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Posts tagged ‘comments’

Up for Discussion – Black and White Photography

You know how it is sometimes, it is the start of the day and you think, what am I going to post about today.  Then I had a thought.  I thought I might do a post on black and white photography, then I thought, I’m not an expert at it.  Then the light bulb went off, ting.

What if I did a post on the ways I do black and white and then open it up to everyone to discuss how they do it.  There are people out there who know a whole lot more than me on this topic.

So this is how it will work.  I am going to tell you quickly how I make a black and white image.  Then I want you to tell me how you do it.  You will leave it as a comment and I will approve it.  I am probably not going to comment on them, unless I think something is really cool, or I don’t understand.  Do you get what I am talking about?  I will explain it again at the end.

2014-03-10 08.32.24This is a shot I took yesterday on City Link. I was on my way to Williamstown with a friend, she was driving, and I got my phone out quickly and took this.  I can’t believe how well it came out.  I put it up on g+ and FB and someone asked me how long I had to wait for the blue car.  I didn’t wait at all, didn’t even realise there was a blue car there until I was looking at the image afterwards.  It was a lucky shot taken with a Samsung Galaxy S3, out the windscreen.

So I loved all the lines and wondered what it would look like in black and white.

2014-03-10 08.32.24-bw1I did this in photoshop.  I used the black and white adjustment layer.  I like the way you can play with the colours in the image and change the tones of individual ones.  It can be a great way to get a dark sky, make the blues and cyans darker.  Though you have to be careful because if your image is grainy, it will show it up more.  Then I upped the contrast a little.  Not a bad effort.  Though, I do think it looks better in colour.

2014-03-10 08.32.24-bw2The other way I do black and white is with Silver Efex from the Nik Collection.  You can’t control the individual tones, but you can choose from a range of presets and then do minor changes.  I used the low key preset for this image.  That was pretty much all I did to it.  I should probably have upped the whites a bit, it is looking a little grey.

There are two different ways that I do black and white.  I thought since we have the Black and White challenge tomorrow that it might be a good discussion to have right now.  The comment section is open, though I do moderate cooments, but I will try and approve comments as quickly as I can.

In your comments you can tell us how you do your black and white, or you can ask a question, and maybe someone will be able to answer it.  You can comment on what other people have said. The only real restriction is that it has to be polite.  Anyone saying anything mean or horrible will not be approved.

I have never done anything like this before, so I don’t know if this will work, but I know lots of people out there want to do black and white photography but aren’t sure how.

Here is a gallery of the images so you can look at them individually.

On the subject of tomorrow’s challenge, if you want to put something in, you don’t have much time left.  Remember you have to email your entry to me.

At this stage it is looking like this challenge is going to be called Monochrome Madness, something that Laura and I came up with together and we love.

On a Similar Note

I have just got home, and found an email to say that some of my work has been accepted into a show and I have until next week to come up with an artist statement, I knew it was coming, and have been working on it slowly.  I really need to refine it now and work out exactly what my work is about.

I have not been responding the comments from yesterday.  I agree with some, and disagree with others.  Some make me angry, and some are lovely.  I decided that the best thing to do was just to approve them, and you can all make of them what you want.

I am not doing anymore today, sorry, I haven’t even had time to unpack my laptop yet, not that I really took any photos while I was away.  It was lovely just catching up with my mum and taking it easy.  I did make some costumes, so it was productive.  It was a great trip on another level, but more about that another day.

Leanne Cole - Princess taking a Break.

Leanne Cole – Princess taking a Break.

Just quickly, I had this image printed on the fine art paper, and it is so beautiful.  Getting images printed is always fantastic,  I hope Alannah loves it too.

ReWorking the Cathedral Doors

Almost 12 months to the day I went into the city and took some photos with friends and put them up here.  My processing was quite heavy and I thought I might try redoing one.

This is the image from 12 months ago.

Leanne Cole - Original Cathedral DoorsI was never happy with it.  I found it too saturated and perhaps too textural. This was a 3 image HDR, but with the rework I decided to do something different.

Leanne Cole - Reworked Cathedral DoorsI put two images together, so the stained glass was from one image and the outside bit from another.  I wanted to make the most of the stained glass, it was very hard to make it stand out more.  Though I think the rework is more successful at that.

I darkened the stonework more, and I brightened the stain glass.  In Camera Raw I added more clarity to the stained glass too.  I have done some blurring with the last layer of it quite low with only the glass in the door and the handles not being blurred.

That was about it.  Didn’t take long and that is something I am starting to understand, it doesn’t have to take a long time to do.  It should always be about the image and what the image needs.

On another note, now that we are looking at an image of the St Paul’s Cathedral, I have bad news for the photographers out there.  You do need a permit to photograph the inside of it, unfortunately it isn’t free any more and will cost you $5.  I have no idea how long the permit lasts, but when we saw it last weekend, we just keep walking past.

