Month: February 2017

The Streets of Portland – Finally

Merger

Marquam Bridge | Portland | 2017

Here it is, my first real photo of the Streets of Portland, literally. Last night after work I drove up the South Portland’s Marquam Hill (aka Pill Hill), where the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)  and the Portland VA Medical Center operate large hospitals, whose modern architecture is quite fascinating of its own. But my real target was the upper station of the Portland Aerial Tram, from which you have a stunning view across downtown, the Willamette River with its many bridges and on clear days onwards to Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. I found free parking behind the Doernbechers Children’s Hospital and walked over to the Tram Station.

I knew that from the station there is this great view of Interstates 405 and 5 merging and crossing the Willamette River on the Marquam Bridge. And this is the photo I really wanted to take. So I brought the Olympus OM-D E-M1, the mZuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom and my Rollei travel tripod. Temperatures last night where just above freezing and there was a nasty rainfall. Camera and lens are waterproof, so that was more of a problem for me with my thin and not waterproof jacket. The good thing was that inside the Tram Station I was protected by the roof. I put the tripod on the railing at the far end that is open towards city and river, and snapped away. The photo came out just as I had hoped for. Image specs were 8 seconds (to capture the light trails of the traffic crossing the bridge), f/10 and ISO 200. Focal length was the far end of my zoom at 150mm (equals 300mm in full frame) and I used the 2sec self timer of the camera to avoid any shake after pressing the shutter.

This is a good example of a planned shot, where you have in mind what you want to do and then just execute.

I took a few more photos on Marquam Hill, but need time to process and edit, A post will follow. And then of course I need to really hit the Streets of Portland. But due to a full business agenda this might have to wait until my next trip.

Have a great day!

Marcus

Update 3/15: Entering this shot in the WP Weekly Photo Challenge “Atop”

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Travel Day (4)

Dawn

Travel Day again, heading westward for another week of work in Portland, Oregon. Took the early bird 6:15 KLM flight from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, where I had enough layover to do some shooting in the terminal before continuing on a non-stop Delta flight to Portland’s PDX airport. To join me for for a stroll through Schiphol Airport and for a sky view of the Shetland Islands continue reading after the jump…

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Looking Down at Things

Looking Down

Looking Down | Genoa | 2015

This is my entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Looking Down at Things. As you probably know from my previous  challenge entries, I want to meet the challenges with a Street Photography image. When I read Cee’s title, I immediately had this photo in mind, that I took in the streets of Genoa in 2015. This obviously meets the requirements….looking down 😉

I probably could enter this also to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge of this week that has the title “A good match”. What matches better than a classic Fiat 500 Cinquecento and the streets of Italy?

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

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Instant Inspiration (12) – Playfulness

Playfulness

“Instant Inspirations” is my series for you if you feel you suffer from “Photographer’s Block”  or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried. Or at least not recently. Episode 12 should inspire you to go out and capture “playfulness”. For more exemplary photos, some advice and the links to all previous episodes continue reading after the jump…

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Travel Day (3)

Let there be Light

Let there be light | France | 2017

I’m safely back home from my trip to Portland. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a very northerly route, that took my Delta Airlines A330 over the center part of Greenland, I was on the lookout for Northern Lights, as I had a window seat on the left side of the plane. A few weeks ago I saw a Blog Post from someone who actually photographed the Aurea Borealis from a plane. As it is a dream of mine to see the magnetic lights in the sky, I stayed up (watching “The Accountant” with Ben Affleck – a super movie) and waited for the green flares to appear, but I didn’t saw any. As it turned out, I might have missed them by just one night, as from this fantastic blog here I learned the Aurea Borealis was active the night before.

But I got lucky on two very important aspects on my return flight. The first you see in the photo to this post, I was blessed with an incredibly colorful dawn high in the sky above France. The colors were insane. I took the photo with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 Travel Zoom pressed to the window. Image specs were 1/10 sec @ f/4.9 and ISO 1600. The photo is a jpg out of camera.

Let there be light

Let there be light

Almost more important was the fact I saved 4 hours of lay-over at Paris Charles De Gaulle. The Delta flight got in 30 minutes early, which gave me an outside chance of catching the 8:35 morning flight to Nuremberg instead of the 13:00 connection I was booked on (and believe me, waiting 4 hours in the remote Terminal 2G of CDG is no fun). I gave up hope when we taxied in for 15 minutes and then on top parked at an apron position where buses took us to the terminal 2E once everybody was out of the plane. But then security control went so smooth and there was an immediate shuttle bus connection to Terminal 2G where I arrived just when Boarding started for the Air France / HOP flight to Nuremberg. I went directly to the Transfer Counter (where there was also no other passenger) and asked if they can put me on the early flight. The lady there told me it would not be possible as I was on a Delta ticket, and rebooking that would take too long as boarding was already in progress.

