Architecture, Art, Fine Art Photography, Fine Art Portraits, Photography

The Evolving Continues

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how I wanted to start doing some new work, compositing images.  I have slowly started planning some work and experimenting with that.  Then last week I showed you a wedding photo that I had done a composite with, changing the background.  So this week I finally got around to going to Montsalvat in Eltham to take some photos that I could use for compositing.

I have to be careful with these photos, I had to pay $22 an hour to be allowed to take photos and I am only allowed to use them here. So I took some photos and will try experimenting with them, but I am still deciding if I would ever use Montsalvat again.

LeanneCole-thea-montsalvat_1666The background was taken at Montsalvat in the big room above the Great hall.  These windows are so gorgeous and the light coming through was lovely.  I have some plans for the images, but I need to photograph my model first.  I really wanted to try compositing one, so I got one of the images I took of Thea in my class last Saturday and tried to composite her into the image.

I am not sure the image really works.  It was a difficult one to do.  Thea was sitting on some steps outside and the light was quite bright.  I had to work a lot to tone that down.  I did take a quick image of one of the girls sitting on the lounge and used that for reference with the light.  I like the idea of it, but if I was going to do one for real, I think I would dress her differently and plan the shoot with the background image in mind. I am reasonably happy with how the actual compositing went and I did learn a lot doing it.

LeanneCole-briony-1710I asked my daughter to kneel down and pretend she was praying.  I like the composition, couldn’t resist doing this image.  I took other images of this without her so if I want to try and get someone in it that is more appropriate I can.

I thought I would show some of the images that I got to try compositing with.  I am not sure if I will use some or all or none, but this is what I got while I was there yesterday.  I will include the above images as well.


  1. I can’t believe you had to pay that much (in fact pay at all) to take photos there! I was thinking of suggesting my hubby and I go there on our visit to Melbourne to take pics, but maybe not. I was enjoying seeing in each of these where you position your webpage address watermark. Very creative!

    • Yes, you have to pay to go in, you have general admission, $14, and if you want to take photos of the place, then you pay $22 an hour, so you can only take photos for one hour, or you have to pay more. Though you don’t pay the $14 if you pay for photography. Then with the photography you can only use it for personal use, so for me a waste of time really except for experimenting. I can go to National Trust places and take photos under the same conditions and pay nothing extra. I would go somewhere else, Ripponlea is cheaper and so much nicer. Or Como House.
      Thank you Penny, I try to place my watermark so it isn’t too distracting.

  2. I find few tools work as well as advertised for creating masks and cutting subjects out of one photo to post on another. It has worked reasonably well when I shoot something in front of a green or blue screen, but otherwise I’m seldom happy with the mask. Then again, most people don’t magnify photos as much as I do.

    • I have thought about the blue and green screens but I am so concerned about colour cast. I know many professional photographers use grey backgrounds, and that is what I want to try. Photoshop has some great tools for doing this kind of work, so am looking forward to getting better at it. I need to take my time though, I tend to rush. That is try about magnifying, and most people see what they want to see. Thanks

  3. I really liked the photo of your daughter kneeling …. beautiful light there …. and the first one is amazing of course …

  4. Love the photos. I can’t believe you have not done this before they look so good.
    Can’t wait to see more. Well done.

    • Thank you Trevor, I didn’t really know how to work out how before, but I think I am getting the idea now. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but I didn’t think I could do it, so procrastinated.

      • I feel same way. I will try and learn one day. Steep learning curve but rewarding when you achieve it.
        Keep up the great work you are doing.

      • It is a steep learning curve, though I think this is a great next step for me, so will keep going with it. Thank you Trevor, will do my best.

  5. I think you’ve done a good job (to my eyes) of masking/ cutting and pasting your model, always a difficult thing to do (I’m not great at it, probably because i tend to rush!). But the light is the trickiest bit, and your idea of planning a shoot with the background image in mind seems a very good idea!

    • Thank you, I think that is probably one of the best ways to do it as well. I did spend a lot of time learning how to do this, though I probably did rush the whole thing a little as I didn’t think it would really work. The light is tricky and you really need to learn how it falls on the person in that place or it doesn’t look good, that is what I think I need to learn.

      • I know the theory, not sure I could put it into practice. But our eyes know when something doesn’t look right!

