We’ve got a lot of snow in the past days, although today the rain has washed away most of it. When it started to snow on Thursday, I decided to put camera bag and tripod in the car to head downtown for some after office shooting of the snow-covered old town. For more photographs and my weather induced challenges continue after the jump… (more…)
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…)
I’m back in the air, crossing the Northern Atlantic Ocean on my last trip to the Pacific Northwest. For this year, that is. I’m glad I’m flying directly to Portland from Amsterdam, saving me the hustle of a connection somewhere in the US, which would have been most likely problematic, given the winter weather that has hit many parts of America in the past days. We left Amsterdam with a ninety minute delay due to the late inbound flight from NYC, but will be catching up most of the time, which will put me on the ground in Rose City around noon and in the office around 1:30pm for a good half day of work, before I will hit the pillows after another 24 hour day. But there will be some incentives on this trip, like visiting a Blazers game tomorrow night and spending the weekend on the Oregon coast.
The photograph for this post I took with my OM-D E-M5 with the 14-150mm F/4-5.6. If you look at the image specs (1/100 sec @ f/5.4 and ISO5000), you can imagine that the image was taken in less than ideal light conditions, given the high ISO I needed to dial-in in order to generate the 1/100 sec shutter speed I needed to freeze the action. Can you guess what it is? Let me know in the comments. I will eventually post the solution there…
Wish you a great Tuesday!
Back home from yet another week in Portland. The week itself was uneventful and just work. But my flight back, unfortunately once more with my “favorite” airline United, provided for another bad experience, just two weeks after my United disaster on my way to Memphis. This time all seemed perfect. Initially. Our Airbus A320 was perfectly on time, already out of the gate at PDX airport, when suddenly the captain came on and said we need to go back into the gate, as the aircraft was imbalanced due to improper loading, so they would need to unload bags from the back and put them into the front.
For sure I was happy the pilots found out while still on the ground, but then, fixing the screw up of the ground ops team cost us 45 minutes. Which is not good when my connection time in Chicago was just 55 minutes, which is already on the short side for such a big airport. I asked the flight attendant if they have any information on the connections, if they hold the plane or if we get rebooked. The answer I got was that they have no information and can’t get in touch with anyone on the ground. Comfortingly she said that they normally don’t hold planes and even try to get the international flights out on time and helpfully suggested that I could check the inflight magazine in the seat pocket for the fastest way to get from one concourse to the other. But she did offer me a red wine to help relaxing.
I had a window seat, and at least I got treated to some nice aerial views of Mount Hood, the barren landscape of Montana and of the Chicago skyline during arrival. For those photographs and how the story ended, continue after the jump…
He was one the greatest performers of all times. He, the King of Rock and Roll. Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8th 1938 in Tupelo, Mississippi. His family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when he was 13 years old. A passionate musician from young years, Elvis Presley pioneered the rockabilly music genre, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. His first single “Heartbreak Hotel” became a number one hit in 1956. With regular appearances on TV and in radio shows, Elvis Presley quickly became the leading figure of Rock and Roll. He also started a career as actor, with his first leading role coming in “Love Me Tender” in 1958.
This was also the year he bought Graceland Mansion outside Memphis, Tennessee, the home for him and his family until his death in 1977. During his short but stellar career, he published 24 albums, 17 soundtrack albums to his films, and he played in 33 movies.
While in Memphis last week, I had to stop by this memorable place while on my way to the airport (Graceland is just a ten minute drive from MEM airport). For all the photos and more info about the King and his house continue after the jump…. (more…)
The job that pays the bills comes with some perks. One of them is that, occasionally, I get to visit the headquarters of other corporation. This week I visited FedEx in Memphis, Tennessee. The global courier delivery services company that pioneered overnight shipping services and a system that could track packages and provide real-time updates on package location, was founded just 47 years ago (in 1971) by Frederick W. Smith, who to this is the President & CEO. Today the company employs 425.000 people, owns a fleet of 670 aircraft, more than 185.000 vehicles and processes 14 million shipments each day.
After a day of meetings and great talks (among others with one of the right hand people of Fred Smith) we got treated to a tour of the FedEx Superhub at Memphis Airport, one of the largest logistics facilities in the world. For a bit more info, some pictures and the link to an interesting video about the hub continue after the jump…. (more…)
Yesterday I did pass through my favorite airport passenger walkway again, the tunnel between between concourses B and C of Chicago O’Hare’s Terminal 1, with its ever-changing light show. I was connecting through ORD on my way to Memphis for a one and a half day workshop.
The thing is, the colorful photo (Olympus PEN-F, 17mm f/1.8 prime lens, image specs 1/160 sec @ f/1.8 and ISO 1600) does not properly reflect my mood after spending a day in the fangs of United Airlines. It should have been pitch black high contrast monochrome picture.
