Month: January 2018

Street Photography Quick Tip (14)

Like my hair

Like my hair | Berlin | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 14 – Shoot upwards and tilted for more dynamic street portraits

After a race across the nightsky (our flight arrived a whopping 70 minutes ahead of schedule) I’m back in Europe at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and waiting to board the plane for the last leg of this trip back to Nuremberg.

But as we came in early, this gives me time for episode 14 of my popular Street Photography Quick Tips, my short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets.

Most people shoot their portraits from eye-level. And if you get the eyes sharp, have the subjects turn their heads slightly upwards and to the side, you should get great results. But if you want to get your street portraits a more eye catching touch, shoot from a lower angle, and you can even tilt your camera a bit to give your image even more dynamic.

Talk to your subjects, ask them an open question, like what they wanted to become when they were a child, or what would be the destination of their dream, vacation. When the start talking, they relax, which can give you the opportunity to take great candid shots.

Obviously, this tip applies not only to street portraits.

For more Street Photography Quick Tips and inspirations around photography in general check out my free Learning Center.

I wish you all a great weekend!

Marcus

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Looking forward to the weekend

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud | Berlin | 2017

It was a very intense week in the Pacific Northwest, that I amazingly managed to get through without any significant jet lag from Monday’s flight across the big ocean to Portland. Unfortunately, there was also no opportunity for any street shooting, as apart from a very nice dinner with a new colleague and his wife last night (if you ever read this, thanks for a very nice evening, Pauline & Tom) , I didn’t manage to sneak away into downtown of the Rose City with my camera. The glory of business travel ;-).

Right now I’m sitting at PDX airport ready to board my return flight via Amsterdam to Nuremberg, where I hope to arrive in time for a late breakfast Saturday morning. Then it’s a week and a half at home, before I head back to Portland for a short 3 day trip.

This street portrait was taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8. Image specs are 1/80 sec @ f/2 and ISO 200.

I wish you all a great weekend, where I hope to catch up with all your comments and own blogposts!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

Pensieve

Pensieve | Cremona | 2016

When I read the title of this week’s Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge – “Silence” – it was this street photo that was immediately in front of my eyes. I know I have posted it before, but this photo is all about silence, as silent as street photography can be.

The sounds of a bustling Italian market were barely audible inside the cathedral of Cremona, where only a handful of visitors were present in this huge church that was  totally silent.

And then there is the silence in and around this old man that was totally lost in thoughts.

Just to answer the questions that came with my earlier post of this, I shot this photograph at the long end of my small mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 telezoom (300mm full frame equivalent) and my Olympus was set to silent mode. I was standing behind a column shooting around it, so I was sure not to disturb in any way through my photography.

I wish everyone a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Travel Day (8)

Clockmanagement

Clockmanagement | Schiphol | 2018

My first business travel of 2018 took me once more from Nuremberg via Amsterdam and Seattle to Portland, Oregon, where I arrived in surprisingly warm and dry weather after 19 hours total travel time at 2pm in the afternoon. For the airport I went straight to the office for an afternoon of meetings, before I collapsed in my hotel bed at 8pm in the evening and logged 8 hours of sleep before waking up at 4am this morning, a surprisingly long night considering the jet lag effects. To sum it up, back to business as usual for the job that pays the bills.

While connecting through Amsterdam Schiphol I saw a lady taking shots of the famous video screen clock in the international terminal area between the D and E gates. As during previous visits to AMS I myself have taken quite a few shots of the man inside the clock drawing, erasing and re-drawing the hands, I took my Ricoh Gr II I brought along as camera on this trip and shot this monochrome photo of a fascinated fellow traveler.

After the jump you find my original color shot of the video clock, a few photos of passengers on the walkway between B and C gates before I finish off with the high contrast monochrome landscape photo of a “broken mountain” that I took with my iPhone from the window of my Alaska Airlines Dash-8 on yesterday’s last leg from Seattle to Portland…. (more…)

The End of a Friend

End of a Friend

End of a Friend | Nuremberg | 2018

They grow to serve us for just two weeks. We select them with a lot of attention. We decorate them with a lot of love. They brighten up our lives for two weeks. Families gather around them on Christmas. And then we throw them away. Isn’t it a bit crazy?

While walking to a doctors appointment I saw a bunch of disposed Christmas trees laying at the side of the road, waiting for the city to collect them. I had the PEN-F with the Lensbaby with me, and took this shot with 1/100 sec, f/3.5 and ISO 320, focal length of the lens is 28mm.

The photo is out of camera, no postprocessing. Sure, you can create this effects artificially with Photoshop, but isn’t it more fun to get it right when pressing the shutter? Walking around with a Lensbaby forces you to see differently.

