Ready for the Easter Bunny

Easter can come

Easter can come | Nuremberg | 2018

How ’bout a small German lesson – “Ostern kann kommen” – reads this shop’s window and attracts (chocolate starved) onlookers. I personally take a good tasty Bratwurst any day over a chocolate Easter bunny. But that’s just me.

I’ve officially made it already to my long Easter weekend, but it was a rough ride the last days. But the business laptop is closed and won’t be opened until Tuesday. Never mind, the e-mails will also arrive by iPhone 😉

Photo was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the Oly 12-100 F/4 Pro Zoom, image specs 1/320 at f/8 and ISO3200 (still form that infamous series), focal length was 38mm (76mm full frame equivalent).

If you still look for inspirations around photography for the Easter weekend, check out the tips in my  Learning Center .

Have a great Friday!

Marcus

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The Beauty of Spring

Springtime Bellezza

Springtime Bellezza | Nuremberg | 2018

Another nice day is in the books, spring is coming with all might. The job that pays the bills is once more demanding all my time, but a long Easter weekend is just around the corner. Time to see friends and family, time for some photography. We’ll be heading down to Austria for the weekend, then four more workdays (and the 18th birthday of my Big Boy), and the Significant Other and me will be off for a week in the Big Apple.

I’m still figuring out all the great things we want/need to do, but then again, isn’t planning the trips just as much fun as actually doing them? Equipment-wise I want to travel light, the OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100 F/4 as all-round cam/lens combo, and the PEN-F with the 17mm F/1.8 for some light street shooting. That’s all. Maybe I bring the Lensbaby Trio and/or the WALIMEX Pro 7,5mm 1:3.5 Fish-Eye, two small lenses that easily fit in the bag. That’s it. Maybe I change my mind, maybe 😉

The photo was taken with the E-M1 and the 12-100 F/4. Image specs 1/2000 sec @ f/11 and ISO 3200. Yes, also this photo was affected by me not noticing the wrong ISO setting with which  I shot all afternoon. The Olympus handles ISO well, so no big deal in this sunshine  photo.

Have a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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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

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A Touch of Spring

Sun Walled

Sun Walled | Nuremberg | 2018

Together with the Significant Other I headed into town yesterday, where we seemingly met the rest of Nuremberg’s population, as everybody was drawn out to just a touch of spring, with the sun shining from a spotless sky and temperatures hitting almost double digits. And everyone was trying to find her or his spot in the sun.

Oranges

Oranges | Nuremberg | 2018

I brought the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 for some snapshots of the sun seekers. Oh, and just for the case I haven’t mentioned it yet on this photography blog (I know I have numerous time), don’t forget to check your camera settings before you start shooting, they might be way off from your last photographic outing.

Stupid me shot the whole afternoon with ISO 3200, which was still dialed in from me shooting the inflight Polar Lights during my return flight from Portland last weekend. No I was lucky, because the OM-D handles noise quite well and there is no issue of having a grainy look on street photographs. Best is we all put a piece of paper in your camera bags with the text “check your settings”….or better make it a habit to reset them after every outing with your camera.

Flying Coffee

Flying Coffee | Nuremberg | 2018

Spring Break

Spring Break | Nuremberg | 2018

So far it was a good weekend, with the beautiful sunny Saturday. The daughter of a very good friend married yesterday, and at least they got very decent weather for their special day, after a mostly grey and cold week. Also this morning looks promising, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, although temperatures are still way below freezing. But I hope again for the afternoon, and coffee and cake in the sun. And some more photography with the correct ISO 😉

If you still seek some tips and inspirations for your photographic outing today,  check out my free Learning Center and get inspired.

Wish you all a happy and sunny Sunday!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Lanterna di Genova

Lanterna | Genova | 2004

The Weekly Photo Challenge calls to depict a “Favorite Place“,  an image of a happy place  or a faraway location you return to again and again.

The city that has a special place in my heart, a city I return to again and again, is Genoa. “La Superba”, as the city on the Ligurian Riviera is also called, was our home from 2001 to 2005, and where we have many very good friends.

Typically the first place we head to, when visiting, is the “Porto Antico”, the old port, that dates back to Roman times. Towering above the harbor basin is “La Lanterna”, the historic lighthouse, and the principal landmark of Genoa.

For centuries the tallest lighthouse in the world, it is, at 249 feet (76 m), still the fifth tallest lighthouse.  Considered as a whole with the natural rock on which it stands, its height is even 383 feet (117 m), making it the second tallest lighthouse in the world. Originally constructed in 1161, it was rebuilt in 1543 in its current structure, making it the world’s third oldest existing lighthouse. One of its keepers was Antonio Colombo, uncle of explorer Christopher Columbus, who was born in Genoa in 1451.

Sitting in on of the bars at the Porto Antico, looking at the Lanterna, sipping a cocktail and enjoying a warm sunset, there are not many places on this planet that mean more to me than this one.

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Instant Inspiration (22) – Variations on a Billboard

Illusion

Illusion | Portland | 2018

During my last transatlantic flight I watched “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, a quite impressive movie, for which Frances McDormand deservedly won the Academy Award in the category Best Actress in a Leading Role.