First there was the 8h 40 min flight from Frankfurt to Chicago on an aged Boeing 777. That product (and I flew business class) is a total disgrace, from both the seat comfort as well as the service (both from flight attendants as well as the food quality, which was just plain bad). Totally sub-par, when compared for example to Delta Airlines and Air France that have similar rates (and similar old planes).
But it didn’t stop there. The worst was still to come. The flight from Chicago to Memphis. We left ORD with the five (5) hour delay. Initially, the flight seem to leave on time, the United Express plane was at the gate and we were getting ready for pre-boarding. Then came the news that there is maintenance required for some kind of ventilation system. We waited one hour, waited two hours. The expected departure time shifted in 15 minute intervals, so we were required to wait at the gate. Then they said the need to tow the plane to the hangar to get it fixed. After three hours the announcement was we get a replacement plane that will be brought to the gate shortly. Another hour passed, there was no plane. Then came the announcement that also the replacement plane had a technical issue they found out during the trip from the hangar to the gate and needs to undergo maintenance as well. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, UNITED AIRLINES??? ONE PLANE BREAKS DOWN AND THEN ALSO THE REPLACEMENT PLANE???? Then we had to wait another hour until they finally managed to conjure a functioning aircraft, and all of this at their principal hub. We left O’Hare with a five-hour delay. And all we got was a simple “sorry for the delay”. THIS DAY WAS A TOTAL DISGRACE, UNITED AIRLINES!!!! I hope the return trip does turn out better. Every time I swear that this would be my last flight with that outfit. I hope that at least they get me home safe.
And at least I got to do some shooting in my favorite airport tunnel. For more photos continue after the jump… (more…)
“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 27 is for you, if you are tired of taking the same “postcard” photographs of famous attractions that everybody else shoots.
When in Berlin the other week, we stepped onto Alexanderplatz where the famous huge TV tower is situated. Affectionately called “Spargel”, with its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second-tallest structure in the European Union! Located in Berlin Mitte, you can take a lift 207 meters up and have a 360 degree view of the German capital! On top there is also a bar and a restaurant where you can eat and enjoy the fantastic view while sitting!
First reflex would be to take a photo of the big tower, maybe combine it with the red Berlin City Hall or the bell tower of the Nikolai-Church. The Postcard Shots. Which of course I have taken as well during prior visits. There is nothing wrong with Postcard shots. Everybody back home would be disappointed if you don’t have the classic shot everybody knows from magazines and coffee table books. So take one. But then, to satisfy your creative genes, go look for slightly different perspectives. For some ideas continue after the jump…. (more…)
Sometimes I feel like I’m gliding through this world like a ghost. Here, there, everywhere. Constantly changing places, changing tasks, seemingly always on a whisk, not able to properly plant a foot. The glory of business travel. After ten days in the Pacific Northwest I’m on my way home, currently at Zurich Airport, waiting for my last flight of the trip back to Nuremberg (this time my routing was PDX-SFO-ZRH-NUE). And hey, I got to catch at least a glimpse of San Francisco while approaching the Bay Area.
The flight across the big Ocean on a United Dreamliner B787-800 was kind of special, as, for the second time in not more than a few weeks, I had my Flight Captain retire on me. Like the first time back in July on a Delta Amsterdam to Portland flight, there was a big party organized by the crew, complete with a big sign in front of the cabin signaling the final farewell. Myself flying in seat 1D, I was surrounded by the pilots family, ready to embark on a European vacation after the final landing of an accomplished career at Zurich airport. Isn’t this a happy retirement in style?
The photo above was taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12mm F/2. Image specs are 1/5 sec @ f/8 and ISO 1600. I had dialed in a slow shutter speed of 1/5 sec, perfect to capture the ghostly appearance of the passing shoppers on a Berlin evening. I loved the lighting of this shop window, the texture of the decoration. Then it was a matter to wait until two pedestrians passed each other in front. I shot in the monochrome mode of the PEN-F, intending a black&white image from the beginning.
Wish you a great Friday!
You also have those weeks where the job that pays the bills gently surrounds you and gradually turns on the pressure in order to suffocate you? Like a majestic Ball Python (aka Royal Python)? Well, I did make it into the weekend, although barely. The Significant Other and I will head into the mountains to visit good friends. Looking so much forward to it!
The photo of the snake I took just the other week when visiting the Biosphere in Potsdam. I post-processed it in Lightroom Classic CC to a high contrast black& white image to be added to my fine art wildlife series (I blogged about the how-to here).
Hopefully I find some time on the weekend to catch up with blogging!
Wish you a great weekend!