Street-Photography

Happy New Year from the Streets of Nuremberg

P1011204-2

I wish all my friends a blessed, happy, marvelous, successful, beautiful, inspirational, creative, wonderful and healthy 2019! May all your wishes and dreams come true!

Have a great year!

Marcus

Improve your photography in 2019

Yellow Arrow

With the new year at our doorsteps, it is time not only to revisit our creative achievements of the past twelve months, but also to think about how we want to evolve photographically in  2019.

What is it that you aspire? Do you want to expand your creative view by exploring a new genre? Are you looking to improve the technical aspects of your photography? Do you want to study the masters? Have you been sneaking around that new camera or other piece of gear that you hope will jump-start your motivation to shoot better pictures or simply shoot more? Or are you seeking some recognition for your work, beyond the friendly comments of the peers following your blog or your social media accounts?

Whatever it is, this is a good time to set yourself some photographic goals for the new year. Time has never been better.  Excellent cameras have become very affordable and the latest smartphones are 24/7 companions that allow everyone to do serious and high quality photography wherever you are.

Focus on education, not on new gear

With the growing numbers of aspiring photographers, the amount of educational and inspirational information has vastly increased. Photography magazines, how-to books, websites and blogs provide a wealth of technical knowledge and inspiration for just about every genre of photography that you can imagine, and most of those resources are free. Thanks to this resources, improving  the technical and artistic aspects of your photography is not difficult at all if you learn to differentiate the wheat from the chaff. And if you want to take your education a step further, invest in either a web based training made available by professionals or join an in-person photography workshop, which will give yourself also the opportunity to build a network of peers. All this requires much fewer investments than a decent piece of gear and will definitely help to improve your photography more than buying the next generation camera body or a new lens.

Find a new genre you want to explore

Think about if you want to explore an area of photography that you haven’t yet practiced. Landscape, portrait work with available light or strobes, boudoir, street photography, macro, wildlife, fashion, travel, documentary; there are plenty areas to choose from. While all of those genres seem attractive, some come with caveats that are not easy to overcome (e.g. getting yourself models for portrait/fashion shootings, getting up in the middle of the night to catch the golden hours of landscape photography),  so the genres that eventually attract you will narrow down themselves. And if you really want to become good at something you need to focus. Most great artists / scientists have been or are specialists of some sorts. Sure there are exceptions. Bryan Adams is a great Rock Star and also a well-known photographer, but in music he focuses on Rock and in his photography on portraits and fashion.

Shoot, shoot, shoot

I’m sure you have heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s Book “Outliers: The story of success” in which the author writes extensively about the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours. I believe there is a certain truth to this thesis. So go out and shoot. The more you shoot, and try to implement the things you learned from studying the theory, into your practical photography, the better you will become. Master your gear and the technicalities first, then improve your creative focus.  Then your way of shooting will become second nature, you walk through your days with a “photographic eye”, picturing in front of your eyes what your lens would see. You fall into repetitive patterns that will also show in your images, will eventually show your style.

Find Inspiration

There is nothing wrong by finding inspiration in other photographers work. Browsing Instagram, 500px, flickr and the likes lets you find lots of images that attract you visually or even from a technical point of view. This goes also for finding inspirations in photography magazines or books. Once a genre attracts you, you can research it in more depth by finding image sharing platform users, websites or blogs that focus on a particular genre. Compare images, find common elements in images “that turn you on”. Identify the names of masters of the genres that attract you, look at their published images and books and study their work in more detail. There is nothing wrong in trying to replicate their work for yourself in order to understand and master their techniques. Then use the acquired skills to create your own variations or take it to a complete new level. Have faith in yourself of developing something new out of “external” inspiration.

Go out and shoot – and shoot what you want to shoot

The best goal for the new year is simply to go out and shoot.  And shoot what your heart tells you to shoot. Shoot for yourself, not for an audience. Shoot the scenes that you yourself want to capture, where your senses tell you to press the shutter because something in front of your lens stirs your emotions. Don’t take images because you assume they generate lots of likes on the social networks or image platforms. Repetitively capturing what inspires you personally is the best way to find a focal point for your photography, discover the style of images that are satisfying for yourself as a creator, an artist. And the best motivation to go out and do more photography is when your own results “turn you on”.

Use the new year to broaden your photographic horizons with an open mind. If you explore, experiment and work with dedication and passion, and if you are your own hardest critic, your photography will certainly improve and you will find and evolve your own style. Enjoy it as a journey, and don’t be afraid of any turns your photographic road will take.

For a quick start check out all my tips and inspirations around photography in my free Learning Center.

