how-to

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Travel Love

Travel Love | Budapest | 2017

Focus” is the theme of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ “The Daily Post”. I can meet the challenge with one of my street photos that I took just this past Tuesday evening in Budapest.

A photograph has to convey emotion, has to have heart and soul to capture the viewer’s imagination. It does not have to be technically perfect, it does not have to perfectly in focus. Sometimes, being a bit blurred can even add to the message of an image. When you look at the works of the masters of the genre, like Henri Cartier-Bresson or Elliott Erwitt, many of their iconic photographs are not technically perfect, but have an abundance of heart and soul.

This photo of kissing teenage travelers I took on Budapest’s famous Fischerbastei (Halászbástya) with the parliament building providing the background is for me such an example where the focal point of an image does not need to perfectly in focus.

I took the photo with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 travel zoom, image specs are 1/10 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 1600, 63mm focal length.

Shooting with a relatively low shutter speed at 1/10 sec (due to the low evening light) my lens was not fast enough with the motions of the young couple. This is also a good example why leaving the camera in “P-Mode” makes so much sense. When you see a motive that attracts you just compose and press the shutter, without fumbling with the settings. Because capturing a possibly imperfect image that means something to you is better than no photo at all. It might not be perfectly in focus. But it can have heart and soul.

Have a great Friday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Check out my Learning Center with free tips and inspirations around photography

 

Perfect Imperfection

Cuddly Protection

Cuddly Protection | 2017

This capture of an intimate moment between father and son is not a perfect photograph.

I took this photo late in the evening in a dimly lit street cafe. It was a difficult situation to focus in as there was just not enough light. Aiming and shooting quickly the auto focus did lock on the contrast rich edge of the toy tiger in front of the two main subjects of the photograph, resulting in their faces being thrown out of focus due to the long focal length and the wide open aperture of f/5.6 at the far end of my zoom range.

I took only this one shot, as a second later they changed their posture and that intimate  moment was lost.

Missing the focus makes this technically a failed image. Is it a failed image? I think it is not. A photograph needs to have heart and soul, needs to carry a story. It’s contents over form. A technically flawless photo isn’t any good if it’s missing heart and soul. If you study the work of the masters of Street Photography like Henri Cartier-Bresson or Elliot Erwitt, you find many of their great photography are technically imperfect images. But they carry a strong story.

So my advice is press the shutter when you see something that touches your heart and your emotions and worry about the settings later. Having perfect settings or a perfect focus doesn’t help you when the moment is lost.

The photo was taken with my OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 travel zoom, image specs are 1/13 sec @ f/5,6 and ISO 1600, 120mm focal length.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (8) -Make a portrait of a stranger

Finding your photographic style

Stay Interested !

Have you checked out my learning center for all my photography related tips and inspirations?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Dream Trees

Dream Trees | Brandenburg | 2017

“Evanescent” – soon passing out of sight; quickly fading or disappearing – this is the title of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ “The Daily Post”.

When I read this week’s theme in my WP reader I was just traveling by bus from Nuremberg to Berlin where I will spend the long weekend we have here in Germany due to our public holiday on Thursday.

Looking out the window I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate example of “evanescent”, as every single second the landscape in front of my window was disappearing behind the bus riding on the Autobahn.

For many more photos and a description of the technique I used continue after the jump… (more…)

Street Photography Quick Tip (10)

Old Town Reflections

Old Town Reflections | Nuremberg | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 10 – Using Photographic Obstacles

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. Today’s post is about using photographic obstacles to your advantage.

Have you ever found a parked car blocking that perfect view in a city you visit? Well, you  can try to walk around, but sometimes that won’t help because the nice perspective disappears or there is another obstacle blocking your view.

Well, as simple solution can be: Use it to your advantage. Include it in the composition. It just might made an otherwise boring composition all that more interesting. In this case I included the front window and the roof of a parked car als reflection surface while taking this shot in Nuremberg’s historic Old Town below the Imperial Castle.

