Skip to content

Posts by Leanne Cole

Weekend Wanderings: Tree Tops at Apollo Bay

In a couple of months I’m going to Apollo Bay for a few days.  I’m looking forward to it, but it also reminds me of the trip I had there last year and there was one excursion that I never showed any photos of, well except for a couple of special ones. We had gone to the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures and went to do the Treetop Walk. It was quite an amazing walk. Lovely to walk above the rainforest.


There is the path, up there in the sky.  It is not for the faint hearted, and I think if you were not good with heights it wouldn’t be good to go.  It is very solid, but you can see straight through the bottom and every time someone moves the whole platform shakes.  We were lucky and for the most part it was just the two of us on it.


This was probably one of the scariest parts.  It is on the platform and then you climb even higher.  It sways, you can feel it swaying, but you have to believe that it is solid and you won’t fall off it.  The views up there were quite amazing.


You really are up in the treetops.


The views straight down were quite surreal too. It isn’t often you get to see the trees from the top down.


Rainforests are so pretty and everywhere you look you find something new to photograph.


This image was one that as I was trying to get it I realised how much I wanted a macro lens.  They were so tiny, and my lens just wasn’t getting what I wanted.  This image has been cropped a lot.

It is a lovely place to go, but be aware, you go a long way down to get to the platform to take you around, and then you have to walk all the way back up.  It was worth it though.  You do have to pay money to do it, but you have to do that for a lot of things these days.

I have more photos for you now, which I will put into a gallery for you.  I am off for more photography with the filters again this morning. I hope you are having a lovely weekend where ever you are in the world.

Weekend Wanderings: Photographing Bays in a Bay

Melbourne is in Port Phillip Bay, I’m sure I’ve told you that before.  It is a large bay, and the city itself is around an hour and a half to two hours to the coast.  In some ways we are very protected in our bay.  Though lots of ships do come in and go out through it.  However, because it is so large there are so many different little bays inside the main bay.  Last Tuesday I got to visit two of them, which I was excited about, as it was also the first chance I had to use my new Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 filter.


The first bay we went to was Davey’s Bay.  There is a little pier there and not much else.  It is quite secluded and very nice. I am glad I went with others as I’m not sure I wouldn’t have found it by myself.

It was a great little spot and perfect to try out the Firecrest 16.  This is  ND Filter, or a Neutral Density filter. The idea of the filter is that it is dark in colour and it stops some of the light going through to the sensor so you can get different exposure times, or rather longer ones.  The darker they are, the longer the exposure.

They are called neutral because they are meant to be neutral in colour, so supposedly they don’t effect the colour of the image when it’s taken.  If you buy cheap ones you will often find they have a colour cast. Though some of the good ones also have them as well, I’ve noticed that my Lee Big Stopper can give a blue cast.

The Firecrest 16 is a 16 stop ND filter, so if my camera says for a normal exposure you will need a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second, then with this filter you could get an exposure of around four minutes.  It means you can get that smooth water and blurry clouds. Most of these images were done with a six minute exposure.

I decided to convert many of the images into monochrome, but to do this I used Silver Efex which is part of the Nik Collection by Google.

I took a lot of images around this area with that filter and got lots of long exposures, before we went to the next bay, Watkins Bay.


This area had a few piers, some good, some not.  The bay was so still here, and there really wasn’t any need for the 16 stop ND Filter.  I think I took one photo with it, but then it was getting too dark and the exposure times were getting too long. I did start using the the new ND graduated filters, but used them as full ones rather than as graduated.

I have a gallery for you now, I really like the effect of the filters, and I will be trying some more this weekend.  I hope you have lots of plans for photos this weekend.

Quiet Thursday’s: Things Are Coming Together

It seems things are on the up, and I got quite a bit of work done yesterday, and hopefully more today.  I have some excursions planned for the weekend, so that will be good. Although none of the places are new, so you will have to be content with the same places again. I hope you won’t mind.

Today I have some photos for you that I have taken in the last week. On Saturday I went to Marysville again. This time it wasn’t raining and we took some photos of the waterfall.  Because of all the rain, the waterfalls were running very fast. I used one of my new Formatt Hitech Filters, the .9 Nd Grad hard for it, though I used it as a full filter rather than the grad. Then later that night we had dinner in Marysville and then headed up to a look out to try our luck with some astrophotography.