I wish you a great and creative 2019

Marcus

Related Posts:

Gear & Camera Settings for Street Photography

My Eric Kim Workshop Experience

My Photography Equipment Checklist

Little woes of a traveling photographer

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – It’s All About Nature

Georgia Aquarium Atlanta

Georgia Aquarium | Atlanta

I haven’t participated in a Photo Challenge in ages. But as any outdoor activities are heavily impaired by heavy snow, I thought it a good idea to enter Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge titled “It’s all about Nature”. Now it is a bit tricky to combine Street Photography with anything nature, but the title image to this post as well as the following two photography attempt to bridge the two genres. To those I added a few more of my favorite monochrome nature shots that have appeared in previous posts on this blog. Too see them all continue after the jump… (more…)

Go out and shoot

1/60 sec - f/2 - ISO 1000 - 12mm

1/60 sec – f/2 – ISO 1000 – 12mm

Christmas is behind us, and with it the seemingly endless flow of festivities and opulent meals. My calorie balance is deeply negative in the past four weeks, but as the saying goes, you don’t gain wait between Christmas and New Year but rather between New Year and Christmas.

So now is the time to grab the camera (maybe the new one you got for Christmas) and head out into the streets. Roaming through the cities provides not only for plenty of street photography opportunities, it also gives you the opportunity for some brisk walking in fresh air to shake off those holiday cobwebs and re-energize yourself, creatively and physically.

This is why street photography is such a great genre, it keeps you out and about, and you can combine exercise and creativity!

If you look for tips and inspirations around photography check out my free Learning Center.

The photograph was taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12mm F/2. Image specs 1/60 sec @ f/2 and ISO 1000. Post-processing in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.

Wish you a great Saturday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Stay Interested !

Street Photography Quick Tip 5 – Composition – the hidden subject

Street Photography Quick Tip 13 – Shoot in a Coffee Shop

Merry Christmas from the Streets of Nuremberg

Imperial Christmas Tree | Nuremberg | 2018

Imperial Christmas Tree | Nuremberg | 2018

To everyone out there, but particularly to all the many magic people I’ve had the blessings to meet virtually – and this year also finally face-to-face – during my three years blogging on the “Streets of Nuremberg”,  I wish a peaceful and merry Christmas and much love and laughters together with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas from the Streets of Nuremberg

Marcus

Imperial Castle | Nuremberg | 2018

Imperial Castle | Nuremberg | 2018

St. Sebald

Christmas Reflections | Nuremberg | 2018

Christmas Market | Nuremberg | 2018

Christmas Market & Church of our Lady | Nuremberg | 2018

Imperial View | Nuremberg | 2018

Imperial View | Nuremberg | 2018

Are you in the mood?

Christmas Kiss | Nuremberg | 2018

Christmas Kiss | Nuremberg | 2018

We all know Christmas is not the most relaxing of holidays. Shopping frenzy, decorating competitions, preparing festive meals, Christmas parties everywhere, last minute travels. And all of this with a looming deadline…well, sort of. But you get my point.

Let us all remember that this is not about who gives the biggest gift, has the fanciest decoration or cooks a 5 course dinner.

Image taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4, image specs 1/30 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600, 17mm focal length

Have a great Saturday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

I wanna be loved by you

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

StoNur on the Road – One Night in Budapest

Long Distance Birthday Kisses

Instant Inspiration (28) – Handholding slow shutter speeds

1.3 sec - f/5.6 - ISO 200 - 12mm

1.3 sec – f/5.6 – ISO 200 – 12mm

“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 28 is for you, if you think you have those really steady photographers hands.

Last night I grabbed my camera and headed into town, using a short window where the rain of the last days actually stopped – here in Nuremberg we can still dream of a White Christmas, but it won’t happen. Forecasts call for a real wash-out. Global warming?

The Christkindlesmarkt in the Old Town was packed with visitors, as everybody used the opportunity for Glühwein and Bratwurst without getting soaked.

While I did have Glühwein and Bratwurst, my real goal was to experiment with slow shutter speeds, and doing this handheld. And I mean reeeally slow shutter speeds, as in one and a half seconds. I wanted to capture the motion blurred movement of the strolling visitors, while keeping the stationary background sharp.

1.6 sec - f/7.1 - ISO 200 - 66mm

1.6 sec – f/7.1 – ISO 200 – 66mm

I was shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with my trusted all-round 12-100mm F/4. This lens has actually built-in image stabilization, that can be combined with the camera’s internal 5-axis image stabilization. With this cam-lens combo I frequently do shoot 1/5 sec and know that I can get real sharp results. But 1/5 sec is not enough to capture the motion blur I was after. So I was doing trial and error shooting while slowing down the shutter speed even more. Isn’t that creative, experimental approach something that makes photography even more fun? I feel like a little child doing playing in my photographic sandbox. In the end I found that dialing in a 1.6 second shutter speed gave me the best results. One point six seconds. Count slowly “Twenty-one, twenty…”. And this while holding the camera above my head using the foldable back screen to compose.