I almost didn’t post today.  I couldn’t think of what to do so I dove back into the archives and found this one.  I do know that I will stop posting every day, I just don’t know when.

I have had my fair share of revolting comments in the last week or so, people who feel that “it is just their opinion and they are just being honest”.  Like that makes a difference, as if them saying that automatically forgives them for being nasty or really critical.  If I go to someone’s site and I see an image I don’t like, I don’t say anything. It isn’t my image and I don’t know how that person feels about their work.  I am not about to bring them down by telling them what I think is wrong with it.  I had enough of that at art school.

When you attack my work, it is personal, it is always personal because it is my work.

Please, I would prefer silence, I can tell when a image is popular or not, I can tell by the amount of likes and the lack of comments.

My Website

I’ve been changing my website, I invite you to look

It isn’t finished, and still has a long way to go, but take a look and if you can think any anything that might improve it I would love to hear about it, doesn’t mean I will do it, but I do like suggestions.  I always like suggestions.

Reception – Through There

Another very early morning today.  Not as early as last Saturday, but still had to be in the city before 7am, that’s early.  I might even get used to it one day.

I was in there again to take, perhaps for the final shots, of the Manchester Unity Building.  Today it was all about the first floor, and the reason for the early morning start was to try and get images done before it got too busy.

Outside ReceptionAs with most parts of this building, this is another area that is really beautiful.  The first time I went there I just wanted to stand around and look.  Today, I was really there just to take a few photos of a couple of things, but I went mad and took so many photos.  I have so many things to try now.

The image is the main area and behind me are what used to be all the little shops that were on the first floor, now they are offices for Smile Solutions.  I have done quite a bit of work on this image, but I think I might do more, not sure.  I do love the way your eye goes from one thing to another.

It is going to be sad when my work is done on the building.  I have enjoyed the experience so much.


I wanted to say a little about your comments, nothing bad, but I feel bad that I don’t respond to them anymore, so I wanted you all to know that, as I moderate the comments, which has turned out to be a great thing, I read each and every one.  You should hear a silent thank you after you write it, because I do say it silently after each and every one.

For those that need to hear it,

Thank You.

Giving Things a Go

Today’s post is going to be quick.  I am late with it and I need to do some other stuff. I decided today to give something a go.  It hasn’t really worked well, I rush too much, but it is a beginning and something that could be a lot of fun in the future.

The Coffee CupsI saw an image in the reader the other day of two hands with a map of the world on them.  It got me thinking and I wondered if I would be able to do something similar.  so I gave it a go with two white coffee mugs and put an image of wrapping paper over the top.  It hasn’t turned out too bad, but I need to experiment a lot more.  I must write down some notes on what I have done and what to do differently.

Tea SetThis one I did with all white crockery again.  I probably should have lightened it again. I am pretty sure I know what I would do differently next time.  It is another interesting process to explore and one that could open up new possibilities   I look forward to experimenting more with it.

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes, there are so many comments.  I am having a really hard time keeping on top of them and I am not sure what to do.  At the moment I have 597 comments to respond to.  I am thinking of making the decision to not respond to everyone anymore, and only do those that ask me questions or want more information.  The ones that just make a short statement should always assume that I really do thank them for their comments.   I am hoping no one will mind if I do that from now on.

Waterproof Cameras

A woman asked me recently for some advice on a waterproof camera, one her husband couldn’t destroy while fishing or when put through the washing machine.  I wrote an email to Michael’s Camera and Video and asked them what they would recommend.  They recommended two cameras, the Olympus TG-1, and the Panasonic FT20 which can go to a depth of 5 metres.  The first one retails here for around $400 and the second around $230.  I hope this helps.

Brownie – ReWorked

Back in February I had a go at doing a still life with a brownie I had made and Cafe Latte, the post was One Brownie.  I set it up on my dining room table.  I can remember being really happy with the composition, but I do remember getting some comments that weren’t very nice and it really depressed me.  I almost considered giving up on HDR images, in fact even had doubts about my abilities as a photographer.  Let me show you the original HDR image as I had it on my blog.

I can see so many of the problems now.  I can see that it is too saturated, the colours aren’t great.  Too much detail, and the brownie doesn’t stand out enough, but at the time, I loved it and was so proud of it.

I don’t remember if it was this particular post or another one at the same time, but I do remember I got some comments that were very critical.  I don’t know if they were meant to be that way or they thought they were offering some nice advice, but I found it rather confronting and not very nice.  Constructive criticism is never wrong, but when someone comments and seem to have nothing nice to say, that is never good.

