Australian-based photographer, Leanne Cole transforms her photos into digital works of art. I had the pleasure of interviewing Leanne, and here is what she had to say:
I get my inspiration from all around me. I see photos everywhere. Though the attraction to the abandoned stuff comes from my fascination with what happened at Chernobyl and the town that was evacuated right after. I think it is interesting how it was just left, a whole life of people just deserted. With what is happening in the world are there going to be more and more places deserted?
When and why did you begin photography?
I got my first plastic camera when I was about 10 or 11, but it didn’t start serious until about 20 years ago. I got my first SLR then, and a journey of imagery started.
I did fall out of love with photography for a while, while I was studying (it) for a Visual Arts Diploma, then I left it to do a Bachelor of Fine Art at Victorian College of the Arts.
I got back into photography about 4 years ago. I wouldn’t do anything else now.
How interesting that you “fell out of love” with photography when you were studying it. What do you think that was about?
I think, actually I know, it was about being frustrated with what I could do with my images. I really
didn’t like the darkroom, and I didn’t want to spend the time in there doing what I had to do to get great images.
Also, I couldn’t do color in the darkroom. So the thing that changed for me was software, being able to use the digital darkroom gave me so many possibilities. I could do the things that I had wanted to do with film, but couldn’t.
What type of equipment do you use?
I use Nikon really. I have for a very long time. I have two D300s bodies, an assortment of lenses, though I really want some more. I want to get some good quality “glass”. I have lots of software as well, which for me is just as important as the gear I use to take the photos.
So, are you purely a digital photographer now, and what types of post-production techniques do you frequently use?
Yes, purely digital, I love it, and think it is the best thing ever. There is so much more freedom with it. I do lots of HDR images; I love Photoshop CS6, and some plugins by Nik Software and Topaz. I like to try things and experiment to see how far I can go with my images. I am constantly amazed at what is possible.
What do you find most rewarding about photography?
For me the most rewarding part is taking a photo and then processing it so it looks very different and changing the mood and atmosphere. I like the challenge of changing an image and seeing what I can do to it. I really like it when I do an image that I can’t stop staring at.
What do you find most rewarding about blogging about photography?
The people, by far, that is the most rewarding thing. I have met some really wonderful people through my blog. I also like the record of my photography. It is like a visual diary of sorts. I can go back and I can see what I was doing 6 months ago, or 12 months ago. I find it a really useful tool for that.
To contact Leanne, visit her website, Leanne Cole Photography at http://www.leannecole.com.au