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Posts tagged ‘city’

Weekend Wanderings – Eureka Skydeck 88

On Friday night I had a chance to go up to the Eureka Skydeck 88 to see the city.  The Eureka Tower is the tallest building in Melbourne and they turned floor 88 into an observation deck.  It is a great place to see the city from above and it seems like you are the tallest thing there.  My first reaction when I walked out onto the observation deck and saw the view was “wow”, it was incredible.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-1We got there just before sunset, just in case there was a nice one. There is always a sunset, but whether it looks good or not is another thing.  We had high expectations.  Though we did get rather distracted by trying to get photos that we probably didn’t take in the views as much as we should have.  The observation deck is double glazed, so while you can stop reflections on the first pane of glass it was a lot harder to stop them on the one on the outside.


I do like this one of the city with the afternoon sun shining on it. I live out in that direction, way behind the high rises.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-4Can you see that strange thing on the cloud.  It was the weirdest thing. It isn’t the sun, as the sun was further over on the right.  It was like a cloud rainbow, or something.  So if anyone has any idea what it is and how it happens would love to hear.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-7I have made that sunset look a lot better than it actually was.  Creative license I believe they call it.  It was really a rather pathetic sunset actually.  Just my luck.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-16I loved the view at night, it was stunning.  Though, they were the hardest images to get and I had to spend time on nearly all of them getting rid of reflections.  I took some black cloth with me to help with the reflections, but it didn’t stop them all.  I think if I went back I would try something a little different.  Might have to see if I can try it again.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-19After we left we down to the Flinders Street and tried getting car light trails in front of Flinders Street Station.  It was quite busy and there were lots of cars around.  I have tried doing some stacking with these, gave me lots more lights, something I might have to do some more of.

The Eureka Skydeck 88 is a great place to see Melbourne from above, you get 360 degree views all around the city and out to the bay.  The floor is shaped oddly so you can see different things in different places.  I would like to go back sometime and try some different things, as I said, maybe plan what I want to take more.  Really on Friday night I was just seeing what I could do.

I have a gallery for you today.  I have a Social Snappers Excursion planned for this afternoon for the Melbourne Zoo.  The forecast isn’t looking good, so I don’t know how how we will go.  Could be fun.  Have a great Sunday.


Quiet Thursday – Up in the Air

It is getting late in the day, and it is one of those days that I like to take things easy, so for today I have a photo for you that I did earlier in the week.  I know writers like images that give them inspiration for poems or short stories, so I have another photo for that.  It is a composite and you can interpret it as you will.


The same applies as in previous posts like these, you can leave links in the comments sections.  Pingbacks don’t really work the way they used to, so it is best to leave links in the comments section.  Feel free to put the image on your blog, just please give me credit for the image, if that is okay.  So over to you.

Weekend Wanderings – Melbourne from across the Bay

Many years ago I saw something while I was in Williamstown and I tried taking a photo of it.  I was so excited, but after I got the film back the image was out of focus, I should’ve used a tripod.  So I have been trying to get that image again and last night I had my chance.

LeanneCole-melbourne-williamstown-20140531-9797The image I had got previously was one at sunset and the sunset was reflected in all the buildings in the city.  We pretty much knew we wouldn’t get a good sunset, the forecast for today was all about rain, so there wouldn’t be one really, and we were right.  There was a little colour, but not enough really.

We decided it didn’t matter, we can always go back and so the trip would be more of a scouting trip for future photo classes.


We watched as the sun went down and the lights on the city came on.

LeanneCole-melbourne-williamstown-20140531-9884Massive ships went in and out of the Bay, leaving big light trails on our images.

LeanneCole-melbourne-williamstown-20140531-9916For me the magic started after the sun had gone down.  The cloud cover acted like a reflector and light from the city was bounced around everywhere.

I am going to finish here, and leave you with the gallery.  It is raining here, so not much chance of any photography, though I do have a class tonight, night photography in the city, I hope my students remember their umbrellas. After seeing the marks on these images, I better go and clean my sensor before I go out again.