I have had someone else recently doing a similar thing.  The say one nice thing, then tear the image apart.  It isn’t a nice thing to do.  I don’t like, and I never do it to others unless invited to do so.  Even then I am not comfortable doing it.  I don’t mean that I don’t like criticism, but it has to be done carefully, and if you don’t like criticism yourself, then you shouldn’t do it to other people.

I think we forget looking at all these images on the internet that people put their heart and soul into them, and just like any work of art, people are very precious about them.  The other thing to consider is, would you say it to their face if you were viewing the work in front of them.  It is so easy to criticise someone when they aren’t standing in front of you.  Having said that, I have never minded people saying what they do and don’t like in an image, which is far different to someone telling you how you should do it.

Anyway, let’s get back to the image.  I redid the HDR processing using Photomatix Pro this time, and straight away I got a much more realistic look.

I find this far better.  I do like the composition.  Everything out of focus except for the brownie on the plate.  I haven’t added any blur to this, it was all done with depth of field.  I did a lot of work to the chair in the background trying to make it disappear more.  I thought it stood out too much.  I lightened up the brownie, darkened the foreground, and added some colour to the brownie.  I didn’t want to do too much because I wanted that more natural look.

I did some reading and learned some new stuff in photoshop, I used some of it in this image.  Always learning.  I wonder if I will ever feel like a master of photoshop, seems unlikely.  I still feel like a novice, though I know that can’t be true.

Thanks for everyone’s support over the last week, hopefully my internet will be back to normal tomorrow morning.  It will be good to be able to get some stuff done on the internet, and to see what all of you have been up to.

Field Trip – It is Falling

Can you guess where we went?  Here is a hint.

We took a drive to Erskine Falls.  The falls are behind Lorne, about a 10km drive.  I thought we were going to be in for a long work, but instead, we had to go down 220 metres of steps.  It was a long way down.  It was very wet and probably quite dangerous.

It is an interesting spot.  It really is for tourists, and there were quite a few people there.  The stuff I read said that it was popular and there would be people there, but I think we were hoping that on a day of drizzling weather and it being cold people would stay away. It wasn’t so.  It could have been a lot worse.

It is a very long skinny waterfall and at the bottom are these rocks.  It was very hard to see the water running though them.  I did use my neutral density filter to get the marshmallow effect.  Though, I felt we were really limited with where you could stand to take photos.  A platform had been built to stand on, but that also introduced movement as it moved every time some one walked on it.  It would have been nice to get up closer to it, but you have to respect that they don’t really want you doing that.

We walked downstream, and it was hard to find some where to take images that didn’t have people in them.  I think it is part of the reason why photographers pick times when the rest of the population don’t like to be out and about.

These were so tiny.  I don’t have a macro lens, so had to do the best with what I had.  I thought the mushroom families were gorgeous and had to include the second family in the background.

This image was taken from the platform that was 80 metres from the top.  We had decided that we would go to the bottom first, then take little breaks to photograph stuff on the way back up.  Though, having gone down and back up, the going down was much harder, it was sort of scary.  Going back up, well, we were back up the top before we knew it.  When we got back to the car, the car park was full and there was so many more people there, well, let’s just say we were happy to be leaving.

I think if I was going to go there again, I would go earlier in the morning.  Just after the sunrise, so it would be light enough to see, but too early for the tourists.  It would have been so nice to have had the whole place to ourselves.

Now Some Business

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that WordPress have made some changes.  If you post a comment on someone’s blog, or you reply to a post on your post, every time someone else posts a comment, or posts a comment on your blog, you will get an email.  So if you look at a lot of blogs, like I do, and post comments, you could potentially end up with hundreds of emails.  Apparently it is the new default that WordPress has decided that we need.

So how do you avoid this, well if you don’t want all the emails, you do have options, one of them is uncheck the box when are making a comment.  Go to someone’s blog and take a look at the comments and you will see the box there,

Leanne Cole: You are commenting using your account. ( Log Out / Change )

 Notify me of follow-up comments via email.

This is the box, you need to click on it, so you don’t get the follow-up emails.

If you forget to do that, you do have another option, when you get the follow-up emails, if you look at the bottom of them is says something like “Modify your subscriptions”, so you click on that, and you can check the boxes of the blogs that don’t don’t want to get follow-up emails for.

I hope that helps anyone wondering what to do.  I have spoken to them about it, but they don’t seem to care about what we want.  Well I don’t like it.

I’ve also noticed that the way you look at other blogs with the topics button has also changed, I really don’t like the new way they do that either.  I find I have to download too much and my blog never seems to appear on it, so is it on there?  Or am I being left off.  I like to see which image they use for it, because it is rarely the image I set for the featured image.

Please WordPress, make it easy again.

I don’t really know why they make these changes.  I also wish they would ask us what we want.  I have even considered going back to my blogger account.

What do you think of the changes?


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