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Posts by Leanne Cole

MM26 – Six Month Anniversary of Monochrome Madness

Wow, we did it, we made it to six months, well done every one, for those that have been here from the beginning and those we have picked up along the way.  It has been such a priviledge to do this post each week and for so many of you to trust me with your images.  I have got to know so many new people and from what I can gather many of you have found the same thing.  It has been an incredible journey and through this I have done at least 26 black and white or monochrome images that I may not have otherwise down, that is the best part.

We did set a theme for this week, to present colour images that look like monochrome.  Some people have done this and others haven’t.  No big deal.  So I am going to put all the images into a gallery and you can work out which are the colour images and which aren’t.

So on with the Madness.

melbourne-centrl-tower-city-buildingI took this image last Sunday when out with the Social Snappers.  I was out on the road to get this one.  I thought I didn’t have anything for this challenge, then when I went through my images I realised how this one looks monochrome, but it is a colour image. I have played with it quite a bit, but I haven’t changed the colours at all.

getwell8Laura has joined us again, welcome back and glad you are recovering well from your surgery.  If you would like to find out more about Laura’s image, than go yo her post “Paper” Flowers – Monochrome Madness.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be as small as it can be, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

The day change has happened and from now on I will tell you want I am up to on Tuesday’s now, instead of Fridays.  Though with only a few days since my last post like this, I don’t have a lot of news, but there are some things that I have to say.

Flickr

I have finally started a Flickr account, yet another form of social media.  I was convinced from someone recently that it could be a good idea.  I’m not totally sure, but it is worth a go.  I’ve heard quite a few people talk about how they have got work through their Flickr account, so it can’t hurt.  If you are interested in checking me out, then here is the link, Leanne Cole Flickr. I tried to add the widget for Flickr, but I couldn’t get the address right.

flowerdale-countryside-water-hills-green-2One thing I wanted to point out too is that I have so many images right now and I am trying new things all the time, so I have too many images for this blog. I am putting extra images on Flickr, my Facebook page and Google+ that you may not see here.  I am also going to be using the blog on my website to show things that I am working on and experimenting with.

Social Snappers

The end of term is coming, and planning has started for next term.  The Tuesday session really didn’t work out, so I have decided that I am going to change that to a Thursday for next term. That would be more convenient for me too.  I am also changing the price, so they will be $40 each, or if you sign up for all 5 you will get a 20% discount and you will get them for $160.  There can be no more than 10 in each group.  I don’t want them to be so big that people feel they don’t get a chance to take photos.

I haven’t worked out where we will be going exactly, but some thoughts are Fitzroy Gardens, Collins Street – one end to the other, Heide Gallery and gardens, maybe a walk around the back streets of flowerdale-countryside-water-hills-green-5Collingwood,  and I would love to finish the year off with doing a Social Snappers trip into the city photographing some of the Christmas decorations that the City of Melbourne puts up.

I also want to stress that it doesn’t matter what camera you have.  These groups are not only for people with DSLRs, they are for anyone who loves to take photos.  The excursions are social and are just about taking photos with other people.  You can use a phone camera if you like, as long as you just want to take photos, that is the only requirement really.

For more information about Social Snappers, click here.

Emails

I wanted to have a small whinge.  I don’t know about you, but these day with the only way of contacting companies being through email, why are they so rude and never return those emails.  I have sent emails to so many companies, like Sigma, asking about lenses, to Singh Ray, tryinflowerdale-countryside-water-hills-green-9g to find out about their filters. Part of the reason I hate talking about Creative Live is because they often don’t respond to emails as well.  I know that they can’t always help me with my questions, but is it really that hard to return an email and say sorry we can’t help.  That would be much better than the silence you get.  I don’t like talking about companies here who do that.

There is never any excuse for being rude.

Apollo Bay

I am going away for a couple of days at the end of this week.  I am off to Apollo Bay to see what images I can get there.  I will only be there for two nights, so basically 2 days, but we are hoping to get lots of photos during that time, though we are being realistic enough and trying not to fit in too much. I don’t know how much access to the internet I will have, so please be patient with me in responding to your comments.

