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Posts tagged ‘nikon’

Weekend Wanderings: Fungi Around Marysville

In the last few weeks I’ve been to Marysville three times with a friend. The first time it was raining so the only photos I took were with my phone.  The second time was lovely, but we think we might have got there too late in the day. We did find a lovely waterfall, but we also wanted to do some photographs of the mushrooms and the fungi, but it was too dark.  Then the last time we went I put the macro on the camera while we walking around and I took lots of photos.

It is incredible how many different types there are.  Then there are also other small things to take photos of. I had so much fun.  I had to delete a lot of photos as the lighting wasn’t great, but I am happy with the ones I got. It is something I would like to do more of. Rainforests are so interesting and there are things to take photos of everywhere you look, especially after all the rain we’ve had.

I am just going to put them all into a gallery for you today.  I don’t know what any of them are, I just think they look pretty. The weather is mixed here this weekend, I hope you fair better where you are and get to take some wonderful photos.

UfD: Why that Camera

From time to time I get asked what camera I use.  I also get asked to give advice on what camera people should buy and then there is always the question of what brand.  So today I thought I might discuss with you why I ended up with the camera that I have.

The First Camera

It is sort of a long story and really started about 15 years ago.  If you’ve read my about page you know my first SLR camera was a Pentax K1000. It was all manual and I really had to learn how to take photos and quickly. It was a big learning curve, but as I learned more and more I started to realize I wanted a more sophisticated camera, something with auto focus.

Looking for a New Camera

The research begun.  I was in a camera club at the time and got to see what cameras other people had, which cameras people found easy to use, and which ones were hard to work out. It was great place to look. Of course the internet wasn’t really around and I couldn’t do the research that we do now.  I also spent time looking through magazines.

Nikon_F90xThe big decision for me was whether to go Nikon or Canon.  There was a woman at the club at that time that had bought a Canon EOS camera, I don’t know which one, but what I remember the most is that she had so much trouble working it out. The aperture seemed to work in a strange way and she kept bringing it to the camera club to get help.

I looked at the Nikon cameras and to me they were all logical to use. I didn’t have any trouble working out what was what. The aperture was done on the lens, so no hassles with that. It was a no brainer in the end, it had to be a Nikon.

In the end I went for the Nikon F90X. It was in the middle of the range SLRs, but the thing I liked, at that time was that it took AA batteries.  There was a lot of talk about rechargeable batteries and their reliability wasn’t always great, so having normal batteries seemed like a good idea. I have to say it was, the batteries lasted a long time and it was never much of a problem.

I used that camera for a long time. I still have it, though because it uses film I use it more to demonstrate how a camera works.

Going Digital

Nikon_D300s_-_Front_Mk2_editWhen I decided that I needed a digital SLR, or DSLR it seemed sensible to stick with Nikon. Money was going to be an issue, so I had to work within a tighter budget than before.  I was fairly certain that the D300s would take my old lenses, though I wasn’t sure the autofocus would work, I had tried one of my old lenses on a D200, and aperture and things like that worked but not autofocus.  So being able to use my older lenses meant I could keep the costs down.  One of the things that was also appealing about the D300s was that it was fast, it did 6 or 7 frames a second, and that was appealing because I knew what I would be photographing the most at that time was sports, cycling and netball. When it arrived I was so happy to discover that when I put my old lenses on it the autofocus worked, major relief.

Funny too because what I paid for the D300s was almost the same as what I paid for the F90X.

Moving Up

A couple of years ago Nikon came out with the D800 and I think it is safe to say I wanted it. It was full frame, and I wasn’t doing sport anymore so it would be fine for the type of work that I wanted to do. My husband wasn’t convinced that I needed it, though he never thinks I need anything. In the end I got a job that was going to pay me quite a bit of money, and I was worried that the ISO with the D300s wouldn’t be good enough for the job. It was very noisy, and you didn’t have to go up the ISO 91Xo7IJcj3L._SL1500_very much to encounter that. My husband could see that it made sense to get the better camera for the job.  So the D800 was ordered.

I’ve had that for just over 18  months and it is such a beautiful camera.  I love using it. I’m trying to think if there was anything I would change about it if Nikon were to ask me, and right now I can’t think of anything.  I’m sure there are things, but can’t think of them now.  It is so versatile and there isn’t much I can’t do with it. I love it so much I wouldn’t mind a second one, well maybe the D810, but I suspect I might have a tougher battle on my hands to justify that to my husband.

