In time for the weekend here is episode 3 of my “Instant Inspirations”. Why not try to take an image that features silhouettes, if you look for something to overcome “Photographer’s Block” or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried or at least not recently? For a bit of how-to, a few more of my silhouette photos and links to episodes 1 and 2 of “Instant Inspirations” continue reading after the jump….. (more…)
Street Photography Quick Tip 1 – A way to shoot inconspicuously
Motivated by the very positive feedback to the start of my series “Instant Inspiration” (links at the end of this post) I want to launch another regular series – the Street Photography Quick Tips. Some short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. The first edition of “Street Photography Quick Tips” is about shooting inconspicuously. If you want to find out how, continue reading after the jump…. (more…)
The cold season has truly arrived in Nuremberg, it’s been gray and rainy all day. Not that fall wouldn’t provide good photo opportunities, just think about the coloring leaves and wet puddles that can be used to capture street scene reflections (reminds me I need to do an “Instant Inspiration” on that).
This street scene I took near the front of our German National Museum (Germanisches Nationalmuseum) on the South Side of Nurembergs Old Town.
Image taken with the Ricoh GR with 1/125 sec @ f/5 and ISO 160.
After receiving so much positive feedback for the kickoff of my “Instant Inspiration”series (link to episode 1 at the end of this post) here is episode 2: Go out and shoot a motion blur image. These two photographs I took in the Munich subway with my Ricoh GR II. I used Shutter Priority to set a low shutter speed of 1/6 sec (top image) and 1/8 second (image below), both were shot at f/11 with ISO 1600. What also works in these images are the complimentary dominating colors blue-green and red-yellow. The photo above I shot out of the train window as it arrived at a station. For the image below I stood at a platform shooting the arriving train with a waiting commuter in front. So next time you want to do something against your photographers block go out and shoot a motion blur photo using slow shutter speeds. You are invited to show your results by posting a link in the comment section. Go out and have a blast!
Enjoy your weekend!
We’re photographers, with great creativity and great gear. Feeling invincible in what we do. Having everything under control. We think. Until it happens. Yesterday evening it happened to me. My 2011 Macbook Pro quit on me. Starts to boot, shows funny graphics on the screen, goes black, starts to boot again…and again…and again.
Panic starts to come up. What happens if I don’t get it back up running? Do I have proper backups? Sure I do backups. I always back up my raws to an external hard drive. Only occasionally, when I download my camera and I don’t have my external drive at hand I copy my raw backups to a folder called “Raws” on my Macbook HD. To transfer them later to the external drive. I know I have taken the shortcut on a few occasions lately. Darn….
Sure I use Time Machine to backup my Macbook to an Apple Airport Time Capsule. Only it gave me error messages the last couple of weeks that it is full. I had already made a mental note to check the Time Capsule and get the backup done, only didn’t get to do it yet. Darn…
I keep all my past images on an external double raid disk, perfectly safe. I have a copy on another drive that I keep in my office desk. In case the house burns down. Only the current years images I always keep on my MacBooks Hard Drive, because I work on them. Besides the Time Machine backups (that should work in theory unless it gives error messages) I do copy my images and my Lightroom catalogue occasionally to yet another external flash drive. Only we talk of about 200 GB of data, that takes a while so I don’t do it too often. I know I have done it prior to our summer vacation, which means I potentially miss 2 months images including our summer vacation (at least I have those raws on the external drive) if I don’t get my MacBook back on line and the Time Machine backup is incomplete. Darn….
What the true loss of data is I can only check once I get my either the MacBook repaired or a replacement machine. Until then I will sleep bad. In theory I have a great foolproof multiple backup strategy. In reality it might have failed me. Because machines will fail you once in a while. It is not the question if…but only when. So I give you a good advice!
BACKUP!!! YOUR!!! DATA!!!!
Seems I’ve got really lucky ! It turned out the Graphic Chip on my MacBook died. As it doesn’t make sense to change the motherboard on a 5 1/2 year old machine I bit the bullet and picked up a new MacBook Pro (its a beauty with the Retina Display and a SSD). I started the old Macbook in Harddisk-Mode (one of the Apple technicians gave me this tip, simply press “t” while turning it on), connected the two Macbooks with a Thunderbolt cable and the old MacBook showed up as external Harddisk on my new MacBook. Then it was a matter of minutes to copy the files from the old to the new machine. Voilà, problem solved (minus the cash out for the new MacBook). But I really got lucky this time. From now on I make sure I have constant backups. One scare is enough!
It just happens once in a while, to me as probably to all of you as well. We don’t have the drive to go out shooting, we feel like our images look all the same, lack creativity. It’s called “Photographers Block”. What we shouldn’t do (and I’m very much guilty of this) is then to go out to buy new gear, a new camera, another lens, because we feel this motivates us and will take our photography to the next level. This trap, commonly called G.A.S.(Gear Acquisition Syndrome), will only help the camera manufactures make profit and won’t make us better photographers. Because most of us already own perfectly fine cameras.
Sometimes all it takes to get over “Photographers Block” is to look for a different view point, a fresh angle in our photography. When I suffer from”Photographers Block”I look through images from fellow bloggers or through my Instagram contacts to look for fresh ideas, inspirations. Photographs that “turn me on”, that have contents, perspectives that I find appealing, that I’d like to try myself. Not copying it, but using at as new fuel for my own creative variations.
For that reason I decided to start a new series on “Streets of Nuremberg”, where once every while I post an image where I think that might serve one or the other as inspiration to try something new, find a fresh angle to his or her photography and overcome “Photographers Block”. A sort of little “bump”towards new creativity. I call this “Instant Inspiration”. If you take up on this little inspirations I invite you to share the results in the comments, post a link to your image, as sharing ideas between us could be fun for everyone.
So the first “Instant Inspiration” is to shoot the streets from a very low angle. I took the image above with the PEN-F and the 25mm f/1.8 lens (a “nifty fifty” in full frame equivalent). The legs are those of my wife, I didn’t sneak up to a stranger ;-).
It has been a while since I last posted from the Streets of Nuremberg, but lets just say I had my summer break 😉 Was back in town yesterday doing some shopping with my wife and brought along the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 (my m4/3 equivalent of a nifty fifty, considering the m4/3 crop factor of 2).
Passing through the old town we discovered that this weekend was an Italian Market on the bridges over the Pegnitz River. The food vendors offered plenty of Italian goodies to try and we even bought some delicious Italian truffeled salami to take home.
And right across from the food stalls I saw this guy leaning on the bridge railing, all relaxed and having a smoke. And I decided just then and there it would be a good time to put my new resolution (shooting deliberate street portraits with short primes instead of shooting unobtrusive candids with more distance to the subject) to a first test, so I walked up to the guy and just asked him if I could take his portrait because I like his style. And sure enough he smiled and agreed. Talking a bit to him learned he’s Italian himself.
Visually, his bright red cloves contrast perfectly with his black coat, so I left the photo in color, just increased clarity in Lightroom to give the portrait more punch and worked a bit on the graduation curves. I also added a slight vignette. The image was taken at 1/160 sec f/3.2 and ISO 200.
The Streets of Nuremberg go sub sea this time. I wanted to share some images I took while snorkeling with my kids on the Spiaggia del Relitto, the Relict Beach, near the village of Pomonte on the Italian Island of Elba. To read more about our little wreck diving adventure and how I took the photos continue reading after the jump…