The other night I headed out with a couple of ladies to some piers along Port Phillip Bay here in Melbourne and I got to use quite a few of my new filters from Formatt Hitech.  I used the Firecrest 16 and found a great app for my phone to help me work out the exposure times with a little help from a friend. The monochrome image of the pier was taken with it, and was a five minute exposure.  I used Silver Efex Pro 2 to process it. It was great for getting rid of some of the rubbish in the sky.

We were also surprised by a sunset that was amazing, and so surprising.  I used my new Formatt Hitech .6 ND Grad reverse for it, didn’t expect to get to use it so soon. I used it for the photo of the sunset, but it was also a HDR done with Photomatix Pro.

Just quickly before I show you the photos, I have had another article published on the Digital Photography School.  This one is about How to Give Your Macro Photography a Fine Art Touch in Post-Processing.  I hope you will go and take a look, and share it please.  Remember those macro shots that were dark, this will tell you how I did them.

Here are the images I was talking about above.  I hope you have a great quiet day.

MM 2-11: Monochrome Madness 2-11

Welcome to another week of Monochrome Madness, another small week, but still lots of great images to look at and great blogs to visit.

Don’t forget the water theme is coming up in 2 weeks.  I’ve been out taking lots of photos of water and I hope to get a good image for the challenge.  I’ve already seen a couple and they are quite amazing.

Shall we get on with the Madness now.


On the weekend I went for a drive to Marysville to visit some waterfalls.  On the way to one we walked through some thick areas, places where the sun hasn’t been so it was still very moist from the recent rains. We saw these tiny mushrooms along the path.  I tried taking photos with my macro, but the light wasn’t on our side. We are going to go back though, soon, and I will be hunting for mushrooms with my macro lens.

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, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and 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
  • The image size should be low res, 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: Getting Organized

It has been manic around here, and perhaps I’ve been a naughty girl by going out so many times to take photos. It has been nice, but it means not enough time at home on the computer.  Things are going to have to change.

The Book

The time I was given to do my book as stipulated by the grant is half way over, so I need to start working on it. To remind you about the book it is to be about the local wetlands, Banyule Flats. We are all sitting on the edges of our sccreswick-hpm5666bseats as we wait to hear if it is going to be destroyed by a freeway going through it.

As time is running out I really need to start getting on top of it.  I have made an appointment with someone to talk to them about putting the book together.  I made the decision that I should get help with the design of it and where I will get it published.  Hopefully it won’t be too hard. I have taken hundreds of photos from down there, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

I am also going to talk to the publishers about the magazine and see if they can help or make some suggestions.

Getting Organized

It is time to get serious, I have to stop going out and taking photos all the time and start spending more time at home sccreswick-hpm5743working on other projects.  I have articles to write, books to organize, photos to process, and magazines to put together.

I am starting to see that the only way I can do all that is if I have days at home specifically for those things.  So the plan is to start having days that I can’t go out and take photos on.  From now on I will have to have at least 3 days at home, or 4 would be better.  They will become my work days and I will have to be strict about it.

Formatt Hitech Filters

I got my new filters the other day.  I have now added a Firecrest 16 to my kit, plus a 0.3, 0.6 and a 0.9 ND Graduated Hard filters and finally a 0.6 ND Reverse Graduated filter.  I used a couple of the graduated ones the other day in Marysville, and they worked really well.  I’m hoping I will get to use the Firecrest tomorrow and maybe the reverse graduated, but will depend.

They look great, the only thing is the Firecrest didn’t come with any instructions, so I don’t know about exposure times. sccres-hpm5786-7 I need to work it out, hopefully tomorrow will give me a chance to do that.


Today’s photos, as usual, are from the archives and from back when I was photographing cycling.  They aren’t cycling photos but were some landscapes and building shots I took while I was photographing the racing.  It is an area I keep thinking I should go back to, but never seem to.  It is a country town, Creswick, I will go back.

Introductions: Paul Sheringham

Today I have another Australian Photographer to introduce to you.  I haven’t known Paul Sheringham for long, but when I started noticing his work on the reader I knew I had to follow his blog Paul Sheringham’s Nature and Landscape Photography. I haven’t been disappointed and really enjoy seeing his photos as he does new posts.  I am sure you will enjoy it as well.


