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Posts tagged ‘Australia’

Friday’s Bits and Bobs

Well, another week has passed, and it has been a strange week of sorts.  Really very quiet and I don’t have much news for today, but I thought I might talk about some things.


I’m done with it.  I think I just need to write off the month of August.  It is another full moon this weekend and chances of clear skies is almost zilch.  Seems we can expect dry days and evening showers, “that doesn’t help Mother Nature, please send us some nice weather”.  We had a glimpse of lovely days earlier in the week when the sun was shining for two days, it was glorious.  I even got hot outside.  Hopefully spring won’t be wet like it usually is.


LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8498I told you a couple of weeks ago I was considering getting some filters for my lenses that are 77mm, at the end.  I have been looking at the prices of them in Australia and it is another one of those cases of where we pay far more for everything than countries overseas.  It is so frustrating.  Then when you ask the companies that sells stuff here you get this massive run around.  No real answers.

So I said I would get them from overseas, then I was accused of being unAustralian, and not supporting local businesses.  Apparently the Australian way is to rip off people and we, the people, should be glad they are doing that to us.  It makes me so mad.  The excuses you hear companies giving us is unbelievable.  I heard one company saying it was because our economy is stronger, so apparently it is okay then.  I’ve heard that the head of Ikea, when they first came to Australia wondered why things were so high, and was told that Australians are used to paying more for goods.  We were used to it, how about, we had no choice.  So Ikea sells things here for more money than anyway else.

Luckily these days we do have a choice, and we can get things from overseas. Though, deals are made to make it harder for us.  Try and buy anything on Amazon that is photographic and you will be told that it doesn’t ship here.  It seems there is a conspiracy going on that is determined to make Australians pay more for everything. It is just disgusting.  Though there are always ways around this.

LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8488The other thing I was told from the company about the filters was that I had to be careful that I was actually getting what I was paying for.  So the scare tactic.  I told them that the company I wanted to get them from was very reputable and that I knew I would be getting what I was paying for.

I hate being made to feel guilty because I don’t want to be ripped off.  It seems we should feel good that it is happening, afterall isn’t it what has been happening since, forever.  The government also sees nothing wrong with it.  I would love to shop locally, I don’t have a problem with doing it, but when I know I can buy something overseas, and pay for shipping and still save money, then why would I get it locally?

500px and Selling Photos

I have been talking to Laura Macky about SmugMug, she has it and is very excited about the possibilites of it and what you can do via Lightroom.  I’ve had a look, but can’t get the plug-in or add on so I can do the same in SmugMug.  Though, with SmugMug, I believe, you have to pay for it.  I have a host for my website, and I also have my own photocart, which I set up a few years ago when I was selling cycling photos.  I still have it, and I don’t use it much, as I don’t think there is much market for selling photos.

I have done it in the past tried to set up things to sell photos and then sold nothing.  The truth is, with millions and millions of photos out there on the internet to sell, what are the chances anyone will buy one LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8505of yours?  I think to sell images you have to put in so much effort and do so much marketing, and I have to ask if it is worth it? I did get asked about selling one of the milky way shots, but I don’t think it was serious.  It is such a hard thing to do.  In the 4 years I’ve been blogging I’ve only ever sold one thing through the blog, and I made $1 from it, really didn’t pay for all the effort I put in.  I know others have sold photos, but I don’t.  So I don’t think I am going to worry about SmugMug.

I have been playing around with 500px, and it is fun.  The goal seems to be to get to the front page of Popular, and I got to the third page once, will just have to keep trying.  There are some amazing photos on there.  If you look at Popular, then you can see the best photos that are on it.  I like the idea that it was created by photographers for photographers.  It isn’t a place to put all your photos and really is best if you only put your best work up there.  It can be free, or you can pay for it to get extra benefits, though not really sure what they are at this stage.


I was told the other day that the videos I’ve been doing for processing are too fast.  I told the person that I do that because I don’t really want people to see exactly what I do, just get an impression of how an image can be transformed.

LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8503He said that there were lots of videos on the internet about how to do specific things but not working on a whole image.

I said that I don’t like just doing the whole video so people can see it, because, while I tell people what I can do, it seems unfair that I have spent hundreds of dollars learning how to use photoshop and that I should just give away my knowledge.