Refusing to give up I went directly to the boarding gate to try my luck once more. And there you go, the great guy at the gate typed something in his computer, made a phone call and then printed my new boarding pass. The flight was not even 1/3 full. Instead of coming home Sunday afternoon I was home in time for breakfast with the family, what a treat!

So the lesson learnt here is: Never give up, always try! Works wonder in travels! And: try to fly with carry on baggage only. With a checked bag this would not have been possible. I can live up to 6 days out of my carry on, I’ve optimized that over the years, so I never check bags unless I absolutely have  to.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Heathman Hotel

Heathman Hotel | Portland | 2017

After a strenuous travel (Nuremberg-Amsterdam-Seattle-Drive to Portland) I went direct to the office for a first set of meetings. When I got into the hotel I was on a 26 hour day, minus two and a half of sleep I caught on the plane. This happens regularly and it doesn’t kill me as long as it doesn’t happen every week. Weather was gruesome and as feared, my super tight schedule didn’t allow me to see much of Portland during this visit at all. At least I stayed in downtown this time, in the very nice boutique hotel “The Heathman”, a Portland landmark (opened 1923) and recently the set for a few scenes in the movie “50 Shades of Grey”. An complementary upgrade to a suite really made my evening after this super long day. The hotel is beautiful with a stunning library and plenty art work. I plan to do a separate post about it in the future. To learn more about a cooking event I participated in and see photos of two of the PNW’s stunning volcanos continue reading after the jump…

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Travel Day (2)

First Flight

First Flight | Tanzania | 2016

It’s travel day again. I’ll get up at 4am to be at Nuremberg Airport for my 6:15 KLM flight to Amsterdam (remember the great Heineken bar in the Terminal?) and then onwards with Delta to Seattle where I’ll arrive at 11:24 am local time. Then its a 3 hours drive via Interstate 5 down to Portland where I’ll arrive just in time for the big Kick-Off meeting of my new project that will take me to the Pacific Northwest quite a bit over the next couple of months. It will be a 26 hour day before I get to fall in a bed again. Need to catch some sleep on the plane ! Going west helps with the Jet lag. Will try not to adapt too much to the 9hours time difference, as my flight home is already Saturday.

The photo of the Marabous I took a few minutes before sunrise in Tanzania last year with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 Travel Zoom. Image specs are 1/60 sec (handheld) @ f/5.6 and ISO 200 with the zoom at the far end of its focal range. The RAW conversion was done in Lightroom CC, where I increased contrast, dynamic and clarity. I increased also sharpness a bit (you always need to do that when working on a RAW file. What is important is to mask  the sharpness so you limited sharpening of pixels to the high contrast edges of the birds and the branches so you avoid over sharpening and subsequent introduction of unwanted noise in the clouds.

Have a great Wednesday

Marcus

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A Valentine Sunset

Sunset in Camogli

Sunset | Camogli | 2016

I just felt today like I needed to post a sunset photo for all those Valentine Loveducks out there. The weather in Nuremberg during the day was quite nice although still too cold. But with some haze and clouds out and about there was no such thing as a nice sunset. Don’t remember when I saw the last nice one, might have been the one I saw from the plane when arriving to Los Angeles the other week.

As the weather forecast for my next business travel destination (going to Portland via Seattle tomorrow) calls for torrential rain, I decided to go into last years archive and post this beautiful sunset from the little town of Camogli on the Riviera di Levante near Genoa. Not without reason this coastal part of the Ligurian Sea is called Golfo Paradiso. The pebbled beach with the colorful historic town houses (there is an image in this post here) is the perfect swimming destination with crystal clear water and splendid views of the Monte di Portofino, and the sunsets behind the Basilica Santa Maria Assunta and the Castello della Dragonara are one of a kind. And for all you Valentines out there, on the terrace above the beach are plenty of great cocktail bars.

I took the photo with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 travel zoom. Image specs are 1/320 sec with f/10 and ISO 200, focal length was 22mm (equals 44mm in full frame equivalent). RAW conversion was done in Adobe Lightroom CC where I applied the VSCO 4  Fuji Astia 100F+ preset to warm up the image slightly.

Have a great Valentines Day !

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (6)

Travel Choices

Travel Choices | Munich | 2016

Street Photography Quick Tip 6 – Shoot in a station

Have I mentioned that train- or metro stations are a great place to shoot Street Photography? Same as in airports, travelers in stations rushing too and from the trains are often much too busy to notice the photographer on the hunt, especially when you shoot with a small, inconspicuous camera or your phone. Set your camera to “P” mode and look for interesting scenes. Find yourself an interesting background and wait until the right subject arrives, as I did with this business traveler who rushed by my lens in front of the board with the train announcements.

If you want to play with motion blur to capture the dynamic of the rushing people, reduce your shutter speed to 1/10 sec which is a good starting point, as if you have a cam with good image stabilization or a calm hand you still can get the static scene acceptably sharp.

Red-haired girl rushing by

Red Rush | Nuremberg | 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Underground | Nuremberg | 2016

My 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. Check out some more posts.

Marcus

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