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Posts from the ‘Photography’ Category

Quiet Thursdays: The Calm After the Mess

It has been a lovely week, and I’ve had plenty of time to sit around home and just enjoy being here.  I’ve been doing some writing, but not much editing of my photos.  We have had some rewiring done in our house, so limited internet, no big computer, so no access to my photos. It will be great when it is all done, but it means I haven’t been able to do everything. The network in the house will finally be much better as well.

I have been working on a couple of photos.  Not really sure about them, but I was trying out on them what I did to the flowers the other day.  I think these might need more experimentation.  Time will tell, will see what I get. I’ve had both photos on facebook, only the first on G+, but before I put the second one in this post I made some changes to it.

I’m off to clean up the house and get it sorted after the massive upheaval.  I also need to spend some time our cat Tiddles, who is very confused and frightened from everything.  He doesn’t like men, and having electricians in the house working has upset him a lot.  I hope you have a lovely day and maybe catch up some things as well.

MM2-4: Monochrome Madness 2-4 with a Theme

Here is our first theme for Monochrome Madness and it seems my first choice of MM was not great and many people found it very hard. So I apologize for that.  Now I didn’t think how people would figure out what the MM is for each photo, so I am hoping that all the people who submitted will have it on their blogs, though some have it in the file name.

There will be one gallery for the theme photos and a second gallery for those that forgot or didn’t want to do the challenge, which is fine as well.  I used to always avoid themes.

The next theme is going to be Fences, you take what you like with that idea and it will be for MM 2-9. Let’s have a look at the images for the theme MM.


My image, “Melbourne Moving” or “Moving Melbourne” or “Melbourne on the Move”, a few options for you.  This is actually an old photo that I thought would be great for this post, I hope you think so too.

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.

Monochrome Madness Theme – MM

Monochrome Madness – Like it is Each Week

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: Slowing Down

Things are slowing slowing down. It is nice to be able to catch my breath.  Easter is a welcome break this year, I’m looking forward to just taking things easy.

Blood moon

According to the app on my phone, “Phases of the Moon”, this Saturday night is going to be another blood moon.  I am so happy that I’ve been lent the 150-600mm Tamron Lens from Maxwell International Australia so I can try it out on the blood moon.  The last one was a disaster here, it was too overcast and we hardly got anything. Unfortunately the forecast is for similar weather this Saturday night, so I might have to do a rethink and go somewhere else.  Not sure where yet, but away from the bad weather.


I really want to do this newsletter, but it is proving to be difficult finding the time, soLeanneCole-lilies-20130901-8377 I am making the decision, at this stage, of instead of doing it every other month, I will work on getting it out every two, so it will be a bi-monthly one.  I hope that is okay with you.

Beep Beep Boop

First of all, I have to say, who on earth thinks of these names or saying? Serioulsy!

I know there are ways of finding the old classic editor, but I decided to give the new one a go. For the last week I’ve been using it, and getting used to it.  It is not as bad as I first thought.  I think they have made the font bigger, or done something so it is bigger on my screen and much easier to see.

I like the aspect that it is closer to what a post actually looks like.  I get a better idea of what the post will look like when it is posted, which is good.  Of course many things have been changed around, and I’m not going to lie, there are things that don’t work.  I hope they scbirds-5hpm4862-5will be fixed.

If you are using the new editor you need to keep an eye on the Advance Settings, for some reason settings that you have set up aren’t working and you have to keep checking boxes, like the “Show Sharing Buttons” and the “Show Likes”. They are things I hope they fix up and have put something in the forums about it.

The other thing I don’t like are the publish and save draft buttons.  Sometimes they change positions, so you can accidentally publish a post before you mean to when what you really wanted to do was just save the draft. They were kept separate in the old one, and I think they should do the same with the new one.

I’m not completely sold on it, but the more I use it, I suppose the more I will get used to it.  Time will tell.

Social Snappers

I have dates and places now, even times.

  • April 19th – 10am Fitzroy Gardens, taking photos of the Autumn colours.
  • May 3rd – 6.30am Early morning in the city, taking photos along the Yarra River
  • May 17th – 1.30pm Royal Exhibition Building, photographing outside and hopefully get a tour as well
  • May 31st – 1pm Cranbourne Botanical Gardens
  • June 14th – 12.30pm Werribee Zoo

As I said, they will be free this term, see how we go with them.  I am also going to see about doing some classes on some things at some stage as well.

