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Posts tagged ‘teaching’

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

This last week has been great, not a lot happening around here, but as we run up into Christmas I’m sure that could change.  December already, and I suppose I should start thinking about Christmas a lot more.

New Macro Lens

Well I was at the grant presentation last week for my grant and got my envelope, so the next day I ordered my new macro lens.  It arrived on Friday and the two of us have been out a couple of times now.  Part of the grant was for a Nikon micro 105mm lens, so that is what I had to get.



The lens arrived in  a lovely gold box, as all Nikon lenses do.  My first impression of it was that it was cold, the metal around the lens was cool to the touch and then it was heavy, it felt good, it was a good weight in my hand.  The next test was to take it out into the garden and see what I could get with it.  There isn’t much left in the garden to photograph now, as we are heading to summer the flowers are disappearing and the plants are conserving what they have for the summer ahead.  Still I found a few things, and was photo bombed by a bee when I was photographing one of the flowers on the raspberry plants I have.  I will include some of those photos in this post.

On Sunday morning my daughter and I went to Bulleen Art and Garden Centre to look at some plants, and of course I took the macro with me and took some photos of the flowers.  It was hard as the sun was out and it was hot.  We’ve had a few


Bulleen Art and Garden

days of heat now and humidity, I don’t like humid days.  I will include some photos from there as well.

Social Snappers

The last two excursions for Social Snappers is on this week, one on Thursday and then another on Sunday.  It is unusual that both are doing the same thing, but we will be this week.  The excursion is into the city and we will be taking photos of the Christmas decorations before and after sunset, which should be great.  I love doing this, but marketing them is proving to be challenging.  I think I am going to have to start thinking of different ways of doing it.  This blog, facebook, and social media



really aren’t doing anything, unfortunately.  Hopefully they will pick up next year.

Teaching Photo Editing

After being asked about Photo Editing in all my classes I’ve decided to try teaching it.  I am going back up to the Mallee in March, on the long weekend, to do more workshops and a big component of those is going to be teaching people about putting their photos on the computer, organising them and then how to do some basic editing.



I love editing, and it is one area that I think I know quite well, so I feel it is something that should do a lot more of.  I would like to offer some classes down here, but I will need to find somewhere to teach them, so I will be looking into that soon.

Facebook and Privacy

It seems Facebook is doing the rounds again about what they can use of your information and such that you put on there.  Everyone is in an uproar, though I have to keep wondering why, as this has all happened before.  Basically if you put your personal information, photos, videos, etc up then you give them a royalty free license to use it as they wish too, however, you still own your images.  Those are the conditions you agree to when you sign up to it. People have been putting notices up, saying they don’t give FB permission to do that, but it is hoax, and there is nothing you can do about it.


Bulleen Art and Garden

I have made the decision to put a massive watermark across any images I post on Facebook, that way if they use the images and try to remove it, then they are tampering with my copyright, which I am fairly certain is illegal.  I also read

Facebook adds, “[t]his IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

So I would think if you continued to delete your photos after they have been there for a while then Facebook can no longer use them, that is how I read that.  IP refers to Intellectual Property.  It is something I have been doing, going through and deleting all my old photos, not easy, there are a lot on there, but if it helps to protect my work then I will.

I think that is enough for today, I hope you have a good Tuesday and there is a lot going on in your world right now.


Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

It hasn’t been a very exciting week and there isn’t a lot to share today.  Things have been quiet.  Too quiet really.  Though I will try and see if I have some things to share.

The Mallee

I think I will be going back up there in the next few weeks.  I will have access to a car in November and it seems a logical thing to do to plan another trip up there.  I might also see if I can get something together and try teaching sorrento-beach-waves-slow-sunset-463another class up there.  Thought I might start running some basic photography workshops.  I think lots of people up there have DSLR’s, but they have no idea how to use them, and not much opportunity to learn.  It has always been one of my most successful classes, teaching people that, so I am going to try and see if people are interested in that.

I also really want to get back out to the salt lakes.  I am fascinated by them and the surrounding areas, though not sure I want to be out in the evening with the mozzies.  I will have to take sorrento-beach-waves-slow-sunset-462lots of insect repellent with me.

The Hand of Man

I have never been a straight forward landscape person, I used to find it boring to take photos of just the landscape, however, recently, that has changed.  I do enjoy doing them far more than I used to.  Though, I can still walk around places and not find anything that inspires me.

So how do I find inspiration in the landscape?

I try and find my story, what I want to convey.  Often the story has something to do with us, whether that is a building that has been left, or waves-crashing-rocks-water-sorrentoin an unusual place.  Sometimes it is the environment that we have helped create.  When I go up the Mallee these days, one of the things I notice is the strong influence that man has had on the environment up there.

