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Instant Inspiration (19) – Tell your day in two photos

Road to America

Road to America | Portland | 2017

“Instant Inspiration”  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. Read the posts, become inspired, take your camera, head out and have fun!

Episode 19 should inspire you to describe your day’s content with just two photos.

The idea to this inspiration came to me while on my “usual” Delta flight from Amsterdam to Portland. “Usual” ? Well,  despite having not travelled to Rose City in the past six weeks, this is already my tenth business trip to the USA this year, and we are not even at the half year mark. And in addition to this trip there will be minimum two more travels to PDX before my summer vacation. And I really like being in the USA. Since my days as an exchange student in Pennsylvania some 33 years ago,  I consider the USA my adopted second home country. I have been here countless times for travel and on business. And I liked each and every trip.

The thing is, this short trip is packed full of “road work”. I have meetings lined up from the moment of arrival until I step back on the plane for the return flight Friday afternoon. No time for photography this time. But thankfully there is the archive (I took the two photos during one of my last trips to Portland).

 

Road Work

Road Work | Portland | 2017

So how does your day look like? Try to capture it in two photos. Take your camera (or phone) and be creative! I’d love to see your photos – post a link in the comment section.

For all other episodes of my instant inspiration and many more photography tips visit my Learning Center

Have a good week!

Marcus

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Instant Inspiration (I) – Get Down Low

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StoNur on the Road – One Night in Budapest

Lions Gate

Lions Gate | 1/13 sec, f/4, ISO 800, 14mm

I just returned home from a marvelous long weekend that I spend with my significant other in Austria’s “Mühlviertel”. During the trip home today we passed through the Czech Republic, visiting Unesco’s World Heritage Site in Český Krumlov (pictures are coming up). Which brings the total of visited countries in the last 7 days to 5 (Germany, Egypt, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic). And Tuesday I head back over the pond to Portland.

During last weeks business trip I actually had a free evening in Hungary’s capital Budapest, were I had the chance for 5 hours sightseeing (from 7pm to midnight). To see the photos and for a bit of history and information continue after the jump…. (more…)

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

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

 

Budapetizer

Hungarian Parliament

Parliament | Budapest | 2017

Back home from my express trip to Egypt and Hungary, all within 72 hours. What I didn’t  achieve in Cairo I managed to get done in Budapest. I escaped my business duties for one evening and got to a full 5 hours of sightseeing (mostly on foot) through this magnificent imperial city, returning to the hotel way past midnight.

I brought along the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 travel zoom. And me and my cam had a fabulous time. I took to many photos for a quick post processing session, but I promise I’ll take you on a tour through a summer Budapest evening. After all, I have a long weekend ahead due to a public holiday here in Germany. So I leave you with this appetizer shot of the Hungarian parliament building, taking from the gardens of the former imperial palace. Image specs are 0,6 sec @ f/6,3 and ISO 200, focal length was 90mm (equals 180mm in full frame equivalent). I put the camera on a stone wall, as I didn’t bring a tripod. I just added a bit of clarity and contrast in Lightroom CC, otherwise this is out of camera.

If you haven’t done so, checkout my new Learning Center for a collection of free tips and inspirations around photography.

Wish you all a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Travel Day

Nile Night

Nile Night | Cairo | 2017

Back to business travel was the motto of the day, after a six week stretch at home. Took an early morning flight from Nuremberg via Frankfurt to Cairo. I had hoped so much to see the pyramids during approach into Cairo airport, but sat on the wrong side of the plane. Instead I was treated to great views of the city and the Nile. I’ll be on the ground less than 24 hours. So I’m in on the most iconic cities on the planet but sightseeing is limited to aerial views from the plane and taking in street life from the windows of our shuttle bus during transfers between airport, hotel and restaurant.

Talking about restaurant, the absolute highlight was meeting my new Egyptian colleagues and enjoying together a splendid dinner in the Kebabgy Grill on the tip of Gezira Island. It was really special, not only the great talks with incredibly hospital people, but also the atmosphere while we were sitting directly at the Nile. The table was set with all kinds of delicious foods and we were waiting for the Muezzins to call out sunset, as it’s the holy month of Ramadan and everyone is fasting from sunrise to sunset. Security is obviously an issue in this metropolis of 21 million, police and security forces are visible everywhere and also the fact you need to pass a machine gun post to get into a restaurant is a bit eery.

Anyway, a half day of intense meetings ahead, then it’s off to Budapest via Vienna, where I will arrive close to midnight if all goes well.

The photo of the Nile from the restaurant I took with the Ricoh GR, image specs were 1/6 sec at f/2,8 and ISO1600. For a city like Cairo the Ricoh is the travel cam of choice as image quality is awesome and it is small enough to fit my front pocket. Only a pitty there wasn’t more opportunity to use it.

Have a great week!

