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Posts tagged ‘teaching’

Up for Discussion – That’s a Great Camera

Have you ever been out taking photos and someone has looked at your camera and said, “wow, that’s a great camera, it must take great photos”? I’ve had it said to me many times.  Yeah, I do have a great camera, but is that camera going to take great photos for everyone? There is an assumption by many people that it won’t matter what I do, I will get fantastic photos, like it has nothing to do with me.

When people, and by people I mean those that don’t really know about photography, see photographers with cameras, then the assumptions happen.  I was teaching a woman photography one day and she had a bigger camera than mine, and people would say to her, wow I bet you good photos with that?  She had hired me because she didn’t know how to use it.

I try not to be insulted when people say things like that, I know it’s ignorance, but seriously, really, do they not think that I have anything to do with it.  I have spent years and years learning my craft, how to use the camera to LeanneCole-macro-20140530-9927get the best from it.  Composition, figuring out what works and what doesn’t.  Then there is working out how to photograph different things, like landscape photography, or architecture, now stars.  I have spent, oh I don’t know how many hours over the last few years learning to use Photoshop so I can also get the best out of my camera.

I do have a great camera, and it does take great images, but that is because I know how to use it and I know, well most of the time, what I am doing with it.

scpointlonsdale-8809I also think that you don’t have to have a great camera to get good images.  I have seen photos here on WordPress that have blown me away, and then found out they were taken on a compact style camera.  Top cameras do have advantages, and they will do things that are great, but in the end, it doesn’t matter how you got the image, it is all about the image itself.  If you learn how to use your camera, and use it well, then who will know what you are using.  At the end of the day, people don’t look at a photo and say that must have been taken with a great camera.

Have you experience that reaction? Do feel that way when you see someone with a bigger camera than you? When you look at photos that people have taken do sccity-canon8877you wonder what sort of camera they have?

These Posts.

I have received no emails from anyone wanting to do any guest posting, or come up with suggestions for the Up for Discussion posts, and I don’t really know what to do.  I am running out of ideas.  Would love to hear your thoughts.  I’ve asked people to write posts, but I’m sure there are lots more people out there that know things or could write something.  You don’t have to be an expert, sometimes some of the best posts are because someone wanted to know something, or you might have experienced something that you would like to share.  Give it some thought, get back to me.

All the photos in this post were taken with an entry level Canon that I was able to borrow.

Friday’s Bits and Bobs has been an amazing ten days, and I have to say I am writing this with my eyes hanging out of my head.  I am so tired, and really looking forward to just hanging around the house today. Of course, there are things that have to be done, and I am looking forward to some time alone with my photos.  I haven’t really had a chance to play with any and see their potential, but hopefully things will settle down now.

Tripping to New York

I have been meaning to tell you for awhile, but haven’t had a chance, but it looks like I could be going to New York next year.  I have a sponsor who loves my work and often gives me very generous donations, and they have decided that I photograph Melbourne so well, then they want me to leave my comfort zone and see how I would photograph New York.

I am so excited. It won’t be until around May next year, but that is good.  They are paying for my airfare and my accommodation, and in return they want me to help them with their photography and give them some of my images.  I think it is a great deal.  I have started planning where I am going to go and what I will see, what I will take.  Such an amazing offer, like a littlemurders-heidelberg-theatre-dress-rehearsal-9dream come true.

Books of Poetry

This isn’t really about photography, but since there are many writers that follow my blog, well I had to add this.  My daughter, Klara, has written a book, it is a book of poetry, and she has self published it.  She is so excited about it, and she wanted me to tell you about it.  The book is called Thorns and if you want to support a young writer, then please go and take a look, maybe even purchase a copy.

Videos and Such

I’ve been doing a Online Photography Course with a woman and she recently sent me a video of her photos that she had taken while on holidays.  I was so impressed with it and now I want to try doing some myself. I did try one, the link and name of it are here, Six Months after the Fires. I did it with Lightroom and the quality of the images isn’t too good, but it was fun to try and most definitely something I want to do again.  I love the idea of making video/slideshows with my images.  So I am doing lots of research to see what is the best way of doing them.  Any hints and tips would be very much appreciated.littlemurders-heidelberg-theatre-dress-rehearsal-6Software for video is not something I have, but I am thinking of purchasing Camtasia Studio 8.  I tried it once before for doing video tutorials and really liked it, but the price was a bit much at the time. However, now that I am doing the Online Photography Courses I think it could be good.  The course I’ve been doing with this woman has been mainly directed by her and what she needs.  I started off by helping her get more familiar with her new camera and to take better photos.  Now with one session left, she wants to do more editing, so I am hoping I can use the Camtasia software to record our session so she will have a copy of it.  It has been great doing the Online course, I love it, and so interesting to meet people from the other side of the world.