Try it yourself! Don’t be frustrated with this stupid obstacle, accept the challenge and have fun!

Find all my other Street Photography Quick Tips in my new free Learning Center.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Learning Center is online

Street Photography Quick Tip (6)

Instant Inspiration (6) – Storefront Windows

Instant Inspiration (17) – Flower Photography with Zoom

Dreamy Poppies

1/200 sec @ f/5,6 ISO 320 and 135mm focal length

Sometimes I show you something on the “Streets of Nuremberg” that is outside the usual scope of my posts about street- and travel photography. During May natures just pops (pardon the pun 😉 ). Lush green and bright colors everywhere. But often the weather is still inconsistent, with many cloudy days. These conditions are actually perfect for some flower photography using a zoom lens. For more photos and some how-to continue after the jump… (more…)

Learning Center is online

Mobile learning

Mobile learning | Bangalore | 2013

Today my new Learning Center went online on the “Streets of Nuremberg”. This is how I want to call my one stop resource pool where you can find quick access to all my free tips, tutorials, inspirations and everything else that I want to give back to the community that gave me so much!

The Learning Center is directly accessible from the top menu of this blog, and here you find the links to all relevant posts listed under certain categories like “Street Photography Quick Tips” and “Instant Inspirations”, “Gear and settings” and some more.

The Learning Center will be constantly updated, so check back regularly! Have fun browsing!

I hope you like my latest attempt to enhance your experience with the “Streets of Nuremberg”.

Have a good week!

Marcus

Related Link:

Learning Center

Instant Inspiration (16) – Dusk at the Ocean

Dusk at Storms River Mouth in Tsitsikamma National Park

Ocean Dreams | South Africa | 2015 | 1/4 sec @ f/5,6, ISO 1000 and 300mm focal length

In time for the weekend here is another edition of  “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. With Episode 15  I encourage you to keep the camera out after sunset, leveraging the low light to achieve  slow shutter speeds without the help of ND filters. But unlike in Episode 14, I leave the tripod at home because I want to combine motion blur with a bit of intentional camera movement (ICM) to create dreamy waterscapes at the wild coast of the Indian Ocean at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. For the how-to, more images and links to all previous editions of “Instant Inspirations” continue reading after the jump…. (more…)

Street Photography Quick Tip (9)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rushing after the subway bird | Nuremberg | 2016 | 1/6 sec @ f/3,2 and ISO 200 

Street Photography Quick Tip 9 – Motion Blur

As you already might have learned from the last edition of my Instant Inspirations (“Instant Inspiration (15) – Long Exposure Waterscapes”) , recently I just love to play with longer shutter speeds and the effects you can generate with it. So with the ninth episode of my “Street Photography Quick Tips” I apply this technique to shooting everyday life in the streets. For more how-to and inspirational photos continue reading after the jump…. (more…)

Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Peter Iredale

Peter Iredale | Oregon | 2017

During last weekend’s trip to the Oregon Coast I took some photographs that due to the high contrasts within the composition, I thought would look good converted to monochrome. When shooting with B&W already on my mind, I typically set my camera to a monochrome preset (most modern cameras have that feature). So when composing, I’m looking already at a monochrome image in my viewfinder or on my LCD screen. This helps me judging the impact of light and contrast before pressing the shutter. Maybe this is not the right approach for a purist, but I gladly take this as a great supportive feature of modern cameras and is as helped me discover the fun in B&W photography. For more monochrome coastal images and some more thoughts around it continue reading after the jump…. (more…)

Instant Inspiration (15) – Long Exposure Waterscapes

Columbia River

Columbia River | Oregon | 2017 | 8sec @ f/16 and ISO 200, ND3

Inspired by some photos I took during last weekend’s trips around beautiful Oregon I found it is time for another “Instant Inspirations” post. This is 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. With Episode 15  I want to inspire you to go out and shoot long exposure waterscapes. For the how-to, more images and links to all previous editions of “Instant Inspirations” continue reading after the jump…. (more…)