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This has been the biggest year of my blogging career and the most rewarding.  The year began after I had completed the blogging everyday for a year, and I had thought I would continue doing that, however, I haven’t posted every day this year, but pretty close.

I had around 8,400 followers at the start of the year and that has steadily climbed to over 20,000, which I am so happy about.  I have been getting lots of comments over recent days about how I inspire you, and I have to say that you all inspire me so much.  I know that I try a lot harder to get great images because I don’t want to disappoint you and every time I write I think about all of you and hope you like what I am writing or the photos I am showing you.  So to each and every one of you, thank you for this year, I am very grateful.

scmu-5hpm7446-13At the end of 2012 I was giving the opportunity to photograph some of the interiors of the Manchester Unity Building, which was mainly completed in the first few months of 2013.  It was the biggest job I had ever undertaken and was one which I have learned the most, on how to conduct myself, but also on learning new ways of doing photoshop.  I learned the difference between destructive editing and non-destructive editing.  It was a fantastic opportunity for me.

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For the last few years my new year has always started with the Bay Crits and then onto lots of other cycling events.  In 2013 this was the only racing I photographed.  For personal reasons, and from a business point of view it was time to stop.  For me, in the end, it just wasn’t worth it.  It was hard work and no real rewards.

scchambers-5hpm7546-6Part of my dealings with the City of Melbourne lead me to be allowed to go and photograph the Council Chambers in the Melbourne Town Hall.  I worked on the photos for weeks as I showed them to you.  I really enjoyed this series of work.

LeanneCole-dca-5105-2As I said the other day working with Deaf Children Australia has been an incredible experience and one that I have really enjoyed.  I have been given some great opportunities here as well and to be able to go there and take photos of whatever I like, when I like, has been brilliant.  I would also like to thank them for all their help and for allowing me to go there.

Inverleigh

Inverleigh

Of course, as I have spoken over the weekend, one of the best things I started doing was my Weekend Wandering posts.  They were really good for me, because they made me get out there and take photos. I am sure I have spoken to you before about how I am a lazy person, well, for me the WWs made me get out.  I have been to places that I might not have visited if I didn’t need to get images to show you.

I think one of the things that I have found wonderful has been showing Melbourne to you, and my state of Victoria as well.  I have learned so much about my city because I wanted to get more images for you.  It has been great to see how many of you love the images of Melbourne, and even better to see how many people would love to come here and visit.

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Painting by Rick Amor, Niagra Galleries

I started my influencing me posts so I could show you the artists that have had an influence on me and my work.  Rick Amor, above, was the first of these.  These posts grew, and I started featuring other photographers from WordPress, though the title changed to Introductions.  I know people think I do a lot of work for these, but it isn’t as much as you would think.  I love seeing what people think of the artists I show and the responses have been wonderful.

leannecole-scsandra-3322-4For me one of the biggest changes has been the portraits.  I watched Brooke Shaden on creativeLIVE and my world changed.  I knew I wanted to do portraits, but I didn’t want to do the ones of people looking at the camera just smiling and being nice.  I wanted more, and through the workshop she did I started to see that I could do more.

LeanneCole-thea-montsalvat_1666Compositing is something else I’ve been experimenting with and through creativeLIVE I have been learning how to do that with Photoshop.  I think I have the artistic background to help make it work.  I understand light and how shadows work.  It is an exciting time for me.

LeanneCole-docklands-20131217-4854Finishing the year off with the biggest job I have ever had, photographing the Christmas Festival for the City of Melbourne, has been phenomenal.  Yet another fantastic opportunity.  I loved doing it and I hope they loved the images I got for them.

Writing for another blog has also been wonderful and I have really enjoyed that, and I have so appreciated the support that you have given me there in helping to make it successful.

scclasses-9834sepTeaching has been a rewarding experience too.  I started teaching in 2012, but this year I have done a lot more.  I have taught quite a few classes, and I am learning all the time how to be a better teacher.  It is great to help people learn how to take photos and to be better photographers.

I almost forgot to mention my gear, this year I got a new camera, the Nikon D800, I got two new lenses, the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and the Nikon 14-24mm 2.8.  I also got a new speedlight, the Nikon SB910.  Did I mention that Santa bought me a new tripod as well.  I have been a lucky girl, and I really do have to thank Nikon for all their help.

It has been an amazing year, and once again, thank you.  I am going to put some of my favourite work from the year in a gallery for you, I hope it isn’t too long.  I know some of it I will have shown in the last few days, but I hope you will indulge me.

Happy New Year, all the best in 2014.

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