Have a great Saturday!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered

Weathered

Weathered” is the theme of Word Press’ Weekly Photo Challenge. Maybe you’ve read my post about our visit to the diamond ghost town Kolmanskop in Namibia that we visited last summer. There was nothing more “weathered” as these hundred year old buidings that are being slowly consumed by the Namib desert. So an easy choice for the challenge. For my collection of “weathered” detailed photos of the ghost town continue after the jump… (more…)

Fogged In

Zen Castle

Zen Castle | Lichtenegg | 2017

As I find no time to hit the streets these days, another monochromatic landscape shot I took during the holidays when we visited the ruins of Lichtenegg Castle, not far from Nuremberg. The storied castle was built in early medieval times and already destroyed during the 15th century.

Just like today, it was a very foggy day and we didn’t see anything of the normally fabulous 360 degree panoramic view one enjoys from the ruins that sit on a spectacular hilltop.

But what I did enjoy was the sight of the silhouettes of the pine trees on and in front of the crumbled fortifications. Another example that there is no bad weather for photography. You just need to work with what Mother Nature gives you. You just need to be flexible enough. If the spectacular view you intended  to capture isn’t there, look for details, interesting textures or silhouettes, as I did in this case. There is always the opportunity for an interesting photo, trust me. You just need to learn to see.

I took the photo in the high contrast monochrome mode of the Olympus PEN-F and my 12mm prime lens. Image specs new 1/400 sec @ f/5 and ISO 2oo.

The photo is of a certain calmness and serenity, something I already miss again, as the job that pays the bills has taken over my life again. Next Monday is my first travel day of the year, as I head once more across the pond to Portland.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

Black Amaryllis

No, you don’t have to worry about my mental well being, with all the high contrast monochrome photographs I’m posting lately. I’m perfectly fine and there is plenty of sunshine in my heart. It’s just that I more drawn to black & white work these days.

So I’m using the first “Weekly Photo Challenge” of 2018 to add some more monochrome images to this blog. The title is “growth“. The only things that are growing these days in our house are the tulips I got from my wife as birthday flowers, and the Amaryllis she planted in December and that are growing splendidly.

As with my limited time I didn’t get into town for some street photography, I did a little setup on our living room table, using a black cardboard as background, positioning flowers in front of it and using a movable desk lamp to shed some direct lights on the flowers. Then I snapped away with my PEN-F and my 14-150 F/4-5.6 zoom, shooting at 1/100 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 200.  Easy setup, great results. Monochrome conversion done in Lightroom Classic CC. For the rest of the photos continue after the jump…. (more…)

End of the Holidays

Moody Waters

Moody Waters | Luzern | 2016

All around, no flowers in bloom
Nor maple leaves in glare,
A solitary fisherman’s hut alone
On the twilight shore
Of this autumn eve.

Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241)

This morning I read this beautiful, almost nine hundred years old Japanese poem in the (most interesting) book “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers”. And somehow it reflects the mood of this day at the very end of our two week Christmas break. Tomorrow it is back to the job that pays the bills.

I took the photo on a gloomy day at Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. I wanted to capture the motion of the dark, fast moving clouds, so I dialed in the lowest native ISO on my PEN-F, the narrowest aperture (f/22), with resulted in a shutter speed of 56 seconds. Obviously, the cam was sitting on a tripod. It resulted in a kind of Zen-ish image, a creative genre of photography that I want to explore a bit more this year besides my usual street work.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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My first Lensbaby photograph

Winter Blossom

Winter Blossom | Nuremberg | 2018

If your loved ones and friends know that you are a passionate photographer, finding birthday presents isn’t all that difficult.

The significant other got me a Lensbaby Trio 28mm f/3.5 lens, that has a rotating head so I get three Lensbaby effects in one lens: Twist, Velvet and Sweet. I wanted the lens badly as I was really inspired by fellow blogger Kaya and her superb collection of Lensbaby photos.

Needless to say I screwed it right on my PEN-F and went outside where I snapped this image (jpg out of camera – no treatment) of our blossoming winter bush against sky and a bare birch tree. I love the bokeh of the lens and really look forward taking the creative possibilities of my new Lensbaby to the Streets of Nuremberg.

The Big Girl and the Big Boy combined forces and gave me an awesome coffee table book called “Bystander”, where editor Colin Westerbeck and famous Street Photographer Joel Meyerowitz document the history of Street Photography from its beginnings until today on almost 400 pages, with a well curated assortment of photographs of all the greats of the genre. This book is a treasure!

My dad gave me a beautiful book on Chinese Street Photographer Feng Li,  the “White Night”, a great documentary on life in China.

I also got photographers gloves where you can actually stick thumb an index finger through the foldable tips of the glove (thanks to fellow blogger Tim for the tip).

And another book I read about on the web and put on my wishlist “One Face, Fifty Ways”, ideas for portraits by model Imogen Dyer and photographer Mark Wilkinson.

I’m blessed with awesome people around me, not only because I got all those nice presents.

Have a great Saturday!

Marcus

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