In the End

After teaching people to use their cameras I am always happier when people have a Nikon camera. I find them so much easier to work out, and there are a lot of similarities between the models, so it doesn’t take much to work out how to do something on one and then work it out for another one.

So why did you buy the camera that you have? Are you really happy with it? If you could have any camera that you wanted, what would you get?

I have a selection of photos for you and I will put underneath each one what camera was used to take them. I should point out that all the images taken with the F90X were film and I’ve scanned the negatives.


Introductions: Alan Wright

Today I would like to introduce you to Alan Wright.  He is another Melbourne based photographer and I know one day I will get to meet him.  He goes to some amazing places to take photos and I want to go to some of them to.  I have got to know him more because of Facebook and that is where you will find him, Alan Wright Photography.


There are places that he has taken photos of that I have been to as well.  It is always very interesting to see how other photographers interpret places, it helps give you inspiration and ideas.

I asked Alan where he was and how long he had been doing photography for.

I live in Werribee Victoria and I love being here because I am very close to The Great Ocean Road and Point Lonsdale. I have been shooting for around 3 years and I only learnt how to use a camera because I went to Thailand and I wanted to take a photo of a sunrise.  I shot in auto, like most newbies, and the flash kept popping up. Then it would flash the beach and the photo looked strange so I knew a guy who taught lessons on cameras so went off and got shown about cameras and the rest is history really.


His long exposures are amazing and I really like seeing what he does, and what he photographs for them.  I get so much inspiration looking at them, and they always make me want to know  where they are, and how he took them.

I asked him why he takes photos.

I take photos as I am a chef and it can be very stressful. It is my release from the stress and pressure. I also love going out into nature and just being calm and at peace. Nothing better than standing in a river and feeling the water in your shoes and getting that shot no one else will try cause they’re scared of jumping a fence and getting wet.


While Alan does do some monochrome work, I really enjoy seeing his colour images. I really like the colours of his work. They are warm, many of them, and the light invites you into the images.  There is something about the depth too, like landscapes that go on forever.

I asked him about inspiration.

My inspiration is just trying to always capture what I see in my eyes and being able to come home to show others the great things I saw. I have also decided I want to enter photo competitions and just push myself as much as I can to get better and excel. Last year I set a goal to within the next 5 years get a shot that is worthy of a silver award and 2 months i did just that and also got 24th place in the Ameteur section for the loupe awards. So that was a massive thrill to be included with people I look up to and respect have my name next to theirs. Now its to push and get a Gold but lets aim for 10 years for that lol.

Alan-Wright-Introduction1021I know there are lots and lots of waterfalls in Victoria, but I only know a few. I almost had a chance this week to find some new ones, but unfortunately it was happening on a day I couldn’t go.  I hope there will be other chances. I have seen some spectacular waterfall images by Alan and I want to try and get some of my own.

I asked Alan about gear.

I shoot with a Nikon D800 and a Sony A7. My fav lens are my Nikon 16-35 and my Art series 50mm. I always seem to have a ND filter on my lens and i own a few brands like Lee, Hoya and others.

I would like to thank Alan for giving me permission for featuring his work here on my blog.  You can find a lot more of Alan’s work on his Facebook Page, Alan Wright Photography. I am going to put a gallery now of his work, I’m sure you will love it as I did.

Introductions: Six Pixx

One of the things I love about Monochrome Madness is that I get to meet lots of new people, but I’m also introduced to lots of new blogs.  Today I am introducing you to someone who participates on a regular basis in Monochrome Madness and it has been wonderful getting to know her through it.  Maxine has the blog Six Pixx, and I am sure many of you are already very familiar with her work.  I’ve been watching what she has been doing for a while and decided it was time I asked her if I could feature her and her blog on my blog.


I’ve noticed that over time her work has been catching my eye more and more and now I’m finding I am starting to recognise her work before I see the name.  There is something that she is doing that is making her work her own.

I asked her what in the world she was.

I’m in Hastings, on the south coast of England. It’s in 1066 country where William the Conqueror landed his invasion. We’re very lucky to have some beautiful historical sites and green scenery (it rains a lot) and yet, be within distance for a day trip to London, Brighton and even Paris with the high speed train.


