Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Help Me Out

About a year ago...almost exactly a year ago...I entered a photo in a contest.  The first round was judged by the company that sponsored the contest.  I was voted by that company to move onto the second and final round.  The second and final round was judged by the rest of the guys.  You guys voted for me and because of that, I was one of the eight winners. 

That same contest is going on right now.  And again, the piece I entered was judged by the company to move into the next and final round.  Help me out!

To vote, please "Like" this page ( Then go to my image ( and click on the “Like” button below it. 

If the link takes you to the whole album, my piece is "African Grey Parrot" by Christopher Kulfan - that's me

many many thanks everyone! 

or, you can email your vote if you don't have facebook.  Go here and fill out the info, saying you would like to vote for "African Grey Parrot" by Christopher Kulfan

 ...This is the photo that made it in...

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Eye And The Clock

If my stay in London was a little longer than two hours, perhaps the title of this post would have been a more all-encompassing "London, England."  But alas, it was not.  I was there long enough to get some pictures of the London Eye, Big Ben, and a single one of Parliament...the title reflects this.

I would have loved the chance to see and do more, but our limited time and that well known London rain really got in the way.  So as soon as we were out of the airport, it was straight to Big Ben.  On our way to it we could see the London Eye in the distance...

These days it goes by the EDF Energy London Eye.

Clock Towers always make me think of owls.  Big Ben is no different.  I suppose I should say the clock tower that houses Big Ben is no different...Big Ben is the bell.

We passed Parliament.  My 90mm homemade tilt-shift lens doesn't do too well with large structures when they are fairly close.  You have to be selective with what you want in the frame.

And then we got up close and personal with the London Eye.  I love that single red car. 

Hopefully I'll return to London sooner or later.  I'd like to tilt-shift more than just the main attractions.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Paris, France

My wife and I recently spent a couple of weeks backpacking across much of Western Europe.  One of my recent posts, the one on Bardonecchia, was from that backpacking trip.  This post will also be from that trip.  In fact, many of my posts will be from that trip.  Many places were visited and many photos were taken.  This is just one city from that trek across much of Western Europe...Paris.

The main thing I was excited to see when we first set foot in that lively French city was the Eiffel Tower.  My wife, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as interested.  For myself, I felt that it was a good chunk of what I knew of Paris.  My wife, again, on the other hand, knew a decent amount about the city and knew that there were tons of other wonderful things to see.  When we finally made our way to it, we were both awestruck.  It really was an impressive piece of architecture, symbolism, and art.  I spent a good amount of time photographing it and with the exception of one other area right by the tower, the entirety of my Paris tilt-shifting took place on it.

A little bit of France Romance

a towering wide-angle perspective

a tilt-shifted series of pieces of the tower

a tilt-shifted silhouette shot

the classic miniature effect one can get from the tilt-shift lenses (also the background on this site)

And last of the Eiffel Tower shots...a photo of the tower framed by the pillars of the Peace Memorial.

The Peace Memorial is the only other thing I shot with my tilt-shift lens.  Here it is.  The memorial is made up of 32 of these columns covered with the word for "peace" in 32 different languages.

We went to the Louvre on our first evening in Paris.  It itself is a beautiful thing, but of course the things that can be found within are just as beautiful, if not more so...

Can't go wrong with a sphinx...

Can't miss the "Venus de Milo" ...

...and best of all, a painting of Bill Murray as Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic (middle, back).  I guess that's Wes Anderson in the front? 

No trip to The Louvre is complete without checking out the Mona Lisa.  We visited her and got to feel extremely privileged to see such a famous and incredible painting, but trying to get a decent photo of her with the insane crowds pushing in on all sides was impossible.  So I resolved myself to actually look at the thing in front of me for opposed to just seeing it through a viewfinder.

Next on the list was Notre Dame.'s difficult to decide which is more impressive, the inside or the outside.

We then roamed around the city, stopping whenever we happened upon something interesting.  Shakespeare and Co. was on our list of things to see.  There was no way we were going to miss it.  Again, the crowds that can be found at any famous location tried to thwart our entry and attempts at browsing.  They did not succeed.

The Bouquinistes and their bookstalls along the Seine were much less crowded, making browsing much easier.  These have been functioning since the 16th century, giving the Seine the reputation as "the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves."

Look closely.  This guy doesn't think one cigarette is enough.

Not too far from the homeless man and his extra cigarette is the "love bridge/lock bridge/love padlocks."  Here couples will inscribe their initials on a lock, fasten the lock to the bridge, and toss the key in the Seine.  Random people make a fortune by purchasing wholesale lots of locks for next to nothing and then standing next to the bridge with them...selling each for 5 euro.

Close to the bridge you can find some nice romantic graffiti.  A scene from "Pierrot Le Fou" has been immortalized in black paint on a long as no one goes at it with some white paint.

 I like the negative space on this one.

And last but not least...
We weren't the only ones coming to Paris for some good old fashioned sight-seeing.

...and that is the Eiffel Tower tilt-shifted.  Plus some regular photos of Paris.