The last day of 2017 is upon us. Time to look back and reflect on my photographic journey through the year. As I went through my WordPress media gallery in chronological order and selected some photographs that triggered remembrances about places, moments and emotions. 2017 was a good year for my photography! May 2018 be even better! For the whole 2017 gallery continue after the jump…. Continue reading “My photographic journey through 2017”→
Thinking in monochrome is nothing unusual for us street photographers. But when shooting landscapes it is nothing that I normally consciously look for. Today it was different. While the significant other and the big girl took to the slopes today on this marvelous winter day in the Austrian Alps, I grabbed the PEN-F with the 14-150mm travel zoom and my walking poles and hiked up the Weißpriachtal along the Longa River. I had this stunning valley all to myself, during my 3 hour hike I passed only 2 other walkers on this freezing cold winter day.
The sun was shining on 2 feet of freshly fallen snow, and there was a lot of contrast in this high altitude mountain valley. When I passed a small bend of the Longa River that lowed with the reflection of the snowy peak behind, I couldn’t help thinking of Ansel Adams and is beautiful high contrast landscape photographs. And this was enough inspiration to get going myself. I set the PEN-F to its high contrast monochrome program which helped me look for and compose my own high contrast landscapes. I dialed in ISO 200 and an aperture of f/10, which gave me shutter speeds between 1/320 and 1/500 sec.
Remember how to capture the rays of the sun? You need to shoot with a narrow (small) aperture, like F16 or F22. If you also line up the sun just peaking around the corner of solid object, you are bound to get yourself some nice bursting rays in your image. This one was taken with F/18 and 1/60 sec at ISO 500.
I hope you liked my little excursion into landscape photography. This is what holidays are for, to wander off the beaten paths of what we normally do. What have you shot these past days that are outside your normal realm of photography? Feel free to share your results via the comment section.
All photographs were taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 Travel Zoom. RAW conversion and high contrast monochrome treatment in Lightroom Classic CC.
In a recent post I mentioned the 400 hours I’ve spent in airplanes on business trips last year. And that I’m happy for some Holiday downtime. And what did I do? Climbed into the cockpit of an Airbus A320 and took to the air again. Only that I was not really flying. Sounds crazy? Not really. My kids have treated me to 90 minutes in the cockpit of an airliner simulator. Not one of the real full motion simulators that airlines use for pilot training, but in a detailed cockpit replica with all systems fully simulated. And the near 180 degrees view of the scenery on the screen outside the big cockpit windows was enough to give you the full sensation of flying.
I think I’ve written in a previous post that I’ve got a private pilots license many years ago and that I’m a real airplane nut. Not only have I logged many hours in Cessnas, but a few years back I also flew an Airbus A340 full motion simulator in a Lufthansa Flight Training Facility. And I landed the big iron just as fine. The basics of flying are the same. regardless if piston engine planes or big passenger jets.
So after a short briefing by the flight instructor I did a first takeoff in Frankfurt, flew a pattern and landed successfully on the same runway. Then we did a full flight from Frankfurt to Nuremberg. It was so much fun. All the more, as the kids and the significant other (who took all the photos) where sitting in aircraft chairs behind the cockpit. We landed in snow drizzles about 40 minutes later and docked at the gate.
I do fly the Airbus in a simulator on my PC, so operating the systems was quite familiar, but doing it in a real functional cockpit replica was so much fun. A got a certificate for my successful landings. So should ever the need arise in a real flight, that the crew would search for an emergency pilot, I’m definitely ready for it!
All photos taken with the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12mm F/2. Image specs for all are 1/60 sec at f/2 and ISO1600.
To everyone out there, but particularly to all the many wonderful people I’ve had the blessings to meet (at least virtually) during my first two years of blogging on the “Streets of Nuremberg”, I wish a peaceful Christmas and much love and laughters together with your family and friends.
Last night, after shutting down my business laptop for good for 2017, the significant other and myself headed into Nuremberg’s Old Town for some Bratwurst and Mulled Wine. To unwind and get into the right Christmas spirit. We took a walk in the alleys below the Imperial Castle to look at a few Christmas trees the city has put up. I took along the Olympus PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 and 25mm F/1.8 primes. For a few more images continue after the jump…. Continue reading “Getting ready for Christmas”→
I have closed the shutters on the job that pays the bills, at least for 2017. This years goes in the books as my “Year of the Flights”. I counted seventeen intercontinental business trips, among which a true “Round the World” flight, plus a bunch of flights around Europe and the Middle East. I estimate that I’ve spent close to 400 hours in the air. The countries I’ve visited in 2017 include the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Namibia, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Sweden and Egypt.
