Art, Melbourne, Photography

Some Times it Just Happens in Front of You

Yesterday when I went into the city, the first stop was the State Library of Victoria, and I wanted to take some photos of the front of the building, you know to see how much I could fit in.  As I was doing that, all of a sudden this woman came from behind with a beautiful dress on.  

LeanneCole-city-20131107-0121I had to take photos, I did.  She was with other people and they were there for a photo shoot, I couldn’t believe my luck.  The dress was so stunning, though I did make some changes to it.  It didn’t go out the back that much, so I made it do that more.  

The photo has been manipulated a lot.  I wanted to create something else.  I love the way she is walking towards it.  I would love to use the library a lot more for photos, and I am working on some plans for that.  I am planning a post on it next week.  

I wish this kind of thing could happen a lot more.  I know it is luck, but it would be wonderful to work with a designer and do more images like this with their designs.  I love the idea of collaboration with other artists, working together.  


  1. Very nice! I suppose you would have to actually live in the city centre to have fast access and be ready for those rare occasions more often.

    • I don’t think this sort of thing happens very often John. I suspect that next door to the library is a Universtiy, and they do fashion design there, so it probably has something to do with that. Thank you John.

  2. Well as you already know I’m a big fan of your work! Your photos are so different each time. You always reinvent yourself which is a unique quality these days. I like the fact that the Architectural component in this photo is asymmetric so the eye stops looking for perfection in Architecture but finds it in the woman infront of the building. Or at least that’s my interpretation.

    • Thank you, I hope I am doing that, evolving I like to think. I like what you have said about the architecture and the woman, that is fantastic. I would love to do more shots with architecture in the background.

  3. Wow… That is impressive. :) I like how she is going up the steps, and it almost seems like she is late, or nervous or something. And the colour and the sky are wonderful. When I look at a photograph, first I look for a feeling, and this image has a good one. :)

    • Thank you Joseph, I am glad you can find that feeling, I do try to get that, and lots of drama, though as this happened in front of me, I didn’t have a lot of control over what was happening.

      • You may not have had control over what was happening when you took the picture, but you did when you edited it, and that is what made this image what it is. Unless I misunderstood you, it wasn’t the same, much less solitary, and probably the colours were different. ;)

      • Yes, you are right there, I did do a lot of work to get rid of other people in the image and I have changed the colours a bit, put in a new sky. All that stuff.

  4. What luck! I’m still surprised she was what happened–what are the chances?! The photo is lovely.

    • I know, what are the chances, I am never that lucky, not usually, so I was so surprised when she was standing there in front of me. Very happy. Thanks Bernadette.

  5. Love your retouch of the photo! And, I’ve heard that the longer you do something, the luckier you get….which I think means that you aren’t lucky at all but instead skilled.

    • Thank you Ann, I like that idea, I like it a lot, maybe that sort of thing will start happening more in front of me.

  6. Your trip to the library was fortuitous, sure enough! What a gorgeous image with wonderful light. And such mystery suggesting a story… I love it.

  7. Absolutely lovely, I read your bog everyday or whenever you post, over a year now. I am so inspired and have learnt so much. A huge thank you!!

    • Thank you Wendy, I really do love hearing that I inspire people and that people learn from me, I find that inspires me to keep trying things and sharing what I do. So thank you very much as well.

  8. Love it Leanne. Fabulous look and feel and location. I used to spend hours in that library when I was in high school – Allegedly doing research but usually just using it as an excuse to come into the city centre.

    • Thank you Liz, I remember the students coming in when I worked there, though when I was there yesterday the place was packed. I think a lot of them are there for similar reasons.

  9. WOW! Is the most appropriate response to this photograph Leanne! What great luck you had when she entered your shot! I am so glad you were able to capture this! Love it!

    • I know, how lucky was I, if I had been a little earlier, or if I hadn’t stopped to take photos of the outside I would never have seen it. I am glad I got it as well. Thank you.

      • I hear ya, a lot of “what if’s”, but you definitely were at the right place at the right time for this pic. Did you ever get the chance to find out who the woman was to show her your photograph? I think you need to find her, as she would love your photograph that was 100% perfect!

      • I certainly was and very happy that I was. No, I have no idea who she was, or even what she was doing there. She was in public, so I had no problems taking photos of her. It would be nice, maybe she will see this, or someone she knows will see it.

  10. littlepinkdove says

    This is such a lovely image and one of my favorites of yours.

    • Thank you, that is great to hear, I think this image shows that I need to start putting some architecture into my images.

  11. anitadesignstudio says

    Speechless!! This is a beautiful photo! Well done :)

  12. Strictly Vivid Photography says

    Wow, right place at the right time! It’s stunning!

  13. brilliant composition and loving the colour cast. can we see the original image please?

