Tips & Techniques

High Key Wilderness

Etosha Animals HeyKey Panorama 03

Zebras in Etosha | Namibia | 2017

Somehow I have a hard time transitioning back to Street Photography, so here find another Africa post. While  sorting through my Namibia photos and selecting the ones I want to include in the photo book of our vacation, in a calendar etc…. I was also playing around with animal images I could convert to monochrome. I have a high key preset in Lightroom that I wanted to try out on panoramic groups of animals I photographed in Etosha National Park with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 with the MC-14 Tele-Converter that increases focal length by factor of 1.4 . The Lightroom adjustments basically include increasing exposure and playing with the grad curves, were I increased the light midtowns and turned down the dark midtowns, to get that high key effect. I also increased the contrast and the clarity. To see more monochrome Etosha wilderness photos continue after the jump….

(more…)

Namibia Starry Night (and how I photographed it)

Starry Canyon Night

Starry Canyon Night | Namibia | 2017

The Namibian night sky is spectacular. Last night at Gondwana Canyon Village I had a first try at shooting the stars. I took this image right next to the cottage we were staying in.

Camera was the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12mm F/2 wide angle prime. I put the camera on a tripod, set the 12 second self timer (to avoid camera shake) and dialed in a 60 second exposure time at F/3.2 and ISO 400. I manually focused the lens to infinity. These are good starting points for some trial and error. For composition (as it was pitch dark in the direction I was looking) I lit the rocks with a torch while positioning the camera on the tripod, then turned off the light while taking the image. The lighting on the rocks came from the small walkway lights in my back of Gondwana Canyon Village, so I did not need to manually paint the foreground with my torch.

In lightroom I increased the white point to bring out the details in the milky way, opened the shadow up a tad, then adjusted the grad curves until I was happy with the results.

At next opportunity I will try a reduced shutter speed (like 1/30 sec) to make the stars more crisp while turning up the ISO a bit.

For other tips please visit my learning center.

Next up will  be a post about Fish River Canyon, so stay tuned!

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Around the World in 12 Days – Shanghai

Instant Inspiration (10) – Nocturnal Skyline

Portland Monochrome Nocturnal Streets

Hello Africa !

Recognition for the “Streets of Nuremberg”

Today I received a surprising e-mail. The “Streets of Nuremberg” have been selected by the panelists of Feedspot as one of the Top 75 Street Photography Blogs on the web. I made the list ranking 30th, which is all the more humbling as this list really features the “who’s who” of renowned Street Photography blogs, many of which I visit frequently.

Since I started the “Streets of Nuremberg” in January 2016, this blog has grown to 2.765 followers with an average of 160 views a day.

This would not have been possible without my readers, many of whom have become friends. And it is an obligation to continue bringing you my experiences and tips around Street- and Travel Photography.

Make sure you also frequently check out my  Learning Center with all my free tips, tutorials and inspirations around photography!

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental

Fire Seat

Fire Seat | 2017

Elemental” is the current theme of the weekly photo challenge (WPC) from Word Press’ “The Daily Post”. So I share four long exposure photographs representing the elements “fire”, “water”, “earth” and “air”. Anyone remembering the movie “Angels & Demons” ? First comes fire, where I experimented with long exposures to create the streaks. Image was taken with the Olympus PEN-F, specs are 1,6 sec @ f/2.8 ISO 80 (which is ISO Low on the Oly) and 30mm focal length. The rest of the elements you find after the jump…. (more…)

Street Photography Quick Tip (11)

Lady in Red

Lady in Red | Fürth | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 11 – Using Color Accents

My Street Photography Quick Tips are 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 using color accents to add interest to a street photo.

Working with accentuated colors can really help to make an image pop out. In this example the bright red of the lady’s dress is picked up by the bright red flowers decorating the window sills of this historic guest house in Nuremberg’s neighboring city Fürth, and continues to the upper part of the photo with the red beer advertisement (I have no clue though why in the motherland of local craft breweries someone needs to advertise with Spanish beer). So the red color accents guide the eye of the viewer through the image.

Try it yourself! Take your camera, hit the streets and have fun searching for motives with accentuated colors.

The photo was taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom. Image specs 1/60 sec @ f/5.4 and ISO 1600 (it was already getting dark, thus the high ISO). Focal lenght was 60mm (equals 120mm full frame equivalent). Raw processing in Lightroom CC.

Find all my other (free) Street Photography Quick Tips in my  Learning Center.

Have a great week!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip 2 – Another way to shoot inconspicuously

Street Photography Quick Tip 6 – Shoot in a station

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

Instant Inspiration (12) – Playfulness

Rest Day

Field Flowers

Field Flowers | 2017

I arrived back home from the Pacific Northwest last evening. I’m flying out for another 4 days / 4 countries trip tonight.

In between there is a good day of…doing nothing. Like lying in a green summer meadow full of flowers. Gazing into infinity.

Image specs are 1/500 sec @ f/5.6 and ISO 500. To get this kind of effects use a zoom lens at its far end of the focal range (in this case 150mm in m4/3, equivalent to 300mm in full frame). Focus on a flower behind the first layers of grass and flowers.

For more photography tips and inspirations visit my Learning Center.

Wish everyone a blessed and relaxed Sunday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (17) – Flower Photography with Zoom

The Hood and the Flowers

StoNur on the Road – Blood Mountains

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

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (4) – Juxtaposition

Instant Inspiration (I) – Get Down Low

Instant Inspiration (11) – Change of Perspective

Instant Inspiration (12) – Playfulness

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

Related Posts:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

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

 

Instant Inspiration (18): Alternative Portrait

Father and Daughter

Father and Daughter | Hamburg | 2017

This is a very alternative portrait of my big girl and me. We were riding the metro train in Hamburg on our way to see the “Lion King”. I took this shot with my iPhone. Have you ever thought about shooting portraits of loved ones or friends in a very different way?

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 great and peaceful Sunday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (16) – Dusk at the Ocean

Instant Inspiration (10) – Nocturnal Skyline

Instant Inspiration (5) – Puddle Shooting

Perfect Imperfection

Cuddly Protection

Cuddly Protection | 2017

This capture of an intimate moment between father and son is not a perfect photograph.

I took this photo late in the evening in a dimly lit street cafe. It was a difficult situation to focus in as there was just not enough light. Aiming and shooting quickly the auto focus did lock on the contrast rich edge of the toy tiger in front of the two main subjects of the photograph, resulting in their faces being thrown out of focus due to the long focal length and the wide open aperture of f/5.6 at the far end of my zoom range.

I took only this one shot, as a second later they changed their posture and that intimate  moment was lost.

Missing the focus makes this technically a failed image. Is it a failed image? I think it is not. A photograph needs to have heart and soul, needs to carry a story. It’s contents over form. A technically flawless photo isn’t any good if it’s missing heart and soul. If you study the work of the masters of Street Photography like Henri Cartier-Bresson or Elliot Erwitt, you find many of their great photography are technically imperfect images. But they carry a strong story.

So my advice is press the shutter when you see something that touches your heart and your emotions and worry about the settings later. Having perfect settings or a perfect focus doesn’t help you when the moment is lost.

The photo was taken with my OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 travel zoom, image specs are 1/13 sec @ f/5,6 and ISO 1600, 120mm focal length.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

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

Finding your photographic style

Stay Interested !

Have you checked out my learning center for all my photography related tips and inspirations?