So a plan was hatched, I would still do the sped up videos of my processing, but I would also make available the original version that people could pay a small amount of money for to see.  I’m not hopeful that anyone will pay to see it, but who knows, you have to try right.  I know it seems selfish, but generousity doesn’t get the husband off the back when he is telling you you need to contribute to the expenses, or when you want to get something, him saying have you earned enough money to buy it.

Over on my other blog, on my website, I will try it out and see what happens. I want to do an image today where I have to get rid of people in the opening of a building, so that should be fun.  I will put up a LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8495sped up version and the photo later today.

I think that is about it this week. Sorry, very whingy.  I think I might be getting a bit depressed from the weather and that no one is doing any classes with me.  Two courses have had to be cancelled from Eltham because there has been a lack of interest.  It is a shame that people don’t realise what a great opportunity winter is to take photos.  Oh well, I just have to hope that things will pick up soon.

The photos I have chosen today are because they were taken on a very grey overcast, rainy day in Kyneton last year.  It is great to see how moody the images can be and how you don’t have to have sun to get great images.  Have a great day, I hope the sun is shining where you are.


A Quiet Day

It has been a busy week here on this blog that today I thought I would just show an image and not talk much.  I hope you don’t mind.

This is an image I did a few weeks ago for Monochrome Madness, but in the end decided to use a similar image of this bridge that is near Kyneton in central Victoria.

Enjoy your day.

Another Bits and Pieces Post

Today I thought I might just talk to you about things that have happened or will be happening.  The post isn’t about anything special, but there are little things I’ve been meaning to tell you about, but haven’t had a chance so I thought Iscartfair-hpm1569-6

would do this today, I hope you don’t mind.


I thought I would start with my website. I decided to give it an overhaul and thought perhaps I would buy a theme for it, so I did lots of searching and kept coming back to one, Photographer Theme by Organic Themes.  Since purchasing it and downloading the theme, then installing it, I have to say it has been very disappointing.  It is nothing like what was advertised and the instructions are not correct.  It tells me to do things and they don’t seem to be options that are available.  I hope there is an out clause, though knowing my luck there won’t be.  They do have a support system and they will be hearing from me a lot.  So keep an eye on it.


Part of the reason for wanting to update my website is because I really want to get into teaching.  Since teaching at Living & Learning Nillumbik I really have discovered how much I love it and how I really want to do more.  I also think if scmallee-hpm8580-9I teach, then I can just take photos of what I want.  I always find it unnerving doing photography for a client.  I don’t mind doing it, but if I could make a career from teaching, then I wouldn’t have to worry about doing that so much.

I will continue doing my short courses at Living & Learning Nillumbik, along with some one off photo walk style ones, but I also want to start doing some of my own.  Planning excursions for people to come out with me to take photos, not so much to teach, but more a social thing.  Of course, if someone has problems I will be there to help them make sure they get images, but if people have no idea what they are doing, then they would need to do my short course first or do a one on one with me.  I know that for many people, they don’t know other people to go out with to take photos, or they can’t think of anywhere to go, so this could be great for people. I do think many women would like this a lot more, safety in numbers so to speak.  I can always make the city, or somewhere like that my central base where we meet.

The One on One Photography Lessons are slowly happening, and I am getting more inquiries all the time.  I do enjoy doing them and love meeting new people.  It is interesting seeing sccity-hpm6648-5what they know and then working out the best way to help them get wonderful images.  I have even had an inquiry from someone on the internet if we could do an online one, and so I am now working out the best way of doing that, and think it could be an interesting approach.  Thanks to Skype I can teach people online.  So online photography courses could be available soon, I hope people will be interested in those.

More recently I have started offering One on One Photo Editing classes as well.  Fantastic way to start to learn, or for people who have some skills but don’t know where to go from there.  I had my first one this last Monday and it was a great success, I think.  The client brought photos that needed to be worked on and we worked out different things in Photoshop that they could use to edit the images.  It was very specific to what her needs were.  She said it was great, and that she is already applying many of those things to the images now.

The next question is can I do it online?  I think the answer has to be yes, there is no reason why I couldn’t do One on One Photo Editing using Skype.  Laura Macky and I skyped each other last week and did a lot of stuff sharing our screens, so I think it is very possible.  So if people are interested they should contact me.

