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Posts from the ‘Landscapes’ Category

Weekend Wanderings – Sunrise Over the Flats

Every morning I have been waking up and looking outside for signs of fog, or checking the temperature to see if it is cold enough for a frost.  I haven’t been lucky so far this winter, in fact, there have been no frosts really and only two foggy mornings, and both of those were on days I couldn’t get out. I knew I had to go out this morning as I had a post to do, but I was hoping for something a little exciting, and then when I did my usual checks, I thought, oh no, nothing much this morning.  The I read the weather forecast, early morning storms.  Ha, there were almost no clouds in the sky, a storm was coming, I thought, what are the chances of a great sunrise. I quickly chucked on my gum boots and headed out.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-9463-4hpmIt seemed the chances were very, very good indeed.  I headed down the road to Banyule Flats and headed for the spot I’d recently discovered to see if I could get a good sunrise.  This image was a bit later on, but I wanted to show it first. This is a HDR and I have done some of the treatments to it that I have seen Trey Ratcliff do.  I love the effect, and wanted it to be the first image I showed.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9333This is pretty much how it was when I first got there.  The sun was making an appearance slowly.  There was a slight mist on the water.  I love the way the sunrise is reflected in the water.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9398Then the storm clouds were atarting to come from behind.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9418The water was so still and it was so nice to see the colours and clouds of the sunrise reflected in the water.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9433I thought the sunrise was basically over and then I noticed some colour behind me. I love this tree, it is so gnarly.  You can see the storm approaching here.

I thought the sunrise was over and was getting ready to leave, then I looked back at the swamp.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9463It seems we were getting an encore, a second sunrise.  The new clouds that were approaching put on another show for me.  How lucky was I?

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9485I hadn’t planned on taking any photos here.  I wanted to find somewhere else, but as I was walking past I noticed how incredible the clouds were and I knew that I had to go in and take some photos.  The water was so calm and the reflections just made it so much better.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9550I had really wanted to head down the road to get some other images, but as I was heading back to the car the storm hit and it started raining.  I did see the rainbow in the sky and decided to go and take some photos.  It was starting to rain quite hard when I took these, and it put an end to my adventures in my backyard today.  I will get more images though of other places.

First of all, can I say thank you to everyone on the lovely comments about the new theme for the blog, so glad you like it. The white background seems very popular.  I also like that when you go to the gallery the background is black, so you can see them on both black and white backgrounds.  Speaking of the gallery, I have more images and will put them in there now.  I know some seem similar, but they were all taken at different times.  All the images, bar the HDR at the start, were all processed in Lightroom.

Weekend Wanderings – My Backyard, Banyule Flats

From time to time I get people saying that they don’t think to take photos of where they live.  I have been one of those for a long time, but recently I have been making more of an effort to go out and see what is there.  Well, that’s not true, I have being seeing it for years but not through a camera lens.  So during the week I decided that I am going to try and make one of weekend posts each weekend to be aboutwhere I live, so within a 10 km of my home.  Though more likely a 5 km radius, which is what I refer to when I mean my backyard.  I know there is so much here to photograph, but because I see it all the time I think people may not be interested.


LeanneCole-banyuleflats-7626This last week I’ve been going to Banyule Flats quite a bit.  If you google Banyule Flats you will see where it is and what is there.  I have lots of photos of the same thing really, but taken at different places.  I hope the photos aren’t too repetitive for you.  I just thought it would be interesting to go there at different times to see how it changes.  The photo above was taken early in the morning.  A place I think would be good for a sunrise and that is my next thing to try and get there. On this morning fog had been predicted, but there really wasn’t any.  I should have gone the following morning.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-7634Then I went on Wednesday night, the full moon.  I was curious to see what sort of images I could get using the moon as my light source. This spot I have taken the shot from here is a new one for me this week.  I discovered it when I was taking the first shot.  I usually go to a side bit, but I was thinking when I was there that maybe I could go around more, so I was getting wet walking though low trees and plants on the ground.  I was trying very hard to be careful, and then I found the perfect place.  When I was leaving, I took a slight detour looked up and there was a gate.  Not need to have gone through all the wet stuff afterall.

If you go somewhere like that and there are gates you can go through, then please remember to close them again. If people forget to close them then we might start finding padlocks on them.  I don’t want that.  Where I am the gates are there so you can go in there, but it keeps the dogs out.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-7663Then I walked around to the other side which is the more common side of looking at the swamp.  The moonlight created a lovely image this time.  It wasn’t long after a stunning sunset, so that part of it is still in the sky.  The swamp was so calm.  I like that you can see the stars as well.  I do like the images from this side with the moonlight.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-8143I went back on Thursday night hoping to get a repeat of the sunset that I missed on Wednesday night.  We didn’t get it.  We sort of got nothing.  The conditions were perfect, it was cloudy the forecast was for a great day the next day.  It was very windy though, so I don’t know if that had something to do with it.  But it is literally two minutes drive from my place, so I know I am going to head there for more.  I want to try and see if you can get a good sunset from there.