I like her compositions, she has a good eye, and she also takes images that are a little different.  You can see thought processes and how she is thinking about what to take.  I like that, I like it a lot, it is what I try to do.

The next question, when did you start taking photos and why.

I’ve always taken ‘snaps’ but was never very enthused by them until 18 months ago when my eldest son ‘lent’ me (he never got it back) the digital SLR he received for his 21st birthday present. My long suffering partner and I were heading off for a holiday of a lifetime to Cuba – the poor boy probably thought, if he had to look at a load of holiday snaps when we got back, he’d rather they might be worth looking at – most of them weren’t. That’s when I decided to start looking at how to make a decent photo.I’ve had such an exciting journey in the past 18 months starting at ‘auto’, passing through shooting some film (I must do that again soon) and doing a developing workshop in the darkroom to now, making (semi) conscious decisions about aperture and shutter speeds and editing my raw files in Lightroom and Photoshop. Sometimes, I even produce an image that I’d envisioned at the point I pressed the shutter release.

Very lucky there Maxine, that rarely happens for me.


There is a lot of experimentation happening with her work as well which is really interesting to see. I like experimenting as well and trying different shots, seeing what I can get. It is through experimentation that great discoveries can be made and I think it is wonderful that Maxine is doing lots of it as well.

I asked about inspiration.

My inspiration? Everything! It’s a bit of a problem to me because it makes the learning curve that much steeper. I love landscapes, I really enjoy a good abstract, I admire those who do street photography well, and much to my own detriment…. I love shooting straight into the sun. I think I am most affected by weather (we have quite a lot of grey days which I find difficult in life generally, let alone for photography) and I’m extraordinarily drawn to water. But, more than all of that, it has been having a public platform to post images and look at the wonderful images of so many talented others (especially that Leanne person) that has probably been my biggest inspiration. Becoming part of the blogging community and making connections with like-minded people has been a hugely rewarding part of my photography journey and is probably the main contributing factor to how my photography has progressed.


I love the colours in her work.  they are often soft and I guess reflect that English countryside that I envision it to be like. There are strong colours, but the colour I think is most dominant is the colour of sunrise or sunset, very warm, and something I don’t really associate with England.  I think we Australians have always thought England to be a cold place.  I like seeing the warm colours in the images.

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

Apart from not actually knowing what I’m doing most of the time, I don’t think there is anything particularly special. I love trial and error and I take a lot of images that are doomed to sit, ignored, on my hard drive for the rest of their days. Should I delete them?

No, I wouldn’t delete them, you might go back to them one day and decide they are worthy of some attention. I only delete photos that I know I can’t fix, blurred, too over or under exposed, that sort of thing.



For someone who has been serious about her photography for such a short time it is amazing what she is doing.  Her trial and error is paying off.  I can’t imagine what she will be doing 5 years or 10 years, I am looking forward to seeing her work develop.

My final question, as always was about gear.

I recently upgraded my son’s Nikon D5000 to a D5300 – I could have kicked myself because the intention was to buy a D7000 but I got distracted. Never mind, as they say, it’s the camera you have in your hand. I have a Nikon 18-105mm kit lens (I think that’s what distracted me) and a Sigma 70-200mm lens. I have just invested in a wobbly tripod and some cheap filters because I want, one day, to take some beautiful long exposure shots of the sea. They’re OK – I’m not a professional and I can’t justify spending too much money on kit when I’m not sure what use I will get from it. The next time I have a lump of money burning a hole in my pocket, I think I’d like a fast, prime lens – then those seagulls better look out!

I have to ask Maxine, “did you give your son’s camera back to him”?

I would like to thank Maxine for giving me permission to feature her work here today on my blog.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her even more through this process.  For those of you who have never been to her blog, Six Pixx, I would invite you to do so, there are many more great images there, and for those that do know Maxine, I hope you will go and say hello.  I have a gallery of her images now, some of my favourites, though I think I might have done overboard, couldn’t stop picking them.  A big bunch of photos.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

Tuesday is here again and for me, Tuesday usually means getting Monochrome Madness ready for another week.  I tend to spend the afternoon doing it and then I scheduled the post to publish while I am asleep, so I can just wake up to it.  Nice to know when I go to sleep on Tuesday night it is done.  It isn’t a big week again this week, though I expect more emails will arrive today as well.  If you haven’t got yours in yet, there isn’t much time left.