Introductions – Dan Shehan

Normally when I do these posts I pick someone from WordPress and then get images from their blog, but today’s photographer hasn’t been blogging for very long. I wouldn’t usually pick someone like that, and there are a couple of people I know that I am waiting a little bit longer so they have been blogging for more than a couple of months. Dan was one of those, but a wonderful mutual friend, Laura Macky, explained to me that while he has only been blogging for a short time, he has been on Google+ for a lot longer.  I realised there were would so many photos there too, so today’s featured photographer is Dan Shehan,  another WordPress Photographer, but also from Google+.

Blue DawnWhen I try and think back to the images that I first saw of Dan’s I think this one.  I don’t know if it was actually this one, but it was something very similar.  I also don’t know if it was the first one I saw, but it was certainly the first one that made a real impression on me.  I love the water, I love making water go like this.  He has made me realise that sometimes I go to far away to achieve this.

I asked Dan why he took photos.

I take photographs because of the emotions involved while capturing a moment in time.  When I pick up my gear to go out and shoot, I feel a sense of freedom.  The freedom to see the world around me in a way only I can envision.  Photography allows me the freedom to capture an image from this vision.  The freedom to compose an expression of what I see through the lens of a camera, then pushing the button.  I also experience the emotion of surprise.  The surprise of what I see, causing me to take out my camera…the surprise when I get home and say, “omg…I took that picture”.  The surprise that others like my photographs too.

There is also the emotion of intrigue.  I’m intrigued by what I’ve created, compelling me to go out and shoot some more. I think “ooh…what if I try this…or try that”.
And what better feeling is there than to cause an emotion in others with this expression of your own emotions…your passion…your surprise…your intrigue…your freedom?  It’s kind of exciting, isn’t it?

I’m reminded of when all of this started for me.  It was almost 46 years ago when, at the age of 14, my father gave me his old Argus C3 film camera from his days in the Navy as a journalist.  I taught myself the manual settings, then used the camera on a cross country trip across America to visit relatives on the east coast.  After those first rolls were developed, I realized that I had created an unforgettable emotion inside of me by capturing special moments in time.  That was the moment I became hooked!

Today, photography inspires and nourishes my vision to create new emotions. What used to be an enjoyable hobby, has turned in to a full-time passion.  My main focus in photography is shooting landscapes, and in particular waterscapes.  At the same time, I don’t pigeon-hole myself into one specific category either.  I also take many cityscape, nightscape, and gardenscape images.  I’ve even ventured into shooting a few abstract images (mostly involving water, of course).  The bottom line is that if I like what I see, I push the button.

This is why I take photographs.

Clipper Cove at DuskBefore going through all of Dan’s images I hadn’t noticed this one before, now I can’t stop noticing it.  It just seems like an incredibly image to me.  I love the way it is composed and the mood that is set in the image.  I think it’s a fantastic image.

Why inspires you was the next question.

I first get my inspiration by looking out the window of my home.  I have a terrific view of San Francisco Bay and am constantly moved by its charm and beauty.  Nature, in all of its grandeur, has always been my strongest inspiration.  Whether its being on the bay, along the coastline, in the middle of the city, or even backpacking at 10,000 feet high up in the mountains, I am constantly moved by nature and the beauty it provides us.

I’m also inspired by the works of other great photographers and the emotion I feel while viewing their form of expression.

And finally, I’m inspired by the photographer friends I’ve made, the people who follow me online, and certainly the people who have bought my art.  All of whom seem to have the same passion for this expression we call photography.

Night PilingsAs you look through Dan’s blog and his Google+ page you can see that there are things that he loves to photograph.  He does them over and over again.  I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think you get the best photos if you constantly go back somewhere.  Especially different times of the day, different times during the year.  It’s something I wish I did more of.