If you love the coast, the ocean, the clouds, and the beautiful colours then I know you are going to love Paul’s work. He lives on the mid north coast of New South Wales,  Australia, and according to him, “a beautiful stretch of coast and bushland” and I think looking at his work you would agree with him.


While we tend to think of the coast as being all about the water, sometimes it can be all about the rocks. They can be the stars in coastal images and I think the above image really shows that.

I asked Paul how long he had been taking photos for.

Since about 1980, when I got my first SLR a Yaschica XD. More seriously from about 1995, when I owned my first Canon EOS film camera. I bought my camera with the view of taking photos of wildflowers, I had a dream to write flora field guides for some of the National Parks I visit. In 2003, I really embraced seascape photography, as a way of dealing with some serious health problems I was going through. Unfortunately several more years were wiped out by ill health, and when I returned photography, and dusted off my camera gear the digital age was upon us.

I made the switch to digital about seven years ago.  Digital has been a great way to improve my photography, and develop techniques in both landscape and macro photography. I like the immediacy of digital, where you can see results straight away, of what works and what doesn’t, and learn by experimentation by trial and error. That was not as easy with film, once the 36 roll of film was spent there was no more opportunity, and I needed to wait until the film was developed before I could see what the results were.

I’ve recently invested in Creative Cloud, and am learning techniques in Photoshop CC, that help capture what I saw with own eyes while taking the photo. At a workshop in Tasmania, I learnt that tools such as Photoshop are like the new darkroom, to help better capture what the human eye can see.


What are photos of the ocean and the coast without images with sunsets and sunrises.  I suspect because of his location many are sunrises.  I could be wrong.  I love the colours in the sky and then the way they are reflected into the water logged sand.

I asked Paul why he takes photos.

1)   Photography is the best form of mindfulness I know. When I go to take photos my thoughts become lost in what is before me and I lose myself in play as I did as a child. A sunset or a sunrise is like a wonderful show, of light, detail, colour and sound, and when it ends it is as if the curtain has gone down of the most amazing performance, and I must leave and re-enter a world more ordinary.

2)   Photography is a way I can communicate with the world something that comes from a good/ creative place inside, maybe the best part of me. Quite simply, photography of the natural world is a joy to me.  And if someone else enjoys my photos, it feels wonderful that I have been able to communicate the joy and peace I feel when I take photos. And I leave the images and words as a record on my blog, it is my truth recorded somewhere, a story that might otherwise be untold.


His love of photographing flowers is there on his blog, though I can see that seascapes did take over. It is nice to see some other things and see how well he also photographs them too. I like flowers, so I enjoy seeing these as well.

Next I asked him about inspiration.

The natural world, the beaches and headlands, the clouds, the tides,  the infinite detail of wildflowers revealed through the macro lens, the ever changing signatures and patterns of this earth that amaze me. This earth inspires me its fortunate observer. Other photographers inspire me, kindred spirits who also love the natural world, who like to create in both words and images. Photography helps me to observe and that filters into my writing as well. The images inspire me to write down what I see, hear and smell. For me writing and photography go together.


Going through Paul’s blog there are lots of photos of the coast, some flowers, and then every now and then something different and a little bit surprising.  I’m sure you will agree with me.  Fireworks are very hard to photograph and he has done a great job with this.

I asked if there was anything special about the way he worked.

What is special is the headlands and beaches I visit where I find peace sitting there camera before me. A finite, once in a lifetime experience, I realise how lucky I am to have this opportunity. Sometimes I see things that make me feel so glad to be alive, and can help me beat the severe anxiety I suffer from.  Nature is a great big healing force that comes to soothe me at times of stress.

split-solitaryI couldn’t agree more with what Paul just said about the beaches and headlands, though his are far from me, but I do enjoy visiting those close to me and I believe I also live close to a very unique area as well.  Still I get a lot of inspiration from his work.

Paul shared what he gear he uses with us.

Canon EOS 5d Mark III, Canon 16-35mm lens, Canon 100mm macro lens, Canon 70-300mm zoom lens, Lee ND grey graduated filters, Manfrotto Tripod, Canon MR14-ii Ring Flash.

I really enjoy looking at Paul’s work and I would like to thank him for giving me permission to introduce him to you here.  I would invite you all to go and take a look at his blog, Paul Sheringham’s Nature and Landscape Photography. First I am going to show you some more of his images in a gallery, I am sure you will love them too.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35,442 other followers