Tips & Techniques

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… (more…)

A Blogger’s Nightmare

Get out of my way

I am sure that, if you are a blogger yourself,  you have a big red mark on your calendar for May 25th. Because this is the date were the new EU data protection regulation (GDPR- General Data Protection Regulation/DSGVO-Datenschutz-Grundverordnung ) will come into force. Although, while primarily governing the handling of data privacy in the EU, it will practically affect everyone in the blogging world, because you are affected when your blog handles data (like logging of IP-addresses or e-mail addresses) of EU citizens.

When you search for GDPR in blogging forums (like the WordPress support forums), there is a lot of confusion about how to handle that situation. Some fellow bloggers already have deactivated their blog or are planning to do so.

While I always had the nagging feeling I need to revise the data privacy statements of my blog to comply with the new laws, I was not worried too much as the “Streets of Nuremberg” are a purely non-commercial, private blog in which I share my photographic endeavors. But recent posts from fellow bloggers and a face-to-face meeting with fellow local Street Photographer Kai (Kosmophil.de) just yesterday really got me worried and into action mode, as looming penalties (especially for blogs with commercial orientation of any sorts) are really severe.

I’m not a lawyer, and I can’t write the umpteenth article on how to bring your blog in compliance with the new law. And after half a night of research, there are many useful tips and guides to be found in the net, just search for “GDPR” (english) or “DSGVO” (German) and “blogging”.

I’m still in the process to determine what adjustments I need to do on my blog, just to be on the safe side and not run blindfolded into a possible legal trap.  Just by researching the web, all those things like a button “Follow via E-Mail…”, all social media sharing buttons,  allowing comments with avatars could potentially pose a data privacy problem, and bloggers need turn those things off or at least make their readers aware of it, which requires an updated data privacy statement on the blog. So I will dig deeper into the requirements and derive my personal measures I need to put in place.

My blog is hosted by WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org) and the company running it (Automattic). I would assume, that a service provider taking my money will take care of all the data privacy topics that run in their backend.  And WordPress itself has announced new features in May (oh by the way, this topic can only be found in their English support forum).  But ten days before the new law is put into force, no real help/tools is available so far.

I had a one hour chat session with their support today, asking for the availability of automated tools and a data privacy contract between them and myself as contract partners, confirming they protect the private data of my users that is logged in the background by their servers.  In the end, they referred me to their updated DP statement: Automattic and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The support said more will become available as we approach the May 25th deadline. I was totally disappointed they let (even their paying) customers walk that thin line. Not that we didn’t have several years to prepare for the new laws.

I see a lot of  panic and fear in the community, but I am quite confident that myself and all others who have behaved legally so far, with some changes and adjustments, can continue to blog without running into problems. But we first need to navigate through this period of uncertainty.

I hope I did not spoil your day with this post, but I would like to raise your awareness to this looming topic, and encourage you to do some research of your own into whether you might be affected and how you can adjust to avoid any legal trouble after May 25th.

I will continue to write about my experiences and activities regarding GDPR compliance, so stay tuned.

Have a nice Tuesday

Marcus

Links to relevant WordPress.com support sites:

https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/gdpr/

https://privacy.blog/

https://automattic.com/automattic-and-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

 

Street Photography Quick Tip (15)

Hey What's Up

1/125 sec @ f/2,5 and ISO 200, 25mm focal length

Street Photography Quick Tip 15 – Get close for more intense street portraits

In time for the weekend, here is episode 15 of my Street Photography Quick Tips, my short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is about taking close up street portraits.  For a few, hopefully inspirational images continue after the jump… (more…)

Wait a moment

Emergency

Emergency | New York City | 2018

When shooting Street Photography, sometimes it is worth waiting a few seconds, observing an interesting scene. Below is the first photograph I took of that scene I observed in a New York subway station sometime after midnight. It was the high heeled lady holding the flowers that first caught my eye, standing elegantly in front of the rugged backdrop of the subway exit.

I moved to the front a bit, as I wanted to align the red flowers with the likewise red emergency exit sign behind her, wanting to create a visual line between the red and black subject (lady) and likewise red and black background (exit gate). The all of a sudden her companion put his hands in front of his face. Realizing this gesture I pressed the shutter once more, capturing a street photography with both visual interest, lots of gesture and a story behind (guess for yourself….)

Photo was taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Image specs are 1/80sec @ F/4 and ISO1600, 75mm focal length. RAW conversion and post processing in Lightroom Classic CC.

P4103875

If you are looking for inspirations around photography for the weekend, check out my free Learning Center .

Wish you all sunny Sunday 🙂 !

Marcus

Related Posts:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

You see me

Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

NYC Experience – Top of the Rocks

1 sec @ f/4 and ISO 200

View South towards mid-/downtown | 1.6 sec @ f/4 and ISO 200

In this episode about our week in NYC I want to take you up to the observation deck of the Rockefeller Center, called “Top of the Rocks”, just a few blocks to walk from Times Square. At 10:30pm there was no waiting line, so after showing our vouchers from the New York City Pass we could directly take the elevator up to the 67th floor, from where we enjoyed first views through glass panels (a bit protected from the cold winds), but then continued on to the open air viewing platform on the 70th floor. For a bit more info and some more photos continue after the jump…. (more…)

A Photographer’s Easter Egg Painting

Mountain Forest

Mountain Forest | Lungau | 2018

Approaching Easter Sunday, The Significant Other and the Kids diligently colored some Easter Eggs. I decided to work on a photographic Easter Egg for myself, trying a technique I read about on the web but have never explored so far. For a bit of how to continue after the jump…. (more…)

Accidental X-Ray

X-periments

X-periments | Nuremberg | 2018

Photographers are similar to children. They wander the world totally open-minded, use the creative tool in their hands to try out new things, finding new and creative ways of capturing light onto their sensor. Digital photography sometimes reminds me of kids using crayons and paper to ban their thoughts and fantasies onto paper. It doesn’t cost much, nobody confines their creative process. There are no limits to the creativity of children. Children love to experiment. And sometimes, they achieve interesting results just by accident.

