Towering Above

This is meant to be a post about the school, and I hope you don’t mind, but I had to do one from the Manchester Unity Building.  I’ve looked at some of the others I have done, but I wanted to see what I could do with one of the images from the tower.

Towering OverThis is the image after I was finished with it.  I like the darkness.  I hope this is something like what he wanted.  It is dark, and perhaps has more a gothic feel to it.

This image started off being a four image HDR processed in Photomatix Pro.  I did originally process it with HDR Efex, but the sky came out really weird.  Though having said that, I ended up putting in a completely different one.  It was overcast when Towering Over - Original HDRthis image was taken and raining, so the sky became very white, as it does in conditions like that.  I will put the original HDR for you to see.    Hopefully you have seen that by now.

As I was travelling into the city the sky was overcast, but there was a lot of definition in the clouds, then it started raining.  Today it was similar, so I went outside and took photos of it.  (Remember when you are taking photos of the sky to take them at horizon level.)  It takes a long time to put in new skies, especially when there are lots of areas you need to cut into to.

Once the sky was in, the processing was pretty much the same as what I do for the school images.  Detail was added and layers were blended, which helps get the darkness.  Blur layers were added, and masking was applied.  I wanted the MU in the windows to stand out.  I also wanted some of the detail to stand out.

It was tempting to do this in black and white, but the building is famous for that colour, and I wanted to keep that.  I could try Colour Efex, and I might do that with my next attempt.

It has been such a wonderful experience, being invited to photograph such an amazing and iconic building.  I know I am envied by quite a few of my friends.  I have had many people offering to be my assistant.


I have been nominated for quite a few awards, but I hope the people who have nominated me don’t mind if I leave it for another day.

The River Muse

The River Muse article on me is up now, if you would like to read it, the direct link is here.  I hope some of you will check it out.  You might find out more about me, LOL.

Tamrac Camera Bags

I have been meaning to update you about the new camera bag as well.  I have used it quite a few times, and it has been fantastic.  I can’t believe how heavy it feels with everything it, then I put it on my back, and it is so comfortable and the weight doesn’t seem that bad.  I could wear it for a long time.  I used it on Thursday when I went into the city.  I was worried that I might take someone out with the tripod on the back, but it was fine.  I almost forgot to mention the rain, I had no umbrella, but the waterproofing of the bag meant I wasn’t worried at all.

To find out who distributes Tamrac bags in Australia go to C.R. Kennedy, if you are elsewhere in the world, then I suggest you go the Tamrac Website.

I’ve been thinking about getting another camera bag, just a small one, one that I can just put a camera in, maybe a spare lens, and a flash unit.  I am thinking of getting the Tamrac Aero Speed Pack 75 Dual Access Photo Backpack, it looks like exactly the thing I want and it isn’t that expensive.  I have a Crumpler small camera bag, but I find it hard to get stuff in and out of.  I have to say if Tamrac’s other bags are anything like the one I have, well, I don’t think I can go wrong.  


    • I love HDR as well. I don’t mind people nominating me, I don’t reciprocate, but I do like to acknowledge the person. Thanks Andrew

  1. I see you are at your sinister best :) As a sideline maybe you should pitch some images to the sci-fi, dark genre novellists out there…

  2. lensaddiction says

    Tamrac is my bag of choice so I am glad you found an option that is comfortable for you. Now I have two new lenses I either have to have my gear in two bags or upgrade and that is going to be problematic!

    I don’t think I saw this building on my last trip to Melbourne which is a shame, I did see lots of lovely old buildings. Like the treatment, very gothic :)

    • Thank you lensaddiction, I love it, it is so comfortable and so great to use. It is always a problem when you outgrow your bag. Ssshh, don’t tell anyone, but there is a second Tamrac bag for me under the tree, a smaller one for day trips.

      It is a great building, most people know it, it is diagonally from the city square. Thank you. :)

  3. Super …it has a brooding feel to it …. I agree with EllaDee …and now Leanne
    I’m about to go and find out more about you ;-)

    • I hope so, that is what I was aiming for.
      Thank you Marie, so happy you said that. I really like it as well.

  4. juliano says

    I still have a long, long way to reach this beautiful level on HDR about my works. But that’s the joy of photography: It’s not already knowing it all, but fullfilling your curiosity and achieving goals, small increasings on our skills, day by day, paving our way to excellence. That’s fuyn and that’s why I love photography.

    • That is very true, it is about taking small steps and just learning along the way. Good luck with your work.

  5. Very dramatic! Looks like a movie set. Thanks for stopping by the blog today and clicking the like button to let me know you were there! I learn a lot from your blog, Leanne. Thank you for inspiring my classes, too.
    Best, Ruth in Pittsburgh PA

  6. Very impressive work, and so nicely done. The building contrasts so well with the dark, gray sky.

  7. thecoolcustomer says

    Wow! So atmospheric! Thank you for liking my post!

  8. Fantastic, Leanne! Love the gothic feel to this. The effects suit the architecture down to the ground. Makes me think of Gormenghast.

    • Thank you Richard, that is the effect I was going for, the guy who owns it is looking for something like that, it great that said that.

    • Thank you Emily, I love doing this kind of thing, this is my favourite sort of photography. YOu should try it more often, it can be fun.

  9. Really enjoying what you did with this fantastic piece of architecture, Leanne…but is it stone, or glazed terracotta, or? Nonetheless, your processing has brought out some lovely textures, enhancing that ‘Gothic’ feel. Love that you replaced that dull sky…I would’ve, too!

    Mighty fine interview over at River Muse…I’m bookmarking the site, because it looks really interesting! Hope your Sunday has been going along well?

    • It is terracotta tiles 1000, pretty amazing. I tried to bring out more textures. I need to do more work though. Have organised to go back in January, so that will be good, I will be able to get some other images, with different lighting.
      River Muse looks good, I was so happy and pleased that I was interviewed, great that you liked it, thank you so much 1000.

      • I must say, Leanne, I’ve never seen terracotta glazed in such a gorgeous color! Around here, it’s almost always a creamy light gray tone, or speckled with a pale ochre, like the exterior of my own building.

      • I don’t know how it is done, though it isn’t really that strong a colour, I have added to that. It is weird to see them like this here, it isn’t normal, we have more sandstone and bluestone buildings.

  10. Pingback: Camera Bags | My Camera Corner

  11. Thanks for liking my post about Japanese Metabolism, Leanne Cole! Are you familiar with that genre of architecture?
    Manchester, I was there briefly this past March. They had quite a diverse array of structures for a rather small (IMO) city, particularly by the strip with Arab/Indian restaurants.

    • This building isn’t in Manchester, it is in Melbourne, it is just called that, very strange I know. Thanks

  12. Your camera bag sounds great :) I just got a new one for Christmas, really nice to hold everything and the extra lens I also got! I can’t wait to write a blog and share about it!

    • It is great Amanda, lovely to hear from you. Well done on the new bag, you are being spoiled, :) It is always great to have somewhere to put your stuff, makes it so much easier for storage as well. I look forward to your blog about it.

  13. Jack Brewis says

    Really stunning darks Leanne. It is a very perfect photo.

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