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Posts tagged ‘Manchester Unity Building’

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 – A Full Frame View of Melbourne

On Thursday I went into the city to take photos with the new camera, the Nikon D800.  I have shown some of the photos I got in the last couple of posts, and today I thought I would show the rest.

Now, I have to explain, while I showed the images that I took with the 14-24mm, I also took some photos with the 50mm as well, though no where near as many.  I might put them into separate galleries, so first of all we can look at the 50mm photos.  I have to admit, I found it quite limiting and kept going to change the zoom.

It was interesting using it, but I have to say, that I was having trouble with it, and changed back to the 14-24mm.  I think I like seeing a wider view of Melbourne.  My photography friend thinks we should have a day where both of us take our 50mm and no other lenses and have to use the 50.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks we will do that.

There are so many great things to photograph in Melbourne, I have said this so many times.  I just never get sick of seeing what I can get.  I am not going to talk too much, but here are the images I took with 14-24mm.

Enjoy your weekend.  My new business cards arrived today, so I am looking forward to handing them out.

Going Back to Take Another Look

Last week I had a meeting with a business advisory service run by my local council, the council part that is great. This part of the council has been great and I have really enjoyed my dealings with them.  At the advisory thing I was reminded of the images I took at the Manchester Unity Building and wondered if I would process them now.  I have learned so much new stuff since I did them, so would I change what I did?


This was one of my favourites from that time.  However, looking at it now, I think it is a little oversaturated, and I don’t really like how you can see through the windows so much.  So I wondered, what would I do now.

LeanneCole-mu3-2507_4hpmI put covers over the windows, though I am not totally happy with it.  I like the lighting much more and the warm cosy atmosphere.  Putting the covers over the windows gives the room more privacy or something.  It is more closed in.  Though the weather here today is horrible, overcast and raining, again, so I think that may have affected my mood while doing the image.

There are things in the first that I didn’t do in the second, I didn’t add any detail, and in the second one I did some blurring, but not as much as the first.  It was an interesting process.

LeanneCole1-mu3-2417_4hpmI never did this image the first time, I don’t know why, I like the composition, then again there were so many to choose from, I just didn’t get around to doing them all.

There first one took me almost 4 hours to do, so I thought I would see what I could do with this one quickly.  I wondered if I could completely change the mood and atmosphere in it, remove some unwanted things.


This is what I came up with, something a little different maybe.  I like it.  I love the painting above the chair and the little lamp on the table.  It is interesting trying to do things like this.  The chair is still a little saturated and I will have to work on that in the future.

I do like going back and seeing what I would do differently, so I like what I do now as opposed to what I was doing in the past.  It was also really nice to work on some straight architectural shots, I haven’t been doing enough of that.  Do you do the same, go back and rework old images?

Reflections on a Building

The other day when I was in the city we strolled past the Manchester Unity Building and it had the most amazing reflections on it.

LeanneColesccity-3hpm2120The building is already a orange sort of colour, terracotta, I think and with these reflections it looked like the building was gold.  I didn’t get very good images, but it would be good to go back to see if it happens everyday.  If it does, I would like to be more prepared and get better images of it.


This was taken from across the corner.  You can see the reflections a lot more, I wonder if it is the sun on Eureka Tower, that is what it looks like to me.  It probably changes throughout the year.

I am going to leave it there today, I have to head into the city, so time is limited.

ReWorking the Etched Glass in Reception

Back in January, on my birthday I believe, I posted two images, one of them was from the reception area of the 11th floor of the Manchester Unity Building.  I thought I was finished with the images from the building, but I am starting to think I never will be.

Etched GlassAs I was putting all the images together to give to the Manchester Unity, I saw this one and a cringe crept up my back.  I knew that it had to be one of the ones that I should rework.  I know we discussed how dark my work can be yesterday, but I suspect this is a little too dark.  So I redid it today.

Etched Glass - ReworkedSo what have I done differently?  The blur isn’t as strong.  I’ve been toning down how strong I apply the blur.  This image is so much lighter, and you can see the chair more.  I think in the original the chair just looked in the way and not part of the image.  I think it works better in this one.  I found in the original there was too much blue behind the etched glass so I have changed it to be greener, I think the green tones add more warmth to the image.  Overall I think this image is far more warmer and welcoming.  What do you think?

I thought I would do another gallery for you so you can see all the images put together, there are a lot of them, so I hope you don’t mind.  It is nice to see them altogether.  I am not going to put titles on them all, but you know what they all are.

I may do one more of those images again, but basically they will stay as they are.  It is interesting to see how the work and what I do evolves as my skill levels increase.


I just wanted to mention again how you can donate money towards this blog.

So if you enjoy this blog and would like to help it continue, or you find you learn a lot and pick up new ideas and skills, then please consider making a donation.

btn_donateCC_LGIt isn’t compulsory, but it helps me to keep going.  You can decide what amount you think it is worth.  Thank you.

Corridor End ReWorked

The first time I went into the Manchester Unity Building to photograph the mezzanine floor I had to use my older wide angle lens, 18-105mm, and when I took the photo of the end of the corridor with the fountain and the grandfather clock, I felt it was all squashed up.

Grand Father Clocks and FountainsThe clock almost doesn’t fit into the image.  I didn’t mind the actual composition, I just wanted more space around everything.

Once I got the new lens, the 14-24mm I knew that I wanted to shoot this scene again, and a week or so later I was given that opportunity.

Grand Father Clocks and Fountains - ReworkedThis has so much more space and gives a better sense of where they are, don’t you think?  It is amazing how just changing a little thing like zooming out, or stepping back can make a massive difference.  It is something I try to teach people in my classes, sometimes you need to just take a step in a direction, any direction and it can change the whole composition.  Well, for this one, it was a wider lens and it really helped the composition.

Again, it may be too dark, but I quite like that, and I like where the focus is in the image.  I hope you agree.

I should be on my way to Harrietville when this is published.  Apparently lots of stops on the way and ample opportunities for taking photos.  I wonder how many I have already, anyone want to guess?

From One End to the Other and Some in Between

Today’s post was going to be the end to my working on the images for the Manchester Unity Building, but there is still one more I want to do and I ran out of time.  I might use it in Friday’s post as my reworked image, as it is the same as another image, but rephotographed and reworked, so it fits that idea.

Leaving ReceptionThe other day I showed you images of reception, this is also the reception, but looking out.  You see this when you are leaving.  Some of this must be familiar to those that have been following my journey with this wonderful building.

Somewhere in BetweenAs you are exiting the building you walk down this corridor to the exit.  You will see the water feature behind the glass and the Grandfather clock will come into focus.

Taking a Look BackWhen you get to the end you will have to take a look back behind you.  Take a last look down the corridor of Dental Suites, suites that were once shops, then who knows what before being restored back to the way they once were.

At the Lift Taking One Last AroundWaiting at the lift, how could you not take one more look at the feature at the end of the corridor before the lift arrives to take you down and out of the building.

I am feeling very melancholy, I will admit.  I have loved working on this project so much, that I am kind of sad that it is coming to an end.  I think my mood may be reflected in the images as well.  They are darker, I think, than others I have done.  I have been acutely aware of it all coming to an end and whilst I’ve been working very hard on the images, it isn’t a project that I have looked forward to ending.

Who could not want to work on images from this building.  I feel so fortunate to have been invited and it has really helped me work out what I want to do.  I want to do more like this, so if anyone else out there has a building like this and they want me to photograph it and make some fine art images of their building, then I am available for hire.


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