Go out and shoot

Lady in a backlit orange dress walking in genoas Porto Antico
1/160 sec | f/22 | ISO 400

Go out and shoot – something I need to keep telling myself these days. Which is totally ok, I guess, as photography doesn’t always have to take center stage in life. But then there is the sudden itch to grab a camera. In this case my vintage Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 25mm f/1.8 prime lens (50mm full frame equivalent with the m43 crop factor of 2). And heading out into the streets for a late afternoon stroll, capturing life that happens in front of my lens.

Colorful Street Photo of a bus passenger wearing a pink headdress
1/1000 sec | f/8 | ISO 1600

When I’m out shooting street photography, I’m rarely after something in particular. Most of the times, images come to me rather than me actively looking for them. Color, contrast, texture, gesture, lights and shadows. That’s what my eyes are unconsciously scanning for. And eventually the image just happens to be there, like these two scenes I took while riding the bus line 32 to Genoa’s Porto Antico. In these, as well as in the title photograph, it is the colors that make the image for me.

Colorful street photo of a passenger sitting in a bus
1/1000 sec | f/8 | ISO 1600

Walking into the harbor area with the late afternoon sun backlighting everything, it was more the contrast – shadows – light combination I was looking for, switching the PEN-F into its high contrast monochrome mode to see the scene already in monochrome on the back LCD screen of the camera.

Backlit palmtrees with people sitting below
1/800 sec | f/16 | ISO 400

The two monochrome photographs are good examples of me playing with the light, something I love to do. There are few more fun things in photography than shooting directly into the sun…

Monochrome street photograph of backlighted people walking in Genoas Porto Antico
1/4000 sec | f/11 | ISO 400

To come back with 5 photographs that I like is a good result for a short late afternoon impromptu stroll. Lately I’ve re-discovered the PEN-F with the little Olympus primes, because it is such a lightweight and unobtrusive camera/lens combo. I’ve moved all my Olympus gear to our Home (South) in Genoa. This way I don’t always have to carry gear back and forth when traveling between Nuremberg and Ligurian coast. Easier that way.

All post processing done in Lightroom Classic.

If you are looking for more inspiration and tipps around street photography, check out my free Learning Center.

Have a great Saturday


Related Posts:

New Streetshooter from Olympus

With a PEN in a concert

A weekend in La Superba

Street Photography Quick Tip 17 – Shoot with what the sun gives you

24 thoughts on “Go out and shoot

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  1. Hey Marcus, may I check if you’re familiar with mirrorless cameras? I’m still using my Nikon dsrl and thinking maybe I should change to a lighter one since all I do is point and shoot, anyway. Any thoughts please, if you have. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hey, good question 😉 The answer depends on what you intend to spend, which ecosystem you want to use ( wanna stay with Nikon?) and wheter you intend to add lenses beyond a universal kit zoom lens…If you don‘t much use tele zoom, doing mainly point and shoot and wanting to travel light…have you considered rather investing in a high end smartphone with a great camera? I mean that seriously, even hardcore photographers will probably kill me for this 🙈. I estimate that 80% of my travel photography and everyday-stuff I could cover with my iPhone 14 Pro…honestly….in a lot of situations I use the iPhone despite having the big mirrorless on the shoulder…live view (so you can select any frame out of a 3sec vid sequence) and 48mp raw files….shooting indoor without a tripod….for onscreen viewing and photobooks more than adequate image quality….just saying 😉

      1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Marcus. I do have Iphone 13 pro max, which I also use especially at night and I know I could not successfully use my dslr. Ah so that’s what live view is for. I’ll change to 48mp raw. Thanks for these. Oh I should have said that my reason for using or wanting to use those nice cameras is because I still print photos every now and then. 🙂

      2. Printing iPhone images is not a problem, I have a few on my wall in 120cm x 80cm and they are just fine, even at that size.
        Thad said, if you still want to consider a lighter mirrorless and want to stay with Nikon, you might want to look at the Z fc, which seems to be a very nice machine.

  2. Go out and shoot… And then wonderful streets stories are born and we enjoy looking at them.
    Marcus, you always create something special and very exciting. You see the world in a very creative way!
    Very best wishes to you from me!

  3. Lovely photos Marcus. I find myself a little nervous now photographing strangers on the street – do you ask permission? Someone recently asked about it because I had published a photo of a bicycle Polizei in Berlin and they wondered if it was allowed or not. I’m not really sure what the rules are in this area.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment, Alex, much appreciated. When I take pictures of strangers and they are the main subject of my image, I generally try to get their permission. I never ask for written confirmation (I think this is pretty ridiculous), verbal is fine for me. I show them the photograph and offer to send it to them. Most people are pretty happy to get a “street shot” of themselves. I have the rule to never shoot “sneaky”, I’m always 100% in the open operating my camera. Especially when shooting street portraits, I try to establish visual contact before I start taking pictures. If I get a “no” reaction, I don’t press the shutter. I never post pictures of couples without explicit approval. I don’t want people to get caught cheating on my blog 😉 . I don’t take pictures of people in situations where I wouldn’t be comfortable of someone else taking a picture of me.

      All that said, we street photographers all know it is impossible to get permission from everyone we shoot.

      Generally allowed is any kind of documentary photography, where individual people are not the main subject. These images I post without consent. Then there is the grey zone of fine art photography. If people are captured in special lighting, colors or gesture, I can always argue that this is art. These images I would also post without consent.

      Finally, on my blog it is stated that anyone can contact me to ask to take their image down, no questions asked. It never happened to me….

      All of this is my personal opinion, I am no lawyer or legal expert, just a creative guy who loves to capture life as it happens.


      1. Thanks so much for the detailed reply.

        I think that reads like a very reasonable approach, and feels like a process I could get behind.

        Really appreciate you taking the time to answer with such detail! Thanks!

  4. It is so refreshing and rewarding to just get out and shoot. For me, I enjoy the pair of B & W images. The high contrast along with the rich play of light that offers a hint of shapes and forms. Well done.

  5. Ah, great stroll, Marcus! Totally agree with “There are few more fun things in photography than shooting directly into the sun…”….😊

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