Online Classes with Mescroses-8787-3

I am thinking of offering different Online classes.  I know that not everyone wants up to 5 sessions, so maybe I can offer just a couple of individual ones, or some longer ones.  I could specific classes to show people something specific that I do or they want to learn.  I would like to know what people would be interested in.  Though I guess I may have to accept that it isn’t what people want from me.


Since we’ve been looking at lots of flowers I decided to go through my archives today and see what old photo of flowers I have.  Funny really, they look so boring after yesterday.

Introductions: Paul Barson

There are photographers all over the internet, we see them all the time, and many of them are not on WordPress, and today I would like to introduce you to one that introduced himself to me on Facebook and then I saw his work. I was blown away and I am sure you will be too.  I think the reason I showed the flowers that I processed yesterday was so you would like mine first, then fall in love with Paul’s.  I got so much inspiration from his work and as soon as I saw it I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Shall I just get on with it and show you some of his work?


I see so much photography, but it isn’t very often that work stops me in my tracks, gets my mind going and then there is a need to find out how it was done.  I have to work out how I can use that for myself and how can I adapt it to my work. It is just stunning. Macro wonders really.

My first question, as always was to ask Paul where in the world he was.

I live in Michigan USA,  although I am a born and bred Brit and moved here just over 10 years ago.


There is a softness about his work.  Something about the delicacy of the small things that we don’t give enough attention too.  His colours are muted and help with that soft feel.   I like the dark backgrounds as well.

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

I remember as a young boy spending hours looking through the hundreds of photos that my Dad took while he was in the armed services and playing with the camera he used to take them. The whole concept that you could capture a moment of time, any where in the world, onto a piece of paper and then see it like you were there, in that place and at the time fascinated me. As a young boy, my parents bought me a Hanimex 110 compact camera which I thought was the coolest thing ever! I started taking snaps of everything and anything and eagerly awaited for each roll of film to come back from the developers. From seeing my first shot that I took as a print I was hooked. I continued to take snapshots throughout my life. As terrible as they were on a technical level, I loved them and that was enough for me to keep taking them.

My love for macro and florals began when I got a Canon A720IS compact digital camera. I found myself starting to really look at things and not just see them. I love how macro can make you look at the world around you in a different way, seeing things that others may pass by, finding beauty in what others may think is ordinary. I have a few shots from A720 that I still love. Around 2013 I decided I wanted to get more serious about my photography and got my first dSLR, a Canon T3i. I spent some time dabbling in different genres, trying to find what it was that I really loved and wanted to do. I then decided to get the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro and go back to what I found I really enjoyed with the A720. I spent the next year or so learning and experimenting with camera, lighting, Lightroom and trying to find ‘my thing’. I wanted to try and be a little different.

The reason I like taking the shots that I do is that there is so much structure, detail, emotion and beauty in a flower if you take the time to really look at it. I enjoy trying to bring that out and give a flower a personality, an emotion, a mood, creating something a little more that just a great shot of a flower.


The first time I looked at Paul’s work I only saw flowers, but as I was searching for images for this post I discovered a couple of shots that were a little different. This one looks like it is still a macro, but look at the eyes of the cat, such intensity.  The lighting and composition are so strong with these.  I would love to do this with Tiddles, my cat, but being a chocolate Burmese, I don’t think it would have the same effect.  The big pupils, to me this says this cat is about to pounce.

I got so much inspiration from looking at Paul’s work, so I asked him where he got his inspiration from.

There are many great photographers and artists that I admire. I take inspiration from a lot of people and a lot of works in many different ways. Sometimes the inspiration can be to get out and shoot when I am in a slump, or break the rules more. Inspiration can come in many forms.

As far as my work is concerned, I would say I have 3 main influences. It was seeing some of the darker, soft, almost dream like florals of Rachel Bellinsky that inspired me to try something different with my florals. Gregory Crewdson inspired me on a number of levels. His meticulous attention to detail, planning, lighting, execution and the sheer amount of time and work that went into a single shot amazed me. Joseph Wright of Derby, an 18th century painter from my home town back in England, is my main inspiration as far as lighting. I first saw some of his original paintings in the local museum as a boy and they captivated me. He is well know for his use of the Chiaroscuro effect and his paintings have so much detail and depth that they come to life in front of you.

