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…. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth”

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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A Winter Dream

Winter Dream
Winter Dream | Austria | 2017

We are five days into the new year and I haven’t seen as much as a ray of the sun. It’s been mostly rainy here in Nuremberg and we have been busy moving the big girl out of the house into her own apartment in downtown Nuremberg. A huge step for her as well as for us, even though we just live 10 miles (16km) apart. Have I mentioned that I’m considering turning her vacated room into a photo studio 😉 ?

Yesterday I have stumbled across a video documentary about and with famous Japanese street photographer Daido Moriyama (here the link to it on youtube). It is a priceless film with 84 minutes duration with English subtitles. I will do a separate post about it and about Daido Moriyama in the next days. But definitely worth watching on the weekend, if you have some time and are interested in the work of this iconic photographer.

The photo of the cabin in the mountains I have taken last week in Austria with my Olympus PEN-F with the 14-150mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom. Image specs are 1/250 sec @ f/9, ISO 200 and 47mm focal length.

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

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