Marcus

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StoNur on the Road – Chennai Beach Life

StoNur on the Road – Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium Atlanta

Today was a very warm summer day in Nuremberg. We had a great family barbecue and a good time. With this evening a six week stretch where I slept in my own bed comes to an end. Its back to travel days. I will leave for Egypt tomorrow to spend a good 24 hours in Cairo for some meetings, then fly via Vienna too Budapest for another day of meetings. Then I return to Nuremberg for a few days, then it’s back to the pacific Northwest the week after. Back to the usual life on the road. Both Cairo and Budapest forecast 30 degrees celsius and more. Wouldn’t a dip in cold Ocean waters be the thing to do on hot summer days like these? I invite you to join me for some underwater shots I took in Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium a few years back. For more photos continue after the jump…. (more…)

The End is Near

Thunder

Thunder | Camogli | 2013

No, don’t get me wrong, I’m not referring to the end of the world, just to the end of a summer day at the beach of Camogli on the Italian Riviera.

As a series of thunderstorms passed overhead Nuremberg today, I thought I post this one from the archives.

Camogli is an Italian beach paradise in Liguria, just a few miles east of Genoa, and just over the hill from Portofino, which was subject to yesterday’s post.

The photo was shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 travel zoom. The RAW was shot at 1/320 sec f/9 and ISO200 at the wide end of the focal range. I converted the RAW (that actually looked quite dull) to B&W in Lightroom. I opened up the shadows, increased clarity, played with graduation curves and increased the reds and oranges in the image, bringing out the detail in the buildings. To finish of I sharpened the image, introduced a bit of grain and added a vignette.

If you are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, visit the Leaning Center of this blog, by clicking on the link. It is also accessible from the top menu.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Marcus

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StoNur on the Road – Portofino

Portofino Ligurien Italien

Portofino | Italy | 2004

In contrary to the original forecast the weather was quite gruesome this pentecost weekend. So a good opportunity to dive into the archives, in this case back to a sunny January afternoon in 2004, when we were living in Genoa, Italy.

That afternoon we visited Portofino, a picturesque fishing village on the Ligurian coast just outside Genoa. The town with its colorfully painted historic houses is built around a small harbor.

For some more info about the village that is said to feature the highest real estate prices in Italy, and more photos, continue after the jump… (more…)

New Memories and Remembrance

Brass Concert Berlin Breitscheidplatz

Brass Concert Berlin Breitscheidplatz

Today my US friends celebrate Memorial Day. And I hope everyone has a blessed and especially peaceful holiday. Peaceful is especially important, after the dreadful happenings in Portland last Friday. Stabbing people who stood up to protect two teenage girls who haven’t done anything is a vicious crime. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. Those men stood up to the values we all should adhere to, tolerance and respect.

Just as vicious where the terror attacks in Manchester, were the suicide bomber deliberately attacked to slaughter innocent children after a concert. As father of two teenagers this is especially agonizing, as I know there is nothing I can do to protect my children (or myself, for that matter) from falling victim to a similar random attack of terrorists.

If there is anything positive from all this terrible events it is that the terrorists don’t succeed in driving a wedge into our modern, open and tolerant societies, despite some of our politicians trying to tell us otherwise.

That there are so many people offering help in the aftermath of terror attacks with  shelter, food, transportation to all affected people regardless of nationality or religion is proof enough that we can differentiate very well between what is the work of terrorists and what are just regular people like you and me that happen to come from different nationalities or religious backgrounds and that happen to live with us in open, multicultural societies. Also the actions from the men in Portland are proof of this.

And this brings me to what this post is about. On December 19th a terrorist drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas Market, killing 12 people and injuring 55. This happened on the Breitscheidplatz in the very center of Berlin, where the ruins of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche still stand as a silent memorial to the horrors of World War II. At the steps of the church is the memorial to the victims of this horrendous attack.

When I visited Berlin this past weekend for the German Protestant Church Day I witnessed a fabulous concert at this very same location. It was a joint concert of Genesis Brass, an ensemble of 15 professional brass players, and about a thousand amateur brass players that visited Berlin for the Church Day event. The Breitscheidplatz was filled with joyous music during a beautiful summer evening. Between the musicians and the onlookers the were thousands of people of many nationalities and religions, enjoying the music. Everyone had a good time. I felt is was good and right to fill this place with joy, creating happy memories for all who witnessed. Music is a perfect tool to bring people together.

During the moderation of the concert as well as in the blessings that were given at the end the speakers found prefect words to also pay tribute to the victims of the December attack. And I felt this was needed and just as good and right.

There needs to be grief and remembrance, but we need to stand up and show the terrorists that we stand together as one, regardless of nationality and religion, and that opens ad tolerance will prevail in the end.

For more impressions from that summer evening in Berlin continue after the jump….  (more…)

House of Blue and Gold

House of Blue and Gold

House of Blue and Gold | Berlin | 2017

A quick one to send you into a blessed Sunday. Berlin is full of amazing architecture. Now it has a new highlight. This is the “Upper West” Tower at the Breitscheidplatz with 113m height and 33 floors. It is occupied (among other tenants) by Motel One, and it has a Skybar on the top floor. The building opened in 2017. So no need to go to Dubai to see fancy architecture.

Image specs are 1/8 sec @ f/5 and ISO 1600, handheld. Camera was the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6.

Happy Sunday!

Marcus

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