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Posts tagged ‘Yarra River’

Weekend Wanderings – Getting Dark in the City

Yesterday I was in the city doing some photos with someone.  We started in the late afternoon and took photos until just after 9pm, it was really getting dark in the city then, so I thought I would do some of those photos as my Weekend Wandering post today.

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Melbourne Town Hall, it is looking rather ordinary at the moment, but in a month or two I’m sure it will be decorated for Christmas.  I like photographing the same buildings over, they are always different, whether it is the light, or what they have on them.  I would like do a great fine art architectural shot of this building.  I realised yesterday that I will need to use my wide angle, otherwise I can’t fit in the tower.

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Stopping at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade is almost something I can’t stop doing.  I didn’t get many photos as by the time we got there they were clearing the window.  I might have to try getting a shot of that one day.  I did ask some questions about the window, so will try some more photos soon.

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Can you see the bright lights in the water, something reflecting off the bridge.  It was really strange, but we had fund trying to get photos of it.

These two photos look the same, well they are really. except one has a blue sky and the other one is browner.  Maxwell International Australia has let me keep the filters a little longer so I could experiment a little more.  The sunset we got in the city was terrible, really, not much colour, so I thought it would be interesting to try the tobacco graduated filter.  It really warms the image up.  I have been playing around more and on Tuesday will show more photos and talk about the kit a little more.

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We saw the gas going off outside the Casino.  We got there hoping it would happen at 8pm, but then some other people who were there looked it up and said that it wouldn’t be on until 9.  We thought, oh well, and just kept taking photos of other things, and then all of a sudden, on they came.  I hope the people who thought it came on later still saw them.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t think it was going to happen, and so weren’t really prepared, still we got some shots, I just wish I had got a little more of the reflection.

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Then it was time to do some night photos of the city.  I love photographing the city at night.  I love seeing how it looks.  So I love it when people say they want to do it. I especially love doing One on One Photography Lessons for people who want to learn night photography. I don’t know that I will ever tire of it, there are always different places along the river to go.

I am going to leave you with a gallery now, I need to start planning a driving trip today for my daughter to get in some more driving hours, but also so I can go somewhere to try out the filters again.  Have a couple of ideas, but you will have to wait and see.  I hope you have somethings planned for the weekend.  I am back into the city tomorrow for Social Snappers, we are doing architecture along Collins Street, should be great.

 

Influencing Me – The Heidelberg School of Painters

The Heidelberg School of painters are really a group of painters that often painted together around Melbourne, in various places, and yes, here in Heidelberg.  I don’t remember when I first heard about them, but it was a long time before I ended up living in this area.  They had always fascinated me, something about a group of people going out to paint together.  It a period of Impressionism, and plein air painting.  They would come to Heidelberg on the train in the late 1800’s set up camps and paint.  You can find lots of information about them on a site called In The Artist’s Footsteps.

Walter Withers

I look at the paintings and I know a lot of the areas, of course they look nothing like the areas now, back in those days it was all farmland.  It is like looking at old photos of an area, and I am sure there are photos of this area, but I haven’t seen any.  The creek thing is still there I think, though, again, it has been changed.

It is funny looking at that image of Rosanna Road being a dirt track, now it is an incredibly busy road and one most of us locals stay right away from, if we can avoid it.

Withers_tranquilwinterAnother Walter Withers painting, and this one is of a house that is actually not that far from where I live.  The house is still there, but all the farmland around it has been built on and there are houses everywhere.  From what I can work out the watering hole for the cattle is no longer there, either.  I have been in that house, a couple of times a few years a go.  It was the original managers house for the Banyule farm.  People still live in it today.

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I do think I also know this spot.  It is in Eaglemont, a suburb right next to Heidelberg.  I find it fascinating to see it here like this, looking so wonderful.  Along the Yarra River much of the land has now been made back into bushland, and it is becoming overgrown.  I suppose animals grazing on the land would have kept it from becoming to overgrown.

Conder_boysbathingPeople swimming in the Yarra River, not far from here.  It is funny seeing the Yarra in many of these images, it is so different now.  I don’t know many places were you can walk up to the side of it like this.  The Yarra has, I don’t know what you call them, cliffs, maybe, all along the edges of it.  It says the above painting was done near what we call Banksia Park, I will have to investigate.

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It is like these paintings were done of a whole different area.  I believe that what is happening in many of these areas along the river is that it is returning to its natural state, before the area was “settled” and turned into farmland.  There has been lots of work done to try and insure that it is returned to that state. As I said in my post yesterday.

The Heidelberg School of Painters was one of the first major art movements in Australia, it is a rich collection.  Almost every major public gallery in Australia has at least one of their paintings.  I can remember looking at the paintings at the gallery here in Melbourne and trying to work out where they were painted.  I never dreamed I would be living in the same area, and in some cases, taking photos in the same places.  The swamp at Banyule Flats was there, it was a cow paddock at this time.  The waterways to fill it had been diverted, that have been put back so that it does get filled now.

