INSPIRED BY SURROUNDINGS: The Cootharaba hills offer Leanne Airey a great view of Mt Cooroora.
INSPIRED BY SURROUNDINGS: The Cootharaba hills offer Leanne Airey a great view of Mt Cooroora. Alan Lander

Leanne focusing on the big pictures

IT'S not too hard to take a half-decent photo with today's auto-focus, point- and-shoot digital cameras.

But the art form of photography still takes a human talent for composition and mood - and sometimes waiting for just the right time of day to get the light just right.

Leanne Airey of Pomona has been learning about that over the past couple of years - and the results are showing.

The 52-year-old (as of last Sunday) said she had always loved photography.

"The last few years, it has got me through some pretty tough times. I just get a nice feeling taking a beautiful photo,” Leanne said.

"Most of my work is nature based - water, mountains, countryside.”

Her first real assignment was when son Liam was playing in a band.

"I was taking a lot of photos (for them) and I started to really like what I was doing, the images I took,” Leanne said.

"Then a couple of years ago I started to take a lot more care in what I was doing and really looking at what I was photographing.

Since then, Leanne has sent photos to local media, including the Noosa News, and after getting published, started entering competitions.

"A friend of mine told me about the library doing displays, so I just rang them up - I missed out that year, then got a phone call saying someone had pulled out,” she said. "So I got a show happening there, and got a lot of positive feedback.”

Leanne's first competition was the Ridgewood Photo Fair, then it was onwards and upwards, including a tilt at the Australasia Top Emerging Photographers Awards.

"I've received a few 'commendeds' and I am currently in the finals for the Maggie Diaz Photography for Women,” Leanne said.

"There's a $5000 prize, but I'm just happy to have made it to the finals.

"The (prize) decision is in August.”

Flying high: Leanne Airey at her Pomona home.
Flying high: Leanne Airey at her Pomona home. Alan Lander

Leanne has also started reproducing her best work on postcards, which are available for purchase at the Pomona and Noosa Junction newsagencies and Pomona's Rockin Relics Antiques Barn.

Some of her work has also graced the backdrops of Channel 7 stars Livio Regano and Rosanna Natoli.

Technically, Leanne relies on her trusty Olympus camera, and she doesn't do all the perfection-seeking photoshopping.

"I like to keep my photos pretty raw. I might crop a little or straighten them up if they're not quite right, otherwise not,” she said.

Leanne is not ambitious in photography - she's "just enjoying the journey, wherever it may go”.

"I work at a Noosa secondary school. I've been doing it for 21 years, supporting kids in the classroom,” she said. "I'm pretty happy doing that job.

"There are many photographers out there taking awesome photos. It would be lovely to go down that road, but who knows?

"I'm just grateful for the support I've received and I want to acknowledge all those who helped.”


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