Month: March 2018

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Lanterna di Genova

Lanterna | Genova | 2004

The Weekly Photo Challenge calls to depict a “Favorite Place“,  an image of a happy place  or a faraway location you return to again and again.

The city that has a special place in my heart, a city I return to again and again, is Genoa. “La Superba”, as the city on the Ligurian Riviera is also called, was our home from 2001 to 2005, and where we have many very good friends.

Typically the first place we head to, when visiting, is the “Porto Antico”, the old port, that dates back to Roman times. Towering above the harbor basin is “La Lanterna”, the historic lighthouse, and the principal landmark of Genoa.

For centuries the tallest lighthouse in the world, it is, at 249 feet (76 m), still the fifth tallest lighthouse.  Considered as a whole with the natural rock on which it stands, its height is even 383 feet (117 m), making it the second tallest lighthouse in the world. Originally constructed in 1161, it was rebuilt in 1543 in its current structure, making it the world’s third oldest existing lighthouse. One of its keepers was Antonio Colombo, uncle of explorer Christopher Columbus, who was born in Genoa in 1451.

Sitting in on of the bars at the Porto Antico, looking at the Lanterna, sipping a cocktail and enjoying a warm sunset, there are not many places on this planet that mean more to me than this one.

Have a great Thursday!


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Instant Inspiration (22) – Variations on a Billboard


Illusion | Portland | 2018

During my last transatlantic flight I watched “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, a quite impressive movie, for which Frances McDormand deservedly won the Academy Award in the category Best Actress in a Leading Role.

“Variations on a Billboard” is the title of the 22nd episode of my “Instant Inspirations”, 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 (you can find all previous episodes in my  Learning Center“).

I saw this huge advertisement on the side of high-rise building in downtown Portland. It caught my eye in more than one aspect. Even though it is obvious, I honestly saw it only when I processed the photographs on my computer. They eye wants to see what the eye expects to see.

Then, I started to work the scene trying to capture more variants of this big billboard advertisement. My other favorites and links to previous episodes of “Instant Inspirations” you can find after the jump…. (more…)

Monday Mountains (8)

Snowcapped Pyramid

Snowcapped Pyramid | Washington | 2018

I haven’t done a “Monday Mountain” in quite a while, but I thought I show off this photograph of a rugged, snowcapped peak in the Northern Cascades. Unless previous episodes, where I wrote about particular mountains, I have no clue how this peak is called. If anyone recognizes this quite distinctive shape and has an idea, please leave the name in the comment section.

Image specs are 1/800 sec @ f/7.1 and ISO 200, focal length was 100mm (200mm focal length full frame equivalent). The photo was taken with my OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom a few minutes after takeoff in Seattle, on our way towards Canada, while we were still climbing to cruising altitude.

Raw- and monochrome conversion in Lightroom CC Classic

I finally got home from Portland at Saturday evening, in the middle of a little snow storm. And I made the birthday party with only one hour of delay.  Next time I set a foot into an airplane it will be for a week of vacation in NYC with the Significant Other. Less than three weeks to go. Life is not too bad 😉

Wish you all a great week!


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Kissed By The Light And Happy

Aurea Borealis

Aurea Borealis | Northern Atlantic | 2018

I made it safely to Amsterdam, where I will be stuck for the next eight hours due to my canceled flight to Nuremberg. I tried various options to get home earlier, but nothing worked out. I hope that at least my 16:45 flight is on time so I make it to the birthday party of  a good friend the Significant Other and I are invited to.

But at least the heaven tried to cheer me up, and this with much success. I was kissed by a magic heavenly light show high above the Northern Atlantic, just as the Delta Airbus left North Western Canada (Baffin Island) for Greenland. And this time I saw the inflight Northern Lights sitting on the right side of the plane, the window facing south. For my how-to and more photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Travel Day (11)

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier | Washington | 2018

My return travel to the Streets of Nuremberg got off to a bad start this morning, when just after 6am I got a text message from KLM that the flight from Amsterdam to Nuremberg tomorrow (Saturday morning) has been cancelled.

Well, let me guess, if KLM cancels a flight from their home airport 20 hours before it actually happens, it probably won’t be due to a malfunctioning aircraft or the weather (which will be fine, I already checked). Maybe because the flight to Nuremberg on a weekend morning had a low load, so it’s cheaper to cancel and cope with a few angry passengers?

Just speculating…..not the first time that happened to me…Lufthansa does that regularly with their short haul connections from Frankfurt or Munich to my city (but here I can get at least on a train). And we got already notified that Air France cancelled the originally booked morning flight Paris to Nuremberg in coming August when we return from our vacation in the Pacific Northwest on a Saturday morning. We get to wait an extra 10 hours in Paris before eventually being transported to Nuremberg on the evening flight….anyone seeing a pattern here?