      • Yes, that is very true, so it is quite a challenging thing to do, but hopefully, I can go with the challenge, see what I come up with.

  6. I think that your efforts work – I was trying to detach from knowing that they were composites and I believe that I would have accepted that these were uncomposited images. I do not think that the fee is outlandish – but the only for personal use clause would be a big problem for me. The whole these are “my images, my work” thing would give me pause to use the location. Nice work and your daughter continues to be a good sport about modeling.

    • Thank you Robert, though only the first image is a composite, the one with my daughter was taken like that. I am glad you would have accepted them as normal images, that is really good to hear.
      The fee isn’t outlandish, but to charge that per hour, is a bit rich, and then limit you on what you can do with the photos. You can pay a lot more and do a more commercial style shot, but I am guessing you would have to pay a lot more money. I should find out. A lot of places do that, and that is fair enough, but the $22 seems to be, I don’t know, no one else does that, here come here and take photos but we want you to pay more money. They should want people to visit take photos and then plaster them all over the web, it is free advertising isn’t it? I just don’t get it.

  7. Yes, I would stay with the grey backgrounds for compositing and leave the greens & blues for video. Keep up the good work. kk

    • I saw some photos taken of someone in front of a blue or green screen and the colour cast on their skin was very definite. I don’t think I could be bothered with that. I do have a big grey mottled coloured backdrop, and it will probably be perfect for this, I hope. Thank you kdkeith.

  8. The windows are certainly striking.
    It does seem totally unreasonable, though, to want that much for photo rights and then to have the cheek to limit the use of them.

    • They are a great backdrop for photos.
      It is so weird, I don’t get the point of the photo thing, most people pay $14 to get in, can stay as long as they like, but if you want to take photos, which let’s face it is everyone these days, you have to pay $22 an hour. As you said, then you are limited with what you can do with them. I would have thought, that a place like that, that is getting a greedy reputation, would want people going and taking photos, putting them on our blogs so we do free advertising for them. Instead, they get people like me that can’t get past how they are constantly holding their hands out and asking for money.
      I have no problem with the concept of paying a heap of money to go and take photos for commercial purposes, many places do the same, then you can do what you like with the images, but the other fee, I think they will be the ones that loose out in the end.

  9. $22/hr is pretty steep if you have multiple modles on location and need to pay them by the hour also.

    I’d love to see the call sheet for this shoot.

    • Well nothing like that, I think if you had models and the sort they would probably charge you 2 or 3 hundred an hour, it is quite expensive to do that sort of thing.
      I don’t use call sheets, I am not quite that big, as far as my shoots go.

  10. I love your shot of the windows, the light is so beautiful.
    Also the contrast between the dreamy background and the pose is interesting – and I agree the princess dress isn’t ideal, as it “fits” with the background, but not the pose.
    I think the issue with the figure isn’t so much the brightness of the light, but that it’s coming from the wrong direction:I don’t think it’s possible to fix that. If you build up a library of backgrounds, maybe you can classify them by light direction and quality, and then match a model to one that fits?

  11. I think these are great – particularly the shot of your daughter. It looks like a cool venue, but the fee seems a bit steep.

    • Thank you Richard, she even liked it, which is good. It is a great venue, but it has some serious issues unfortunately, and that fee is so weird.

  12. Wonderful stuff, Leanne! Though, kind of pricey — although, if you were doing wedding or engagement photos, and the cost was being added into your rate, it wouldn’t be so bad. Though, I don’t suppose wedding photos count as personal use … so, I guess as far as using the place for anything other than practice and enjoyment seems practical only if you’ve got the extra $$ to spare.

    • Thanks John, I don’t know, it is such a strange fee, I have decided. If you are taking wedding photos or something for more commercial prices, they charge you a lot more money. I think I can photograph other places for far less.

  13. I love the image of your daughter there Leanne .. it really got my attention very arresting . Could easily see it as a book cover .. just don’t ask me the genre Lol
    The chaise longue is crying out for a languid pose … sleeping beauty … or a little decadence maybe … :-)

    • Thank you Poppytump, it was a chance sort of photo, but I am very glad I got it. I have no idea about book covers, I think I should start investigating them though.
      I agree with you about the lounge, though I think I was thinking more of having someone standing behind it. Very decadent I think, :)

Comments are closed.