    • Thank you, that is fantastic. At the moment seeing the original is not possible, small computer malfunction and well, Windows will be a pain.

  14. Beautiful and evocative imagery. You say ‘sometimes it just happens in front of you’, but not many would be able to use that opportunity to such great effect. This is a great example of your talent, not just a co-incidence.

    • Believe me, I was thinking fast, I kept thinking, go for it, just take photos, keep taking photos. I did, and this is the one I liked best. I loved that dress. Thank you so much.

  15. It’s got a bit of a Cinderella feel to it!!
    I’ve got the bug of collaboration too! A friend has started making incredible cakes-wedding, baby shower, birthday etc and I took a few photos for her ad she loved them, and I’m hooked too! I’m desperate for her to make more so I can make her cakes look as amazing in photos as they do in real life.

    • Thank you.
      That is fantastic, I love working with other people, it is a great feeling. I’ve seen at least one of those cakes, they are fantastic, well they look fantastic, I haven’t tasted them.

  16. This plays to what we spoke of yesterday – being in total sync with your equipment. Sure you got lucky, but that is only part of it – you were able to capitalize on your luck by coming back with a fantastic shot – because the mechanics of the shot were second nature to you – no fumbling around.

    • Thank you Robert, someone said the same thing, maybe it is second nature, though, I do wish I had had a different lens on, but I am pretty happy with it, I did have to do a lot of work on the building behind, because of the very wide angle. Oh well, I am still happy with it.

  17. Photos close to home says

    What a wonderful photograph. Your growth as a photographer over the past year has been amazing.

  18. Marvelous work, Leanne. The way she held her gown and walked towards the building feels like in those long time ago moments when a princess tried to find her prince by going to a ball.

    • Yes, I think so to. I did make the dress a little bigger, and I think if I were photographing her I would probably have done more with the dress, but I can’t complain, I couldn’t believe she was just there. Thank you so much. I want to do more images that have that feeling of stepping back in time.

  19. I agree, you had great luck. I figured this was one of your models. It’s your style. V was talking yesterday about photos today being more artistic. He notices that stuff, and I said, that was where you are going with your photos. So I thought that was interesting that he came up with that out of the blue. He is the creative one in the family, so maybe he will help me pose and stage some interesting photos in the future – Leanne Style. :)

    • I certainly did. I wish it was one of models, I might have made more of the dress, but that is okay, I still like the image. It is interesting what V said, very, I didn’t realise that he was the creative one, I thought you were, perhaps the two of you should collaborate, see what you come up with. :) I like the last part.

      • I think we both have our talents. We brainstorm about this book every day. It’s been a kick to write. I’m on Chapter 9 already, and I’m ahead of schedule! :)

      • It’s fun. He’s gone back home for the next couple of days, so I have 3 whole days to write, write, write. :)

      • Trying. I want to pump out 2 today and 2 tomorrow, and 2 on Monday, and at least 1 on Monday. I go to St. Louis on the 21st for 5 days, and I know I won’t be writing there! :) Wish me luck! :) If you have time and want the link I’ll send it to you so you can read along and make comments.

      • Wow you are really going for it. I admire you for that. You are off again Miss jetsetter. I am envious. I want to say yes that I will read it, but I don’t know if I will have time. Up to you. I can certainly take a quick look, if that is possible. :)

    • It’s funny you know, I didn’t worry about asking if it was okay, I just went with it, I just snapped heaps of images. I didn’t care if it was okay or not. Not like me at all. She was most definitely in a public space, and I wanted the shot. Thanks Richard.

  20. This is fabulous – letting things happen gave you golden nuggets in this case. Beautiful work!

    • I think in this case it was both, the dress, that was lucky, but I am glad I had the presence of mind to just take photos. I think 12 months ago I would have just watched. So happy I go the shots.

    • I don’t think I would look that good, no I wouldn’t. Though I have two teenage daughters with lots of friends who are always willing to take photos with me. So I can do that.

  21. Leanne,
    I look at this image and I want to see the rest of this movie, read the rest of this book, hear the rest of this song. You really are a storyteller. Nicely done, as always!

    • Thank you Gina, I love a comment that starts my mind ticking, and I think you have just done that for me. I love the idea of the story. Though, I have no idea what the rest of her story is I am afraid.

  22. Very pretty. With a dress like that, it’s like hoping she’s not too late for her own wedding. :)

    • I think she might have been modelling the dress for a designer, RMIT has a design course next door to the library. The girl in the dress was there and being photographed with a boy, but he looked too casual to be an actual groom. Then again, you never know. Thanks

  23. Just wow! Your photos make want to learn more and try harder, even though I’m more of a scribbler. And I’m sure you’ll get more chances to get unique shoots there. That’s the life cycle of children born in Victoria, right? :)

    • That is wonderful to hear, it is great to inspire others. I hope I get other opportunities, though I think I will have to make them happen. I don’t know, is it!! :) Thank you.

