Month: October 2018

StoNur on the Road – Graceland

Tribute to the King's Music

Elvis Presley’s Memphis

He was one the greatest performers of all times. He, the King of Rock and Roll. Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8th 1938 in Tupelo, Mississippi. His family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when he was 13 years old.  A passionate musician from young years, Elvis Presley pioneered the rockabilly music genre, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. His first single “Heartbreak Hotel” became a number one hit in 1956. With regular appearances on TV and in radio shows, Elvis Presley quickly became the leading figure of Rock and Roll. He also started a career as actor, with his first leading role coming in “Love Me Tender” in 1958.

This was also the year he bought Graceland Mansion outside Memphis, Tennessee, the home for him and his family until his death in 1977. During his short but stellar career, he published 24 albums, 17 soundtrack albums to his films,  and he played in 33 movies.

While in Memphis last week, I had to stop by this memorable place while on my way to the airport (Graceland is just a ten minute drive from MEM airport). For all the photos and more info about the King and his house continue after the jump…. (more…)

Danger Zone

Give & Take | Memphis | 2018

Give | Memphis | 2018

No, “Danger Zone” was not a song from the King of Rock n’Roll.  But this is a photo straight from the danger zone. In multiple aspects.

I stopped by Graceland on my way to Memphis Airport. I intended it as a bit of time filler before my return flight, as the mansion is just a ten minute drive from the rental car return. After all, the Significant Other and I have visited before, although we’re not on the same page what year exactly, but both suspecting it was in the very early 90’s. So I figured a quick tour would bring back the memories into the digital age.

Getting in was not all that difficult, no line, a quick tour of the house where Elvis and his family lived from 1958 until his much too early passing in 1977. It was so wonderful retro (I have a post about it coming up). The thing is, they have built a huge Elvis Experience Park across the street. Plenty of dedicated expositions showing his car and motorcycle collection, memorabilia from his stint with the US military in Germany, an area about his acting career and another about his music, with plenty of multimedia content and artifacts. I totally lost my time, so much I enjoyed this new part of the Graceland experience that wasn’t there when we first visited. Which is not a good thing if you have to catch a plane – and gas up the car before returning it – and buy a Powerball ticket (no, we didn’t win the jackpot).

Something else probably sensing some looming danger was the big Olympus in my backpack. It got to tour Graceland. But it didn’t make it out of the bag, as the iPhone was handling all shooting duties. And it did just fine. Wait for the post.

And by the way – “Danger Zone” was a song performed by Kenny Loggins in the movie “Top Gun”.

Wish you a great start into the week!

Marcus

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Rainy Sunday

Black & White

Black & White

Back home from Memphis I found that whatever was left from an amazing summer in Germany has left. It was raining all day with temperatures close to freezing.

The best thing to do? Meeting up with old friends. Instead of a planned hike we escaped into a well-known art gallery. A perfect place for street photography on a rainy day, unless you want to go for the first puddle shooting of the wet season.

Although I had my E-M1 in the backpack, I left in the locker and shot with my iPhone 8 plus. Which is perfectly suitable for street photography.  And in a gallery environment, it even has its advantages. Other visitors tend to totally ignore you when you shoot with a phone. They don’t even bother walking out of the frame. This would have been a different story if I have had the E-M1 with the rather large 12-100mm in my hand. For more photos from my gallery shooting continue after the jump… (more…)

My FedEx Experience

Fedex 01

The job that pays the bills comes with some perks. One of them is that, occasionally,  I get to visit the headquarters of other corporation. This week I visited FedEx in Memphis, Tennessee. The global courier delivery services company that pioneered overnight shipping services and a system that could track packages and provide real-time updates on package location, was founded just 47 years ago (in 1971) by Frederick W. Smith, who to this is the President & CEO. Today the  company employs 425.000 people, owns a fleet of 670 aircraft, more than 185.000 vehicles and processes 14 million shipments each day.

After a day of meetings and great talks (among others with one of the right hand people of Fred Smith) we got treated to a tour of the FedEx Superhub at Memphis Airport, one of the largest logistics facilities in the world. For a bit more info, some pictures and the link to an interesting video about the hub continue after the jump…. (more…)

Shopkeepers Dreams

1/250 sec - f/4.5 - ISO 3200 - 100 mm

1/250 sec – f/4.5 – ISO 3200 – 100 mm

What are they thinking about? This series  of shopkeepers, all waiting for customers, all lost in thoughts, I took while strolling through Genoa’s medieval old town. An awesome place for Street Photography.

1/320 sec - f/4.5 - ISO 3200 - 100 mm

1/320 sec – f/4.5 – ISO 3200 – 100 mm

 

1/250 sec - f/4.5 - ISO 3200 - 100 mm

1/250 sec – f/4.5 – ISO 3200 – 100 mm

 

1/200 sec - f/4 - ISO 3200 - 100 mm

1/200 sec – f/4 – ISO 3200 – 100 mm

Grab your camera, head to the streets and take a themed series of photographs. It helps to train the eye! Try it!

Wish you a great Friday!

Marcus

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Storefront Lambada

Travel Day (14)

1/160 sec - f/1.8 - ISO 1600 - 17mm

1/160 sec – f/1.8 – ISO 1600 – 17mm

Yesterday I did pass through my favorite airport passenger walkway again, the tunnel between between concourses B and C of Chicago O’Hare’s Terminal 1, with its ever-changing light show. I was connecting through ORD on my way to Memphis for a one and  a half day workshop.

