Warming Up

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 92 mm

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 92 mm

The Significant Other and I went for an afterwork drink to the Christmas Market in the Old Town. While enjoying a Glühwein (Mulled Wine) I happily snapped away at our bystanders with my EM-1 and the 12-100mm F/4.

Once more I was amazed at the image stabilization capabilities of the Oly cam. This photo I shot hand-held at 1/6 sec. The very slow shutter speed had the advantage that I captured the motion of the guy raising the Glühwein cup to his mouth.

Capturing gesture always adds interest to Street Photographs. In this case I was waiting for him to start drinking with the intention to capture the motion of the moving cup. And as people typically keep their head still when drinking, I was able to capture the face of the subject sharp, despite the slow shutter speed. Obviously, when shooting at 1/6 sec, it is always a bit hit or miss when going after these kind of images.

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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Castle in the Dark

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Imperial Castle | Nuremberg | 1/25 sec – f/1.8 – ISO 1600 – 25mm

One week to go until Christmas – and slowly I’m getting into the spirit. Last night The Significant Other and I visited a Christmas Show by American Musical Star and Dancer Gaines Hall. This afternoon it is snowing, covering everything outside with a beautiful white blanket. Perfect backdrop for all the beautiful lights and decorations The Significant Other has placed all over the garden and the house. Like every year, I have to admit she’s outdone herself again.

Probably due to the many black&white night photos I have posted lately, I got a question how to best approach night photography.

As for the technical aspects, I have posts in my Learning Center that covers some of those aspects, like the Instant Inspiration episode about capturing nocturnal skylines. If you search for “Night Photography” in the search field of this blog, there are plenty posts with photographs taken in the dark, and in many I talk about some how-to stuff.

If you go for best image quality, you will need a tripod (or something less sophisticated like a beanbag) to rest your camera on. For best image quality dial in a low ISO number, and select an aperture like f/11 for max depth of field. Result will be a slow shutter speed, hence the need for a tripod. Use the self timer of the camera to trigger a vibration free exposure.

If your camera has good image stabilization and a good glass attached you might get by shooting hand-held. With my Olympus cameras I can shoot 1/5 sec out of the hand and still get sharp images. When trying to shoot handheld at night, I usually shoot in P-Mode with Auto-ISO capped at ISO 1600 and I see where it gets me. Obviously, it also depends on the ambient light available, from street lights or building illuminations.

Typically I shoot in RAW and do the conversion to monochrome in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, using one of my proven presets as starting point.

This photo of Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle was taken with the Olympus PEN-F with mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 prime lens, image specs are 1/25 sec @ f/1.8  and ISO 1600.

Wish you a relaxed Sunday!

Marcus

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Walking under the Stars

Weihnachtszauber | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/10 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 20mm

Weihnachtszauber | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/10 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 20mm

Finally we got away, at least for an evening. The Significant Other and I headed to nearby historic town of Schwäbisch Hall to spend the Friday evening under the stars. It was a cold but clear night, and everybody had a good time. And yes, I finally got the Bratwurst that I was longing for all week.

I brought the OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100 F/4. Somehow, this festive season, I’m very much into black and white (not that I’m in a dark mood). And the nightly cities with their bright festive illuminations provide a good background for some high contrast monochrome shooting. Obviously, you need to work with high ISO and slower shutter speeds. But a bit of grain and slightly blurred (as moving) people doesn’t hurt in these kind of photography, sometimes even add to the atmosphere.

Christmas Spirit | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 34mm

Christmas Spirit | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 34mm

But don’t worry, colorful Christmas photos are on the way, these are just a few quick results from last night. Don’t really have time to work on the images, as we have a totally busy weekend ahead with shopping, meeting friends, birthdays, concerts and a Christmas party. And maybe the one or other snapshot 😉

Walking under the Stars | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 44mm

Walking under the Stars | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 44mm

Don’t forget to head over to my free Learning Center if you are looking for tips and inspirations around photography.

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

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Smoke and Fire

Smoke and Fire | Nuremberg | 2018

Smoke and Fire | Nuremberg | 2018

The job that pays the bills has been properly roasting me in the past days, like one of those Nuremberg Bratwurst grilled sausages. But after 32 years in the company there is not much I couldn’t handle, although times have rarely been this crazy.

I would love to grab the camera and shoot in the streets more often, but I just don’t get to it. Which is a pity, because the Nuremberg Christmas season is in full swing, and the Christkindlesmarkt, our famous historic Christmas market, with plenty of tourists and locals roaming the small alleys between the wooden stalls, is a perfect place for street photography. But the weekend is coming up and there is light at the end of the tunnel, and maybe a Bratwurst waiting for me….

Photo taken with the Olympus PEN-F with the 12mm F/2, image specs 1/100 sec @ f/2.5 and ISO 200.

If you want to pick up your camera and are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, visit my free Learning Center .

Wish you a great Friday!

Marcus

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First and Last

Sunrise Rainbow | 2018 | Depoe Bay

Sunrise Rainbow | 2018 | Depoe Bay

My Saturday spent at the coast of the great Pacific Ocean wasn’t all that bad. There was magic in the early morning, and there was magic at the end of the day. It started with a magnificent rainbow, that appeared out of nowhere behind the rugged shoreline of Depoe Bay when the sun came up behind the hills. I captured it with my iPhone Xs. I did have my Olympus PEN-F with the 12-40mm F/2.8 with me, but the 12mm wasn’t wide enough to capture the rainbow in its entirety. So I reverted to my iPhone for a panoramic shot. I got lucky that I even captured a crashing wave while panning. Where there is a rainbow there is also rain. It was the first time, but not the last on this day, that I got thoroughly soaked. The early bird got really wet before getting back to the place where I was staying.