Introductions and Websites

It was great to see how many of you really enjoyed the introductions post last week for Alex Bihlo.  At the time I did the post on Alex he only had his Google+ page, but he and I started talking and he thought it might be good to look into getting something.  I received an email from him the my-garden-macro-flowers-rain-525other day and he told me he has put one together, so I thought I would tell you.  It is a website, ALEX BIHLO PHOTOGRAPHY, and you can find many of Alex’s amazing images there.


I had a wonderful experience this week when I received an email from Julie Powell wanting to know if she could interview me for a project she is working on.  I rarely get interviewed, actually almost never, so it was wonderful to have someone asking me and wanting to showcase my work.  I was emailed a list of questions and I answered them, and then emails went backwards and forwards.  Then I was sent a link to the interview, so I have it here for you as well, An Interview with Leanne Cole, Photographer.  Some of the questions were really interesting and it was quite a comprehensive look at my photography.  I want to thank Julie for thinking I was interesting enough to interview.

New York

My trip dates are starting to get finalised with the hope of buying the tickets soon.  Thanks to everyone for the help on what gear to take, I think I have a better handle on that now.  I am not going to say too much on it now, but I do plan on starting a regular part of these my-garden-macro-flowers-rain-535posts on my lead up to it next year.  I am hoping to meet many of  you that live in those areas when I am there as well.

Social Snappers

We had our last Social Snappers Photography Excursion for the year the other night.  We went back into the city to take photos of the Christmas Decorations.  I love how organic these can be.  I like that there is a rough plan, but if everyone wants to go somewhere else then we do and it isn’t a problem.  Because I had been on Thursday night, I didn’t take a lot of photos, but I did spend time trying to get one ladies camera to cooperate, it wasn’t behaving.  I might need to download the manual and have a proper look.  Another lady forgot her tripod plate, which is the same as mine, so we spent time sharing our plates.  It was a great evening, and that is what it is about really.  I like being asked to help, it was good to feel usual.  I am looking forward to them starting up again next year.


my-garden-macro-flowers-rain-531The weather has been shocking here, we have been getting a bit of rain, and lots of humidity, yuck.  Not what we are used to here in Melbourne.  I haven’t been using the macro lens as much as I would like, but I have plans for some things.  I did go out yesterday just after the rain to take some photos of the flowers in my garden, and they are the photos in this post. I will be trying out the macro a lot more over the next few weeks.  So far, I can’t tell the difference between using the Nikon or the Tamron, except the Nikon is a little heavier.  All the images in this post were hand held, so I can use it like the Tamron as well. I will test it out more and let you know what I think.

One Four Challenge

I have done my image for the week and if you would like to see what i have done, then you will need to go to my other blog,  One Four Challenge for December Week 2.

That’s it for today, remember to get your MM images in straight away. I just wanted to add, if you have a major announcement or something, and I know you, then please let me know, I don’t mind telling others about it.



Weekend Wanderings – Dog Rocks

The other day I was sitting around home and I got a text message with a very interesting invitation.  Christine Wilson had decided at the last minute to go to Dog Rocks and wanted to know if I was interested. My response was where is that, but at the same time, I was thinking new place to take photos.  I loved the spontaneity of the invitation, and hope it happens again.  I was to find out that Dog Rocks a small place near Bateford, and near Geelong.  I googled it before I went, got something about something for dogs, but then I started to see some incredible images. When we go there it was bright and sunny, and our hopes of lots of clouds for some long exposures were dashed, but I was so pleased to have been introduced to this place.


So, what is it?  It seems to be a paddock that is now a park, but the land is very barren.  There are lots of rocks, and big rocks on it, and a few weird shaped trees.  There was a cluster, or group, or what a group of trees is called, just looked up google and maybe a copse.  Our hopes of a cloudy sky disappeared as the clouds all went, so no chance of long exposures.

It was probably the wrong time to be there, and as I looked through my photos I wondered what I would do with them.  There is something I have been pondering on for some time now, about doing images and using the Australian summer light to make my images, to use the harshness of the light.  I don’t quite know how yet, but going to this place gave me some ideas and I played around with them with that idea in mind.


