Art, Fine Art Photography, Fine Art Portraits, Photography, photos, Portraits

Caught in the Elements

Having a daughter who wants to learn to drive and wants me to take her places so she can do a lot of driving can have its benefits, as I found out last Sunday.  I agreed to let her drive if she let me take some photos of her on the side of the road somewhere.  So we decided to take the back way to Woodend and we knew on the way there would be rolling hills and I wanted to take photos onto of one.  (for anyone interested the bakery in Woodend, the one on the corner, does very good Vanilla Slices)

Leanne Cole - Taking it In

Can you tell how windy it was?  I think she regretted agreeing to do this in the end as she was freezing, but I think it was worth it.  I loved the photos I got.  I didn’t get many, but I was really only after one, so to get three that I really like was great.

The cloak I purchased is turning out to be one of the best props I have, so many want to have their photos taken with it.  I might have to see if I can get more, but different ones.

Leanne Cole - In the ElementsThis was the last lot I took, and I did a lot of work to make the cloak bigger and tried to get her hair to look very wind blown.  It was really windy, I kid you not and the wind chill factor was very cold.

I love this one (above), there is something quite amazing to it, well if you ask me.  This lot and the previous ones of Briony and Ilia make me think I am definitely starting to develop my own style with these.  I like the old masterly painting style, but I hope you don’t say they are paintings, just remind you of them.

Leanne Cole - Hidden 1This was the first version of this that I did, but I wasn’t really happy with it, so I thought I might try a different photo and see how I went.

Leanne Cole - Hidden 2I like this one a lot more.  I think it is softer or something.  I know it breaks the rules of portraiture because you can’t see her eyes, but I don’t care about that, I like the way her hair is blowing in the wind and she is protecting herself from the wind with the cloak.

When I was doing these images, I had Catherine from Wuthering Heights in mind.  I knew it was going to be windy before I planned the trip, the forecast said it would be.  So I wanted to find somewhere open, so the wind could blow and the fabric could go everywhere.  I wanted that idea of Catherine on the Moors in England.  I think I achieved it a little.


Thank you to everyone who went over to Public Domain Textures, it was a great start and I think Joseph was really happy.  I spent all day working on more textures, and I will continue doing that for a while.

I have been asked, by quite a few, about doing a post on how to use textures, so I am going to do one next Wednesday.  I might see if I can get some software and do a screencast, that would be easier for me.  So if anyone knows of anything that I can use for free, please let me know.


  1. Wow. Great work. Dreamy and mystical feel. The mood fits the wardrobe and subject well. And the wind makes for a great touch. Quite ethereal and beautiful.

  2. Yes, the results here are precisely what you were aiming for, Leanne. They have a “Catherine” feel, certainly. The colors and deep tones are just wonderful. The Old Masters touch without looking like paintings. I really do like these a lot. :-)

    • Thank you George, that is exactly what I was hoping for. I really like that a lot too, so it is great to hear that others do as well. :)

  3. Wow and hello! :)
    I really thought the 2nd one of your daughter was in fact an old master’s painting… this was before I had read your post.
    Well done… definitely worth it and very appealing!

    • Hello to you to, I missed you.
      Now that is a wonderful compliment, thank you so much, I love that. :)

      • I’ve been missing our catch ups too and wondering what you’ve been creating of late.
        Wonderful!! Keep going, I love what you’re doing :D

      • Thanks Robyn, I am starting to enter these in competitions now, I really like where they are going now.

      • Oh that’s great! I’m sure you’ll do very well with them and become well known for them.

      • I hope so, wouldn’t that be something. It is funny though, you know, I put work up here and people seem to love it, but when I try to get other people to love it, it just doesn’t go anywhere. I do love these, so I really want to be successful with these. I really feel like they are mine, the architecture was a about photographing someone elses work, this is all mine, and I really like that. I hope I am making sense.

      • It really would be something and I so agree with finding out about ‘where’ to put our work out there.
        Competitions and Exhibitions are definitely a good starting point and just keep at it.
        These are definitely you. I KNOW it’s your work when I see it :D

      • Now that is the best compliment, I am so glad you know it is mine.
        There are some comps coming up, I work on a blog that does some things like where they are it is called Banyule Blog Board, it is for locals, but I am going to put other competitions up, so you might find some of them good. I am looking for more art ones, so ones that have exhibitions as well.

      • That sounds great!
        We should email about this.
        One of my artworks is going in an exhibition in Sydney this month…
        Let me know what you’re looking for… I’ll email you :)

      • I found the blog and I’m following. Looks interesting and it’s a great idea!