LeanneCole-banyuleflats-8063Also on Thursday, just after I had taken the photos of Briony, we were driving home and talking about Kangaroos and big mobs of them, and Briony said, “look there are a lot”. On part of the road here there are paddocks for horses and cows and in the paddock was a large mob of kangaroos enjoying the morning sun and grazing on the grass.  Unbelievable to me sometimes how close to civilisation they are living.

I don’t know if I told you the story about my husband riding his bike home late one night late and he was coming up the road and he looked beside him and a big kangaroo was alongside of him keeping up with him.  It scared my husband and he stopped, just as well as the kangroo would have knocked him off his bike as he crossed in front of him.  We use to laugh at people who came to Australia that would think they would see Kangaroos jumping down the streets, because it never happens, then again, sometimes it does.  Where I live is not that far from the city, about 15km.  Melbourne is a big city and it stretches out a lot further from us.  I love it that you can see them here.

Friends of Banyule have lots of information about this area.  Don’t forget, I posted about this area once before because they want to destroy this suburban area so they can build yet another unnecessary freeway.

I am going to put the remaining images in a gallery for you.  I hope you enjoyed this look into my backyard and don’t mind that you will see more each weekend.  It will be interesting to see how things change with the seasons as well.  What’s in your backyard?

Introductions – James Keegan

Today’s Introduction is a first for me.  I wasn’t sure who to showcase so I went through some of the Monochrome Madness links and found James Keegan. He is fairly new to blogging and photography, but his work has caught my attention.  His black and white work has been great, so it has been great going through his blog to see what else has been there.

4-12-2014_oakridgefp-96_bw_ppThere is quite a bit of monochrome work on Jimmy’s site.  It looks like he has been experimenting with what will work in black and white and what doesn’t.  The photos he does reminds me of areas here in Australia.

I asked him why he takes photos.

For me its art, I used to use pencil on paper or paint on canvas. Now I choose to use a camera. I enjoy the outdoors, and as a child was introduced to nature and wildlife by my grandmother. Art has always been a part of my life but the photography was unintentional. I recently completed a 2 yr degree in web design. One of the required courses was photography. That class and the instructor is what really opened me up to what I could do with a camera. I learned some basics in the class and spent probably 10 times as much time on the landscape section as anyone else in my class, but I had so much fun that I didn’t care. So I decided one day that I was going to take photographs of nature and wildlife so that others could enjoy the same things that I see. I’ve read a few books and I am always trying new techniques. I’ve been at it for less than a year so I am most certainly still learning new things every day.

4-12-2014_oakridgefp-66_ppMost of the photos that I have seen are just after winter so there is a sparseness about the landscape.  It reminds me of what we are about to go through here as we head into winter.  The colours are just devine, I love those autumn style images.  Jimmy told me he was from Illinois, I don’t know that state, but it reminds me of parts of my state as you start heading inland, perhaps the biggest difference is most of our trees don’t lose their leaves.

Next on the list of questions was one about inspiration.

Mother Nature! I can’t take all the credit the animals, land, and plant life are already here. I just see them or see what they will be in the near future at the right time of the day. Oh yeah, and a little bit of luck. Another thing that inspired me was a comment from one of my sons. He asked me “When was I going to move somewhere that I could take photographs of better looking things.” I asked him what he meant by that and his answer was: “Illinois is an ugly state.” I took it as a challenge to prove him wrong.

Sounds like a good challenge.

3-16-2014_jarrett-prairie-nature-preserve-8_ppDead things, you are used to me taking photos of dead things, so I am always attracted to images that other people have taken of them as well.  There is such beauty in plants when they die and dry up, it is like a whole new life in a way.  I think finding what is around to photograph is a great thing and it is something that I have been trying to work on more.

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

I don’t think I would call it special. I make a plan on a day and maybe even an exact location to take photos, but as you could probably guess sometimes Mother Nature does not cooperate. A lot of my work is adapting to the surroundings. I try photographing the same subject from several angles just to make sure I’m really seeing it in the best possible way.


Whilst not everything is about Mother Nature, there are a few glimpses into other things.  I am sure as Jimmy’s experience, maybe as he develops the obsession that a lot of us have with photography, he will start finding other things to photograph, not that I think there is anything wrong with what he is doing.  I think finding your own backyard, so to speak and what is in it, is a fantastic thing to do.