So I played with the colour and actually used some over exposed images.  The summer light here is very very harsh, and it flattens everything and it does seem to take the colour out.  Everything around the country is brown, or golden, so I thought why not emphasis that.


I also thought about trying some in black and white, see if they would come up better.  I was having trouble with the sky, so put in a cloudy sky.  It was interesting as it was obvious where the sun was so I had to be careful which sky I choose.  I hope this is the right one.


Again another replaced sky.  The rock formations were quite incredibly too.  I have no idea what sort of rock it was, but you will see more in the gallery.  Some of the bigger ones had little ponds in them, and even overflows.

I was so happy Christine had invited me.  Of course people go there to photograph the trees, well specially the tree in the black and white image above.  I preferred the tree in the second image.  It wasn’t too bad a drive, so I know I will go back at different times of the year, especially now that I know about it. I have a map of roughly where it is.

I hope that helps you.

I am going to put the rest of the images that I spent yesterday processing into a gallery for you now.  We have a state election here today, it is turning out to be a big thing, a sign of things to come.  I really hate the state of politics here and the cat fights that continue to happen between the two parties, and would really like to see them getting back to making Australia a better country for everyone, rather than a few.  Anyway, no place for a discussion like that here and I think I will be spending a good part of the weekend playing with the new macro lens that arrived here yesterday, my own at last. I hope you have a good weekend, and take care.



Being Very Close to the World Around Me

A few weeks ago you might remember how Nikon lent me a 40mm macro lens.  I played with it, enjoyed it, but knew at the time that there was no way I would be able to afford one, too much money for me to have, just play around with. At that time suggestions were made, but Ben from Aperture64 Photography told me about some extension tubes that he has used by Polaroid, not to expensive and a good price for experimenting.  I looked them up and they arrived last week.

Again they haven’t been as easy to use, which I expected, but I have been experimenting with them.  I didn’t get the ones that would have meant that I could changed the aperture or use autofocus, so if you are contemplating going down this road, I would recommend getting those.  I don’t know how you would tell the difference when buying them, but hopefully someone can leave a comment on that.  Victor from Victor Rakmil Photography suggested that I see if I had a lens that I could change the aperture on the actual lens.  This is where I am so glad I didn’t get rid of my old film photography gear, the lenses I had for my old film Nikon have the aperture on the lens and I can change it there.  So I played around with both of the old lenses yesterday.

LeanneCole-exttubes-9500This was outside in the garden.  I was using my old 35-105mm lens, and I set the aperture on f/16. Focusing was difficult because I had to use manual focus which meant moving into it with the camera as close as I could until the image went into focus.  There was no control over that.  It also meant I had to stay very still to try and get it at that point. That is the part I found the most difficult.

LeanneCole-exttubes-9521These are the dead Gerberas again, spiders I think are starting to live in them, so it might be time to get rid of them.  I put the 70-210mm on the extension tubes, with all the tubes, and just played.  I found if I zoomed the lens in and out it was easier to find that point where the images was really sharp.  I enjoyed using the zoom a lot, and will try it out with the other lens as well.  I am looking forward to getting out on some cold mornings to take photos.

LeanneCole-tiddles-9561While I was taking photos of the dead flowers, our cat, Tiddles, was asleep in the sun on the floor.  I thought it would be good to take some photos of him asleep.  Then he rolled onto his back so the sun could warm up his belly.  I don’t normally show photos of my cat, but sometimes, well sometimes I just have to.  I am sure David from Through the Viewfinder. . . will be able to relate to this.

I haven’t done a very thorough explanation of the Extension tubes, as I really don’t know what I am doing yet, beyond having some fun.  I know there are other photographers out there that do know what they are all about.  Victor wrote a post on using Extension tubes and I would encourage you to go and take a look.  The post and link are Because you can never get enough magnification… (An essay on extension tubes etc.).

One thing I do have to warn you about, if you get the polaroid ones, which is what I got, and you get them for a Nikon, to get the one off your lens, you push the silver screw thing towards the camera body.  I have to tell you, I put it on my 50mm lens and I couldn’t get it off.  I was so scared, thought I would going to have to chuck the lens, but it did come off and I know what to do now, thanks Ben for your help there too.

I am going to put the images in a gallery now, with a couple more.  Enjoy your Friday.


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