Now you could argue that I shouldn’t complain as long as I eventually get safely home in one piece. But I’m just not looking forward to this 8 hour layover in Amsterdam when I could be home with the family. And to make things worse, I will need to go directly to an evening event in my clothes that I’ve been wearing for 28 hours by the time I land, because I won’t have time to head home to shower and change. Thanks KLM, much appreciated! And a platinum status card doesn’t help either….

On a brighter note, I got another nice view of Mt. Rainier while approaching Seattle. With the sun pretty much behind it, it was difficult to shoot, colors were dull, for that I already had a B&W conversion in mind when taking the photo at 1/2000 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 200. Remember, when shooting out of an airplane window, make sure you use a wide open aperture to minimize degrading effects through a dirty or scratched window. Camera was my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom.

Now I’m sitting in sunny Seattle waiting for my flight to Amsterdam to board. In the end all will be well. I hope!

Have a great Friday!


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Hockey Fans


Fans | Portland | 2018

Strolling around the Rose Quarter, a sports and entertainment district located east of downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River, I saw a couple of Hockey Fans waiting in front of the Memorial Coliseum. This couple caught my eyes, so I walked up to them and asked them what game they are waiting for, as Portland doesn’t have a NHL team. So they educated me about the Western Hockey League, where hockey is played by young athletes between 16 and 20 years old. The league consists of  teams coming from Canada and and the Northwestern US. The Portland based team is called the Winterhawks.

Joan and Ron told me they like the passion with what the kids play the games, that it is a very laid back atmosphere at the games that, obviously, are much more affordable to watch than the high profile NHL games.

And after a very nice conversation they happily posed for a portrait.

Today is my last workday in the Rose City, tomorrow morning I head back home via Seattle and Amsterdam. Can’t wait!

If you want to pic up your camera and are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, be sure to check out my free Learning Center.

Have a great Thursday!


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Light Snack | Portland | 2018

While standing on a parking lot trying to photograph a giant mural in downtown Portland last Saturday, I couldn’t help noticing this guy leaning on his car and munching a fully loaded sandwich he had just picked up from one of the food trucks across the street.

The reason I noticed him was because he had a good loud chuckle. So after snapping the mural, I walked up to him and asked him what was so funny. He pointed to a car still trying to maneuver its way into an empty parking bay, explaining it was his buddy who is just never able to properly park the car. I just replied that to some it is given, and to some it is not. And we shared a good chuckle together.

I thought he had an interesting face, so asked him if I could take his portrait. He thought for a second, than agreed without hesitation, and threw himself into this very serious pose. I just took two shots, and immediately liked this one with the tighter framing, after checking my camera screen to see if it was sharp. We wished us a good day and went our ways.

Just one of a few nice encounters I had with the people of Portland last weekend. More to come.

The photo was taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4 Pro Zoom. Image specs are 1/125 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 200, 44mm focal length.

Wish you a great Wednesday!


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Hiking on the Oregon Coast

Cascade Head Trail 09

Panorama from Cascade Head | Oregon | 1/500 @ f/11 and ISO 200 – 29mm focal length

My free weekend in the Pacific Northwest was kissed by an unusually warm spring sun, that brought record temperatures for this time of the year (we hit 70F today). Around 10am I left Portland for the 75 mile drive to the Oregon Coast near Lincoln City, arriving just after noon. The trail I selected for my Sunday hike was the Cascade Head trail. The trailhead is at a parking just three miles north from the intersection of OR18 with US 101, at the mouth of the Salmon River. For the photographs and some descriptions continue after the jump… (more…)

A quick Sunday Movie Quiz


Passengers | Portland | 2018

Used my free Saturday in the Rose City for some street shooting and shopping, before finishing off a relaxed outing with watching a great performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem by the Oregon Symphony in the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (next to the Heathman Hotel).

Endangered Species

Endangered Species | Portland | 2018

Both photos were taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Specs of the first image was 1/125 sec @ f/4 and ISO 500, 61mm focal length, the second image was shot with 1/200 sec @ f/6.3 and ISO 200, 100mm focal range.

While browsing quickly through my images this Sunday morning I found that the combination of two of yesterday’s shots make for a great movie quiz.

Can you guess the title? Leave your answer in the comment section.

After uploading this post I will head out to the Oregon coast for some hiking on the cliffs of Cascade Head. I really need to maximize my free weekend in the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned for some photos.

Wish you all a great Sunday!


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Rip City Experience 01

After flying into Portland on Tuesday and four intense work days, I finally got off Friday night and treated myself to something special, visiting my first ever professional basketball game. The opportunity was too good to pass up, as defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors came to town to take on Portland’s Trail Blazers, both currently in second and third place in the Western Conference. For my photographs of this memorable evening and some in game experience continue after the jump…. (more…)