It is so interesting to me, perhaps because they are Australian, or perhaps because they painted what they saw, I don’t know.  I can’t explain it.  Do you have a movement that has touched you?

I have a gallery now with lots of paintings.  I haven’t talked about the individual artists, but if you want more information on them, then check the website,In The Artist’s Footsteps. It has more paintings, information on the individual artists and where they painted. I just want to add, that it was very hard getting images of the paintings, of course it is Australia, so they do everything to stop, I don’t know what.  The quality isn’t always good, but it gives you an idea of the paintings.

 

 

 

Weekend Wanderings – Banyule Flats Bird Life

As I said yesterday the weather here has been really good and it has been nice to be able to get out into the local parks and get some photos where the sun has been shining.  This last week I went out with one of the members from the Warringal Conservation Society, another keen photographer, but also a keen bird watcher.  She knew all the birds that were around, and has been able to identify them for me.  I took the Sigma 150-500mm lens that I am borrowing at the moment to see if I could get some good photos of the birds with that.  We went into Banyule Flats, parkland near Heidelberg, in the cities north east.

6-banyule-flats-morning-parks-birdsBanyule Flats has a very active bird life, and every time I go there, there are birds everywhere in the water.  More and more of the water weeds are growing, so a lot more birds are coming to the swamp.  I never really thought of myself as a bird watcher, but I really enjoy seeing them all down there.  It is like a bird metropolis within another metropolis.

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Swan Parents with their Signet

The one thing that everyone is watching down there at the moment are the Black Swans and their babies, not black, but grey.  I was so happy to see the two of them again, the last few times I’ve been down, there has only been one, and I was hoping the other was on the nest.  They are the talk of the Flats, and a lot of people are going down there to see them and make sure they are okay.  Apparently there were 5 signets, but one has been lost, or killed.

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Darter

The swamp isn’t the only place to see the birds, we also went for a walk along the Yarra River, which is right next to the swamp, and we saw the above Darter swimming in the river and then she got up onto the branches to sun itself.  Beautiful bird.  When I first saw it in the river I thought it was a snake, the way its head stuck out.  Then the woman I was with explained it was often called a snake bird.  Apparently this one is female, because the males are all black.

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Kookaburra

Everywhere you walk around the parks, all you can hear are the birds, and the ones that stand out are the Kookaburras as they laugh at us, or each other, I don’t now.

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Tawny Frogmouth

This was my favourite find, the Tawny Frogmouth.  A native here, and very hard to find, not because there are few of them, there are lots of them, but because they are nocturnal, they hide themselves well.  We had been told where this one was and so were able to find it.  There were two others we were told about, but we couldn’t find them at all.  They make themselves look like limbs on a tree, so that makes them harder to find.

I am going to put together a gallery for you now.  All the photos were taken with the Sigma lens, and I tried to get some shots of other things.  Though I went out again yesterday with a wider lens, and got some images of the area with that, which I will show you tomorrow.  I have tried to get all the birds identified, but I missed out on a couple, so if I find out what they are, I will add them.  I hope the weather is great where you are and you have a splendid weekend taking photos.

 

Weekend Wanderings – Melbourne at Night

It is becoming very popular with my Practical Photography Class to spend the last week’s class in the city doing some night photography. It is by far the best class, and so many students really look forward to it and enjoy the evening so much, and this last class was no different.  I am getting so much better at planning where to go, making sure they get some great images.

This last class, I wasn’t sure how it would be.  We decided to go on Sunday, less people, but all day Sunday it rained.  Even as I was getting on the train to the city and getting off, it rained.  As we went for a coffee to start with, it was raining.  Not heavy rain, but enough to be annoying.

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Our first stop was in front of the Casino. I had planned that we would be there for the 6pm gas show that the casino does every night.  Though I suspect some nights it is better than others.  I don’t know if it was because it was Sunday or because it had been raining, but it wasn’t great.  The above shot was just before.

The rain stopped for the rest of the evening and it turned out to be a fantastic night for night photography.  The clouds hung around and gave some wonderful skies, I liked the way the light from the city bounced off them.

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Then the gas fires started and it went off.  One, there in the middle, wasn’t working, and didn’t give it great symmetry.  It was very disappointing really, though it was good to know that we were in a good spot for capturing them.

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We thought of taking more reflections, but there were still so many people around it was hard to get the footpaths with the reflections on them.  Melbourne has become such a busy city, it always seems like there are so many people around.

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There were a couple of Black Swans in the water on the river.  They were so hard to photograph in the dark.  I had to turn my ISO all the way up to get any shots of them.  They move around constantly.  I have seen them there before, there are also two that have been hanging out in a park near here too.

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I think I mentioned yesterday that I had a One on One Photography Session with someone yesterday, and part of what she wanted to learn to do was take some night photos so after doing some other things around the city we headed down to the river.  It was wonderful being back there, though the biggest difference between last night and last sunday, were the buildings, there were so many more lights on them last night.  They really lit up the skies.

I am going to include a gallery for you now. I will put as the title, Sunday, for the ones taken last week, and Friday for the ones taken last night.  I hope you get to see some night skies with your camera this weekend.  Happy Snapping.

