Architecture, Archives, Art, Introductions, Photography

Introductions – Leanne Cole

Yes, it is about me today.  For a few of reasons really, and I hope you don’t think I am being too egocentric here.  The first reason was that some of the people I have introduced have spoken about how hard it can be to answer the questions, so I thought perhaps I should have a go.  The second reason, well, I’ve been a bit slack and hadn’t organised myself and had no one, so you got me.  The third reason was because recently when I showed all the photos of Melbourne and then the river, a lovely friend wanted to know where some of the other images were, but I told her I considered them my art images, so today I thought we could look back on all my art images.

sccity-hpm6648-5I thought it might be fun to revisit some of my earlier attempts at what I call art images, and some of the things I’ve experimented with over the last couple of years.

So the first question I always send to people is why do they take photos.  It is a hard question, and there are so many answers.  So why do I?  I think it is something I have to do, not necessarily taking photos, but making images.  It is something I have always felt a need to do.  As a child I drew, and drew.  I had no one to help me, so I copied things and tried to learn that way.  My school had no art teacher, so I was on my own.  As I got older I realised that I could go and learn, and I did that.

I got my first SLR just over 20 years ago, and I started making images that way.  However, over time I got frustrated with film and the limitations.  I couldn’t get rid of things from images, I didn’t like the dark room, so I couldn’t add the drama that I wanted.  I thought what I needed was to concentrate on drawing, painting, create my own images.

I did study photography for a year at NMIT, then started a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts, (VCA).  I did printmaking there, but through that process I learned how to observe, and as a friend said recently, spent 3 years learning what makes a good composition.

Then about 4 years ago I got my first DSLR, and well, I haven’t looked back.  Along with that and Photoshop, I was finally able to start doing more things to my images.  It is all about the image, and what I want you to see.  So that is why I take photos.

scmallee-hpm8680-3I have been trying so many different things over the last couple of years, and some things I still do, some I’ve toned down, and some I don’t do at all any more.  I like the way the blurring can make you focus where I want, but I was a bit heavy handed with it in the beginning.

Inspiration comes from so many places.  It can be a hard question to answer.  I know there are some things that really did/do have an influence. One is Chernobyl and the nuclear disaster that happened there, not so much the disaster but the town of Pripyat.  It has been deserted since 1986, and it is amazing what happens as humans leave.  I like to explore that theme of abandon in my work.  I can’t get there myself at this, so I have to make do with what is around me.  I think I said recently how I like to make a place that isn’t abandoned, look as though it is.  Abandonment is a big theme for me.

I also find theatre, movies, TV a great source of inspiration, I like drama and I like adding drama to my images.  I try to get that as much as possible.  Some movies are very inspirational, and I watch them over and over.  Artists that I love are usually always those that get some sense of drama into their images as well.


Photographing the now and making it look more unique is also different, the idea that I am in control of the image.  One of the best pieces of advice that one teacher gave me once was, “it is your image, do what you please”.

The other question I ask is about process and how they work.  It is an interesting question, we all work differently.  I tend to take lots of photos.  I am constantly thinking about how I can photograph something that is different to other people.  I try all angles, and I will go back and photograph the same place over and over again, until I get what I am looking for, or I get bored.  I also take lots of images, it is nothing for me to come home after shooting for the day with around 500 images.  Now before you gasp at that, if you do, I also bracket my shots, so every time I am taking a photo, I am also taking either taking 3 or 5 bracketed images.  I never know what I will do with the images until I get them on the computer, so I like to be prepared.

sccitysheep-hpm2471-3Experimentation is key and I’m always trying new things out.  Some things work, some don’t, but you have to try and that is how we learn.  I will like some things, and then that might lead to something else.  I love learning new techniques, so experimentation is key to that.

