Photography, Teaching

Taking Students Out to Familiar Places

Last Thursday I showed you two images that had been taken at the same spot, but two years apart.  We talked about how it is can be an interesting thing to to go back to old places and see what you can get.  Last Saturday I had my last class with the term 1 students doing my Practical Photography course, and we had decided that for the last class, instead of doing sports photography, we would go into the city and do Night Photography.  It was clearly a great idea and they all were very keen.

The plan was to catch the train in, where we would start at the Docklands end and continue to Flinders Street Station.  It worked wonderfully.  I told them, it was time for them to work on their own while I was still there, and if they had problems or questions, then they could still ask.  Of course I told them how to do the shots first and gave them the notes to help them in the future, I didn’t leave them to work it out on their own.

As we walked along the river there was a spot where I had taken an image last year.

LeanneCole-scdocklands-3hpm5774It has always been one of my favourite night images, so I told them to try doing one for themselves.  As I was able to photograph this as well, I thought I would have another go at taking it.  This image is a HDR and it was done with 3 images in Photomatix Pro.

LeanneCole-citylight-1404054920_HDRThey have both been taken around the same time of night, but at different times of the year, the first was taken around July last year, and the one above taken last Saturday night.  This one is also a HDR, though processed with HDR Efex from the Nik Collection.  I tried using Photomatix, but they have a new version and it kept blowing out all the highlights.  I need to play with it more.  I like how Efex has done it though.

They are the same image really, there isn’t much difference between them, the second one is a slightly wider angle, and the moon is in it.  I like the reflection of the moon in the water as well. Interesting to get almost identical shots.

The class went really well, and did go overtime a little, but I think they all had a great time.  One student said the course was great, but Saturday was brilliant.  You can’t ask much more than that when you are teaching.  It was also nice to hear quite a few of them say they would like to know of more classes that I will be teaching.  So now I think I have realised the direction that I have to go in, I need to do more teaching. I will have to start planning a variety of courses, some to be taught at Eltham and some that I can do myself.

My next six week course starts on the 26th of April, so if anyone is interested there are still a couple of places available.  If you are interested then the details and how to book are available at Living & Learning Nillumbik, or click here.

Of course people can always do my  One on One Photography session though, I am planning on offering more group things, like Photographing the Architecture in the City, Night Photography Along the Water, and some other ones around the city and near by places.  I thought I would start a mailing list for people who would be interested in doing classes with me and want to know what is going on.  If you are interested and would like to get emails on dates and courses available, then please email me, with Classes as the subject.

A gallery to view the images better.


  1. I love the newest photo although both are great. What I love about the new one is the reflection isn’t as prominent so it doesn’t compete for the focal point of the image. I also love the darker skies with the moon and the wider angle. I love night shots too and like Nik HDR although Photomatix has a bit more in the way of adjustability. I wish I could take a class.

    • I must admit I like the newer one two, but I like what you have said about the reflections Laura, I hadn’t considered that, I think you are right too. I love night shots too. I have always preferred Photomatix, but this last version, I’m struggling with. I think Nik HDR did a much better job with this image. I couldn’t even look at the Photomatix one. Thank you Laura, would be nice, maybe I will come and teach where you are one day.

  2. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

    Water reflections are stunning. :)

  3. Fantastic shots. How I wish I could hop on a plane and spend 6 weeks in your class. I guess I can dream:-)

  4. Great job doing the redo! I would love to be one of your students, so much to learn.

  5. I was doing a high-speed browse through the Reader tonight. Your photos stopped my scroll wheel. They just leap out at you with their clarity and sharpness. Gorgeous photos. This bridge is one of yours that I want for my collection. I am thinking about that…

  6. Great post Leanne…..I hope the students enjoyed the course, I’m sure they got a lot out of it. I like both shots, but I prefer the second…’s a cleaner composition and it seems sharper.

    • Thanks Mark, I think they did actually, hopefully they have a better understanding of how to use their cameras now and are more confident using them. I think the same about that second image, it is simpler somehow.

  7. Wow these are really nice shots… I just started with exploring night photography and I really love it! Unfortunately I live more in the country side and don’t have the possibilities to use a lot of artificial light. But I try to do some night shots as soon as I am near a city. I also wanted to try to do some star trails because I have much better conditions for that around here but that is something completely different ;) Good luck with your courses I hope they will fill with a lot of students! I would consider it if wasn’t so far.

    • Thank you, it would be hard doing night photography in the country side, but trying to do the stars would be amazing. I want to do some of that. Thanks so much, I hope I get lots of students as well.

  8. I love this bridge too!! Must have a go at a night shot when I’m next in Melbourne!! :-)

    • Oh yes, Barbara you must have a go, there are a couple there that are good to photograph at night.

  9. Both are such beautiful images, I love the first one, the vibrancy and colour but the second is gorgeous as well. The moon works really well, steering your eye deeper into the picture, always focusing on the sharpest elements in an image. It’s gorgeous. How did your student’s photos turn out?

    • Thank you, it is interesting seeing the different images at different times. I don’t know how my students images came out, I saw what they were getting on their camera, so I am sure they would have been happy.

  10. Nice of you to hand out notes for future reference, sort of like a safety net as more experience is gained.

    • I always give my students notes to take home for future stuff, I don’t know if it is any help, but it is there if they need it. Thanks David.

  11. Love the second image too. I prefer it over the first one because the luminosity is just spot on and the wide angle includes more of the scene and gives me more to see. The first is good too, but I find the bridge is too bright which is almost distracting.

    • I have to say the dullness of the second one I find quite attractive too. I like those things as well. Thank you Gracie.

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