I was totally amazed that the wooden stalls and the buildings in the background actually came out pretty sharp. I know I have steady hands when photographing, but would never have thought I can get away with shooting one and one half second and get a sharp background. But see yourself. Amazing technology.

1.6 sec - f/8 - ISO 200 - 50mm

1.6 sec – f/8 – ISO 200 – 50mm

The above photograph I had in mind taking when heading into town. I knew that on the Children’s Christmas Market was a carousel and a little ferris wheel, I wanted to combine the vertical and horizontal motions into one motion blurred image. Also this one I shot holding the cam above my head.

I was quite happy with the results, although using this technique is a lot of hit and miss. But hey, that’s why we shoot digital.

Obviously, you can use a tripod to achieve the same effect, probably with better and much more consistent results. But in certain situations, like on a packed Christmas Market, there is no way to set up a tripod, so this technique comes in quite handy.

All photos post processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC

If you feel inspired to take your camera and experiment with handheld shooting at very slow shutter speeds, post the links to the results in the comments below.

A lot of other tips and all previous episodes of my Instant Inspirations around photography you can find in my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into a creative weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (2) – Motion Blur

Instant Inspiration (9) – Concert Photography

Instant Inspiration (25) – Foodporn

Street Photography Quick Tip 3 – Practice shooting “blind”

Warming Up

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 92 mm

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 92 mm

The Significant Other and I went for an afterwork drink to the Christmas Market in the Old Town. While enjoying a Glühwein (Mulled Wine) I happily snapped away at our bystanders with my EM-1 and the 12-100mm F/4.

Once more I was amazed at the image stabilization capabilities of the Oly cam. This photo I shot hand-held at 1/6 sec. The very slow shutter speed had the advantage that I captured the motion of the guy raising the Glühwein cup to his mouth.

Capturing gesture always adds interest to Street Photographs. In this case I was waiting for him to start drinking with the intention to capture the motion of the moving cup. And as people typically keep their head still when drinking, I was able to capture the face of the subject sharp, despite the slow shutter speed. Obviously, when shooting at 1/6 sec, it is always a bit hit or miss when going after these kind of images.

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

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

Street Photography Quick Tip 3 – Practice shooting “blind”

Street Photography Quick Tip 8 – Capturing Gesture

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

Walking under the Stars

Weihnachtszauber | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/10 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 20mm

Weihnachtszauber | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/10 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 20mm

Finally we got away, at least for an evening. The Significant Other and I headed to nearby historic town of Schwäbisch Hall to spend the Friday evening under the stars. It was a cold but clear night, and everybody had a good time. And yes, I finally got the Bratwurst that I was longing for all week.

I brought the OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100 F/4. Somehow, this festive season, I’m very much into black and white (not that I’m in a dark mood). And the nightly cities with their bright festive illuminations provide a good background for some high contrast monochrome shooting. Obviously, you need to work with high ISO and slower shutter speeds. But a bit of grain and slightly blurred (as moving) people doesn’t hurt in these kind of photography, sometimes even add to the atmosphere.

Christmas Spirit | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 34mm

Christmas Spirit | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 34mm

But don’t worry, colorful Christmas photos are on the way, these are just a few quick results from last night. Don’t really have time to work on the images, as we have a totally busy weekend ahead with shopping, meeting friends, birthdays, concerts and a Christmas party. And maybe the one or other snapshot 😉

Walking under the Stars | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 44mm

Walking under the Stars | Schwäbisch Hall | 1/13 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 44mm

Don’t forget to head over to my free Learning Center if you are looking for tips and inspirations around photography.

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Blogger meeting with Streets of Nuremberg — Rhapsody Bohème

Instant Inspiration (24) – Fine Art Wildlife

NYC High Contrast Monochrome

Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Smoke and Fire

Smoke and Fire | Nuremberg | 2018

Smoke and Fire | Nuremberg | 2018

The job that pays the bills has been properly roasting me in the past days, like one of those Nuremberg Bratwurst grilled sausages. But after 32 years in the company there is not much I couldn’t handle, although times have rarely been this crazy.

I would love to grab the camera and shoot in the streets more often, but I just don’t get to it. Which is a pity, because the Nuremberg Christmas season is in full swing, and the Christkindlesmarkt, our famous historic Christmas market, with plenty of tourists and locals roaming the small alleys between the wooden stalls, is a perfect place for street photography. But the weekend is coming up and there is light at the end of the tunnel, and maybe a Bratwurst waiting for me….

Photo taken with the Olympus PEN-F with the 12mm F/2, image specs 1/100 sec @ f/2.5 and ISO 200.

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

Wish you a great Friday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

iPhoneography by Night

Getting ready for Christmas

Christkindlesmarkt

Have a great Festive Season !