Portraits with a Little Touch of Gothica

Last Saturday was my last class for the year.  It was a portrait class, and I am pretty sure I have told you about it already.  Today I thought I would show you a couple of photos that I took of my daughters.  The images have been processed, but not heavily, I had to use Color Efex as well, it was good to see it applied to portraits.

This is Briony, my eldest daughter.  She was quite tired and now that I look at the photos I can see that myself.

This is Klara.  They are my daughters and were the models for the class.  They did a great job.  I didn’t take many photos, but I took these as I was showing the class how to direct the models.   It is important to tell people what you want them to do while you’re photographing them.

Both girls think the other is prettier, though Klara loved the colour of her hair in the image.  When it was changed to black and white she wasn’t so keen.

The images were processed in camera raw, blemishes removed, and then the classical soft focus from Color Efex applied.  I could do more to them, but it would probably be better to do more photos.

Manchester Unity

Today I was given an opportunity to view the inside of the Manchester Unity Building in the Melbourne.  It stands on the corner of Collins Street and Swanston Street and is one of those buildings that is a famous landmark.  Not everyone knows the name, but everyone knows the building.

Recently I was approached by Dr Kia Pajouhesh, the Managing Director of Smile Solutions and the Chairman of the building, and he invited me to come in to take some photos.  Today was about looking around and seeing what he wants me to do and what else I might like to photograph.

It is the most amazing building.  The interior has been kept as it would have been when it was first built in 1932.

Of course the camera came with me, and I took a few photos.

It was the middle of the day, and great photos of the outside weren’t going to happen, but I snapped this one quickly and played around with it.  There are so many textures in the stone and details are everywhere.  This image doesn’t really work, but it is a start, and it was nice to get a shot like this.

I will be going back another day to take some more photos.  I’ll take the tripod and do some bracketed shots for some HDR images.  It is going to be a fantastic experience.  My mind is buzzing with ideas.  I need to go and write down some notes.


  1. Your daughters have the same hair colour that my late mother had when she was their age.

    The building looks a great subject and I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

    • They have hated their hair colour, but as they get older they are liking it a lot more.
      I can’t wait to photograph the building, it is such an amazing place. Thanks

  2. Nice portraits of two very good looking young ladies.
    To me, they both have “Australian” eyes. I don’t know what that means but everyone I have ever known whether from the north, south, east, or west, of Australia has the “look” pass over their eyes from time to time.

  3. Lovely portraits of your daughters Leanne.
    The photo of the building reminds me of something you would see in Gotham City. Will be interesting to see what you come up with on your next photo shoot.

  4. I can’t wait to see what I’m sure will be absolutely amazing HDRs of Manchester Unity. What a great opportunity. Take lots and lots and lots of images. That first one is a winner for sure. D

    • Oh I hope so Dave, I am really looking forward to it. I am really excited to see what happens. I will, that is the plan, I am making a list so I don’t forget anything. Thanks

    • I love their hair too, so much more interesting. I am glad about the building one, it is a good start. Thank you. :)

  5. Very nice portraits, Leanne. Like the subtlety of the processing. Love the Manchester Unity Building shot – reminds me of Gormenghast.

    • Thank you Richard, that is something I am starting to learn, more subtlety. The MU is amazing, and it is going to be such a great experience.

  6. Your daughters are very charismatic and beautyfull.
    I think by drawing models it’s the same procedure to direct the models. It’s very importend to do that.
    sometimes I do 1 minute drawings, that’s difficult.

    • I have done those one minute drawings, they are really hard. I think it is important to know how to direct your subjects. Thank you Susanne.

  7. Leanne,
    How did you get the sky so dark and detailed in the last picture? I’m looking for ways to adjust this in a few of my pictures.
    Awesome shots as usual!!

    • I just darkened the whole image and then lightened some of it again. To get the detail, it was full of soft clouds so I used Topaz Adjust to bring out the detail. I hope that helps, thanks Anne

  8. Nice portraits but personally the building shot is already amazing in detail, light and darkness! Greetings, Ron

    • Thank you Ron, I like the building shot, but I know I can do better. It was a good start. I hope you enjoy the real shots.

  9. Love the shots of ‘the girls’ – I have two daughters as well ;) LOOOVE the hair color of both! (She says modestly as a fellow redhead …)

    • Haha, my grandmother hated their hair, reminded her too much of her first husband, my grandfather who was abusive, she is the only person who used to look at it with disdain. Thank you, :)

      • Ugh. Well, hey. Her stuff, eh (though distantly understandable ….) – still, they are such lovely girls with such fantastic features to match that extraordinary color!

  10. The portraits are more than lovely, Leanne…each girl’s character stands out…and IMHO, both are quite beautiful! Faces bare of make-up, naturally-done hair, nothing fussy…so very perfect! (And, Mom, please make sure the girls read this, as I have worked with many ‘celebrities’ and have seen them w/o their make-up…they couldn’t hold a candle to your two daughters!)

    Can’t wait for more shots of the MU…spectacular building exterior! I can only imagine what’s on the inside!

    • Thank you 1000, I got them together and they read what you said, they were both very happy with it. what girl doesn’t like to hear she is beautiful, haha.

      I can’t wait either, it is going to be really good. I have so many ideas.

  11. Your daughter is so beautiful .. truly beautiful – very Irish *smile – with her green eyes.
    Your photo of the Manchester Unity is stunning – so dramatic … love the color combination of dark blue and brown when it’s about clothes I wear – and your photo is full of. One of my favorite shots.

    • Thank you viveka, I wish she believed it.
      I think the building image is a good start, and helps me to work out what I want to do, what I need to get the best shot. Thank you.

      • I have also started taking photos with the camera on angels – its gives a total new prospective to the object. I really like your photo – the colors are so dramatic.

  12. saymber says

    I couldn’t tell she was tired Leanne – both of your girls are lovely and the gothic architecture photo is awesome!

  13. Your daughters have beautiful hair…. Mine was red (a little darker than theirs) growing up and I hated it…. LOL. Now, I would absolutely love to have it… Great post!

    • Thank you Keli, it is funny isn’t it, they haven’t liked it either, but they are starting to accept it now, and I know Klara loves it.

  14. Lovely natural portraits, they are so good to have as time passes, and it does so quickly. I really like the way you take reality such as the the Manchester Unity Building image, and distort it :)

    • Thank you EllaDee, it was nice to get some, I really don’t do it enough anymore. Would you believe, that is why I was asked to do the photos, because that is what I do. It is nice that my editing is getting a reputation. :)

  15. I wish i had your photography skills, but that’s okay slowly and surely i’ll get there. We have one thing in common though, two beautiful daughters. :-)

    • You will get there, we all have to start somewhere. Yes, two daughters, though mine aren’t always lovely, haha, thank you. :)

  16. You have gorgeous girls, leanne! I also like that picture of the building a lot. The angle really appeals to me.

  17. Your daughters are absolutely gorgeous! I love that you left them in color because their hair color is so pretty :) Thank you for giving some tips on portraits, I’m hoping to do more of that later :) Also, I love LOVE that last shot! What kind of lens did you use for it?

    • Thanks Amanda, I left them in colour because my younger daughter liked the colour more, she liked how her hair looked. You are welcome about the tips, it can be fun to do. I think I used the 18-105mm wide angle zoom for that image.

  18. hutchphotography2020 says

    Lovely daughters, Leanne. What more can I say that hasn’t been said already. The building is very cool. It has that “Batman” look, especially with that angle. Love your stuff. Keep going and thanks.

    • That is great that the building has the Batman look, that is what I was after, I can’t wait to go back and do more shots of it. Thanks

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