How a photographer works is important, and so I asked Dan if there was anything special about how he worked.

I’m not sure how “special” my work process is.  Typically before I go out to shoot, I think about what it is I want to capture or create.  I’ll look out my window and observe the sky, the clouds, the weather. Then I go… Sometimes I’ll go out without any plan whatsoever, but still… I just go!

I’ll arrive at a location, hopefully with preconceived ideas of what I want to shoot.  There are many occasions when, before or after I capture what I set out to do in the first place, I perform a simple task of turning around in the opposite direction. Sometimes you can get even more amazing shots this way.  It’s not unusual for me to take 100 images on one of these ventures.  And I always shoot in RAW format.

When I get home, I import all of the images to Lightroom.  I’ll delete those that don’t quite cut it, then organize the rest.  I’ll select one or two and start my “developing” process by moving a few sliders around, removing those pesky dust spots, cropping if necessary, straightening the horizon, etc…  If there are several similar images, then I’ll batch process them using a preset I’ll create from the first image.  

This process usually only takes a minute or so per image.  And believe me, I don’t process every image.  I’ll typically process only those images that I get a good feel for in their RAW form.  That number varies based on the number of subjects I capture during the shoot.

I rarely drop a photo into Photoshop unless I want a special effect added, or a blending of images is warranted.”MY” basic philosophy, however, is to keep the image as “natural” as possible.  My goal is an attempt to display what I’ve created inside the camera.
Oh, and by the way… I have nothing against other photographers who “photoshop” more than I do.  There are some incredible images out there that truly move and inspire me.

I also study!  I study how other photographers work. I study how I can improve my own work.  I study, then I shoot.

Brisbane Harbor SunriseThere is definitely a recurring theme of water through Dan’s work.  Not all images are water, but it does feature quite a lot.  Photos of water are always great.  There is a calmness about the water in Dan’s images and I think when you see water like that you almost automatically breath out.  Ahhh.

Gear and what he uses was the next question.

Currently, I use a Nikon D300 which is a 12.6MP cropped-sensor DSLR.  I have three lenses: a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, a Nikon 55-300 f4-5.6, and a 25 year old Nikon 50mm f1.8 that I found at a swap meet for $10 (The sharpest lens I own).  I also bring along a few filters: Tiffen ND filters including a .6(2 stop), a .9 (3 stop), a 1.2 (4 stop), and a 3.0 (10 stop).  I also use a polarizing filter.
I carry a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod when appropriate for my task.  All of which I carry in a Vivitar camera backback.
Software includes Lightroom4 and Photoshop Elements 11.

Blossom SpecklesLike most of us, he does branch out sometimes, and takes photos of other things.  Though when I looked at all the images of his that I have used for this post, there aren’t many that don’t have water.

I have started asking where in the world the photographers are.  It is a question I find so many people don’t put on their blog and the first thing that people wanting to know about them want to know.

After living in Southern California most of my life, I have now retired from my profession as an accountant and have moved to San Francisco where I currently live.  You can usually find me hiking up and down the hills of this incredible world class city. My favorite areas, though, are the beautiful bay and coastline.  Oh… and I’m the guy with the old yellow ball cap and carrying a backpack, lol.  If you see me, please stop and say hi. :-)

I have some photos of Dan’s to show you now, but first, I would like to thank Dan from Dan Shehan Photography for giving me permission to feature photography from his blog Dan Shehan Photography and his Google+ page.  You can also find Dan at his website and on Pinterest.   I hope you will all go and show Dan some support as well.  Comments are great, but today, I am only going to approve them and will only respond to ones that I ask me something directly.  This post is for Dan.  Here is the gallery.

Weekend Wanderings – Travelling by Instagram

Last weekend I went into the city with my plastic Holga lens and for todays post I thought I might do something similar with my phone and Instagram.  I thought it might be fun to see what the city would look like through Instagram photos. Though I started with the train trip.