I believe it’s important to find yourself as an artist. Take inspiration from those you admire and then do your own thing, be yourself.


I have to admit I only found one or two landscapes, which was surprising.  When I look at Paul’s work there is a body of it, not something that you find when you look at mine.  He is very dedicated to his macro work.  I like too many different types of photography, so my work seems all over place in comparison.

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

I wouldn’t say that there is necessarily anything special about my work other than it’s what I love to do. I find, shoot, hand edit and put a lot of time into each piece and enjoy every minute of it. I try to bring out an emotion or mood, give the flower a life or character of it’s own, My hope and goal for each piece is that it conveys an emotion or mood along with the visual side. I also try to title each piece with a title that sums up that mood or feeling for me. I am totally selfish in my work. I produce pieces that I like and please me. I am incredibly fortunate and extremely grateful that there are other people who also like it. It’s been described as hypnotic, poetic, mesmerizing, dreamy, mysterious and unique. However, I am more than happy to let each person draw their own conclusions.


I’m sure you can see where I got my inspiration from when I did the those photos that I posted yesterday.  Interesting to read somewhere, so Paul, I don’t know where I read it, that the images are all done in Lightroom, which is fantastic for many of you, I believe.  It is like the flowers are coming out from the shadows.

I asked Paul what gear he used, he has pretty much already told us, but here it is again.

My kit list is very modest and small.
I still use my trusty old Canon T3i. It gives me all I need and has never let me down once, I love it.
This is paired with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, which is permanently attached to the T3i.
I also carry a Manfrotto Pixi (which is quite capable of supporting the T3i with the 100mm attached), a travel size spray bottle of water (for instant dew drops and mist) and, after being attacked and bitten by a dog on a shoot, pepper spray!

I hope you will all join me in thanking Paul for giving me permission to feature him and his work here on my blog.  As I said in the beginning Paul doesn’t have a WordPress blog, but there are still many places you can go and visit him. His website – Paul Barson Photography, his Facebook page, Paul Barson Photography and his 500px page, Paul Barson. I am going to leave you with a gallery of many more of his amazing images, I know you will enjoy them.

Weekend Wanderings: The Flower and Garden Show Through a Macro Lens

Yesterday I told you that I went to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show with my macro lens on Friday. I took something like 550 photos and by the time we were ready to go I was exhausted. It is tiring when you’re taking lots of photos.

When I decided to start processing them for this post, I got a little carried away with some of them and couldn’t stop myself doing some new things to them.  I am trying out some stuff, and I thought I would try them out here and see how they go.  I am undecided what I think of them, but I think I like them.

I am just going to put them into a gallery and straight after I am going to put another gallery of images that were all processed in lightroom, and I haven’t done too much too them.

Here are the heavily processed photos.

Here is the gallery for the lightly processed photos. I am going back to the Flower and Garden Show today, the last day.  It will be nice to just wander and see what I’ve missed the other few days.

If you look closely you will also see the floral piece that I photographed the woman making in yesterday’s post.  It is was all finished and we could look at them.  I loved it and thought it was great.  There were also lots of very different plants and I had so much fun using the macro to photograph them.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Weekend Wanderings: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

It is that time of the year and the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is on at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.  I’ve never been to it before so it has been fantastic to experience it for the first time. Also, now that I have a macro lens, I knew it was something I really wanted to do.  It started on Wednesday and is on until Sunday.


There is a lot of flower arranging inside the Exhibition building.  There was lots of space, but it was needed. The above image was taken just as the show was opening.  It filled up very quickly.


On Wednesday they had tables set up for people to create floral arrangements, I think they were all students I believe.  It was amazing watching them work. I was back there yesterday and saw how this one ended up, I really liked it.


The inside seemed to be all about flowers.  There were lots of different ways of displaying them inside your home, or office or where ever.  There were some great ideas.


Outside was all about the garden and what you could do with it.  What plants you could plant in it.  It was really nice, so many things for your garden.  There was one shop/stall that had lists of plants for your garden to attrack birds, I think I might take a closer look at that on Sunday when I go back.