This has been going well, and I had my second person this last week that was from out of town and wanted to do a One on One with me while in Melbourne.  It was littlemurders-heidelberg-theatre-dress-rehearsal-14a very early morning, we met in the city at 6am.  She wanted to do markets and produce, so we headed to the Queen Victoria Market.  It was fascinating to see it so early in the morning as they were setting it up.  I really enjoyed it and I hope she did too.  I think one of the things I love about these is that each person wants something different, so I am always doing different or new things.  I have another session booked for this Sunday morning, a new person, and we will be doing completely different things again.

Outings and Insurance

I am still pushing the Social Snappers, not getting many people signing up, which has surprised me.  I thought so many women would love the opportunity to have outings organised for them. I have been trying to work out if I should advertise the idea of the insurance aspect.  I think insurance is something that many of us don’t think about.  I don’t know how many times I have seen photographers going out to take photos and they chuck their bag down on the ground and don’t worry if someone trips over it.  Do they have the insurance to cover them if someone hurts themselves?  I do, and because people are out littlemurders-heidelberg-theatre-dress-rehearsal-8with me as my students, then they are automatically covered by my insurance.  I don’t know if it is worth pushing that concept.  Apparently Australia is one of the most litigious countries in the world and I am so glad I am covered.


The play, Little Murders, that I have been photographing at Heidelberg Theatre Company, started last night.  It has been a surprising play for me, and one that I have enjoyed watching.  It is funny, but also very sad.  I have photographed it a few times along the way, but last Tuesday night I did it for the last time, and it was one of the final dress rehearsals, so the photos in this post are from that.

I hope you enjoy the small snippets of the play, I will be putting more photos on my Facebook page if you want to see more.  I’m off now to relax, hope you get to do the same.



Another Bit of This and a Bit of That

Seems many of you are enjoying these posts, and I enjoy writing them, they are a great way to catch up and tell you what I have been doing.  Do I say that every week?

One on One Photography Sessions

A old Church in Woomelang, MalleeThis last week I had my first One on One Photography Session with someone who I have got to know through this blog and she was from New Zealand.  She is out here for the week and it was great to meet her, teach her how to use her camera, and then to show her around where I live. I had such a good time and I hope she did too.  Though it is very muddy around me at the moment, but I don’t think she minded too much.  I have another booked with another client as well, so they are starting to pick up.

Almost forgot to mention that I have now added some packages or different prices for people who would like to do more than one One on One.

Online Photography Classes

The Online Photography Class I am doing is going really well.  I can’t believe how much we have covered and how many exercises I have written out for her. It has been a great experience for both of us.  It railway-train-station-mallee-woomelanghasn’t happened the way I thought it would, in that I thought what we would do would be more structured, instead she has really been directing it, in that she had very specific goals that she was after.  She has gone away for her holiday now and hopefully she is feeling a lot more confident about using her new camera.

Doing the online classes with Skype have been great, and almost as good as attending a class in person, the only real difference is that I can’t grab your camera to work out how to do things, and I’m not there when you go out to take photos.  Though the latter is okay because I try and make sure my instructions are very clear

Woomelang Grain Silos, Malleein the exercises.

A Mallee Workshop

I am off to the Mallee next week, so I will need to schedule some posts while I am away.  I am going up this time with a friend who wants to take some photos of the places she has seen in my photos. So I have been trying to plan as much as possible for her to take photos.  I’m organising different days for getting the shots she wants, as well as making sure I can do the things that I had planned on doing the next time I went up.  One thing I really want to do when I go up this time is to do more Astrophotography, so quite a few nights have been planned Shearing Shed, Mallee, Woomelangfor that.

I was also talking to someone from Wimmera and Mallee Tourism and we decided to see if we could run a workshop while I am there on night photography.  We decided this on Monday, and by Tuesday night the workshop was full. There seems to be a lot of people up there who would like some classes or photography sessions to learn how to use their cameras, so I think this is something I should start exploring. It is such a great place to take photos and it would be great to help people take photos up.

Weekend workshops would be great, and it is something I might have to start seeing if I can organise, especially if there are enough people who would like to do A old Church in Woomelang, Malleethem.  Might mean that I have to go up there a lot more, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I have 5 days up there and with so many things planned it might take me weeks to show it all to you.