The thing is, the colorful photo (Olympus PEN-F, 17mm f/1.8 prime lens, image specs 1/160 sec @ f/1.8 and ISO 1600) does not properly reflect my mood after spending a day in the fangs of United Airlines. It should have been pitch black high contrast monochrome picture.

First there was the 8h 40 min flight from Frankfurt to Chicago on an aged Boeing 777. That product (and I flew business class) is a total disgrace, from both the seat comfort as well as the service (both from flight attendants as well as the food quality, which was just plain bad). Totally sub-par, when compared for example to Delta Airlines and Air France that have similar rates (and similar old planes).

But it didn’t stop there. The worst was still to come. The flight from Chicago to Memphis. We left ORD with the five (5) hour delay. Initially, the flight seem to leave on time, the United Express plane was at the gate and we were getting ready for pre-boarding. Then came the news that there is maintenance required for some kind of ventilation system. We waited one hour, waited two hours. The expected departure time shifted in 15 minute intervals, so we were required to wait at the gate. Then they said the need to tow the plane to the hangar to get it fixed. After three hours the announcement was we get a replacement plane that will be brought to the gate shortly. Another hour passed, there was no plane. Then came the announcement that also the replacement plane had a technical issue they found out during the trip from the hangar to the gate and needs to undergo maintenance as well. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, UNITED AIRLINES??? ONE PLANE BREAKS DOWN AND THEN ALSO THE REPLACEMENT PLANE???? Then we had to wait another hour until they finally managed to conjure a functioning aircraft, and all of this at their principal hub. We left O’Hare with a five-hour delay. And all we got was a simple “sorry for the delay”. THIS DAY WAS A TOTAL DISGRACE, UNITED AIRLINES!!!!  I hope the return trip does turn out better. Every time I swear that this would be my last flight with that outfit. I hope that at least they get me home safe.

And at least I got to do some shooting in my favorite airport tunnel. For more photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Smoke but no fire

Keep Calm | Genoa | 2018 | 1/50 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 100mm

Studies| Genoa | 2018 | 1/50 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

After yesterday’s coffee photo (a vice I admit adhering to) here is one with a bit of smoke.  Like coffee drinkers, also smokers claim they can relax over a cigarette, although I personally can’t find why that is, with all that smell. But I do admit, a passerby puffing steam can make for an interesting street image. And this lady sure looks relaxed, as she is studying real estate offers in a shop window in Genoa’s old town.

I thought of converting the photo to monochrome, but eventually decided against, as the blue-yellow-blue sequencing of colors makes for an eye-catching color combo (as blue and yellow combined always does). Also, her blowing smoke (and looking) towards the upper left corner and her body shape angling towards the lower left adds a triangular component to the composition. And there is a story, as you would wonder what she might be looking at (in case I hadn’t told you before).

Taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 – image specs 1/50 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600,  100mm focal length.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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Keep calm and drink coffee

Coffee Break | Genoa | 2018 | 1/60 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 100mm

Coffee Break | Genoa | 2018 | 1/60 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

I’m a coffee addict. I could drink coffee the whole day. I can drink a coffee before going to bed and still sleep like a baby. When I’m all stressed out (from the job that pays the bills), I drink a coffee, take a deep breath and carry on. Coffee also gets my creative juices flowing. That said, I’ve spent the last (slightly extended) weekend in Italy. And there is no other country (I’m aware of) that provides for great tasting espresso.

The above photo I took in Genoas old town from outside a coffee bar with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 – image specs 1/60 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600,  100mm focal length.

There are a couple of things I like about the photo, the overall story, the nice bokeh of the 12-100, the juxtaposition of the big, slightly tilted head of the coffee drinker in the foreground and the small slightly tilted head of the barista in the blurred background. What I don’t like is the clutter in front of the head of the main subject. Although blurred, it still distracts. But in that situation there was no chance for a composition with a clean background. Street photography is full of trade offs.

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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Escape Route

Into the Tunnel | Seattle | 2018 | 1/8 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 12mm

Into the Tunnel | Seattle | 2018 | 1/8 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 12mm

Well, escape route might be a bit exaggerated. I don’t need to escape. But The Significant Other and myself are heading out. We’re using tomorrow’s National Holiday combined with two free days to head down to Italy, into our former hometown Genoa. Taking in some Golden October mediterranean sunshine. And visiting with old friends. We’re so much looking forward to it.

Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom. Image specs 1/8 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600. I had dialed in the long exposure to capture the motion of the couple climbing up a lit up staircase in Seattle’s MoPop.

Wish you a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (16)

Order Here | 2018 | 1/320 sec - f/6,3 - ISO 200

Order Here | 2018 | 1/320 sec – f/6,3 – ISO 200

Street Photography Quick Tip 16 – Capture what captures attention

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.

When shooting Street Photography, I’m always on the lookout for photographs that have the potential to make the viewer stop and think about the story behind it, before swiping on to the next image.

In this photo, the contrast between the bright face and the darkness of the window behind should capture the attention of the viewer. Then comes text, which is also something we more or less automatically scan. “Order here”. What is it that can be ordered from this girl? Also, the hand written sign about not accepting American Express cards tends to attract attention more then the logo cards of the other credit cards.

How do you see it?

Photo taken with the OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4. Image specs are 1/320 sec @ f/6,3 and ISO 200.

Make sure to regularly check out my free Learning Center for all of my tips and inspirations around photography.

Wish you all a great week and a good start into the week!

Marcus

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