Photography

First and Last

Sunrise Rainbow | 2018 | Depoe Bay

Sunrise Rainbow | 2018 | Depoe Bay

My Saturday spent at the coast of the great Pacific Ocean wasn’t all that bad. There was magic in the early morning, and there was magic at the end of the day. It started with a magnificent rainbow, that appeared out of nowhere behind the rugged shoreline of Depoe Bay when the sun came up behind the hills. I captured it with my iPhone Xs. I did have my Olympus PEN-F with the 12-40mm F/2.8 with me, but the 12mm wasn’t wide enough to capture the rainbow in its entirety. So I reverted to my iPhone for a panoramic shot. I got lucky that I even captured a crashing wave while panning. Where there is a rainbow there is also rain. It was the first time, but not the last on this day, that I got thoroughly soaked. The early bird got really wet before getting back to the place where I was staying.

Sunset Lighthouse | 2018 | Yaquina Head

Sunset Lighthouse | 2018 | Yaquina Head

Also the last photo of the day I took with the iPhone. Image quality has become so good, that I don’t bother shooting several photos for a panoramic view with my cam and stitching them later in Lightroom. I simply use my phone with one easy pan. When taking this last photo of the day with the magic evening light behind Newport’s Yaquina Head Lighthouse, I was once more thoroughly wet, as I got caught by a passing intense shower while being down below at the tide pools below the cliffs.

I have to admit there were not too many days of my photographic career where the first and last images of the day where similar memorable. Obviously, there where plenty more photos taken during my day on the coast, but this is for another post.

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

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The last sunset

1/80 sec - f/16 - ISO 640 - 40mm

Depoe Bay – Oregon | 2018 | 1/80 sec – f/16 – ISO 640 – 40mm

Okay, maybe the title is a bit exaggerated – it was only the last sunset of November. But a dramatic one for sure. After a day full of Oregon liquid sunshine and a nasty drive from Portland to the coast I just made it to Depoe Bay about 30 minutes prior to sunset. And after all that heavy rain the sky amazingly cleared for a few minutes, just as I got to the coast. I snapped away with two cameras, the OM-D E-M1 with the 40-150mm F/2.8 and the PEN-F with the 12-40mm F/2.8. With the heavy wind, plenty of salt and water in the air I was glad I had two bodies and didn’t need to change lenses in those conditions. After 15 minutes all hell broke loose with a thundershower with another downpour and hail. Before it cleared the sun was down and the last day of November was lost in a wet, dark night. For a few more photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Start of the festive season

Christmas

Christmas Season below Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle

Sitting in my office in far away Oregon, I swiped though my Instagram feed during lunch break. Somehow I was surprised to see all those images from the grand opening of the historic Nuremberg Christmas market. Being fully engulfed in my work on the other side of the world,  it completely dropped off my radar that this weekend is the start of Advent season, the four weekends prior to Christmas. And traditionally, on Friday night before the First Advent, is the festive opening of Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, as it is called locally. And with that, the historic old town below the Imperial Castle turns on the lights of all the festive street decorations. Seeing the Instagram photos I’m feeling a bit homesick, but that comes with the job that pays the bills. At least I get to spend two days at the coast of the great Pacific Ocean, albeit with plenty of Oregon liquid sunshine forecasted, but I will make the best of it.

The photograph was taken with my Olympus PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens, image specs 1/60 sec @ f/2 and ISO 1600.

If you want to pick up your camera on the weekend and are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, visit my free Learning Center  .

Wish you a great weekend and a peaceful Christmas season.

Marcus

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In the air again

1/100 sec | f/5.4 | ISO 5000 | 63mm

1/100 sec | f/5.4 | ISO 5000 | 63mm

I’m back in the air, crossing the Northern Atlantic Ocean on my last trip to the Pacific Northwest. For this year, that is. I’m glad I’m flying directly to Portland from Amsterdam,  saving me the hustle of a connection somewhere in the US, which would have been most likely problematic, given the winter weather that has hit many parts of America in the past days. We left Amsterdam with a ninety minute delay due to the late inbound flight from NYC, but will be catching up most of the time, which will put me on the ground in Rose City around noon and in the office around 1:30pm for a good half day of work, before I will hit the pillows after another 24 hour day. But there will be some incentives on this trip, like visiting a Blazers game tomorrow night and spending the weekend on the Oregon coast.

The photograph for this post I took with my OM-D E-M5 with the 14-150mm F/4-5.6. If you look at the image specs (1/100 sec @ f/5.4 and ISO5000), you can imagine that the image was taken in less than ideal light conditions, given the high ISO I needed to dial-in in order to generate the 1/100 sec shutter speed I needed to freeze the action. Can you guess what it is? Let me know in the comments. I will eventually post the solution there…

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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Schwäbisch Hall Market Place

Schwäbisch Hall Market Place

Lately I have been playing a lot with my iPhone 8plus, photographically that is. During a trip to the nearby historic town of Schwäbisch Hall I was taking some night shots with the iPhone, just to see what I can get out of this images when importing them into Lightroom. I have to admit the results are not that bad at all, the dynamic range is quite amazing, for a phone. For more photos continue after the jump… (more…)

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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Instant Inspiration (27) -Alternative Postcard Shot

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/20 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

“Instant Inspirations” is my series for you if you look for something to overcome “Photographer’s Block”  or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried, or at least not recently. Episode 27 is for you, if you are tired of taking the same “postcard” photographs of famous attractions that everybody else shoots.

When in Berlin the other week, we stepped onto Alexanderplatz where the famous huge TV tower is situated. Affectionately called “Spargel”, with its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second-tallest structure in the European Union! Located in Berlin Mitte, you can take a lift 207 meters up and have a 360 degree view of the German capital! On top there is also a bar and a restaurant where you can eat and enjoy the fantastic view while sitting!

First reflex would be to take a photo of the big tower, maybe combine it with the red Berlin City Hall or the bell tower of the Nikolai-Church. The Postcard Shots. Which of course I have taken as well during prior visits. There is nothing wrong with Postcard shots. Everybody back home would be disappointed if you don’t have the classic shot everybody knows from magazines and coffee table books. So take one. But then, to satisfy your creative genes, go look for slightly different perspectives. For some ideas continue after the jump…. (more…)