenes and Melbourne based Jesse Marlow in his latest publication ‘ Don’t Just Tell Them, Show Them’ has many stunning images that contain no humans.

– On a quick side note, the three photographers mentioned above all reproduced the images described in colour underlining that street does not have to be black and white.

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6) Background and Composition Don’t Matter – A personal bug bear of mine. I see some photographers who think because they went into a public place and took pictures of people walking around their work is done. While’ it’s true that is street photography in a literal sense, it aint necessarily good street photography, unless you got really lucky. If you look at the best street photographers both past and present, their images are technically wonderful, as well , they often have a narrative, a moment of serendipity, humour, connection or emotion. That doesn’t happen by accident. Although some luck and good timing is absolutely an element of many great shots, a lot of thought in terms of background and composition often go into street pics, just like any other photographic style. Light of course is also powerful in terms of creating mood. This is why street can be so challenging, you don’t control the environment, it is constantly moving so you have to work in an ever evolving space of cars, people, lights and so on. You still need to take into account distracting aspects in your background by positioning yourself accordingly.

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That’s almost enough for now, but there’s many other points of conjecture, such as whether or not street should try to be aesthetically pleasing . Personally I think the best street photos can be as beautiful and captivating as a portrait or landscape. See the wonderful work of Marius Vieth as an example. The best street shots are unique in that they catch more than the day to day mundane, they often have an engaging playfulness. For me one of the best contemporary examples of this is London based street photographer Matt Stuart. Like the others mentioned above his work  encompass the elements of photographic skill, beauty and years of persistence, while breaking the stereotypical mold of older street styles.

The only hard and fast point I’d make about street photography is – if it’s easy, you’re probably doing it wrong.

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Website – Sharon Morris

I would like to thank Sharon for taking the time to write this post for us and I hope you will thank her as well.  There are some links above so you can go and see more of her work.  She has also given me some more links to some of the photographers she mentioned.

I am going to put all the photos from above in a gallery as well so you can look at them individually.

Quiet Thursdays: The Macro World

The weather last weekend was shocking, we had lots and lots of rain.  Don’t get me wrong, the rain was good, but not good for taking photos.  After using my macro lens again recently I’ve really got back into  macro and am having a lot fun taking photos with it and then processing them.

I’m trying to keep experimenting on the macro images, like the ones I did for the International Flower and Garden Show.  I am trying to refine it more and work out what I want with them.  I do like where they are going.  I will continue to keep experimenting.

The other day I took the Tamron 150-600mm that I have on loan from Maxwell International Australia back to the Melbourne Zoo and was taking photos.  As we headed to the gorilla enclosure we walked around the corner and there in front of us was Kimya and her baby. She has a name name and is being called Kanzi. She was sitting on a hill eating.  I quickly got some photos then, as I was doing that, she climbed down and within a couple of minutes she was gone. I got a nice image of the new baby, so I thought I would share it with you today.

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I will leave you there with the image of mother and daughter. I’m out and about again today.  Some busy days ahead.  Think I will leave next week very free.  I hope you get some quiet time.

MM 2-7: Monochrome Madness 2-7

Here we are again, do I say that every week? I hope you have all had a great week seeking out your monochrome images for Monochrome Madness this week.  I would like to welcome all the new people who have sent images for the first time and say thank you to those who are regular contributors.  It’s been so good doing this, I love seeing what images will work in monochrome. Finding time to respond to the emails has been hard, so if I get some time I will, but I hope you won’t mind if it doesn’t happen.

Shall we start?

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I took this image last Sunday in Fitzroy Gardens in between downpours.  These were growing on some dirt and there were a lot of them.  I was using my macro lens so I got these with that.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs: Another Week Passes

Things are happening and it is great to have plans and ideas.  I have another article that has been published on Digital Photography School, the magazine is coming along and so are my online classes.

Digital Photography School

I have had another article published at the Digital Photography School, it is Applying a Texture Overlay to Your Images to Create an Antique Look. I do hope, and ask you, to go and take a look, then if you would share it with people you know or on leannecole-ocean-ant7567your social media that would be wonderful.  I also hope you learn how to use textures, if you don’t know already.

The Magazine

The name has been decided, I believe, and I know I am very happy with it.

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I like it, it is not gender biased and won’t look silly if a man reads it.

With the name decided it is now time to start looking for women to write for it and make sure we get some great articles. Looks like I have people already, but might need to find another couple of people. So if you are interested, let me know and I think what I will do first is get you to write a guest post for my blog, for the Friday posts.

leannecole-antiquemalle-7197The next step is working out what people want to see in the magazine. What sort of articles do you want to see? I am open to suggestions. I was thinking perhaps interviewing some women photographers. Perhaps some tutorials and reviews. I would like to hear from you and what you would like to see or read in it. I can’t promise that I will be able to do everything that is suggested, but I would still like to hear.

The other thing that I think that people need to be aware of is is that it isn’t going to be fancy. I hope it will get a lot better, but to start with, it’s going to be pretty rough.

Online Photography and Editing Lessons

I just wanted to remind you that I do offer Online Editing and Photography Lessons.  They are individual and designed to leannecole-antiquemallee-8961suit what you need.  Each session lasts for an hour to two hours, and I can record the sessions so you have a copy of what we do. I don’t claim to know everything, but what I don’t know, I know how to find out for you.  I do make sure that you understand and I am always happy to explain things in different ways to help you understand.

They are also a way for you to see how I edit my photos and learn many of the tricks I use.

Photos

I chose the photos today because they go well with my tutorial on Digital Photography School.  They are lots of photos that I have done using textures, and if you want to know how they were done, then go over to the article Applying a Texture Overlay to Your Images to Create an Antique Look.  There is even a video there to help explain it.

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