Perfect Imperfection

Cuddly Protection
Cuddly Protection | 2017

This capture of an intimate moment between father and son is not a perfect photograph.

I took this photo late in the evening in a dimly lit street cafe. It was a difficult situation to focus in as there was just not enough light. Aiming and shooting quickly the auto focus did lock on the contrast rich edge of the toy tiger in front of the two main subjects of the photograph, resulting in their faces being thrown out of focus due to the long focal length and the wide open aperture of f/5.6 at the far end of my zoom range.

I took only this one shot, as a second later they changed their posture and that intimate  moment was lost.

Missing the focus makes this technically a failed image. Is it a failed image? I think it is not. A photograph needs to have heart and soul, needs to carry a story. It’s contents over form. A technically flawless photo isn’t any good if it’s missing heart and soul. If you study the work of the masters of Street Photography like Henri Cartier-Bresson or Elliot Erwitt, you find many of their great photography are technically imperfect images. But they carry a strong story.

So my advice is press the shutter when you see something that touches your heart and your emotions and worry about the settings later. Having perfect settings or a perfect focus doesn’t help you when the moment is lost.

The photo was taken with my OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 travel zoom, image specs are 1/13 sec @ f/5,6 and ISO 1600, 120mm focal length.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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New Memories and Remembrance

Brass Concert Berlin Breitscheidplatz
Brass Concert Berlin Breitscheidplatz

Today my US friends celebrate Memorial Day. And I hope everyone has a blessed and especially peaceful holiday. Peaceful is especially important, after the dreadful happenings in Portland last Friday. Stabbing people who stood up to protect two teenage girls who haven’t done anything is a vicious crime. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. Those men stood up to the values we all should adhere to, tolerance and respect.

Just as vicious where the terror attacks in Manchester, were the suicide bomber deliberately attacked to slaughter innocent children after a concert. As father of two teenagers this is especially agonizing, as I know there is nothing I can do to protect my children (or myself, for that matter) from falling victim to a similar random attack of terrorists.

If there is anything positive from all this terrible events it is that the terrorists don’t succeed in driving a wedge into our modern, open and tolerant societies, despite some of our politicians trying to tell us otherwise.

That there are so many people offering help in the aftermath of terror attacks with  shelter, food, transportation to all affected people regardless of nationality or religion is proof enough that we can differentiate very well between what is the work of terrorists and what are just regular people like you and me that happen to come from different nationalities or religious backgrounds and that happen to live with us in open, multicultural societies. Also the actions from the men in Portland are proof of this.

And this brings me to what this post is about. On December 19th a terrorist drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas Market, killing 12 people and injuring 55. This happened on the Breitscheidplatz in the very center of Berlin, where the ruins of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche still stand as a silent memorial to the horrors of World War II. At the steps of the church is the memorial to the victims of this horrendous attack.

When I visited Berlin this past weekend for the German Protestant Church Day I witnessed a fabulous concert at this very same location. It was a joint concert of Genesis Brass, an ensemble of 15 professional brass players, and about a thousand amateur brass players that visited Berlin for the Church Day event. The Breitscheidplatz was filled with joyous music during a beautiful summer evening. Between the musicians and the onlookers the were thousands of people of many nationalities and religions, enjoying the music. Everyone had a good time. I felt is was good and right to fill this place with joy, creating happy memories for all who witnessed. Music is a perfect tool to bring people together.

During the moderation of the concert as well as in the blessings that were given at the end the speakers found prefect words to also pay tribute to the victims of the December attack. And I felt this was needed and just as good and right.

There needs to be grief and remembrance, but we need to stand up and show the terrorists that we stand together as one, regardless of nationality and religion, and that opens ad tolerance will prevail in the end.

For more impressions from that summer evening in Berlin continue after the jump….  Continue reading “New Memories and Remembrance”

House of Blue and Gold

House of Blue and Gold
House of Blue and Gold | Berlin | 2017

A quick one to send you into a blessed Sunday. Berlin is full of amazing architecture. Now it has a new highlight. This is the “Upper West” Tower at the Breitscheidplatz with 113m height and 33 floors. It is occupied (among other tenants) by Motel One, and it has a Skybar on the top floor. The building opened in 2017. So no need to go to Dubai to see fancy architecture.

