how-to

A Blogger’s Nightmare

Get out of my way

I am sure that, if you are a blogger yourself,  you have a big red mark on your calendar for May 25th. Because this is the date were the new EU data protection regulation (GDPR- General Data Protection Regulation/DSGVO-Datenschutz-Grundverordnung ) will come into force. Although, while primarily governing the handling of data privacy in the EU, it will practically affect everyone in the blogging world, because you are affected when your blog handles data (like logging of IP-addresses or e-mail addresses) of EU citizens.

When you search for GDPR in blogging forums (like the WordPress support forums), there is a lot of confusion about how to handle that situation. Some fellow bloggers already have deactivated their blog or are planning to do so.

While I always had the nagging feeling I need to revise the data privacy statements of my blog to comply with the new laws, I was not worried too much as the “Streets of Nuremberg” are a purely non-commercial, private blog in which I share my photographic endeavors. But recent posts from fellow bloggers and a face-to-face meeting with fellow local Street Photographer Kai (Kosmophil.de) just yesterday really got me worried and into action mode, as looming penalties (especially for blogs with commercial orientation of any sorts) are really severe.

I’m not a lawyer, and I can’t write the umpteenth article on how to bring your blog in compliance with the new law. And after half a night of research, there are many useful tips and guides to be found in the net, just search for “GDPR” (english) or “DSGVO” (German) and “blogging”.

I’m still in the process to determine what adjustments I need to do on my blog, just to be on the safe side and not run blindfolded into a possible legal trap.  Just by researching the web, all those things like a button “Follow via E-Mail…”, all social media sharing buttons,  allowing comments with avatars could potentially pose a data privacy problem, and bloggers need turn those things off or at least make their readers aware of it, which requires an updated data privacy statement on the blog. So I will dig deeper into the requirements and derive my personal measures I need to put in place.

My blog is hosted by WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org) and the company running it (Automattic). I would assume, that a service provider taking my money will take care of all the data privacy topics that run in their backend.  And WordPress itself has announced new features in May (oh by the way, this topic can only be found in their English support forum).  But ten days before the new law is put into force, no real help/tools is available so far.

I had a one hour chat session with their support today, asking for the availability of automated tools and a data privacy contract between them and myself as contract partners, confirming they protect the private data of my users that is logged in the background by their servers.  In the end, they referred me to their updated DP statement: Automattic and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The support said more will become available as we approach the May 25th deadline. I was totally disappointed they let (even their paying) customers walk that thin line. Not that we didn’t have several years to prepare for the new laws.

I see a lot of  panic and fear in the community, but I am quite confident that myself and all others who have behaved legally so far, with some changes and adjustments, can continue to blog without running into problems. But we first need to navigate through this period of uncertainty.

I hope I did not spoil your day with this post, but I would like to raise your awareness to this looming topic, and encourage you to do some research of your own into whether you might be affected and how you can adjust to avoid any legal trouble after May 25th.

I will continue to write about my experiences and activities regarding GDPR compliance, so stay tuned.

Have a nice Tuesday

Marcus

Links to relevant WordPress.com support sites:

https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/gdpr/

https://privacy.blog/

https://automattic.com/automattic-and-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

 

Wait a moment

Emergency

Emergency | New York City | 2018

When shooting Street Photography, sometimes it is worth waiting a few seconds, observing an interesting scene. Below is the first photograph I took of that scene I observed in a New York subway station sometime after midnight. It was the high heeled lady holding the flowers that first caught my eye, standing elegantly in front of the rugged backdrop of the subway exit.

I moved to the front a bit, as I wanted to align the red flowers with the likewise red emergency exit sign behind her, wanting to create a visual line between the red and black subject (lady) and likewise red and black background (exit gate). The all of a sudden her companion put his hands in front of his face. Realizing this gesture I pressed the shutter once more, capturing a street photography with both visual interest, lots of gesture and a story behind (guess for yourself….)

Photo was taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Image specs are 1/80sec @ F/4 and ISO1600, 75mm focal length. RAW conversion and post processing in Lightroom Classic CC.

P4103875

If you are looking for inspirations around photography for the weekend, check out my free Learning Center .

Wish you all sunny Sunday 🙂 !

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

You see me

Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

A Photographer’s Easter Egg Painting

Mountain Forest

Mountain Forest | Lungau | 2018

Approaching Easter Sunday, The Significant Other and the Kids diligently colored some Easter Eggs. I decided to work on a photographic Easter Egg for myself, trying a technique I read about on the web but have never explored so far. For a bit of how to continue after the jump…. (more…)

Accidental X-Ray

X-periments

X-periments | Nuremberg | 2018

Photographers are similar to children. They wander the world totally open-minded, use the creative tool in their hands to try out new things, finding new and creative ways of capturing light onto their sensor. Digital photography sometimes reminds me of kids using crayons and paper to ban their thoughts and fantasies onto paper. It doesn’t cost much, nobody confines their creative process. There are no limits to the creativity of children. Children love to experiment. And sometimes, they achieve interesting results just by accident.

This is what also happens to photographers. I love to experiment, try out new ways of producing art with my camera. Not necessarily art in the sense of intending to make money with it, but art that I personally find visually pleasing and that makes me go to bed with a content feeling of having achieved something to satisfy my creative aspirations. And sometimes, just like with children, things happen by accident.