Up for Discussion Posts

scmallee-hpm9256-6I really enjoyed the discussion the other day on colour monitors and there was so much information there for anyone who needs to know about this.  When I started the Up for Discussion Posts I realised that there was the potential there for what happened on Tuesday.  My blog is perfect for that sort of thing and with most of you either experts or beginners, there is no reason why this blog can’t be used to help everyone.  It is definitely something I encourage.  I would love to hear from people who have a problem with something, photography related, that they would like help with.  I have seen it time and time again how generous people can be with their knowledge and how much help they have given me and others.

So if you have something you would like to put up for discussion send me an email and we can talk about it.

I have included images that I have done a lot of processing on.  Though all done in 2012, I don’t think I would change much in them if I did them again.  I will include a gallery of them so you can look at them individually.  I hope you don’t mind the way I put images into the post and then include a gallery.  I put them in the post to break it up a bit.  I know I find lots and lots of writing quite hard to read, but with images in it, well always seems to make it easy.  Weekend coming up, lots of plans, hopefully taking some photos.

Weekend Wanderings – Taking a Walk with the Camera

On Thursday night the weather forecast was for a frost in the morning and some fog.  Can I just say I was excited.  Sure it would be cold, but the opportunity of getting out in the morning to a frost, or fog was too much to resist.  I just took the camera with the lens on it and away I went.  I also took my phone, I am trying to get in the habit of taking photos with my phone for Instagram. Which I did and if I can work out how, I will show you those images as well.

LeanneCole-banyule-6387-2I was hoping to get more of a frost, but when I got out, while it was cold, it wasn’t cold enough for a frost.  I am sure it will happen, but it didn’t happen the other morning.  The closest we get to seeing what it would be like if it snowed here is seeing frost all over the ground, and that only lasts until the sun comes up.

LeanneCole-banyule-6399When I got to the park you could see the mist coming off the swampland.  It is a common site here in winter, anytime it is a bit cold you will see it.  When I used to ride a bike, you would notice how cold it was when you rode past this part, it was always much colder than any other part of the road.

LeanneCole-banyule-6421A few weeks ago I took some photos of this same spot, I don’t know if you remember, here is a link that post, the area above is the same place I took photos, but back then there was no water in here, well, except for a small little bit.  Now it is full. We had a lot of rain a couple of weeks ago and it has done this.  It is so much nicer when it is full of water. The mist on the water just added to it so much.  Although, by the time I actually got here, there wasn’t a lot of mist around.  I knew I should have driven to the park.

LeanneCole-banyule-6451The house in the distance is the original homestead, or one of them, not quite sure.  It does stand out a lot, and the way that line of dead trees coming from it, it is interesting.  There were so many ducks in the water.  I scared them off a little and then tried to get photos of them taking off.  I didn’t do it on purpose, they just cleared out as I approached the water.

LeanneCole-banyule-6524There is lot of land like this around me.  We are a suburb of the city, but we also have lots of paddocks with horses and things.  Many people who come here for the first time think we live in the country, we don’t, but it looks like it.  It was one of the main reasons we bought our house.

As I said earlier I did take a couple of shots and processed them in Instagram.  I will put them in a gallery on their own now.

I really don’t do this enough.  I have lived in this area for just over 20 years and I have never really considered that when I live would be very photogenic.  I really need to change my views of this, and start thinking more about taking photos within a short distance of where I live.

I am going to put up the gallery now for you, with more images.  I hope your weekend has been good.

Intoductions – Livonne

Livonne first came to my attention when she started commenting on some of my posts.  We got to know each other a little and then I started watching what images she was doing.  I really enjoy her work.  I have been keeping an eye on it for a while with the hope that I would be able to feature her in one of these Introductions posts, and this seemed like the perfect time. I’m afraid it was short notice, and she didn’t get much warning, but she agreed to let me show you some of her images today.



One of the first things I noticed was how very Australian some of her images are.  I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, just that I am always attracted to images that are from Australia, especially if they are places that I recognise.  LIke this one above, I knew as soon as I saw it that it was Southern Cross Station.  I’ve been there and taken photos there.

I asked Livonne why she takes photos.