  24. WendyJC says

    It’s a beautiful capture …yes luck that she came along!
    love the city and the excitement of catching moments!!

    • Thank you Wendy, very lucky, I am not usually that lucky, so perhaps my luck is finally starting to change.

      • WendyJC says

        I believe we are all lucky, perhaps sometimes luck is used on the unforeseen … definitely worth feeding the feeling and enjoying the moment!

      • No, I have never been lucky, I can quite honestly say that, but this does make me feel that my luck might be changing, then again, maybe luck is a state of mind. Maybe my state of mind is changing. It is definitely worth feeding, thanks.

  25. Haunting edit… I love it. I think you absolutely could collaborate with a bridal boutique / dress shop to arrange a shoot, it would be great for their business… sort of a win/win!

    • Thank you so much. I think collaborating would be so great, I just need to find some dress designers or boutique’s who would want to work with me. I think win win too.

    • I have no idea why she was there, and maybe that is what they were doing, I just got the shots I wanted and took off, but I like what you have said, thank you Helen.

  26. Beautiful as always! Great luck getting this image. Must have been perfect timing! ~ Sheila

    • It was great luck, Sheila, couldn’t believe it. If we had been 5 minutes earlier I would have missed, which is usually what my luck is like. Thank you Sheila.

  27. daraghbeeston says

    Stunning shot! I love the sepia colours- it looks like it was taken in the old days!!
    Well done!

  28. Great photo Leanne! How’s the D800 coming along. I found the camera very user friendly and of course the pictures speak for themselves! :-)

    • Thank you Chillbrook. The D800 is really coming along, I am loving it, still lots of explore, and yes, that is something that has really surprised me is how user friendly it is. I have to say, that is something I have always found with Nikon, they are very easy to work out. :)

  29. Timing and the ability to see what’s going on are major components of luck. ;) Lovely photo, and I am glad for you that you caught it! Nice work, especially since I’m sure you weren’t exactly prepared for this vision to appear in front of you. :)

    • Thank you Jen, I think you are so right there. I am glad I caught it as well. I was not prepared for it at all, I really wish I had had another lens on the camera, but I am okay with what I got. :)

  30. Pingback: Thank You for the Blog of the Year Award | Babsje Heron

  31. Excellent capture. When I looked at it I felt both a sense of beauty and loneliness. Why the loneliness is beyond me. Then before I read your post I thought, “Hey she must be late to her own wedding”. Finally I wondered if it was staged. Excellent photo and very creative post processing. Thank you for sharing and for checking out my blog. – CLG

    • I can understand the loneliness, it is a vast space, and she is the only one in it, dwarfed by that building. I think she was there for shoot for the dress, there were people there taking photos and filming her. I do think it was staged, though, I didn’t stage it, but I definitely took advantage of the situation. Thank you so much and you are very welcome.

  32. Great serendipitous shot, love the post -processing! :) oh, and thanks for your recent likes on my blog, much appreciated…

  33. One of those right place/right times moments. I thought is was one of your wedding shots! How did you make it go out the back more? You are a wiz at photoshop!

    • It most definitely was Darla, I couldn’t believe my luck. I did some transforming, hard to describe, added some, stretched it and made it fit.

  34. Perfect place, perfect time and perfect composition. Of course, with a lot of finish and finesse. Loved it.

  35. pmoyo says

    Beautiful indeed! And thank you that you often stop by my humble blog and like my posts :)

  36. Great ‘catch’! And yes, collaboration is a delight. It’s incredibly inspiring when you find like-minded artists with whom you can work in any way. That’s a sort of ‘made luck’ that’s worth the effort! :D
    Beautiful work here!

    • I love the idea of it, but nothing has happened yet, I send out emails and no one responds. I don’t understand the world today, why people think it is okay to ignore emails. So annoying.
      I do want to try it though, could be amazing. Thanks you Kathryn. :)

  37. Luck is wonderful, but if you hadn’t been there with your camera, you wouldn’t have been prepared to capture the moment. A wonderfully manipulated photo, worthy of some kind of national advertising bit, especially if you could have found out who she is so you could receive a model release. You might want to carry some of those with you wherever you go with your camera. You never know when you might need one. Superb!

    And thanks for liking my post Guardians of the Dead in my f-stop fantasy blog at I’ve since posted Skeletal Remains. You’re welcome any time, as well as your comments.

    • Thank you, I was very lucky, I do have model release forms with me often in my backpack, but to be honest, didn’t even think of it that day. I am fine with using the image as it is, so that is good.
      You are very welcome, and thanks for stopping by here.

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