I’ve met many great people on my business travels. Had a few nice dinners. I saw polar lights from the plane while crossing the Atlantic Ocean during the night. Had a free Saturday in Tokyo and an evening in Budapest that I really enjoyed. Got to explore a bit of the Pacific Northwest during a few weekends spent in Portland. But there were also the countless nights in some hotels, countless days in windowless meeting rooms somewhere on the globe. And way too many weeks away from home. The glory of business travel.
Now I’m really looking forward to some down time with the family and away from laptop and mobile phone (the business versions of those, that is 😉 ). Before it will start all over again in 2018, hopefully with a bit less intensity.
I wish everyone a great Friday and a peaceful start into the long Holiday weekend!
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The last WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge (WPC) of 2017 was probably also the hardest one for this year . At least for me it was. With the title “2017 Favorites” it calls to post your most meaningful photo of 2017.
Now we all are passionate about our photography, and I’m quite sure, that when you look at your archives of this year, there are at least a dozen great images looking at you, screaming “I deserve to be in the 2017 Favorites!!!” And aren’t all those beautiful photographs, that each mean so much to you, your creative children? And don’t you want to treat all your children equal? So you are tempted to post not only your most favorite landscape photo, but also your best macro shot, portrait, street photo, monochrome image, and the one image you are most emotionally attached to and you just can’t leave out. After all, this is a great opportunity to show off a small selection of your best work. And Ben Huberman even left the door open for us to post several photos, if we can’t decide which is the absolute best (or meaningful) image of 2017.
When I joined a street photography workshop with Eric Kim back in November, one of the lessons I took away is that as photographer you need to be able to “kill your babies”. In order to distill out your best work. And to make you hungry again to take more photos, and make you better.
So even if it hurt, as I think I had great year where I really advanced my photography and got many pictures that I think are really good, I took the challenge by the word and post only my most meaningful photo of 2017.
This is my best image from the mentioned workshop. And it was the image that broke the spell around “interactive” street photography for me, where I discovered how much fun it actually is to walk up to interesting looking people in the streets and ask if I could make their portrait. So this is my photography of the year 2017!
Street Photography captures life as it happens. Or as it not really happens. Like me making me a cook for a moment. In front of a Chinese restaurant in Portland.
I wonder what the cook must have thought, seeing the strange guy with a camera in front of his window, crouched down, inching his way sideways, upwards, downwards, in a desperate attempt to put his head on top of another body. But the opportunity to become a cook for a moment was just to good to pass up.
In case you wonder why the cam is not at the photographer’s eye? Thanks to the rotatable LCD screen of my PEN-F.
Taken with my Olympus PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens. Image specs 1/60 sec @ f/2 and ISO 1600.
As I wrote in a previous post, there are two ways to approach Street Photography. You can actively “hunt” for an interesting image to happen, for example following an appealing subject until it enters the right background scene. Or you come across a background that catches your eyes first. Then it is a matter of you waiting for the right subject to enter the scene to get the photo you are after. I call this the “gathering” approach.
This was the case when I saw this colorful mural in Portland. I loved its shape and dynamic, and its colors that really came to life during the blue hour of this late Saturday afternoon. I really wanted to capture it in a street photo, but taking a photo of a mural by itself is a bit lifeless without a foreground that adds interest.
I was with my PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens, which limited myself to this composition, as I had to stand between to parked cars half on the street to have mural and sidewalk filling my viewfinder. A frontal position would not have been possible as due to the lens being very wide angled, I couldn’t stand behind the car parked in front as the roof would have blocked the lower part of the mural.
Then it was a matter of waiting in the freezing cold wind for passing people, and there weren’t to many around. The first that passed came in groups, blocking the mural, then people passed on my side of the sidewalk, with only their top half visible in the frame, also blocking the mural. I needed someone to pass close to the wall, so I could capture the whole person in front of the big face behind him.
With this guy I finally got lucky (after about 15 minutes and a few unsuccessful shots), as he passed close to the wall, and I managed to capture him in full stride, always something I look for when pressing the shutter. Perseverance paid off once more.