I just came out of a department store where I shot shoppers moving up and down escalators with a low shutter speed of 1/15 sec to achieve some motion blur effects. Coming out of the store into bright sunlight I forgot to switch back to P-Mode after shooting with shutter priority. So my shutter speed was still 1/15 sec. Chip in the fact that the whole day I was shooting unintentionally with ISO 3200, I was way above correct exposure of the backlit street scenery that I wanted to capture outside the store in bright daylight. After I took this image of shoppers standing in the sun in front of the reflective storefront windows, I checked the results on my LCD screen, saw it was way overexposed, realized my mistake, dialed in P-Mode and retook the shot, now correctly exposed.

But only later, when downloading the taken photographs to Lightroom Classic CC, I realized that I much more like the x-ray style shot I took completely unintentional and by accident by shooting way overexposed with 1/15 sec @ f/22 and ISO 3200. And which gave me the blueprint to in the future go out and intentionally go after similar effects.

This is what I love so much about photography, the infinite possibilities of endless creativity, be it accidentally or intentionally.

For all my tips and inspirations around photography check out my Learning Center.

Have a great week!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Go out and experiment!

Finding your photographic style

Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

Stay Interested !

Street Photography Quick Tip (14)

Like my hair

Like my hair | Berlin | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 14 – Shoot upwards and tilted for more dynamic street portraits

After a race across the nightsky (our flight arrived a whopping 70 minutes ahead of schedule) I’m back in Europe at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and waiting to board the plane for the last leg of this trip back to Nuremberg.

But as we came in early, this gives me time for episode 14 of my popular Street Photography Quick Tips, my short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets.

Most people shoot their portraits from eye-level. And if you get the eyes sharp, have the subjects turn their heads slightly upwards and to the side, you should get great results. But if you want to get your street portraits a more eye catching touch, shoot from a lower angle, and you can even tilt your camera a bit to give your image even more dynamic.

Talk to your subjects, ask them an open question, like what they wanted to become when they were a child, or what would be the destination of their dream, vacation. When the start talking, they relax, which can give you the opportunity to take great candid shots.

Obviously, this tip applies not only to street portraits.

For more Street Photography Quick Tips and inspirations around photography in general check out my free Learning Center.

I wish you all a great weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip (12)

I conquered my fears

A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

Street Photography Quick Tip (5)

 

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…. (more…)

Wait and shoot

Contraflow

Contraflow | Portland | 2017

As I wrote in a previous post, there are two ways to approach Street Photography. You can actively “hunt” for an interesting image to happen, for example following an appealing subject until it enters the right background scene. Or you come across a background that catches your eyes first. Then it is a matter of you waiting for the right subject to enter the scene to get the photo you are after. I call this the “gathering” approach.

This was the case when I saw this colorful mural in Portland. I loved its shape and dynamic, and its colors that really came to life during the blue hour of this late Saturday afternoon. I really wanted to capture it in a street photo, but taking a photo of a mural by itself is a bit lifeless without a foreground that adds interest.

I was with my PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens, which limited myself to this composition, as I had to stand between to parked cars half on the street to have mural and sidewalk filling my viewfinder. A frontal position would not have been possible as due to the lens being very wide angled, I couldn’t stand behind the car parked in front as the roof would have blocked the lower part of the mural.

Then it was a matter of waiting in the freezing cold wind for passing people, and there weren’t to many around. The first that passed came in groups, blocking the mural, then people passed on my side of the sidewalk, with only their top half visible in the frame, also blocking the mural. I needed someone to pass close to the wall, so I could capture the whole person in front of the big face behind him.

With this guy I finally got lucky (after about 15 minutes and a few unsuccessful shots), as he passed close to the wall, and I managed to capture him in full stride, always something I look for when pressing the shutter. Perseverance paid off once more.

Have a great Tuesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

My little Portland Christmas miracle

Around the World in 12 Days – Rose City Waterfront

Street Photography Quick Tip (10)

Instant Inspiration (14) – Car Reflections

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

Underground Ascent

Underground Ascent | Berlin | 2017

For all my free tips and inspiration around photography visit my Learning Center

Experimental” is the theme of the Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ The Daily Post for this week. When I experiment with my Street Photography, I often use slow shutter speeds of 1/8 sec or less for creative motion blur effects. There is a lot of hit and miss with this technique. Crucial for an image that works is an interesting background in which to place the blurred objects, like this entry to a Berlin subway station.

This shot I took with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12mm F/2 prime lens with a shutter speed of 1/3 second for intensive blur, an aperture of f/9 to have ample depth of field and ISO 1000. I took the shot handheld, another example how effective the image stabilization system of the PEN-F is.

Experimenting with slow shutter speeds is fun, it can be applied to moving persons, moving traffic or a combination of both. For some more of my experimental street photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Street Photography Quick Tip (12)

 

From the Gallery 01

1/8 sec @ f/22 and ISO 1600

Street Photography Quick Tip 12 – Shoot from a Gallery 

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 changing the usual perspective of taking photographs from eye level by shooting down from a gallery in a shopping center. For a few, hopefully inspirational images continue after the jump… (more…)

Need help?

 

Calling for Help

Calling for Help | Portland | 2017

 

Have you checked the tips and inspirations in my Learning Center? Are you looking for specific photography related advice? Anything out of the realms of Street- and travel photography you want me to write about? Let me know in the comments section!

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip (6)

Finding your photographic style

Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Instant Inspiration (11) – Change of Perspective