The original settlers changed what it looked like completely and now the consequences of those things have started happening, like the salt.  Once the trees were removed the water table rose, and then the salt did.  There are many places in the Mallee, and other regions, that are trying to solve the problem of the salt in the ground and land that is now unusable because of it.

So, each time I go up there I am starting to understand that impact and the struggle that farmers and other people trying to make a living are having.  My story is unfolding and revealing itself.  It means I have a project to work on. I really want to keep going up there now to take photos and explore this area more. I want to find people who can help me with the history of the land, and others who can help to explain what is happening.  This is my environmental project.

The biggest problem I have is from Parks Victoria, the government organisation responsible for maintaining all the National Parks in Victoria.  I have been sending them emails to get sorrento-beach-waves-slow-sunset-460information, find out if I can put the photos I take in the parks in a book or something like that, but so far they aren’t responding.  It is so annoying, as I am trying to do the right thing, but then I get nothing back, no help.  I will just have to keep trying.


Last weekend, remember I told you I was going to go to the beach to get some photos of waves.  I had planned on going to Aireys Inlet, but then we got down the road and I realised I had forgotten my tripod, so we turned around sorrento-beach-waves-slow-sunset-466to get it, and in the end decided to go to Sorrento instead.  It was closer.

I played around there taking photos of waves in slow motion.  I took a lot and some worked really well, some not so well. I am including some of the photos in this post.  I made a couple into black and white to see how they would look.  There is one with blurred clouds, I used my ND400 for that, it was a 3 minute exposure at sunset.  Interesting how much the clouds move, I could have sworn they were staying still.

Monochrome Madness

This reminds me to remind you that if you haven’t got your image in, then you are running out of time.  I will start working on the post very soon.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs – Going into October

The Mallee is now just another memory, as I arrived home yesterday.  It was another successful trip for me, and I have told you about things that I have done there, but the photos will be shown over the next few weeks.

The Mallee

I thought perhaps I should show you a map of the area that I have been talking about.

map of victoria

For those that don’t know where the state of Victoria is, well, it is in the bottom right corner of Australia.  I live in Melbourne, and since so many have asked where the Mallee was I thought I would show you.  I have circled it in Red, and in purple circled where many of the places that I go to take photos are. I hope that helps you understand where it is, maybe I should have done it with the satellite, then you would be able to tell what the country is like.

Nyah West Workshop

mallee-millky-way-light-starsThe workshop I ran just out of Nyah West went really well, and well overtime, but it was great.  I really enjoyed meeting everyone and going out and taking photos with them.  Where we went in the afternoon was fantastic, and we basically stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.  After the sunset we headed into town for dinner at the Nyah West pub. Nice meal, shame about the manners of aome of the staff, hopefully that gets sorted.  Then after dinner we went back out and took photos of the milky way over the salt lakes.  It is only the second time I have taught night photography like this and it was fantastic.  I think I have worked out the best way of doing it.  Once everyone had decent shots of the night sky, then we started adding some other elements with light.  It was a lot of fun and one of my favourite photos came from that session.  I have attached it here for you to see.

I really enjoyed running this workshop and it is something that I think I would really like to do a lot more of.  It is good to have a specific goal.  I love seeing peoples faces when the penny starts dropping on taking photos.  I might have to see if I can drum up some business to run some more.  I think one workshop that would be good would be something like learning your DSLR and how to use it to get the best from it.  I think it is something that people in the country might miss out on, and it is what I have noticed that people seem to struggle with the most as well.

Star Trails

woomelang-star-trail-silos-webI’m no real expert at taking star trails, I’ve only done two, and the second one was only done the other night.  I was asked how I did it, and really all I did was set up the camera for 30 second exposures, at f/2.8, ISO was, I think, 1250, and then off the camera went for an hour, oh I locked the shutter release so it would just continuously take photo after photo.

I was going to do it for 2 hours, it was really cloudy, and I didn’t think the photos would work.  When I stacked them I was so surprised that the clouds hadn’t mattered, so now I wish, of course, that I had done it for longer. Daylight savings starts here soon, so not sure how much of this I will do, will have to see.  I also don’t like the idea of being bitten alive by mosquitoes either.

Monochrome Madness

Since I have been away, I’ve received lots of emails with submissions, and I’m afraid I probably won’t have time to respond to them.  I am so sorry, but I have to go to Kinglake National Park again, testing the macro out there this time.  I will have to spend the time when I get back on the post and getting it ready for tomorrow morning.  I hope you forgive me.

That is about it for today, I think, I need to get a move on with some things.  I am going to leave you with some images of the milky way, and the above ones in a gallery.  The other milky way shots were done when I had finished doing the star trail over the silos in Woomelang.


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.


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