I’ve always loved photographs, especially the old beautiful portraits that our grandparents had.  I’d always taken a lot of photos but never had a good camera.  When my daughter died at age 10, I realised that I didn’t have enough photos of her, let alone good ones.  It made me very determined to get as many good photos of my sons as I could.  I got given a Kodak digital camera for my 40th birthday and I became a bit obsessed.

When I started making slideshows for birthdays and other celebrations, I began to really curse the instamatic and polaroid cameras that robbed whole generations of their right to beautiful photos.  I started writing a blog nearly 2 years ago and as I wanted photos to go with what I’d written, I felt I could either feel guilty about “borrowing” google images or I could learn to take something decent of my own.

I enrolled in a Certificate IV of Photoimaging at Nepean TAFE and became completely hooked.  As soon as I completed that I started at Diploma level and am now only 2 months away from finishing that.

dsc_0594When you go through her blogs, she has two very similar ones, you can a large variety of images.  You never quite know what you are going to get, like this one, abandoned silos.  She does a lot of the challenges and I think this one was in response to the theme of Abandoned.  I hope I got that right, I’ve been looking at so many images.

Inspiration always comes next.

My inspiration changes daily.  When I started I was positive I’d be a portrait photographer as I love people. I love the style of Australia’s Peter Adams who takes everyday people and brings out a bit of whimsy in them.    It is certainly a style of photography that I aspire to.  I used to find landscape photography rather boring to be honest, but since learning to use a DSLR, I’m thrilled with what I see everyday.  I live in the Blue Mountains of NSW, so am blessed to be surrounded by absolute beauty everywhere I look.  I love capturing the beauty that we’re surrounded by.  I also love urban landscapes and the work of Trent Parke.   I think photography has changed the way I see the world as I used to worry a lot and look for bad stuff.. Now I am always framing the next photo so am looking for beauty everywhere.

dsc_0256There are also lots of photos of places she has visited from overseas.  After seeing what her inspiration is or what inspires her, I can see a lot of that in the images that she takes.  The images she seems to like a lot are really the images I enjoy too, lots of buildings.  Not always pretty, but still there is something about humans and our architecture.

I asked Livonne if there was anything special about the way she works.

I don’t know that I have anything special about the way I work.  I do love color so I don’t usually do black and white photography but will occasionally do some selective color.  I like a touch of fantasy or romance in my photos which I guess takes me away from the reality of an often harsh world. 

021There is something about her work too, the world around her, how she sees the world.  I see some of her images and wish I had taken them, or wish I had been in the same spot to take them.  There is a moodiness to her images that I really enjoy as well.  Many of them are dark, and everyone knows how I find dark images.

I asked about her gear, which was interesting when she told us what she started with.

I started the photography course with a Nikon D80 with just one lens which I bought second hand on ebay.  I have since progressed to the Nikon D610 and am slowly building up my lenses.  I have a 50 mm prime and a 70-300 mm.  I still have the 18-55mm that came with the D80 which I use too but am looking to buy a more versatile lens soon.

As I said, Livonne has two blogs, Livonne is her main blog and she also has one that she used for particular subjects, Livonne Photography.  Both are great and I would encourage you to go and take a look at either or both of them.  I would like to thank Livonne for giving me permission to feature her blog here and also for answering my questions so quickly, I really appreciated that.  I am glad I showed her blog and I am sure you will all love her work as well.  Here is a gallery of some images from her blog.  I need to go and starting working on my image for the MMC this week.

Weekend Wanderings – Parks in Heidelberg

That would be parks in Heidelberg, Australia, a beautiful part of the city of Melbourne that seems to be largely unknown about.  One of the best kept secrets if you ask me. When we first moved to this area over 20 years ago, we didn’t like it.  Not at first, suburban blues is what one friend said to us.  As time went on we learned to appreciate this unique area and now we love living here.  So many people who come to our place for the first time are amazed that their are paddocks across the road with horses in them.  It is like living in the country, but we are not that far from the city.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0982I went out early, and started taking photos just before sunrise.  I wanted to get a lovely sunrise coming up behind the tress, but as it always is with my luck, there wasn’t much of one.  Perhaps, I just need to keep going out.  LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0989As the sun came up the landscape was covered in this beautiful golden glow.  It was a spectacular morning and a great morning for photos.  I almost didn’t know where to start.  I did start with the building above, though this wasn’t the first photo.  You will see the first photo in the gallery.  The area was covered with mist, but by the time I got the camera out, it had pretty much disappeared.  I had planned on going earlier, but I slept in.