Monochrome Madness

flowerdale-countryside-water-hills-green-1Tomorrow is Monochrome Madness again, so if you haven’t got your image in, this is your reminder, you have about 8 hours to do from the time this post is published. Don’t forget to resize your images, NO big images, and always include a link to your blog.

The photos today were taken last week in Flowerdale.  I went for a lovely afternoon drive there with my photography buddy.  We didn’t see much we wanted to photograph, but it was beautiful just driving around.  I took a couple of shots using my new ND400 filter, and the rest using my polariser.

Influencing Me – Bryn Forbes

Today I thought I would show you the work of a photographer that I have only recently come to know, Bryn Forbes. I first saw Bryn on a Creative Live show that he was doing with Jack Davis.  They were talking about underwater photography, I’m not into that sort of photography, but then they followed it up on one about night photography and the stars, well, you all know I’m into that. I really liked the work he was showing, and have been looking at it a lot since then so I approached Bryn and asked if I could show you his work.

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I really enjoy seeing how he approaches different types of photography and there seems to be a fairly simple approach, I could be wrong, but I do like the way he approaches what he is going to photograph. It makes me feel, in most situations that I could do the same.

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Then there are images that I don’t know if I would ever be able to get.  It is great to look at the work of another photographer and think, “wow, I would love to be able to get an image this”.  I say that, but deep down I’m think, it would just be my luck that I would miss it, or it wouldn’t happen in front of me.  This is such an incredible image.  I just sit here in awe of it.

bryn-forbes-wildlife-7Then you get an image like this and I know I would never get a shot like this.  I’m not good with water, and I don’t think I could get a photo like this.  I would never be prepared to go underwater to do photography.  I think it is a fantastic shot, and that whale is incredible.  It is another shot that I can’t stop looking at, the detail, that eye, the reflections from the light above.  Whales are such beautiful creatures, I really don’t understand how anyone would want to kill them.

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On his website he has a gallery called Solace, great concept.  The idea of being alone somewhere.  You really get that feeling looking at the images.  I have tried getting images like this when I go up to the Mallee, the quiet landscape image.  I have spoken before how I like quiet images, and these ones of Bryn’s definitely show what I mean about quiet. This is such a wonderful image, the texture in the sands, the little bit of life growing from it.  Amazing how resilient some things are.

bryn-forbes-waves-5

He also has some images of waves, but they are blurred.  I’m not sure what he has done to get them like that, but the effect is really amazing.  I spoke the other day about how important I think it is to experiment and try different things.  It is great to watch and observe another photographer who also does that.  I love looking at work and then trying to figure out what they did, then seeing if I can do the same thing.

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Bryn also does stunning landscape shots.  I really want to be able to do stunning landscape shots.  I will have to keep working on the idea I think.  I’m grateful for the area I live in, means I can go out and get some fantastic landscapes to practice on.  It amazes me what people can do with what they see at times.  I just sit, look and feel very envious.

I have more images for you to look at in a gallery.  I hope you will, along with me, thank Bryn Forbes for giving me permission to feature his work here on my blog, so thank you Bryn.  I would also invite you all to go and take a look at his website and blog, Bryn Forbes Gallery, there is a lot more work there to look at and enjoy.

Weekend Wanderings- A Wide View of Banyule Flats

Yesterday I showed you some photos of the birds that you can see around Banyule Flats.  The following day after taking those I went out again with my camera, but this time I had the Nikon 24-70mm lens on the camera and I walked around taking photos.  As I learn more about the history of the area, I am finding a lot of it makes more sense to me, what I mean is what I see when I look around.  It has opened my eyes up again, and it is like I am viewing this place for the first time all over again.

1-banyule-flats-morning-parksI walked around some new areas of the swamp, places I knew about, but hadn’t really tried taking photos from before.  I was using my new Circular Polariser and it has made all the images very saturated.  Not sure I like it, but will give it go first.  Though, the grass is really green like that.

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For a long time this was farming country and there are parts of it, that still look very much like that.  I love those trees, the gum trees, I don’t know the names of trees either, sorry, I’m not very good at the names of things, but I do want to get better at it.

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There are little flowers everywhere, all different sorts.  Probably weeds, but I thought they were pretty.  If I had a macro lens I would be able to get better images of the flora in this area.  I am hoping I won’t have to wait to long for it.