I think that is about it for this week.  It is good to see things that I am trying starting to happen. I know patience is not something I have much of, my mother told me all my life that I was too impatient, and it is true, so now I am trying to let things happen.  I’m trying to be more patient and give things a lot more time to pick up before giving up. Patience, patience, patience, that needs to be my mantra.

The photos in today’s post were taken in 2011, on a couple of trips to the Mallee.


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.

Taking Students Out to Familiar Places

Last Thursday I showed you two images that had been taken at the same spot, but two years apart.  We talked about how it is can be an interesting thing to to go back to old places and see what you can get.  Last Saturday I had my last class with the term 1 students doing my Practical Photography course, and we had decided that for the last class, instead of doing sports photography, we would go into the city and do Night Photography.  It was clearly a great idea and they all were very keen.

The plan was to catch the train in, where we would start at the Docklands end and continue to Flinders Street Station.  It worked wonderfully.  I told them, it was time for them to work on their own while I was still there, and if they had problems or questions, then they could still ask.  Of course I told them how to do the shots first and gave them the notes to help them in the future, I didn’t leave them to work it out on their own.

As we walked along the river there was a spot where I had taken an image last year.

LeanneCole-scdocklands-3hpm5774It has always been one of my favourite night images, so I told them to try doing one for themselves.  As I was able to photograph this as well, I thought I would have another go at taking it.  This image is a HDR and it was done with 3 images in Photomatix Pro.

LeanneCole-citylight-1404054920_HDRThey have both been taken around the same time of night, but at different times of the year, the first was taken around July last year, and the one above taken last Saturday night.  This one is also a HDR, though processed with HDR Efex from the Nik Collection.  I tried using Photomatix, but they have a new version and it kept blowing out all the highlights.  I need to play with it more.  I like how Efex has done it though.

They are the same image really, there isn’t much difference between them, the second one is a slightly wider angle, and the moon is in it.  I like the reflection of the moon in the water as well. Interesting to get almost identical shots.

The class went really well, and did go overtime a little, but I think they all had a great time.  One student said the course was great, but Saturday was brilliant.  You can’t ask much more than that when you are teaching.  It was also nice to hear quite a few of them say they would like to know of more classes that I will be teaching.  So now I think I have realised the direction that I have to go in, I need to do more teaching. I will have to start planning a variety of courses, some to be taught at Eltham and some that I can do myself.

My next six week course starts on the 26th of April, so if anyone is interested there are still a couple of places available.  If you are interested then the details and how to book are available at Living & Learning Nillumbik, or click here.

Of course people can always do my  One on One Photography session though, I am planning on offering more group things, like Photographing the Architecture in the City, Night Photography Along the Water, and some other ones around the city and near by places.  I thought I would start a mailing list for people who would be interested in doing classes with me and want to know what is going on.  If you are interested and would like to get emails on dates and courses available, then please email me, with Classes as the subject.

A gallery to view the images better.

The Year That Was 2013

This has been the biggest year of my blogging career and the most rewarding.  The year began after I had completed the blogging everyday for a year, and I had thought I would continue doing that, however, I haven’t posted every day this year, but pretty close.

I had around 8,400 followers at the start of the year and that has steadily climbed to over 20,000, which I am so happy about.  I have been getting lots of comments over recent days about how I inspire you, and I have to say that you all inspire me so much.  I know that I try a lot harder to get great images because I don’t want to disappoint you and every time I write I think about all of you and hope you like what I am writing or the photos I am showing you.  So to each and every one of you, thank you for this year, I am very grateful.

scmu-5hpm7446-13At the end of 2012 I was giving the opportunity to photograph some of the interiors of the Manchester Unity Building, which was mainly completed in the first few months of 2013.  It was the biggest job I had ever undertaken and was one which I have learned the most, on how to conduct myself, but also on learning new ways of doing photoshop.  I learned the difference between destructive editing and non-destructive editing.  It was a fantastic opportunity for me.


For the last few years my new year has always started with the Bay Crits and then onto lots of other cycling events.  In 2013 this was the only racing I photographed.  For personal reasons, and from a business point of view it was time to stop.  For me, in the end, it just wasn’t worth it.  It was hard work and no real rewards.

scchambers-5hpm7546-6Part of my dealings with the City of Melbourne lead me to be allowed to go and photograph the Council Chambers in the Melbourne Town Hall.  I worked on the photos for weeks as I showed them to you.  I really enjoyed this series of work.

LeanneCole-dca-5105-2As I said the other day working with Deaf Children Australia has been an incredible experience and one that I have really enjoyed.  I have been given some great opportunities here as well and to be able to go there and take photos of whatever I like, when I like, has been brilliant.  I would also like to thank them for all their help and for allowing me to go there.