I think I’ve said before that the 100th anniversary of the ANZACs is coming up in April and there has been a big thing with people knitting, crocheting red poppies all over Australia and beyond for a display on ANZAC day in Federation Square.  Even my mum made some.  They look amazing and I will have to go and see them at Fed Square when they are there.  They did have some on display at the Flower and Garden Show , and they looked wonderful.  The display is being called 5000 Poppies, but I believe they have over 100,000 of them.

On Wednesday I used my 24-70mm lens.  I had actually gone there for a different reason, but I did get a chance to wander around and take some photos.  Yesterday I went in again, but this time I took my macro and got lots of shots with it. Some of them I absolutely love.  I will show you a selection of them tomorrow.

I have a gallery of more images for you, but remember if you are in Melbourne, it will be on all weekend and if you like photographing flowers, you will have the best time.  So many things to photograph there, too much almost.  Here is the link again if you would like more information on it, Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. I hope you are having as good a weekend as I’m having.

Up for Discussion: Photographing Your Backyard

Perhaps not literally, but what about the area you live in.  I have written about this before, but maybe it is time I did it again. Whether we live in one of the most picturesque places on the planet, or somewhere that no one cares about, there are images there to take.

I’ve lived in this area for 21 years and I’ve been doing photography for longer than that, but I’ve always thought that I needed to travel away from the area to take photos.  What on earth could there be to photograph around the Heidelberg area in Melbourne that anyone would be interested in.

Then I started looking at the images that many other people were taking of other parts of the world. These absolutely LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0993spectacular shots of places in the best conditions.  I kept wondering how come every time I go to great places the weather never seems to be on my side.  I never get the sunrise or the sunset.  I don’t get beautiful lighting, I just get blah and often. The reality of the world is that there is more blah than beautiful.

Then about a year ago, maybe a little more, I started realizing that I did live somewhere rather special and that all I had to do was open my eyes to see it.

I live in an area surrounded by city, but here, just 15 or so kilometres from the city, where the Yarra River winds its way to the city, is an amazing area that was initially occupied by the Wurundjeri people before displacement and the “new” owners of the land took over and turned it into farmland.  It was LeanneCole-banyuleflats-20140525-9530farmland until about 20 years ago, and from then it is slowly being allowed to return to what it was when the Wurundjeri lived on it.

It has taken me many years to truly appreciate what we have here, and with that want to help protect it and save it.  Many of you know that I have received a grant to produce a book on this area, and so taking photos of it has become very important.

One of the things that I’ve come to realize is that I can go any time, it is just five minutes down the road. It makes it so much more relaxing.  If I go down there to get a sunrise, and I don’t get one, well there will be others, and there will be other opportunities.  I am still to get a good sunset down there, but I am working on it.

Getting good images of a place isn’t about going somewhere exotic, but knowing intimately the place where you are. banyule-flats-social-snappers-sun-6 Of course you can get to know a place that you have to travel to well, but you have to be prepared to travel there often.

I have decided that the trick to getting good images is to know an area and spending lots of time in it.  For Banyule Flats I am always looking for new things and the more you go there the more you notice.  I am always on the lookout for new things

I am always paying attention to the weather reports and looking out for days I think will give me good sunrises or sunsets.  If it looks good for a sunrise and I get up early, I can go outside and if there are no clouds, or it is overcast I go and have a cuppa.  If it looks like everything is set then I will take a drive down the rheidelberg-banyule-flats-parks-14oad. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed when I’ve driven to somewhere for a sunrise and it has been a nothing morning and nothing has happened.

It is very easy to think that where you live is boring. You see it all the time, you are used to it, and we all know when you see something all the time that it can become boring, who wants to see it?  Well you don’t know, there is beauty everywhere and there is beauty where you live, you just need to find it again.

Start thinking about what if someone, say me, was coming to visit you, where would you take me to take photos, then go there and take some photos. Think about what light would suit that place and maybe try some different times of the day.  Try going in different weather, it is amazing how different weather conditions can give a place a different feel.

I hear so many times from so many people that where they live is boring, so I am challenging you all to pick somewherebanyule-flats-fog-parks-trees-11 that is within 5 kilometres or 3 miles from where you live and see what you can come up with.  Banyule Flats is within that area from me.  See what you can get, I look forward to hearing all about your place. If you do a post on the photos, then send a link, I will get to as many as I can to take a look.

So the photos today are an assortment of the photos I’ve been taking at Banyule Flats and surrounding areas over the last year and in different weather.


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