Almost forgot to mention that this area above was used for the fairground scene in the movie Charlotte’s web.  Apparently they painted all the trees in autumn colours so it would look like autumn.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0988Like the photos I showed you last week, there are lots of places for water around here.  Lots of swamps, Billabongs and such, but with the summer they have all dried up.  Funny we had all that hot weather for about two weeks, and that was about it, but we haven’t had much rain.  The leaves are starting to change colours now, so winter is on the way.

I took this shot especially because can you see the footprints in the foreground?  I am not an expert, but I would say they are from a wombat.  Obviously decided this was not the right path, you can see where it went up on the left. Something that people don’t realise is how much wildlife lives in our local parks.  The other evening when I walking in another part with a friend we saw about 15 Kangaroos grazing on the grasses.  She was really excited, she doesn’t live around here, close, but I was, well, we see them all the time.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-0995There are lots of walking and bike tracks through the parks and first thing in the morning there are lots of people out walking, jogging or cycling.  It is a thriving community and we all know what we have here.

LeanneCole-heidelberg-20140308-1007These old silos are just down the road from me.  I drive past them nearly everyday, but I have found them to be so hard to photograph in the past.  I had tried photographing them years ago, but thought they didn’t photograph very well, so hadn’t tried again.  However lately, I keep driving past them thinking there must be a way, and it might depend on the light etc.  I thought I should just start photographing them over and over, see what happens.

I was going to take photos of them this morning, but then realised I had the 14-24mm lens on the camera, so thought “what is the point”.  Then as I was heading home I saw the golden light on them and knew I just had to try.  They aren’t too shabby, but would have been better with a different lens.  Must take more than one lens with me when I go out.  Lesson learned, I hope.

I have more photos of the glorious morning in Heidelberg, I hope yours is good today as well. You know, I’ve said before how I don’t think I am very good at landscape photography, but I have this whole landscape world at my doorstep, maybe it is time I practiced more.  Here is the gallery.

Weekend Wandering – Trains Stations

This morning I went into Southern Cross Train Station in the city.  Southern Cross Station is the main station for the country trains that run all over the state.  I have caught trains there myself.  Just after I moved to Melbourne I was a frequent traveler on the train to Swan Hill in the states North West before my mum moved to the Mallee.

LeanneCole-southerncross-20140223-9536There I was photographing this train, when the announcement came over that the Swan Hill train was leaving in 4 minutes, I was photographing the train I used to catch. I couldn’t believe the coincidence. This train is a lot newer than the ones I used to travel on.  I do like travelling on trains though, would like to do more of it in the future.

LeanneCole-southerncross-20140223-9542The trains aren’t the only thing that have changed.  Southern Cross Station has completely changed in the last 10 years.  It has been given a very new face lift, or roof really, it never had anything like this before.  It also got a new name, for over a century it was called Spencer Street Station, but they changed it a few years ago to Southern Cross Street.  I still have trouble with the name and refer to its previous name.

LeanneCole-southerncross-20140223-9550It is an interesting place to photograph, and I know I am probably going to need more than one attempt.  I did take lots of images of the same thing and hoping to try some things this week from the images.

LeanneCole-southerncross-20140223-9553Like a lot of places in Melbourne they are strict on taking photos.  I contacted the station and organised to go and take photos.  You need to get permission first, and you can do that by emailing the station.  If you want to use a tripod then you have to make sure you have someone else with you that can be a spotter for you, make sure nothing happens while you are using the tripod. Not too much to ask for.  Though if you start using a tripod, you will have security coming up to you and telling you you can’t use it.  You might have to explain to them.

I did everything with the wide angle lens this morning, the 14-24mm on my Nikon D800. I looked to see how many photos I had taken and was shocked that my cards had so much space.  Yesterday when I was teaching I must have changed to jpegs, oh man, so I quickly changed to RAW.  I think I will have to use one of my other cameras when I teach.

So here are some more photos.  I have only processed these very quickly in Camera Raw, I am hoping that you will see some other versions this week coming. Take care, enjoy your weekend, take lots of photos.


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