Back to business

Back to Business | Berlin | 2018

What I love about street photography is that is capturing everyday life as it happens. When roaming the streets, I’m always on the lookout for situations that reflect the stories of life.

This is a photograph of a business man walking seemingly away from the fun stuff happening in holidays. Like diving. Or, when you look to the far right, a bike tour.

The image works for multiple reasons. First, there are the juxtapositions of the man in a business attire and the lady diver. Another one is the man and the diver going in opposite directions. Then there are the similarities in their leg positions (it was the hard part capturing the exact moment). Then there are multiple layers to the image: the man in the foreground, the ad in the middleground and then the bikers and the subway in the background. And as extra element there is the partially hidden text message on the ad, something the mind automatically tries to decipher. Another compositional element is the triangle between the man, the diver and the bikers.

The photo is also symbolic for my day, as it’s back to work day after the Christmas break.

Image taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4, specs are 1/25 sec @ F/4 and ISO 200, 38mm focal length.

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

Wish you a great start into the week.

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (10)

Instant Inspiration (4) – Juxtaposition

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

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Instant Inspiration (9) – Concert Photography

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Street Photography Quick Tip 3 – Practice shooting “blind”

Weekend Rush

Weekend Rush
Weekend Rush | 2018 | 1/200 sec – f/3.5 – ISO 1600 – 12mm

Who says people aren’t in a rush on the weekend? Example of walk-by street photography. I kept the camera (Olympus PEN-F with the 12mm F/2 prime lens) in front of my chest and just snapped away at interesting looking people. I set the shutter speed at 1/200 sec, kind of the minimum required to “freeze” moving people, especially when I’m moving myself.

Obviously there is a lot of hit and miss in this approach, but actually I’m enjoying this “hunt” as a kind of photographic challenge to myself. You need to know your camera pretty well, as just a slight tilt in the wrong direction will result in chopped-off heads or people only half visible in the frame. I used the 12mm (24mm full frame equivalent), so this is as wide angle as it gets in the streets. And it means I need to be awfully close to my subjects to fill the frame.

Try it yourself, there is a lot of fun in this type of photography, and trust me, no-one will notice you snapping away, as long as you are moving as well. Obviously, having a small, inconspicuous looking camera like the PEN-F helps.

Check out my free Learning Center for many more tips about Street Photography.

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (1)

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Street Photography Quick Tip (6)

A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

Instant Inspiration (25) – Foodporn

img_0553

“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 25 is about shooting some quick “foodporn” with your iPhone. For some how-to, my workflow and more of my iPhone Sushi photographs continue after the jump… Continue reading “Instant Inspiration (25) – Foodporn”

Instant Inspiration (24) – Fine Art Wildlife

Java Leopard
Java Leopard

In time for the weekend here is episode 24 of my “Instant Inspirations”, 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.

Today I want to inspire you to go on a safari. A fine art photo safari. Something everyone can do that has a zoo or wildlife park in the vicinity. All you need in terms of gear is a camera with a zoom. While enjoying a stroll through the zoo, look for wildlife in high contrast lighting situations. You are almost guaranteed to find such situations during any visit. Shoot with a wider aperture, to throw the background out of focus.

To find out how to shoot this type of scenes, a bit of post processing advice and some more high contrast fine art wildlife photos from my last “safari” continue after the jump… Continue reading “Instant Inspiration (24) – Fine Art Wildlife”

Totally in sync with multiple clients

Prom Fun
Prom Fun | Seattle | 2018

With the latest update to the Lightroom app (Adobe Lightroom CC 2018) as well as to the desktop version (Lightroom CC Classic), Adobe has finally given us users of the photography suite what we have long been waiting for: the possibility to import our self created presets into the mobile Lightroom CC environment.

Sure enough I had to put it to as test immediately. Once I had imported them from the vaults of the desktop version (they typically reside in the folder /Users/<yourname>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/Settings), they synced perfectly fine across all my mobile clients (iPhone/iPad) via the Adobe cloud (which you get automatically as part of the photography suite subscription).

