20 Kilomètres de Paris

December 8, 2013 Leave a comment

20 Kilomètres de Paris

20 Kilomètres de Paris

On a recent visit to Paris, I was lucky enough to be walking along the banks of the Seine on the same day the annual 20 Kilomètres de Paris was being held. This was the 35th time the event has been run and it was certainly an impressive sight – 23878 runners of varying athletic abilities all making their way along one of the most picturesque rivers in the world.

20 Kilomètres de Paris from Pont Alexander III

20 Kilomètres de Paris from Pont Alexander III

The winner of the 2013 event was Tebalu Zawude of Ethiopia in a time of 58 minutes and 7 seconds. The fastest woman was Sarah Chepchirchir of Kenya in a time of 1 hour 5 minutes and 3 seconds. Congratulations to all who ran in this event! 

While I didn’t get to see the elite athletes during the run, I did manage to capture some of the other runners making their way along the river bank.

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20_Kilomètres_de_Parishttp://www.20kmparis.com/
Categories: France, Paris, Travel

A week in Paris

December 7, 2013 Leave a comment
Gargoyle on top of Notre-Dame de Paris

Gargoyle on top of Notre-Dame de Paris

This year has been the year I participated in workshops!

First was the Portrait and Wedding Photography Masterclass that was held in Budapest in September. That workshop was run by Jeff Medford of Monte Zucker Photographic Education, with instructors Clay Blackmore, David Ziser, Jared Platt and Scott Beer. After that workshop, it was home for a couple of weeks then back to Europe for a street photography workshop run by Valerie Jardin of Valerie Jardin Photography. September and October 2014 were truly memorable months!

Valerie ran two workshops, back to back. The first week was centred around Normandy on the west coast of France, followed by a week in Paris. I was lucky enough to take part in both workshops. I decided if I was going to travel to the opposite side of the globe I should make it worthwhile!

Notre Dame from the banks of the Seine

Notre Dame from the banks of the Seine

While both of Valerie’s workshops were fantastic, I’m going to concentrate on the second week in Paris for this post. After a day or two to relax between workshops, it was time to get back into the groove again. I hadn’t done much, if anything, in the way of street photography prior to these workshops. I was very much out of my comfort zone. Valerie made sure everyone of her students was put at ease and she gave some great tips about how to gain confidence in approaching people and “getting the shot”.

Stepping out near the Luxembourg Gardens

Stepping out near the Luxembourg Gardens

Valerie has a genuine passion for photography, and street photography in particular and that passion and enthusiasm shone through on every day of the workshop. It didn’t matter what was happening, what little hiccups presented themselves, Valerie always had an answer and a suggestion. The workshop was well organised and went off without a hitch. Of course, with numerous people and personalities, there is always a potential for angst, but I think everyone of the students on this workshop got along just fine. Everyone was willing to help each other as well as learn from Valerie. It was a truly rewarding week in a truly fantastic city!

Cigarette break at Les Invalides

Cigarette break at Les Invalides

Paris is also known as the “City of Light”, so no post about Paris would be complete without some of those lights…

The Eiffel Tower from Place du Pantheon

The Eiffel Tower from Place du Pantheon

Paris is a wonderful city and it was made even more enjoyable by Valerie Jardin. Her workshops are well worth doing! Check out Valerie’s website for information on upcoming workshops in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, Normandy, Paris and Melbourne.

Categories: France, Paris, Photography, Travel

A visit to Budapest

October 1, 2013 Leave a comment

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Well, I just returned from a nice trip to Budapest in Hungary – what a fantastic city! It was a pleasure to wander the streets and interact with the locals, even though sometimes there were some language barriers. Sign language and charades always came through in the end and we all had a chuckle and a smile for each other once we got our message across.

I stayed at the very picturesque Danubius Hotel Gellért adjacent to Gellért Hill, on the Buda side of the River Danube. While the room was a little tired and in need of freshening up, the stay itself was very pleasant. The staff always had a smile and friendly greeting and meals at the hotel’s three eateries were always something special.

The main reason for my trip was to attend a Portraiture and Wedding Photography workshop run by Jeff Medford of Monte Zucker Photographic Education. Jeff put together another great event, with instructors Clay Blackmore, David Ziser, Jared Platt and Scott Beer. Well done to everyone involved – I’ll post more on that shortly.

Budapest itself is a fascinating city – bygone days of the old Communist rule are still evident with some of   the buildings being a little austere, but there is a modern and vibrant feel to the city at the same time. Everywhere you looked, there was another photo opportunity, whether it was perched high up at Fisherman’s Bastion or the top of the funicular; or whether it was down at ground level on the banks of the Danube or wandering the streets. It didn’t seem to matter where you were, there was always something interesting to see and make an image of.

Speaking of images – I guess I should share a few:

FIrst, a night time view along the Danube looking towards Cable Bridge with Buda Castle in the background.

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Next, the Danubius Hotel Gellért found at the western end of Liberty Bridge.