I don’t have a lot of gear, but I am very happy with what I have.  I am sure you all know I am now using the Nikon D800.  All my lenses are Nikon, and I have spent a lot of money over the last couple of years on top lenses to take images with.  I have lenses from 14mm to 200mm.  They are 3 lenses and they are all 2.8, so fast lenses. The glass is phenomenal and I love the images I get with them.  I love my kit and on my wish list are only two more lenses, and that will be enough. I would like the 105mm Micro lens, and a 35mm prime lens.  I hope my husband isn’t reading this.

So I am going to put my images in a gallery for you now.  These are what I refer to as my art images.  They have all had hours of work on them, and I have tried to make them a lot more than a straight image from the camera.  I hope they make you feel something else, not necessarily a good feeling, but you know what I mean.  I usually put a link to the persons website or blog here, but might just give you one to my website.  Thank you for letting me indulge myself here.


  1. I don’t know how I missed this post! It has my all time favorite image too :) now freshly pressed!!

    • Brilliant, I knew there would be at least one image there that you would like, haha, thank you. :)

  2. tuinkabouter1965 says

    These are stunning!! Love ‘m !!

  3. I enjoy the work you are doing with your “Art” images. Most I like and occasionally a few perhaps less so, but each one makes me observe and question. Would I have ever thought to have done that? If not, is it a lack of imagination on my part or a difference in taste and aesthetics? How was that image manipulated? Would I have varied something slightly? And so on. I like it that you make me stop and think.

    • I like your reaction, it is exactly what I would hope for. Thank you so much for thoughts and how you mentally process my images, or art images. I think I do exactly the same. I often look at work and there will be something that they have done and I will think, how did they do that? Then I try and work it out. Thank you.

  4. Reblogged this on Flotsam and Jetsam and commented:
    This is a test of the WPcom redesigned reblog feature, but regardless a delightful read. To Leanne- As soon as this post has been reblogged on my test site, I will immediately make it Private. Thanks

  5. So late with my visit here Leanne …. I love your collective gallery so diverse … it really shows your artistic talent and gives me lots of inspiration on so many levels.
    Many Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed !

    • It was a fun thing to do and it was lovely to see the work again, I had forgotten about a lot of it. Thank you Poppytump.

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  7. Amazing gallery! The sheep on the bridge is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Fabulous! :) Many congrats.

  8. Ulkar Alakbarova says

    Very impressive! Some photos are trying to say something… Maybe just to show a path from the darkness to the light! Excellent work!

  9. You’re the first photographer I’ve ever heard say didn’t like the darkroom. I thought I was the only one! I actually stopped doing photography for a long time because I never got around to printing any images since I hated being in the darkroom and professional labs are so expensive. Thanks for sharing your experiences and lovely photos.

    • I did the same, gave up for a few years, then got back into photography with digital. I found the darkroom too frustrating, it took long to get an image. So you aren’t alone there. You are welcome and thank you.

  10. Thank you for sharing your perspective and why you enjoy doing photography. I can relate to some of what you said. I too started out drawing and spent some time painting before getting the chance to delve into photography. For me photography is about sharing my viewpoint and perspective but it’s also about seeing what I can make out of what I see around me. I enjoy editing photos and turning them into something completely different.

  11. Great post today, Leanne. You’re images hold a lot of ‘mood’ in them. Something I strive for in my photography, as I’m sure lots of photographers do…

  12. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and hope you will come again some time. Blessings, Natalie :)

  13. Thanks for liking my post at the JoyousReach blog!

    Very nice work, I am working on my photography skills, I’ve decided to focus on my camera work

    • You are very welcome.
      That is a good place to start. I did that for a long time, really honed my skills until I got to a point where I thought editing would be the next thing I learned. Good luck and thank you.

    • It takes time and lots of your time. You need to look at other blogs, check out what people are doing, comment, like, and you need to be consistent with your blog, post consistently, whether that is once a week, or 3 times a week. It is just time, and patience. Having good content that people can relate to is also a great thing. I didn’t look at your blog much, but they are things to consider. Good luck.

    • Thank you Diana, some of my absolute favourites and a real indication of what I want to be doing. You are very welcome, I probably won’t comment much, but I will always look.

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