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Posts tagged ‘summer’

Quiet Thursday in December

It is getting here, summer has definitely arrived and December is bound to be a very busy month, what with Christmas and most of us, well in Australia, not wanting to go out much in the heat.  I like these quiet Thursdays, it means a peaceful day.


This is an image I took last weekend while I was in the city wandering the streets.  I loved the way the sun was hitting it, but I also liked it in black and white so much more.  It did have a beautiful sky, but I replaced it, and part of the reason for doing that was to get rid of some of the distractions that were around it.

Just quickly, I have started the one four challenge again, well my entry for it, though it is over on my other blog, go here, One Four Challenge for December Week 1.

I have also done another image for Stacy’s AB Friday, well I have sent it to her but it won’t be published for another day or two, so keep an eye on my other blog, and Visual Venturing.


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.



Weekend Wanderings – Kinglake Reminds Us

In Australia Summer starts on the 1st of December, and while we tend to think of summer as hot weather, beaches, sand, barbecues, water, flies and snakes there is something else that usually happens that none of us want to think about, bushfires.  There are always fires here,  somewhere.  It is the unfortunate reality of a country like Australia, there will be fires, and we just hope they aren’t anywhere near us and that the loss of life will be nil or close to that. The other day I was back up in Kinglake taking another look at how the bush area there is growing and I also went to some areas that I hadn’t been to before.


In February it will be 6 six years since the worse bushfires in Australian history, the Black Saturday fires.  It all happened, pretty much, in one day, 173 people lost their lives and 2100 homes were destroyed, and it is something that none of us ever want repeated.  Now, 6 years later the communities are still rebuilding and the only place where you can still be reminded of the fires is the bushland.  The new trees are growing, but the dead wood of the burned trees still dominant over the landscape.


Kinglake was one of the worst affected areas with the fires decimating the surrounding area.  The bushland around Kinglake, the national park, was completely destroyed,  most homes around it were as well.

I love going back and watching how the area is slowly growing back, one day you will hardly be able to see the dead trees sticking up out of the canopy.


There are already areas that have regenerated enough that it is almost impossible to tell that the fires went through there.

So I thought I would dedicate this post to the bushfires and the victims as a reminder to all of us that we need to be vigilant and that we need to be very careful, especially anywhere where a fire could start.  The black Saturday fires were close to home for me, they stopped less that 30 kms from my home, and if the wind hadn’t changed when it did, well, a lot more people would have been homeless.

This is what summer in Australia can be, it is part of what happens here and we have to be prepared for it.  I should apologise, I didn’t mean it to be a morbid post, but more a reminder of what was and what is now.

I’ve seen some photos of the snow storm that has hit part of the states, and I hope everyone there is safe and sound. I also hope the snow has stopped.  Take care if you live there, Amy if you are reading this, I mean you.  So I will leave you with a gallery now, my reminder of what can happen, but also how much we recover and move on.

Up for Discussion – Environmental Photography

This weeks guest post is by me, I won’t introduce myself and I hope you don’t mind me doing one of these posts. I have always had ideas of what to write about, but I have enjoyed letting other people write posts for me, gives me a day off.  I hadn’t organised anyone for today, so I thought I might talk to you about something that I have been thinking about a lot lately.

Environmental Photography


Peter Dombrovskis, Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, National Library of Australia, Canberra

Those of you that have been with me for almost 4 years will know that my photography has changed a lot over that time.  I am not going to go into how, but more recently I’ve started noticing that I am doing so much more landscape work, which 15 years ago, I would never have considered. I am always looking for places to take photos that I think are interesting. I don’t know that what I want to do falls under the umbrella of nature, though it is sort of like nature, however I don’t really want to photograph the animals or the birds.

So where does that leave me, I have started thinking it leaves me in the world of environmental photography, is that such a thing? I thought first we should explore what environmentalism and what it means to be an environmentalist. I looked up those words in the Wikipedia.

Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environ ment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements. Environmentalism advocates the preservation, restoration and/or improvement of the natural environment, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity. For this reason, concepts such as a land ethic, enviromental ethics, biodiversity, ecology and the biophilia hypothesis figure predominantly.


An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, “a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities”. An environmentalist is engaged in or believes in the philosophy of environmentalism.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140125-7858If that is what an environmentalist is, then can a photographer be one?

This is a question I keep asking myself, especially when you consider that in the past photography has been so harmful to the environment with all the film and chemicals.  It is one thing that I do love about digital, it is so much better for the environment, though I have heard that it is still bad because we keep upgrading our gear. I don’t know about that, I do upgrade, but I always seem to hang onto my old gear, just in case. So now the question is, what or how can we be an environmental photographer?

The most famous photographer I can think of that has been called this is Ansel Adams and how he photographed theLeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0525 world around him.  Did he change things?  I don’t know, but I do know an Australian photographer that stopped a dam. Peter Dombrovskis took the first image in this post and it has been credited with helping to stop the Franklin River dam.  What the photo depicted would have been under the dam if it had happened. How many of us would like to take a photo that could have that much impact?