I asked Jimmy about his gear.

I use a Nikon D3200 it is a big step up from my Fujifilm point and shoot that I used for my photography class. I have an 18-55mm lens that I use for most of my landscape shots and a 55-300mm lens that I use for wildlife and some of the Macro type shots. I’m currently saving my coins for a 10-24mm that I’ve had my eyes on. I also have a Sony cyber-shot point and shoot that belonged to my grandmother that I use on occasion.

I do hope you will all go and visit James Keegan and show your support to this new photographer and blogger. I would like to thank Jimmy for giving me permission to show his work here on my blog.  Here is a gallery with some of Jimmy’s images.

Revisiting Waterfalls

Last year I went to visit Ladies Bath Waterfalls near Bright in the Mount Buffalo National Park.  I showed images at the time and I showed another one this past Tuesday.  It has been a big week so for today I thought I might revisit the photos and try working on them again and playing around with some stuff.  I have two images for you.

Both done slightly different.  I am off now, I think I will work on some other photos as well.  Enjoy your day.

Introductions – Learning to Snap

My introduction today is a first, well it is the first time I have shown someone from New Zealand I believe.  Richard is from there and has been taking photos of New Zealand and then putting them up on his blog Learning to Snap. If you are a landscape photographer then New Zealand has to be one of those places that you would love to go to.  I know since seeing Lord of the Rings, I really want to go their to take photos.  The landscapes always seem big, I don’t know how to describe it really.  I will try.


2013-10-27-MilfordTrip-291-Edit-X3This is sort of what I mean, big mountains, big scenes.  Australia and New Zealand are very close, but yet millions of miles apart with it comes to our landscapes.  Australia is more open, big skies and very dry, whereas I imagine New Zealand with more mountains, and real mountains, with lots of atmosphere and very wet.  New Zealand is further south than us, so I assume that is why it is like that.  I see scenes like the one Richard has taken here and I am envious.  It is a magical shot, and it really makes me want to take that trip there.  Milford Sound is a place I’ve been hearing about for years and Richard has so many amazing images of it, this is just one of them.  I love the colours in the foreground, seems to warm up a cold image, or cold environment.

I asked Richard about why he takes photos.

The short answer is for fun!

I take photographs to let my creativity out. I enjoy being outdoors tramping, skiing or mountain biking and taking my camera allows me share those places and experiences.I have been taking photos since I was a kid with an old Kodak camera and 127 film but started being more serious (if that’s the right word) when I joined the Kaiapoi Photographic Club having moved to New Zealand about 7 years ago. Over 100,000 images later and I still have so much to learn!

2013-07-14-Snow-149-LI had to go back aways to find a image of winter on Richard’s blog, it has been a while since winter was here, but it is certainly making a come back here now.  I know that most of you know it never snows here, not where I am, so if I want to see snow I have to drive a long way, or look at photos of it from other people.  I love how Richard has captured the snow falling here.  I am assuming it is snow, and not rain.

As usual I asked Richard about what inspires him.

I am inspired by the world around me, the landscapes of New Zealand in particular. Great light, textures and shapes make me run for my camera.

I enjoy looking  at images on the web and particularly in books.  I look at the work of lots of photographers, the masters of the craft are so inspiring; from early photographers such as Atget through the work of Man Ray and Ansel Adams to Michael Kenna and Annie Leibovitz. I have enjoyed the ebooks from Craft and Vision particularly the titles on creativity and inspiration by David duChemin.

2013-11-09-PortLevy-13-XLI love it when you see trees like this.  I have never come across one, but I think they make great subjects for photos, and I know the day I finally find one I won’t be leaving it for a long time.  I will want to get every image of it I can.  The foggy/misty conditions really add to this image.  It must get very windy there.

The third question was if there was anything special about how he worked.

Mostly I just start taking images and see where it takes me, I find that once I start making images it gets easier and I get more ideas. Occasionally I plan an image but usually I end up with something different from what I imagined anyway.

For landscapes I tend to be at either extreme, either very wide or telephoto. I really like the compression effect with a long lens.

LeucharsChurch-XLWhile I think of landscapes when I think of Richard’s work, it would be wrong, he does do other sorts of images and architecture is featured there as well.

EliteRace_2014-01-12_11-19-45__DSC7423_©RichardLaing(2014)-X3You will also see that he photographs lots of sports as well.  There is a great variety of sports there, and a great variety of other subjects as well.

I also asked Richard what gear he uses.

I currently use a Nikon D800E having recently upgraded from my much loved (and well worn) Nikon D700. I have a variety of Nikkor lenses 14-24, 24-70, 80-200, 105mm and a nifty 50mm, all fast and sharp. I use polarisers, ND filters and graduated NDs to get the best image I can in camera.