This is what also happens to photographers. I love to experiment, try out new ways of producing art with my camera. Not necessarily art in the sense of intending to make money with it, but art that I personally find visually pleasing and that makes me go to bed with a content feeling of having achieved something to satisfy my creative aspirations. And sometimes, just like with children, things happen by accident.

I just came out of a department store where I shot shoppers moving up and down escalators with a low shutter speed of 1/15 sec to achieve some motion blur effects. Coming out of the store into bright sunlight I forgot to switch back to P-Mode after shooting with shutter priority. So my shutter speed was still 1/15 sec. Chip in the fact that the whole day I was shooting unintentionally with ISO 3200, I was way above correct exposure of the backlit street scenery that I wanted to capture outside the store in bright daylight. After I took this image of shoppers standing in the sun in front of the reflective storefront windows, I checked the results on my LCD screen, saw it was way overexposed, realized my mistake, dialed in P-Mode and retook the shot, now correctly exposed.

But only later, when downloading the taken photographs to Lightroom Classic CC, I realized that I much more like the x-ray style shot I took completely unintentional and by accident by shooting way overexposed with 1/15 sec @ f/22 and ISO 3200. And which gave me the blueprint to in the future go out and intentionally go after similar effects.

This is what I love so much about photography, the infinite possibilities of endless creativity, be it accidentally or intentionally.

For all my tips and inspirations around photography check out my Learning Center.

Have a great week!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Go out and experiment!

Finding your photographic style

Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

Stay Interested !

10 Day Photography Challenge – Day 5

Buy books not gear!

We are on to Day 5 of Cassia Denner’s 10 Day Photography Challenge, with today’s theme being “Something I bought”. I have to admit I had no time to be overly creative today, with the job that pays the bills kept my away from my camera all day. But I decided to enter this quick iPhone shot of one of my photo book shelfs, together with a little message that is important to me.

No new camera will make you a better photographer. It might increase your motivation to go out shoot more for a little while, bring out a temporary boost in creativity, but eventually the thrill of the new gear will wear off. It always does.

Studying the work of the masters will make you a better photographer. Also studying the theoretical and technical aspects of photography.  There is so much to learn and understand about photography.  I’ve bought many pieces of gear that I rarely use, but I  have never regretted investing in photography books. It just is an enriching experience to sit with a photography book and a good cup of coffee, study and reflect on it.

Thinking about this Day 5 task also inspires me to compile a list of my photography books I own and treasure.  I just need a bit time to do it. So look for it on the Streets of Nuremberg and in my free Learning Center, where you find all my tips and inspirations around photography.

Have a great week!

Marcus

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Instant Inspiration (16) – Dusk at the Ocean

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Street Photography Quick Tip (6)

Off Topic – Studio Anywhere

Street Photography Quick Tip (14)

Like my hair

Like my hair | Berlin | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 14 – Shoot upwards and tilted for more dynamic street portraits

After a race across the nightsky (our flight arrived a whopping 70 minutes ahead of schedule) I’m back in Europe at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and waiting to board the plane for the last leg of this trip back to Nuremberg.

But as we came in early, this gives me time for episode 14 of my popular Street Photography Quick Tips, my short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets.

Most people shoot their portraits from eye-level. And if you get the eyes sharp, have the subjects turn their heads slightly upwards and to the side, you should get great results. But if you want to get your street portraits a more eye catching touch, shoot from a lower angle, and you can even tilt your camera a bit to give your image even more dynamic.

Talk to your subjects, ask them an open question, like what they wanted to become when they were a child, or what would be the destination of their dream, vacation. When the start talking, they relax, which can give you the opportunity to take great candid shots.

Obviously, this tip applies not only to street portraits.

For more Street Photography Quick Tips and inspirations around photography in general check out my free Learning Center.

I wish you all a great weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip (12)

I conquered my fears

A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

Street Photography Quick Tip (5)

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

Black Amaryllis

No, you don’t have to worry about my mental well being, with all the high contrast monochrome photographs I’m posting lately. I’m perfectly fine and there is plenty of sunshine in my heart. It’s just that I more drawn to black & white work these days.

So I’m using the first “Weekly Photo Challenge” of 2018 to add some more monochrome images to this blog. The title is “growth“. The only things that are growing these days in our house are the tulips I got from my wife as birthday flowers, and the Amaryllis she planted in December and that are growing splendidly.

As with my limited time I didn’t get into town for some street photography, I did a little setup on our living room table, using a black cardboard as background, positioning flowers in front of it and using a movable desk lamp to shed some direct lights on the flowers. Then I snapped away with my PEN-F and my 14-150 F/4-5.6 zoom, shooting at 1/100 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 200.  Easy setup, great results. Monochrome conversion done in Lightroom Classic CC. For the rest of the photos continue after the jump…. (more…)