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I have seen this windmill many times over the years, but never realised what it was for.  There is a billabong close to it, and the windmill was used to pump water into it for the cows that were there.  It doesn’t do that anymore, and the billabong is often empty now, which is unfortunate.

Just in case people don’t know what a billabong is, or are unsure, here is the definition of one from Wikipedia.

Billabong is an oxbow lake, an isolated pond left behind after a river changes course. Billabongs are usually formed when the path of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch with a dead end. Billabongs, reflecting the arid Australian climate in which these “dead rivers” are found, fill with water seasonally and are dry for a greater part of the year.

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I liked the way the fence was there.  There are fences all over the place, but most of them are in disrepair, and you can see they are no longer used.  The morning sun was also giving some lovely shadows.  It was also very wet, wet from dew on the ground.  I have some hiking shoes, but think I might need to get waterproof ones, my feet keep getting wet.

tawny-frogmouth-two-banyule-flatsI saw the two Tawny Frogmouths that we couldn’t find the day before.  I came from a different angle.  They knew I was there, and they were doing their, “I am a tree branch” thing, which is really interesting.  I had the wrong lens on for doing this, and I had to crop the photo a lot.  They were tiny in the middle of the original one.  I will have to go back some time with the other lens.

I have a lot more photos for you, more of the swamp, and some from other parts of the area.  I did the walk in a hour, so that should give you an idea of how close everything is.  Part of it belongs to the Banyule City Council, and some to Park Victoria.  It is unfortunate that the area that is maintained by Parks Victoria isn’t cared for as well as the Banyule City Council space.  The parks in Parks Victoria do look very untidy, and not well cared for.  The weeds, foreign ones that have been introduced, are just running rampant.  I don’t think Parks Victoria do a good job of involving the community so they will help. I don’t know, It is something that I am really only just becoming aware of.

I will put them into a gallery for you, I hope you enjoy the virtual walk in my local park.  The weather has turned now, but it was beautiful while it lasted.  I hope you get to do some lovely photographic walks in your parks this weekend.

Weekend Wanderings – Banyule Flats Bird Life

As I said yesterday the weather here has been really good and it has been nice to be able to get out into the local parks and get some photos where the sun has been shining.  This last week I went out with one of the members from the Warringal Conservation Society, another keen photographer, but also a keen bird watcher.  She knew all the birds that were around, and has been able to identify them for me.  I took the Sigma 150-500mm lens that I am borrowing at the moment to see if I could get some good photos of the birds with that.  We went into Banyule Flats, parkland near Heidelberg, in the cities north east.

6-banyule-flats-morning-parks-birdsBanyule Flats has a very active bird life, and every time I go there, there are birds everywhere in the water.  More and more of the water weeds are growing, so a lot more birds are coming to the swamp.  I never really thought of myself as a bird watcher, but I really enjoy seeing them all down there.  It is like a bird metropolis within another metropolis.

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Swan Parents with their Signet

The one thing that everyone is watching down there at the moment are the Black Swans and their babies, not black, but grey.  I was so happy to see the two of them again, the last few times I’ve been down, there has only been one, and I was hoping the other was on the nest.  They are the talk of the Flats, and a lot of people are going down there to see them and make sure they are okay.  Apparently there were 5 signets, but one has been lost, or killed.

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Darter

The swamp isn’t the only place to see the birds, we also went for a walk along the Yarra River, which is right next to the swamp, and we saw the above Darter swimming in the river and then she got up onto the branches to sun itself.  Beautiful bird.  When I first saw it in the river I thought it was a snake, the way its head stuck out.  Then the woman I was with explained it was often called a snake bird.  Apparently this one is female, because the males are all black.

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Kookaburra

Everywhere you walk around the parks, all you can hear are the birds, and the ones that stand out are the Kookaburras as they laugh at us, or each other, I don’t now.

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Tawny Frogmouth

This was my favourite find, the Tawny Frogmouth.  A native here, and very hard to find, not because there are few of them, there are lots of them, but because they are nocturnal, they hide themselves well.  We had been told where this one was and so were able to find it.  There were two others we were told about, but we couldn’t find them at all.  They make themselves look like limbs on a tree, so that makes them harder to find.