      • That’s great, we will see how it goes, but it has been sort of doing not much for a while, we were hoping it would get some attention and locals would use to tell people about exhibitions and stuff, but nothing.

  4. leecleland says

    These are just stunning, especially the second one of the face. Wuthering Heights is an excellent fit for these images with the moodiness and the wind, love that cloak!

    • Sounds like I achieved what I was hoping for, thank you so much Lee, I love it when I love something and others think they are great too.

  5. Amazing shots! They as all of yor shots have a sureal tone to them..:-))))

  6. Hi Leanne, I love the look that you are developing. You certainly are developing a distinctive style. A friend of mine uses a lot of “wardrobe” for his shoots but to save on expenses he borrows from local theatres.

    The second shot has a lot going on but for me I am not so sure about the background. To my eye the vertical lines make it look like a pre-cast concrete wall.

    Keep them coming I am enjoying the series :-)

    • I like that effect, I spent a lot time on it, trying to blend it it. Thanks George, I do like where the work is going so far, I feel like my style really is developing and I have many ideas. It is funny you should say that about the theatre, I was told on the weekend that I could borrow clothes from mine, I just need to get down there and organise it.
      I will do my best, thanks again. :)

  7. I meant I could hear her calling him and him calling her – photography is just such a vessel that presents us with emotions varying, coming forth often unexpected. Love your work!

    • Thank you, I have only recently started doing these and I feel like I am in my element and finally found the type of work I should be doing. To find that others like it, well that is just brilliant. Thank you so much.

  8. Well, the whole series is just great. I can’t even begin to choose a favorite. You are lucky to have a daughter who will be your model. I think she will treasure these for a lifetime.

    • I have two Dave, and they both let me photograph them, though usually with conditions attached, I do love that they will do them. I think the dressing up bit is the part they love the most.
      It is great to hear that people love the images, it really spurs me on.

  9. Your photography looks like beautiful paintings! What perfect artwork for a wall!! I love the colors in these photos!! Awesome work!!

  10. I was actually thinking ‘Wuthering Heights’ before you mentioned it…which means I’ve nothing to add in this comment really, except, spot on.

  11. Oh wow what stunning images, so atmospheric and mysterious. I love the lighting, that cloak is a fantastic prop. I used to do a lot of portraiture and then turn it to composite fantasy art. You’ve inspired me to do some more.
    I just need to find a willing victim lol. Gorgeous work! x

    • That is wonderful to hear, I am so glad you find the work inspiring.
      Yes, finding people can be hard, having two teenage daughters with lots of friends really helps. LOL. Good luck.

  12. Fabulous – I love both of the head shots…and yes, they do remind me of paintings. You’re really onto something with this style!

  13. The long shots no longer seem to be photographs – they are like oil paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. Nice to have a daughter who is willing to help out.

    • Is that good Robert? I still want them to look like photos, so I won’t put using painting or drawing filters on the images. I like that they are reminiscent of those style of painting. Yes, it is good having a live in model, though have to find when she is in the mood for it. LOL

      • Yes, very good – I think a bit is lost in the low-res Internet version – some of the subtly gets muted.
        I know it is still a photo, but it is styled more like an oil painting.

      • Yes, styled like a painting. I have to admit that I know those masters painting were done so well, that they are like photographs, they are so smooth and the techniques they used involved lots of layering, so I don’t mind that these images can look a bit like them, though, I think the thing I am borrowing and the bit that reminds people of those is the colour palette I am using. Thanks again Robert.

    • I have been photographing my girls for many years, I now find saying that they don’t want to, or they want to know exactly what I want to do and if they don’t like what I want to do they won’t let me. They also get into moods and won’t let me. I think I may have overdone it.

      • For my purposes, sometimes if I show an edge of her face or arm just to get someone in the frame, that’s good. And that seems acceptable to her. But I usually don’t tell her in advance! You’re a nice mom.

      • I get into trouble if I don’t ask and work out before hand now. They won’t do everything I ask, but since they need to dress up, then they have to agree. I let them work out characters with me, so that is great, and then they get excited and want to do it. I don’t know about being nice, just working out how to manipulate them, haha. Thanks

  14. Sonel says

    Stunning shots as usual Leanne, even if it had to happen with bribery. LOL! Clever girl! The laste shot is absolutely gorgeous! Love it! :D *hugs*

  15. These are terrific, Leanne. Love the cape, love your usual darkness, love the first of the close-ups best, for the light on her mouth and that gorgeous wall. You sure have a different experience driving with your daughter than I do.