Sunset Lighthouse | 2018 | Yaquina Head

Sunset Lighthouse | 2018 | Yaquina Head

Also the last photo of the day I took with the iPhone. Image quality has become so good, that I don’t bother shooting several photos for a panoramic view with my cam and stitching them later in Lightroom. I simply use my phone with one easy pan. When taking this last photo of the day with the magic evening light behind Newport’s Yaquina Head Lighthouse, I was once more thoroughly wet, as I got caught by a passing intense shower while being down below at the tide pools below the cliffs.

I have to admit there were not too many days of my photographic career where the first and last images of the day where similar memorable. Obviously, there where plenty more photos taken during my day on the coast, but this is for another post.

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

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The last sunset

1/80 sec - f/16 - ISO 640 - 40mm

Depoe Bay – Oregon | 2018 | 1/80 sec – f/16 – ISO 640 – 40mm

Okay, maybe the title is a bit exaggerated – it was only the last sunset of November. But a dramatic one for sure. After a day full of Oregon liquid sunshine and a nasty drive from Portland to the coast I just made it to Depoe Bay about 30 minutes prior to sunset. And after all that heavy rain the sky amazingly cleared for a few minutes, just as I got to the coast. I snapped away with two cameras, the OM-D E-M1 with the 40-150mm F/2.8 and the PEN-F with the 12-40mm F/2.8. With the heavy wind, plenty of salt and water in the air I was glad I had two bodies and didn’t need to change lenses in those conditions. After 15 minutes all hell broke loose with a thundershower with another downpour and hail. Before it cleared the sun was down and the last day of November was lost in a wet, dark night. For a few more photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Start of the festive season

Christmas

Christmas Season below Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle

Sitting in my office in far away Oregon, I swiped though my Instagram feed during lunch break. Somehow I was surprised to see all those images from the grand opening of the historic Nuremberg Christmas market. Being fully engulfed in my work on the other side of the world,  it completely dropped off my radar that this weekend is the start of Advent season, the four weekends prior to Christmas. And traditionally, on Friday night before the First Advent, is the festive opening of Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, as it is called locally. And with that, the historic old town below the Imperial Castle turns on the lights of all the festive street decorations. Seeing the Instagram photos I’m feeling a bit homesick, but that comes with the job that pays the bills. At least I get to spend two days at the coast of the great Pacific Ocean, albeit with plenty of Oregon liquid sunshine forecasted, but I will make the best of it.

The photograph was taken with my Olympus PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens, image specs 1/60 sec @ f/2 and ISO 1600.

If you want to pick up your camera on the weekend and are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, visit my free Learning Center  .

Wish you a great weekend and a peaceful Christmas season.

Marcus

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In the air again

1/100 sec | f/5.4 | ISO 5000 | 63mm

1/100 sec | f/5.4 | ISO 5000 | 63mm

I’m back in the air, crossing the Northern Atlantic Ocean on my last trip to the Pacific Northwest. For this year, that is. I’m glad I’m flying directly to Portland from Amsterdam,  saving me the hustle of a connection somewhere in the US, which would have been most likely problematic, given the winter weather that has hit many parts of America in the past days. We left Amsterdam with a ninety minute delay due to the late inbound flight from NYC, but will be catching up most of the time, which will put me on the ground in Rose City around noon and in the office around 1:30pm for a good half day of work, before I will hit the pillows after another 24 hour day. But there will be some incentives on this trip, like visiting a Blazers game tomorrow night and spending the weekend on the Oregon coast.

The photograph for this post I took with my OM-D E-M5 with the 14-150mm F/4-5.6. If you look at the image specs (1/100 sec @ f/5.4 and ISO5000), you can imagine that the image was taken in less than ideal light conditions, given the high ISO I needed to dial-in in order to generate the 1/100 sec shutter speed I needed to freeze the action. Can you guess what it is? Let me know in the comments. I will eventually post the solution there…

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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Keep warm !

Beauty and the Beast

Winter is here for good in the streets of Nuremberg. Temperatures have dropped below freezing and yesterday we had the first snow flurries of the season, even though it didn’t last very long.

But for sure it’s getting a bit uncomfortable when roaming the streets with the camera in my hands. And as the pretty lady with her lap dog in the photo above (taken with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm F/2 prime lens, specs are 1/180 sec @ f/2 and ISO 200), I’m using gloves to keep my hands warm. The thing is, regular gloves are not very handy when it comes to operating the camera with all the little dials and buttons. And I’m not a big fan of wearing fingerless gloves (what is the sense of having those, when your fingertips are freezing off). But there is something like a hybrid model. A real photographers glove.  A glove with which one can simply fold the tips of thumb and index finger to the side.

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I found those somewhere on the web last year (searching for photographers gloves), and they are the real thing, after testing them the rest of last winter. The crests are foldable on both gloves, by the way. It is super easy to use, so maximum you have the tips of thumb and index finger cold when leaving them exposed to operate the cam. An essential piece of gear for winter photography, not only for the street shooter.

If you look for tips and inspirations around photography, check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great Wednesday – and stay warm!

Marcus

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Blogger meeting with Streets of Nuremberg — Rhapsody Bohème

Last Saturday was a special day for me, I’m not soon to forget. I had my first ever blogger meeting with the very talented Marcus from Streets of Nuremberg. A big shout out and thank you goes out to him for making this day possible. I once said that one of the biggest, most precious […]

via Blogger meeting with Streets of Nuremberg — Rhapsody Bohème