StoNur on the road

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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A Capital Sunset

A capital Sunset

Capital Sunset | Berlin | 2017

We’re in our Capital this weekend. After seeing a marvelous concert in the Berlin Cathedral with music from Karl Jenkins we walked out just in time to see this splendidly colored evening sky behind the Spree river.

Image specs are 1/80 sec at f/4,1 and ISO 200,17mm focal length. Camera was the OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6.

Took quite a few photos yesterday, but returning to our room only way past midnight and needing to get up early in the morning to go to the next event I just downloaded my photos, but had to time to go through them.

So with this quick sunset snap I wish you a good Friday and a hopefully relaxed start into a blessed and peaceful weekend!

Marcus

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The Hood and the Flowers

Mount Hood

Mount Hood | Oregon | 2017

I need to do my Oregonian friends justice. They say there is sunshine in the PNW. And they are right. Here is the proof! This evening I returned from a 12 day trip to Portland. There was one truly beautiful day with sunshine throughout during these 12 days, which was last Friday. This was also when I took this photo of Mount Hood on my way from the office to the hotel.  It rained all other days.

But the weather forecast for the weekend and the coming week calls for warm and fair weather in Rose City. Everybody should enjoy it. Because maybe I’m the one bringing (for sure unintentionally) all that rain. And I will be back the week after next ;-). But meanwhile I will enjoy time with the family and on the Streets of Nuremberg.

Photo was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom. Specs are 1/400 sec @ f/11 and ISO200 , focal length was 150mm (equals 300mm in full frame), so I shot at the far end of my zoom. The edge to edge sharpness of this piece of glass is amazing.

Wish everyone a great weekend a sunny trip into May!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

End of the World

End of the World | Oregon | 2017

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge has the title “wanderlust”.  It is the perfect theme to show you another photo from my trip to the Oregon coast this past weekend.

I took this image at Cannon Beach, where the late afternoon sun used a short break between showers to backlight the trees on the cliffs at the northern end of this magnificent mile long sandy beach at the shores of the grand Pacific Ocean.

I’ve been privileged to have been at the Pacific many times before, but never this far north. The moment felt special, the beauty of this moment where I saw the glow of the sun on the wet sand of this magnificent beach, the cliffs and the tree providing a perfect backdrop. The sound of the waves, the spray of salty air on my face. It felt great, I felt wanderlust throughout. I felt blessed that despite all the hard times that the job that pays the bills demands of my family and myself, it still gives me the opportunity to occasionally explore places I haven’t seen before and that I might never have seen otherwise.

Wanderlust!

The photo was taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom, image specs are 1/640 sec at f/9 and ISO 200 with 12mm focal length. B&W conversion of the raw file in Adobe Lightroom CC.

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Where the river meets the ocean

Astoria - Megler Bridge

The Bridge | Oregon | 2017

Yesterday I did a nice tour from Portland, driving up along the Columbia River to Astoria where the mighty river flows into the Pacific, then down the coast to Cannon Beach and finally back to PDX. All in all I was 14 hours on the road. The weather was very oregonic, starting with pouring rain along the river, turning to a sun / show mix on the coast and eventually finishing in a nice sunset. I will need to hit the digital darkroom over the next days to look through my images, but I’ll show you a first photo from the mouth of the Columbia River, where a mighty, 4.1 mile long bridge takes Route 101 across and connects Astoria in Oregon with Megler in Washington State. It opened in 1966. The south part has a 200 ft clearance so oceangoing ships can pass on their way to the upstream harbors of Portland and Vancouver.

I took this long exposure image from the Cannery Pier just west of it. To smooth out the water and clouds I dialed in a 13 second shutter speed, closed aperture down to f/20 and used the lowest ISO of my PEN-F. To avoid overexposure I had attached my Haida ND3.0 neutral density filter, essentially a piece of darkened glass that reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor by 10 stops, the only way to achieve these long shutter speeds in bright daylight. The camera was mounted on a tripod and I used the Haida ND3.0 filter.

I converted the RAW file to monochrome in Lightroom CC, using a monochrome preset as a starting point and then mainly adjusting the gradation curves.

You will get to see more of this trip in the next days. Today will be all rain and I haven’t decided if I drive up to the Columbia Gorge to see the waterfalls.

Wish you all a great Sunday!

Marcus

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River Blues | Portland | 2017

I successfully made it through the week and am now looking forward to a weekend in the Pacific Northwest. After work I drove into downtown for some later afternoon and blue hour shooting. Still fighting some jet lag after arriving in Portland two days ago  I’m much too tired to post process my photos, but after a quick scan I send all of us into a well deserved weekend with a photo I took on the famous Steel Bridge that crosses the Willamette River and provides great views across the river towards Broadway-and Fremont Bridges in the upcoming dusk.

Tomorrow I head out to the Oregon Shores of the Pacific Ocean. I’m so much looking forward to it!

The above photo was taken with the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom, specs are 1/25 sec @ f/2.8 and ISO 1600, handheld.

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

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Natural Thirst Quencher

Thirst

Thirst | Chennai | 2017

Today I want to share this portrait out of my archives, again from the Streets of Chennai, India. The lady just had treated herself to a coconut to quench her thirst on this very hot and humid afternoon. Beats a Coke, doesn’t it?

Image taken with a Canon Powershot G11, specs are 1/160 sec @ f/4,5 and ISO 200. As usual when on the streets I shot in P-Mode.

Tomorrow at 4:15 am my taxi will pick me up for the 30 minute trip to the airport. Then it’s off to Portland via Amsterdam. Looks like I trade the Nuremberg snow for the Portland rain. Right now I’d take Chennai over both 😉

Have a good week!

Marcus

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Sicilian Good Friday Procession

Easter Procession

Easter Procession

It is Good Friday. For many this day is the start to a long Easter Weekend. Time for relaxation, time to spend with families and friends. For many this is a day to celebrate and live their faith.

To this day I never felt the intensity of a Good Friday more than back in 2002 when we spent Easter in Sicily and watched the Good Friday procession in the Old Town of Trapani.

Easter Procession

Easter Procession | Sicilia | 2002

Easter Procession

Easter Procession | Sicilia | 2002

Whatever you do and wherever you are, I wish you a peaceful, blessed and happy Easter!

Marcus

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

 P1290044

Frequent readers probably know by now that I try to meet the Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ “The Daily Post” with one of my Street Photos. This week’s challenge has the theme “Surprise”.

While visiting Tanzania last year (a trip organized by our local church parish), on one of our tours out of Moshi (where we were based) we also visited the little town of Muikwa on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro where we took a stroll on a small path through lush vegetation and little coffee and banana farms left and right the way. And in this very remote (touristically speaking) area all of a sudden a wild and laughing group of young kids in school uniforms came downhill towards us.

Based on their “surprised” reaction I assume they never before saw or could have expected a group of foreign visitors wandering up the small path through their settlement.

IMG_5315

Communication obviously was limited to smiles and waving hands and their curious looks in the display of my camera that got them really exited. While the little students disappeared into the settlements left and right of the path we continued a bit uphill were we eventually found their school, the Maremi Primary School. I did a post about this school early into my blogging and you can find it here.

I hope you like my interpretation of the challenge.

I wish all of you some happy, relaxed and peaceful Easter days!!

Marcus

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