I am going to put together a gallery for you now.  All the photos were taken with the Sigma lens, and I tried to get some shots of other things.  Though I went out again yesterday with a wider lens, and got some images of the area with that, which I will show you tomorrow.  I have tried to get all the birds identified, but I missed out on a couple, so if I find out what they are, I will add them.  I hope the weather is great where you are and you have a splendid weekend taking photos.

 

Friday’s Bits and Bobs

It has been such a busy week, and I vaguely remember some of it.  It does seem to have gone by so quickly.  The weather has improved a lot, which has been great.  We are seeing the sun a lot more, and while there is still more rain predicted, we can see signs that spring isn’t too far away.

Grants

The big thing I have been working on is a grant proposal.  My local council, Banyule City Council often have grants available for people to apply for.  I have put one in for an Environmental Sustainability Grant to produce a book on Banyule Flats.

banyule-flats-morning-reflections-waterI have spoken before about the area that I live in, and shown you so many photos, that I continue to take, and it is an amazing area, or space.  We are only 13 or 15 kilometres from the city centre, yet if you drive around here you would think you were in  a country town a long way from any city.  Unfortunately this area is under threat, and the state government wants to put a freeway through the area.  No one is really sure where, but Banyule Flats is an obvious place for it.

For the last few months I have been going into Banyule Flats and taking photos of it to show you. I thought if I could use this blog to help show the world, or whatever part of the world you are from of seeing what is around me, that I could help protect the area.  I ambanyule-flats-sunrise-reflection-morning still not sure exactly what I am hoping to achieve, but connecting with a larger audience can’t hurt.  Doing books on particular areas is something else that I would like to do, and when I saw that grant applications were open, I thought it could be good to see if could apply for one.

My grant proposal is about the stewardship of this area, hopefully protecting it for future generation.  However, if the freeway does go ahead, then it will also be a record of what we have lost, and what the local community, who have put a lot of work into the area, have also lost. I won’t find out for a couple of months if I have received it.  It has been an interesting experience doing it, and something I might try to do again.

Warringal Conservation Society

Through my grant proposal I have also come into contact with the Warringal Conservation Society.  A group of people who are concebanyule-flats-summer-swampland-dryrned about the conservation of our local area.  It has been wonderful to meet people who care so much about our environment.  I have been out with a couple of members now, and I have learned so much more about the history of the area, and more so about what is there.  It is weird how you can build a connection to a place and the stewardship of that area becomes so very important. I have my membership form filled out and hope to become a member myself soon.

banyule-flats-sunset-waterMoving Days Around

I don’t have much more to say today, but there is something I wanted to discuss with you.  The other day I asked for people to send me proposals for guest posting. The response was great, and I have quite a few lined up. One of the conditions I have is that people who guest post should also respond to the comments, it gives me a day off. Which can be great, but if I don’t have a guest blogger, and I do the post, then I can spend all day responding to comments.  It is also the day I get MM ready, so the day can be a bit hectic.  I would like more distance between the two, and was thinbanyule-flats-night-moonlightking of changing it, so that today’s post would become Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs, and Friday’s post would become the Up for Discussion posts.  I wanted to hear what you thought about it though.  I like to think you are all part of this, so let me know how you would feel about this change.

Just want to finish today by letting you know that the photos in today’s post have all been taken around Banyule Flats this year, at various times.

 

Quiet Thursdays – Moonlight in Banyule Flats

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I took this shot a while back when I was photographing the moonlight in Banyule Flats.  I love the way the light from the moon shows everything. I was also trying to get the stars.  I thought maybe since I was in a valley that maybe I might be able to get the milky way, but there were too many lights from the city.  Also being a full moon I didn’t like my chances.  I might try again when there is a new moon.

I did play with this a little bit, trying to bring more out of the sky, not sure I succeeded much.  It really isn’t a great photo, but it is a trial for something else.  I think experimenting and trying things is so important, you just never know what might work. That is something about digital that I do love, that you can experiment and not have to worry about wasting film.

If the clouds weren’t there I suspect it would be a very boring image, so in this instance I am glad it was there.

I am leaving it there today, I have been out taking photos all day, so I am a bit tired now, I need to be quiet for a while.

 

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