Image specs are 1/8 sec @ f/5 and ISO 1600, handheld. Camera was the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6.

Happy Sunday!

Marcus

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You see me

You see mee ?
You see mee ? | Berlin | 2017

“You see me”, this is the motto of the 2017 German Protestant Church Day (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag) in Berlin. 2500 events in 5 days, 100.000 fulltime visitors.

The oversized portraits by Christof Krackhardt were on display at the main location of the event at the Berlin Exhibition Center.

Looking at, being looked upon, seeing, not being seen, all in one photo….

Can I help you ? |
Can I help you ? | Berlin | 2017
Selfie
Selfie | Berlin | 2017

Have you visited my Learning Center yet, the link collection to all my free tips and inspirations around photography?

Wish you all a splendid and sunny weekend!

Marcus

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A Capital Sunset

A capital Sunset
Capital Sunset | Berlin | 2017

We’re in our Capital this weekend. After seeing a marvelous concert in the Berlin Cathedral with music from Karl Jenkins we walked out just in time to see this splendidly colored evening sky behind the Spree river.

Image specs are 1/80 sec at f/4,1 and ISO 200,17mm focal length. Camera was the OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6.

Took quite a few photos yesterday, but returning to our room only way past midnight and needing to get up early in the morning to go to the next event I just downloaded my photos, but had to time to go through them.

So with this quick sunset snap I wish you a good Friday and a hopefully relaxed start into a blessed and peaceful weekend!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Dream Trees
Dream Trees | Brandenburg | 2017

“Evanescent” – soon passing out of sight; quickly fading or disappearing – this is the title of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ “The Daily Post”.

When I read this week’s theme in my WP reader I was just traveling by bus from Nuremberg to Berlin where I will spend the long weekend we have here in Germany due to our public holiday on Thursday.

Looking out the window I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate example of “evanescent”, as every single second the landscape in front of my window was disappearing behind the bus riding on the Autobahn.

For many more photos and a description of the technique I used continue after the jump… Continue reading “Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent”

Off Topic – Konfi Shooting

Konfirmation Fotoshooting
1/640 sec @ f/4,5 and ISO 200, 120mm focal length

With today’s post I’m once more venturing far away from my usual posts around Street- and Travel Photography. Friends have asked me to shoot the portraits of their son for his Konfirmation (confirmation).  So we met this past Sunday for a photo session in exchange for a delicious barbecue. Although I don’t have much experience in doing portraits I’m quite happy how this series came out and we had a good time. Definitely aided by using the perfect prop for a 14 year old teenager, his Piaggio Ape. To see more photos continue after the jump… Continue reading “Off Topic – Konfi Shooting”

Street Photography Quick Tip (10)

Old Town Reflections
Old Town Reflections | Nuremberg | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 10 – Using Photographic Obstacles

My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is about using photographic obstacles to your advantage.

Have you ever found a parked car blocking that perfect view in a city you visit? Well, you  can try to walk around, but sometimes that won’t help because the nice perspective disappears or there is another obstacle blocking your view.

Well, as simple solution can be: Use it to your advantage. Include it in the composition. It just might made an otherwise boring composition all that more interesting. In this case I included the front window and the roof of a parked car als reflection surface while taking this shot in Nuremberg’s historic Old Town below the Imperial Castle.

Try it yourself! Don’t be frustrated with this stupid obstacle, accept the challenge and have fun!

Find all my other Street Photography Quick Tips in my new free Learning Center.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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An Emperor’s Morning

Kaiserburg Nürnberg

It is a glorious morning above Nuremberg. On a day like this my Grandma always said “wir haben Kaiserwetter” – we have Emperor’s weather. So a perfect morning to show off one of Nuremberg’s principal attractions, our Imperial Castle, or Kaiserburg, built on a sandstone ridge above our historic Old Town. For more photos and a bit of history I invite you to continue after the jump… Continue reading “An Emperor’s Morning”

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