Travel Photo Contest – Andrew Kulin
Canon 40D + 17-55/2.8 IS @17.0 mm, f/5.6, 0.6 seconds, ISO 800 (hand-held), September 1, 2009.
We spent 3-1/2 weeks in France last summer with my parents, siblings, spouses and kids celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary and had a fantastic time. This is a photograph of two visitors at the Maison Forte de Reignac located near Tursac in the Dordogne Region of France. It is a 14th to 16th century castle built into a natural cave once used by the Cro-Magnon people who lived in the region over 10,000 years ago. The front half of the interior looks much as what you would expect for an old French castle, with furnished rooms, passageways, period weaponry and armour. The rear half is comprised of a large cave with rock and dirt floors, and with displays of locally found artefacts from the Upper Palaeolithic Period. A very unique place well worth a visit.
This particular photograph was taken hand-held under low light conditions from the top of the stairwell. Although the lens I was using has image stabilization, I rested my elbows on the stone parapet and leaned against the wall to provide additional support as the lighting conditions were dictating 0.6 seconds, with my speed already boosted to ISO 800 (I normally limit myself to no more than ISO 400 to minimize digital noise). I shot ten photographs of this couple moving up and down the stairwell and this was the best of the ten as the blurred movement of the pair gives them a ghost-like appearance. I also quite like how the mixture of natural and artificial light interacts in this photograph. Of the 8,000 + photographs I took during this trip, this may be my favourite (certainly in my top five).