On the computer I use Lightroom or Aperture along with Photoshop CC. To speed things up I use a variety of plugins and particularly like Nik Silver Efex Pro and Nik Color Efex Pro.

With all the hi-tech equipment sometimes it is good to get back to something more organic and I use a Holga with B&W film instead which I develop in my kitchen!

Except for the last part he could almost be describing my gear too, without the E on the end of the camera model.

I think when you go to Richard’s blog, Learning to Snap, you will not have a hard time finding images to like.  As I was going through it, I realised that a lot of the images I was getting for the blog were all from later posts, I had to stop myself from taking everything.  He does help you visualise his homeland and I hope you agree that he his images are of a high standard.  I would also like to thank Richard for allowing me to feature Learning to Snap on my Introductions post today.  Please go and visit, you won’t be disappointed.  Here is a gallery of some of his wonderful images.

Weekend Wanderings – Landscape Photography Classes

All around the world on the weekend there are people teaching photography classes and people taking them.  Here is no different to anywhere else and yesterday I was teaching my new students landscape photography.  There is a place I take them in Eltham, and while not the greatest place in Melbourne, it is close to where I teach and they get to take photos and experiment.  I help out, but I can usually get a couple of photos myself.  It is good for them to see me doing this as well, I think.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-6951These gates are usually where I start.  They are so old, yet so out of place for where they are.  They do seem to imply some sort of old world grandeur that now is long gone. I don’t know if the gates have always been there and did lead to something else, or are more recent.  It doesn’t seem to matter, it is a great place to start.  It is contained, so they don’t wander too far.  Every class I have taken here have seemed to enjoy photographing here.  They stand afar, apprehensive to get in close, but you can see that they all want to.  As soon as one does it, they all go.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-0463It is good for them to realise that they should look all around, up and down, that good images don’t always come from eye level.  Looking up can also give a different view.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-6990Yesterday we went further a field than we have before and found a lovely spot to take photos where they could all wander around and just see what they could find.  I hung around so they could ask me any questions.  I think it is good to let them go off on their own too, see how they go.  I know in next weeks class there will be lots of questions once they have looked at their photos and maybe didn’t get quite what they wanted.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-7011It was nice for me too, to photograph somewhere new and see what I could get.  I will try this week to take some of these photos and do more to them and see what else I can bring out.  Turn them into fine art images, as opposed to just straight images with little processing, which is what you have here.  I like to show them the possibilities of what they can aspire to, if they so wish.

LeanneCole-landscapeclass-6969I am also trying to show them that there is the big picture and also the smaller one.  I am trying to do more of this myself and so I try to encourage my students to take in the details.

We were lucky with the rain, it did rain a little, but then it went away and we had a great time.  It poured all afternoon, but we were all home by then.  I am going to give you a gallery now of more photos. Some taken yesterday and some taken in my last landscape class.  Happy Wandering.

Looking for Art in the Pink Lakes

Last week I showed you a heap of photos I had taken in the Mallee, well, more specifically the ones I had taken of the Pink Lakes.  There were two images that I withheld, the reasons being that I planned on working on them a lot more so I could see if I could get them good enough to enter some competitions.  I have done quite a bit on them, and am happy with where they are, but I need to see them.  I need to keep looking them and make sure there is nothing I want to change.  So today you get to look at them with me, if you want to.

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6198-1-2When we were at the wooden ramp I saw the sun reflecting off the salt, and I thought it looked stunning.  So I did, what I always do, I took a photo.  The sun was weird, still high up in the sky, but it was like the sunset had already started, there was already so much colour at the horizon.  It now looks like moonlight, and I may have made it too dark.  I will have to keep looking.  I might have to go back to the previous version that wasn’t quite so dark, though when I compare the two, I seem to be drawn to this.

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6263Not long after we saw the previous one, we parked the car and went for a walk.  We were on a track and we spotted this tree that had fallen over in the salt.  Obviously dead, but I really liked the way it was the only sign there had been life.  There is water here and the lake was a lot pinker.  I have tried to draw out the salt.  I think this is my favourite image from that trip.  This is one I think I mostly definitely want to enter into a competition.  I need to just look at it for now.  I think I have it pretty much where I want it, but I do know that sometimes I go back to an image and I do see things that I think I should change.

I really enjoyed working on these.  I know I keep saying that I should do more, and then I don’t, but I really should do more. Part of the thing that has been stopping me, has been my back, but it is slowly getting better and I can spend more time sitting now, and it isn’t a big thing anymore.  I think I need to go back through the images I have taken over the last few months and see what else I have that I might want to work on.

I will put them into a gallery now so you can get a better look at them.


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