IMG_20140514_113700I had to wait for the train.  As I was approaching the station I heard that a train was leaving, so then I had to wait for ages for the next one.

I thought I would divide this post into two parts, first I thought we might look at the train trip in.  People love trains and when I went I probably looked like a tourist as I had my phone up against the window of the train taking photos most of the way in.

I have processed them all with Instagram, though, as I have found out, you don’t have to put the photos on Instagram.  I did them all and then used Dropbox to send the images to my laptop.  A different way of working and I am sure there are others. Here is a gallery of the train trip.

Taking photos from the train was interesting and not always easy. I got lots of blurred photos.  Though, I am going to say that it isn’t something I am really interested in perfecting.  I do like Instagram though, and I think it is something that is fun.

As I said, Instagram can be fun, and I have seen some great images with it, but they do all tend to look very similar

IMG_20140514_214401When I got into the city I stopped at quite a few places and took photos of what was around me.  I think filters in Instagram are good, but they don’t really show the reality of what is there.

The thing I do like it about it is that if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you would be familiar with my photos as I travel around.  I have tried to get a lot better at using my phone to do that sort of thing. I don’t do photos every day, but if I go somewhere to take photos then if I do some Instagram photos you get a quick glimpse of what is coming on the blog.

I am going to put the photos of the city into a gallery now.  Though, I do want to reassure you that I won’t make it a habit of doing posts of Instagram photos, but I did think it would be good to do a post on it and look at it.

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 – City Snaps

On Wednesday I was in the city for a One on One Photography Session, and whilst I didn’t get a lot of photos, I did manage a few.  We went for a walk through some parts of the city that my client was unfamiliar with.

LeanneCole-city-7053I asked this person if I could take a photo of her taking a photo of the graffiti.  Everyone who came around and saw this piece of graffiti was taking a photo of it.  I have some as well.  I have other photos of the graffiti in Hosier Lane but will put them in a gallery at the end.

As I said, I didn’t get many photos, so yesterday I dragged my husband into the city with me and we walked from one end to the other while I took photos along the way.

LeanneCole-cityholga-9567I thought it might be fun if I used the Holga lens that I purchased about 18 months but have rarely used.  It looks really funny on the camera, a plastic lens that is relatively small, and purple, on my Nikon D300s.  I just figured that it might be fun to do some photos that weren’t serious and just see what it was like.

LeanneCole-cityholga-9603Working out the light can be a bit of a problem.  So you have to go up the ISO a lot and sometimes add some exposure compensation as well.  There is no aperture, so the lens is fixed and the aperture is fixed.  It really is a plastic lens and you don’t have much control over it.  It is like using one of those old compact film cameras from the 70’s.

LeanneCole-cityholga-9622It gives you, well I don’t know how to put it, it gives these shots that look old, grainy, not quite in focus.  I was having so much fun with it.  I think I will have to do this again.

LeanneCole-cityholga-9681I even tried panning with the train.  Wasn’t moving as fast as I would have liked, but it was a good try.

I got the lens so long ago and I kept meaning to take it and try it, but I just never seemed to be anywhere where I wanted to give up getting good shots for it.  When we went into the city yesterday it was specifically to use the lens and see what I could get.  I did think it was fun, and I was having a ball with it.  I do wish I had taken the D800 though, the cropped sensor of the D300s was a bit annoying, and meant that I couldn’t fit some things in.  I needed to think outside the box.  I also think that the end of the day wasn’t a great time to be using it, and perhaps it would be best using it in bright sunny conditions, so I might have to try that another time.  The images have come up a bit dark and grainy, but I don’t mind that, and think it adds to the Holga effect. They are relatively inexpensive, perfect for trying out some fun things.  The Holga website has lots of accessories and such.

I am going to put the graffiti and Wednesday images into a gallery for you with the Holga images as well, I am fairly certain you will be able to tell the difference.  I think we have fog here this morning, so as soon as the sun comes up I’m heading out with the camera.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums who read my blog.


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