I have to admit I like the idea, but a check with reality makes me realise that in todays world that is going to be a lot harder. Though I do believe that our climate is changing, and in the years I’ve been here the weather has changed a lot. Our environment is changing constantly and perhaps it would be good to start taking photos of what is here now, and then what is here next year, and the year after.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140125-7864So I find myself asking, can I be a “greenie”, or do I want to be one! I really like the idea of taking more environmental style images.  I like going into my local park to see what I can get, in all sorts of conditions.  I also really like going to the Mallee for the same sorts of reasons. The Mallee is an area that has changed a lot over the last 200 years, and it continues to suffer from what we are doing to the planet. I know since I was child growing up in the area things have changed there, farmers have become a lot more knowledgeable about sustaining the enviroment and things I saw as a child, you no longer see.  Though we haven’t gone far enough.LeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0532

One of the things that I have enjoyed doing is going to the national parks up there and looking around them, then seeing what is happening. They say the desert area in Australia is getting bigger all the time, and when you go up there it isn’t hard to believe.  If the original settlers, well the English ones found what is there now, I don’t know that they would have stuck around.  The land there has been changed so much, and many of the lakes that had water, now have none. It is very different now. Who knows what it will be like in another 100 years, and all I can do is photograph it and show everyone what it is like.  I do hope that my photos help people to lake-albacutya-sand-dunes-1understand what is happening.

I suppose that means that I want to be an environmental photographer, and I think I’m fine with that.  I really look forward to my trips up to the Mallee and to areas around me.  It is fascinating seeing the areas and talking to people about the areas, I love hearing the history of the areas as much as I like taking photos of them. I think for me, the idea would be to make people aware of what is around me and around the country.

If I go and take photos of what is here, and in other places, then I put them up here on my blog, then you and others become aware of those places.  You might make a connection and then help to protect it.  I think there is land worth saving, and worth protecting.

What do you think of when you think of Environment photography?  Do any particular photographers come to mind?

For this post, with the exception of the first image, the photos are mine and they have been taken over the last couple of years, though most of them this year.  I wanted to show the different situations where banyule-flats-fog-parks-trees-9change can happen, one of them being a dry summer, and the other being fire.  When the Black Saturday fires happened here over 5 years ago I was sort of told that I shouldn’t take photos, I wish I had though.  I took photos after the Mallee fires and now have been able to go back and see how the land is regenerating, now I will be able to continue doing that and to show you.  At the end I have included a video that I just did recently of the Pink Lakes from the photos I took there.

I have included a video here that I just did recently of the Pink Lakes from the photos I took there.  This is something else that I want to do more, using my photos to tell stories of areas, and so I am working on getting better at doing these video presentation.

Weekend Wanderings – Early Morning Along the Yarra

On Friday a friend and I decided that we would go into the city and take photos.  We knew that it was going to be 40ºC so we had to get in and out before the heat hit the city.  We got in there at 7am and walked down to the river at the Spencer Street end. The idea was to catch the train into Southern Cross Station, walk to the river, then along it until we got to Flinder Street Station, where we could catch the train back home. Sounded perfect.

LeanneCole-city-20140208-8613My first photo, well one of the first.  The sun was just coming up and it looked so nice as it hit the buildings.

LeanneCole-city-20140208-8615There were lots of rowers on the river.  There are always lots of rowers on the river early in the morning and you can’t avoid them, so I decided it was best to make them work in the images, as much as I could.  So there are lots of photos of rowers.

LeanneCole-city-20140208-8640There were lots of great reflections in the water.  I love the distorted images.

Early morning in the city can be great.  There are always people around, you can’t avoid that, especially now that so many people live in the city, but there far less people in the morning than at other times of the day.

LeanneCole-city-20140208-8652I’ve been using the 24-70mm lens so much more since I got the D800.  It is fast becoming my favourite lens.  Being able to zoom into some things, though not a big zoom, I can zoom, and then get some of the detail.  It was good having that lens as I start to see things that I may not have noticed before, and there were details on the Princes Bridge that I had never seen before.

LeanneCole-city-20140208-8655I never get sick of photographing the city.  I always see things that are different, or do something a little different, not to mention that the weather is always different. The light is continually changing through the year.  The light yesterday morning was going to be very different because it was the start of a very hot day, and I am sure what appealed to me to photograph was because it was starting to warm up. It is different to what I would photograph if it was a freezing cold day.  The water was so inviting, and I just wanted photos of water, and I think you can see that.  There are not many photos without water.  The water is definitely the main subject in these images.

It was good to do this as well as I am getting my One on One Photography Lessons/Tours organised so people can take them, and I could see how long it took to do the walk and what I could add or not add.  Though I don’t want my tours or lessons to be that precise, I like the idea of the client and me organising something that is what they want, something special.  I am excited about that and can’t wait to start taking people on the tours.

I have a gallery for you now to take a look at.  I hope the images are all the same, I tried to make them varied.  Before you got there, I just wanted to go back to that statement I said at the beginning, “sounded perfect”, well, it was, it was really good taking photos there.  Afterwards I came home and stayed indoors and let the Air Conditioner cool me down.

Hot/Cold Timetables

scsunflower-HDR2That is the title for the latest post I have written for  The post is about things we can do when it is too cold or too hot to go outside.  I hope it gives you lots of idea.

Hot/Cold Timetables, please take a look and it would be wonderful if you could leave your comments there as well.

If you have any other ideas, please share them.

Playing Around

Most of you know it hasn’t been a great week, and I’m planning some new stuff and trying to make some things happen for this year.  Summer has hit Melbourne, oh boy has it ever!  It is getting hot, which also means that it is going to get much harder to get out and get some photos.  I might have to do some stuff at home.

Today I have just one image for you.  It is the same image I showed the other day, here is a recap.


I had intended to work on this image to see what I could do with it, but since I was sick, well, it didn’t happen.  So this afternoon I have been playing.  Playing is fun.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6203-3hpmI have been talking to a friend about the idea of photographing summer in Australia, seeing if we can really portray that heat.  I don’t know if it is possible, but it was interesting with this image, in an earlier stage how much it was showing that.

I will leave it up to you to decide which image has worked out better.  I like the second one.  It was great to play around with an image like this,  I miss doing this and think this is something I would really like to get back into.  It does take a long time sometimes, but the results can be worth it.


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