“Variations on a Billboard” is the title of the 22nd episode of my “Instant Inspirations”, 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 (you can find all previous episodes in my  Learning Center“).

I saw this huge advertisement on the side of high-rise building in downtown Portland. It caught my eye in more than one aspect. Even though it is obvious, I honestly saw it only when I processed the photographs on my computer. They eye wants to see what the eye expects to see.

Then, I started to work the scene trying to capture more variants of this big billboard advertisement. My other favorites and links to previous episodes of “Instant Inspirations” you can find after the jump…. (more…)

Monday Mountains (8)

Snowcapped Pyramid

Snowcapped Pyramid | Washington | 2018

I haven’t done a “Monday Mountain” in quite a while, but I thought I show off this photograph of a rugged, snowcapped peak in the Northern Cascades. Unless previous episodes, where I wrote about particular mountains, I have no clue how this peak is called. If anyone recognizes this quite distinctive shape and has an idea, please leave the name in the comment section.

Image specs are 1/800 sec @ f/7.1 and ISO 200, focal length was 100mm (200mm focal length full frame equivalent). The photo was taken with my OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom a few minutes after takeoff in Seattle, on our way towards Canada, while we were still climbing to cruising altitude.

Raw- and monochrome conversion in Lightroom CC Classic

I finally got home from Portland at Saturday evening, in the middle of a little snow storm. And I made the birthday party with only one hour of delay.  Next time I set a foot into an airplane it will be for a week of vacation in NYC with the Significant Other. Less than three weeks to go. Life is not too bad 😉

Wish you all a great week!

Marcus

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Kissed By The Light And Happy

Aurea Borealis

Aurea Borealis | Northern Atlantic | 2018

I made it safely to Amsterdam, where I will be stuck for the next eight hours due to my canceled flight to Nuremberg. I tried various options to get home earlier, but nothing worked out. I hope that at least my 16:45 flight is on time so I make it to the birthday party of  a good friend the Significant Other and I are invited to.

But at least the heaven tried to cheer me up, and this with much success. I was kissed by a magic heavenly light show high above the Northern Atlantic, just as the Delta Airbus left North Western Canada (Baffin Island) for Greenland. And this time I saw the inflight Northern Lights sitting on the right side of the plane, the window facing south. For my how-to and more photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Travel Day (11)

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier | Washington | 2018

My return travel to the Streets of Nuremberg got off to a bad start this morning, when just after 6am I got a text message from KLM that the flight from Amsterdam to Nuremberg tomorrow (Saturday morning) has been cancelled.

Well, let me guess, if KLM cancels a flight from their home airport 20 hours before it actually happens, it probably won’t be due to a malfunctioning aircraft or the weather (which will be fine, I already checked). Maybe because the flight to Nuremberg on a weekend morning had a low load, so it’s cheaper to cancel and cope with a few angry passengers?

Just speculating…..not the first time that happened to me…Lufthansa does that regularly with their short haul connections from Frankfurt or Munich to my city (but here I can get at least on a train). And we got already notified that Air France cancelled the originally booked morning flight Paris to Nuremberg in coming August when we return from our vacation in the Pacific Northwest on a Saturday morning. We get to wait an extra 10 hours in Paris before eventually being transported to Nuremberg on the evening flight….anyone seeing a pattern here?

Now you could argue that I shouldn’t complain as long as I eventually get safely home in one piece. But I’m just not looking forward to this 8 hour layover in Amsterdam when I could be home with the family. And to make things worse, I will need to go directly to an evening event in my clothes that I’ve been wearing for 28 hours by the time I land, because I won’t have time to head home to shower and change. Thanks KLM, much appreciated! And a platinum status card doesn’t help either….

On a brighter note, I got another nice view of Mt. Rainier while approaching Seattle. With the sun pretty much behind it, it was difficult to shoot, colors were dull, for that I already had a B&W conversion in mind when taking the photo at 1/2000 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 200. Remember, when shooting out of an airplane window, make sure you use a wide open aperture to minimize degrading effects through a dirty or scratched window. Camera was my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom.

Now I’m sitting in sunny Seattle waiting for my flight to Amsterdam to board. In the end all will be well. I hope!

Have a great Friday!

Marcus

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Hockey Fans

Fans

Fans | Portland | 2018

Strolling around the Rose Quarter, a sports and entertainment district located east of downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River, I saw a couple of Hockey Fans waiting in front of the Memorial Coliseum. This couple caught my eyes, so I walked up to them and asked them what game they are waiting for, as Portland doesn’t have a NHL team. So they educated me about the Western Hockey League, where hockey is played by young athletes between 16 and 20 years old. The league consists of  teams coming from Canada and and the Northwestern US. The Portland based team is called the Winterhawks.

Joan and Ron told me they like the passion with what the kids play the games, that it is a very laid back atmosphere at the games that, obviously, are much more affordable to watch than the high profile NHL games.

And after a very nice conversation they happily posed for a portrait.

Today is my last workday in the Rose City, tomorrow morning I head back home via Seattle and Amsterdam. Can’t wait!

If you want to pic up your camera and are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, be sure to check out my free Learning Center.

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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