Weekend Wanderings – From One End to the Other

Last weekend I went into the city to do some night photography shots, most of you know this already, as I took my class in for a night photography class.  It was the final class in the course and it was a great way to finish it off.  There were 10 of us with our tripods and camera gear going along the Yarra River for our night shots.  Each week we approached something new to help them learn how to use their cameras.  My classes are very practical, I always think you “Learn by Doing”, so taking photos is an important aspect of what I teach.  I haven’t seen what they got when they went out, but I have been working on the images that I took.

LeanneCole-citylight-1404054981_5HDR-2You have seen a few of them already, and there aren’t that many more of them.  I am happy with what I got.  One thing I did with my class was to let them know they should do more on their own.  I would set up my image and then do 5 exposures for HDR and if they needed help my camera would be fine taking its photos while I helped them.  It worked really well.  I felt more like the person who was keeping them together and moving them along when the time was right than the teacher.  It was a lovely relaxed class.

We started down at Docklands and ended up near Flinders Street Station, not quite to it. We ran out of time and then had to rush to get the train.  I don’t think anyone minded.

Then yesterday morning I went into the city very early in the morning.  The sun was coming up, but thought I would take some photos along the Yarra River again, only daylight ones.

LeanneCole-city_5013-10hpmWe have had so much rain, and I was hoping that if it had stopped raining that maybe, fingers crossed maybe, the Yarra River would be still, and look at that, it was.  I have seen it much calmer, but this wasn’t bad.  Unfortunately the rowers started coming up and down, with their coaches in motor boats and that stillness disappeared.  It was lovely while it lasted.  I love seeing all the buildings reflected in the water.

Nearly all the night photography images are HDR images.  They were all done using the Nik Collection HDR Efex.  It seemed to work much better for the night shots than Photomatix.  Most of the morning shots are straight images, except for two, the above one and one of the bridge.  I used Photomatix for these two, as it seemed to be better for the day ones, softer.  All images were taken with the 14-24mm wide angle lens.

The gallery will have all the night images I have processed, the image I used for the MMC is here too, but the colour version.  I will also put the morning images.   Some of the morning images that I have done were taken at the same spots I did the night shots.  I should have done that more, it would have been interesting comparing them.  If you are interested in my classes then please go to my website, www.leannecole.com.au.  Enjoy your Sunday.

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, leanne@leannecole.com.au with Classes as the subject.

A gallery to view the images better.

Weekend Wanderings – Williamstown

The last week has seen me at Williamstown twice to take photos.  The first with some friends and the second time on a One on One session, or more accurately a One on Two.  Both days had glorious weather, perfect weather for taking photos.  Williamstown is like the fishing village of Melbourne, it is not far from the city, and you can see the tall buildings of the city over the bay.  It is at the mouth of the Yarra River where it flows into the bay and there are ships and yachts everywhere.  There is a real sense of the Nautical there, if that is a good way to put it.

LeanneCole-williamstown-20140310-1931You can see the city behind all the boats.  There is a huge part of the foreshore that you can walk along.  All along that foreshore are boats moored to docks, and in some places there are boats just anchored.  If you love the nautical world, then Williamstown is a great place to go.

LeanneCole-williamstown-20140310-1934There is also an old Navy ship, the HMAS Castlemaine, that you can go on and look around.  Though I think this may only be open on weekends and you have to pay to go on, not much about $6 I think it was.  We didn’t go on it.

LeanneCole-williamstown-20140312-2022When I was there on Wednesday the Queen Mary 2 was docked.  Apparently she has been on a trip around Australia.  She was huge in the landscape and certainly drew your attention.

I was a bit disappointed with both trips, I so like photographing water, but it all seemed the same after a while.  I am sure there is more to photograph there, but perhaps it is something that needs to be investigated more and I need to find out a lot more.  For a place that is very old there would have to be some great architecture there.  I did find some.

LeanneCole-williamstown-20140310-1929If you drive along the foreshore between the Westgate Bridge and the main part of Williamstown, then you will see these.  I don’t know what they are use for, but they are at the back of Scienceworks.  I loved them. and would like to go back another time, maybe not so early so I don’t get those shadows from the trees over the road.

LeanneCole-williamstown-20140312-2030We also saw this Church, and went into take a couple of photos.  Churches are hard to do when you don’t have a tripod.  You have to sacrifice your ISO too much.  I took some other photos inside, but not many, I will put them in the gallery.

I have just re-installed Instagram on my phone and I took a shot on Wednesday of the water.

2014 - 1It can be fun to play around with the phone camera too.  I like seeing what the filters in Instagram will do to an image.  The biggest problem for me is that it is really a wide angle, and the zoom isn’t that great.  The camera I had in the old phone took blurry photos, but I had to get the phone replaced and the camera in the new one is heaps better.  I have a couple of other shots just taken with the phone which I will also include.

I am going to show the gallery now.  The images are a bit all the same, sorry.  I just thought if I went to Williamstown, a beautiful suburb or town, that finding things to photograph would be easy.  I should have researched it more.

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