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And finally for this post, the Parliament Building on the eastern banks of the Danube.

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Categories: Budapest, Hungary, Musings, Travel

Medieval Fundraising (K)night

July 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Medieval stocks

Medieval fundraising night for Variety Bash SA at the Soldier’s Memorial Hall, Kapunda, South Australia

It’s been a while since I posted anything, which is a bad thing and something I plan to rectify!

This last Saturday (20 July 2013) I had the fun task of photographing a fundraising night being held at the Soldiers Memorial Hall in my home town of Kapunda. The night was to raise money for participants in this years Variety Bash SA event.

Jacki, Leanne, Lee and Dee are the “Four Pussycats” that will be taking ‘Car #MAP’ over the route this year. The ladies have raised almost $25,000 so far for Variety SA, which is a terrific effort. Well done to all those involved!

The Medieval night was well attended with about 80 per cent of people really getting into the spirit of the night, wearing medieval costumes. There were many different characters and everyone had a great time. Food and entertainment were both plentiful and good! The Ironclad Academy of the Sword put on a terrific show for us. Their skills and costumes are amazing. I was getting tired just watching them!

So, here are a few images from the night. Enjoy!

Ironclad Academy of the Sword

Ironclad Academy of the Sword

Herald announcing the Ironclad Academy of the Sword

Herald announcing the Ironclad Academy of the Sword

Medieval weapon

Medieval weapon

Want great shots? Make sure you have at least one prime lens.

July 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Ken:

An insightful post by Rich Harrington over at the Photofocus blog. Rich, Scott Bourne and their contributors always have something worthwhile to say. I would heartily recommend following them if you don’t already.

Originally posted on Photofocus:

primelenses_why2

When you bought your first DSLR, it likely came with a zoom lens.  This style of lens makes it easy to get a wider range of coverage with just a quick turn of the wrist.  Many prefer this flexibility versus having to actually move their feet to get the shot.

So why go “old school” and choose a prime lens that only offers a single focal length? It’s all about aperture. Here are a few reasons to consider.

  • Most prime lenses offer apertures that open as far f/1.2 to f/2. These wider opening can let in more light to hit the camera’s sensor.
  • More light can be truly useful when shooting in existing light or low-light environments. It means you can use lower ISO settings to control noise or combine with higher ISO settings to get sharper photos due to faster shutter speeds.
  • Prime lenses are typically sharper than…

View original 258 more words

Categories: Photography

It’s Christmas Time

December 3, 2012 2 comments
Christmas lights in the town of Lyndoch

Christmas lights in the town of Lyndoch

Well, here we are in December again already!

While it’s only early December, people are starting to get into the ‘Christmas spirit’ pretty early. Those that celebrate are starting to put up the decorations. Houses are being festooned with lights. People just seem happier… well apart from those that follow the grinch of course!

Christmas lights

Christmas lights

I appreciate that not everyone thinks Christmas is a time of good cheer and a time to celebrate with family and friends. Some people have deep religious beliefs, some don’t. What ever your beliefs are, just try to enjoy the moment. If someone wishes you a “Merry Christmas”, but you don’t believe in it, please take the good wishes in the way they were intended. I don’t think anyone deliberately goes out of their way to offend others. If nothing else, perhaps Christmas time could be a time of pleasantness and tolerance. We could all do our bit this year by just being nice :-)

Christmas reindeer

Christmas reindeer

Watching the watchers…

November 29, 2012 4 comments

The Louvre

On my recent trip to Paris I was thrilled to be able to visit the Louvre and see the famous Mona Lisa. She’s certainly a popular lady! As I got closer to the room where she lives, the crowd of visitors got bigger and bigger. Everyone, it seemed, was there for the same reason!

Mona Lisa corridor

She’s nearby, you can almost feel it in the air!

This was the corridor outside of the main display gallery where the Mona Lisa hangs. It was obvious from the snippets of conversations I was hearing that everyone was talking about her!

Mona Lisa Gallery

Once inside the Gallery, the crowds were even bigger… but everyone was very orderly. People just wanted to glimpse the famous lady!

Once inside, the crowd grew even more. There were many, many people moving about within the gallery, all vying for a closer look at that magical smile. Even though it was very busy, everyone was friendly. Maybe not everyone was smiling, but no-one was angry or rude. People moved about somewhat freely and I was able to make my way closer to the “front” in order to get a better view. It seemed that everyone was happy to stop and ponder while admiring her or taking a photograph or two, then would move along to let the next person take their spot. It was all very civilised!

Mona Lisa Gallery

Everyone inside the Gallery were very orderly. People just wanted to get a closer glimpse of the famous smile. It was quite easy to make my way through the crowds to the “front”

While there are many more things to see within the Louvre than the Mona Lisa, she was certainly the star attraction. I spent about four hours inside before heading back out into the open air. I could have easily spent the whole day and then come back for more! Of course, that just means there’s more to see on the next trip…

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa looks over the crowd of admiring fans, many of whom are reflected in the glass of her frame. She watches the watchers…

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