    • Haha, I suspect my experience with her driving is quite unique. It has been great, with both my daughters, I can say let’s go to such and such a place so I can take photos. either of something there, or of them, I then get asked, how far is it, and then they say yes. The older one has her license now and doesn’t want to come anymore, but I suspect the younger one will always be willing to come, she likes going in the car.
      Thank you Paul. I do really like these and really want to keep going along this route.

    • Thank you Anne, I am feeling the same, I really hope people will want images of themselves that will turn out like these.

    • The billowing cloak was great, we couldn’t stop it from billowing it was so windy.
      Thank you Michael.

  16. Your daughter is the perfect model for this series. I love these photos Leanne. So haunting.

    • She has the right hair, that’s for sure, I love the way her hair goes. Thank you Colline, that is fantastic.

  17. The shots do look very Wuthering Heights, so you succeeded there! And I wouldn’t worry about the not seeing eyes rule! I also like the grainy textured look of these images – they add a depth to the image :-)

    • Thank you Dawn, I don’t think you always have to see the eyes, and I know people who are happy to have shots of them where you can’t see their face. I like the textures and I like the way it makes the background seem surreal like it was a painted backdrop and then it taken in a studio, but it isn’t. It is an interesting thing. Thanks again.

  18. I like what you did with scenery in the first two. It really does give a sense of a painting. The two different versions of your third shot is very excellent. You may not see the eyes, but it lends plenty of mystery.

    • Thank you David, I like the idea that the backgrounds could be backdrops and it is a studio shot. I like that there is a sense of mystery to the shots, I think she will too.

    • It was great, it always amazes me when I ask if people want to wear it and they always say yes. I must get some more. Thank you. :)

  19. Wax Ecstatic Fashion & Lifestyle Magazine says

    We love your post work.

  20. Leanne,
    I follow your blog and enjoy your photographic endeavors. The first photo in today’s blog (of your daughter) is really beautiful. The color, texture, and light are ethereal. This is Photo-art. Can you say a little about the capture and the post processing? I would like to understand what you did. I would also like to know about your methodology for discretely but effectively placing your copy right into the photos that you post. Thanks, Daniel Weidner.

    • Thank you, I am still developing stuff and right now there is nothing definitive about what I do, it is all still adhoc, I’m afraid. The watermarking a different thing, I did do a tutorial on it a while back, but I don’t think I said how I manipulate it. Which I do with the transform tools.

  21. Where did you find the cloak? I have an idea for a project, but have yet been able to find a nice cloak like that.

    Great set! Your using textures to magnify a certain feel/look worked very nicely here.

    • Ebay, I just searched on there. YOu can find them pretty cheap, it isn’t great quality, but perfect for what I need.

      • I don’t know why I didn’t think of that! I tried googling, and just kept finding cheap Halloween costumes. Thanks.

      • Your welcome, mine was $40, it isn’t great and not something I would wear, but it photographs really well.

  22. Leanne, I have never seen more beautiful pictures in my life. I love what you are doing and what you have accomplished with your pictures on your blog site. They are absolutely breathtaking! Keep taking these pictures and I will keep checking back daily to see more of your beautiful pictures. Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful!!!

    • What a wonderful thing to say Jayne, thank you so much. I will keep doing them, I have so many plans and so many ideas running around in my head, that you can be sure they will still keep coming. Thank you so very much.

    • I have to agree, I think my daughter could end up doing a lot of driving out there as I find spots, we will have to try some of the side roads as well.

  23. These photos are so incredible, Leanne. You are such an Artist! I wish you’d become famous and everyone could see your photos.

  24. Stunning!
    Really like the second one and the last one. How does one get their name/watermark the way you’ve done it – anywhere in the photo? Is it only possible through Photoshop?
    Thank you also for checking out my blog and for the ‘likes’ :)

    • Thank you, I like the same ones, so that is fantastic. No you should be able to do the watermark with any software, well the main ones. Under Learning photography there is a tutorial on making watermarks if that helps. Though I have been thinking about doing a screencast on how I do mine, but not sure when.
      You don’t need to thank me for that at all. :)

  25. Your photographs are stunning! I love your perspective on people, life, and art! If Rembrandt had a DSLR I think he would’ve taken pictures like you take!

    • Thank you Liz, I often wonder if those painters from that time had more choices would they have done what they did, lovely thing to say, I like that.

  26. Pingback: Travel theme: Wild | Sonel's Corner

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