Of course, as I have spoken over the weekend, one of the best things I started doing was my Weekend Wandering posts.  They were really good for me, because they made me get out there and take photos. I am sure I have spoken to you before about how I am a lazy person, well, for me the WWs made me get out.  I have been to places that I might not have visited if I didn’t need to get images to show you.

I think one of the things that I have found wonderful has been showing Melbourne to you, and my state of Victoria as well.  I have learned so much about my city because I wanted to get more images for you.  It has been great to see how many of you love the images of Melbourne, and even better to see how many people would love to come here and visit.


Painting by Rick Amor, Niagra Galleries

I started my influencing me posts so I could show you the artists that have had an influence on me and my work.  Rick Amor, above, was the first of these.  These posts grew, and I started featuring other photographers from WordPress, though the title changed to Introductions.  I know people think I do a lot of work for these, but it isn’t as much as you would think.  I love seeing what people think of the artists I show and the responses have been wonderful.

leannecole-scsandra-3322-4For me one of the biggest changes has been the portraits.  I watched Brooke Shaden on creativeLIVE and my world changed.  I knew I wanted to do portraits, but I didn’t want to do the ones of people looking at the camera just smiling and being nice.  I wanted more, and through the workshop she did I started to see that I could do more.

LeanneCole-thea-montsalvat_1666Compositing is something else I’ve been experimenting with and through creativeLIVE I have been learning how to do that with Photoshop.  I think I have the artistic background to help make it work.  I understand light and how shadows work.  It is an exciting time for me.

LeanneCole-docklands-20131217-4854Finishing the year off with the biggest job I have ever had, photographing the Christmas Festival for the City of Melbourne, has been phenomenal.  Yet another fantastic opportunity.  I loved doing it and I hope they loved the images I got for them.

Writing for another blog has also been wonderful and I have really enjoyed that, and I have so appreciated the support that you have given me there in helping to make it successful.

scclasses-9834sepTeaching has been a rewarding experience too.  I started teaching in 2012, but this year I have done a lot more.  I have taught quite a few classes, and I am learning all the time how to be a better teacher.  It is great to help people learn how to take photos and to be better photographers.

I almost forgot to mention my gear, this year I got a new camera, the Nikon D800, I got two new lenses, the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and the Nikon 14-24mm 2.8.  I also got a new speedlight, the Nikon SB910.  Did I mention that Santa bought me a new tripod as well.  I have been a lucky girl, and I really do have to thank Nikon for all their help.

It has been an amazing year, and once again, thank you.  I am going to put some of my favourite work from the year in a gallery for you, I hope it isn’t too long.  I know some of it I will have shown in the last few days, but I hope you will indulge me.

Happy New Year, all the best in 2014.

Weekend Wanderings – Portrait Class

I know this isn’t strictly something you expect for these weekends, but doing a photography class is something you can do everywhere on the weekends.  Yesterday I taught a class at Living & Learning Nillumbik in Eltham.  I have started teaching quite a few classes there, and if you would like to take a class that is taught by me, then check out the link.

Yesterday’s class was on portraiture.  We had the gorgeous Emelia come and be our model.  She was great and allowed us to boss her around and tell her where to stand and what to do, as you do.  I was not able to take images of her as I would have if she were modelling for me, but I managed to get some shots as well, so I thought I would show some today.

Emelia 1We tried many different things, and she was so patient,  The only time her smile left her face was when we asked her not to smile.  Look at those eyes, I did a little bit of stuff to them to make them stand out.

Emelia 2I was trying to show the class how to edit a photo quickly and what do you think happened?  My comment crashed.  Of course.  So if any of them look at this they can see how the image would have turned out.

Editing seems to be something more and more people are asking about and could be something that I might have to start incorporating into the end of my classes.  Though it will only work if my computer doesn’t crash.

Emelia 4

I think this was my favourite shot.  Though I realised after I finished it, there was something I forgot, so I added a texture.

Emelia 4-1I liked the image before, but I love this one even more.  I really like what I have done to these images.

Here is a gallery with all the images I did.

I was unsure about teaching a few months ago, but I am really starting to enjoy it.  I get so much support from the people at Living & Learning Nillumbik.  My next class in next month on the 25th of June, sports and event photography, should be fun too.  I need to plan my classes for next semester now.  We are also thinking about running some short courses, maybe some full day workshops, the ideas are endless.

So if you love photography, think about a course you can do, great way to meet like minded people.


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