Now I get even more mobility in my creative post processing work. Basically, I can now work on a RAW file (or jpg) residing in the Adobe cloud on my iPad, using my proven presets, while I’m on the road. Then it syncs perfectly back also into my desktop version, where my main Lightroom catalogue resides.

Me and many other users have waited for this for a long time. Thanks Adobe!

For plenty of other tips and inspirations around photography head over to my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great Friday!

Marcus

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His last match – and how I captured it

TSV Feucht A-Jugend 03
1/1000 sec @ f/4, ISO 640, 210 mm

I don’t shoot much sports, and of the more than 400 posts published on the “Streets of Nuremberg”, less than a handful were about sports photography. But yesterday was a kind of special day, as the Big Boy played his last career soccer match, and of course I needed to properly capture this on a sensor, as I did also with his very first match, exactly 4628 days ago. He went out in style, scoring a goal in the 2:1 win of his team that also secured promotion of the squad into the next higher league for next year’s team.

To see a few images from yesterday’s game, learn about my photographic approach to get a few decent sports photos plus a trip down memory lane to Big Boys’s first match 13 years ago, continue after the jump….

Continue reading “His last match – and how I captured it”

Instant Inspiration (23) – Hidden Street Portrait

Flower Power
Flower Power | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/10 sec @ f/4 – ISO 200

After my rather moody last post it is time for a colorful new edition of my “Instant Inspirations”, something for you to try to overcome photographers block or if you simply want to give your photography a new angle. The 23rd episode is for those of my readers who would like to get more into Street Photography, but are hesitant to shoot obvious street portraits of people or even asking interesting looking subjects to “make” their portrait.

For starts, you can try to shoot people who are engulfed in their every day business, unaware of the photographer aiming the camera at them. Obviously, using a longer lens (or zoom) does help not to get too close. But even with a wide angle lens, the camera up at the eye, you can wander through shops, bars or your local market, looking for interesting scenes, people, gestures, colors, patterns – and press the shutter when something catches your eye and gets your creative juices flowing. Move naturally, shoot, and trust me you will not be noticed.

Bar Work-3
Lost in Thoughts | 2018 | 1/60 sec @ f/5.6 – ISO 320

Try different focal lengths, apertures and shutter speeds. Experiment, shoot with the curiosity of a child. Have fun.

Share your results by posting links in the comments section.

For all other episodes of my “Instant Inspirations” as well as my “Street Photography Quick Tips” head over to my free Learning Center.

Have a great Friday

Marcus

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Instant Inspiration (4) – Juxtaposition

Instant Inspiration (3) – Silhouettes

Instant Inspiration (2) – Motion Blur

Instant Inspiration (I) – Get Down Low

World Cup fever and some thoughts on composition

Playing Ball
Playing Ball | Seattle | 2018 | 1/500 sec @ f/6.3 and ISO 200

In less than 72 hours the FIFA World Cup will be upon us. Strangely, here in Germany it is still pretty quiet around the Nation’s favorite sports team, and we are far away from the euphoric mood that rocked our country four years ago and that culminated in one huge party when Germany won the final against Argentina for our fourth World Title. Maybe it has to do with the meager results in the test matches leading up to the tournament. Maybe it has to do with the host country Russia, which is not really known as a soccer nation. I myself am rather bearish on our chances for defending the cup.

But at least we have a chance, as opposed to the US team that didn’t even make it through the qualifiers. Maybe players like this highly skilled soccer dad would have helped the Team USA to make the tournament. His dedication for the ball and the fun he had with his kids was contagious. Eleven guys like him would make for a formidable squad, I’m very sure.

Photographically I worked the scene a bit with this guy. In the first image I intentionally used the unsharp faces of the kids enjoying their ice cream to frame the soccer player as they passed directly in front of my lens, shooting at the long end of my 12-100mm F/4 zoom. This creative composition element created depth in the image, served as a frame for the main subject and also provided a juxtaposition between savoring food and doing sports. My other photos from the scene you can find after the jump… Continue reading “World Cup fever and some thoughts on composition”

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