Berlin

Instant Inspiration (27) -Alternative Postcard Shot

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/20 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

“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…)

Choices

Ice Bar Lobby Color | Berlin | 2018

I believe every photographer, when editing the day’s harvest, would for some images ponder the decision whether an image would look better in color or monochrome. For me, this happens mainly with photographs that have a high contrast range, like this scene I took in the Lobby of the Ice Bar Berlin (ever had a drink in an arctic environment?). I was attracted by the harmony of the colors, in addition to the playful lighting effects), so I shot this in color with my PEN-F and the 12mm f/2 prime lens (image specs 1/80 sec @ f/2.2 and ISO 2000). When processing the photo in Lightroom CC Classic, I was seeing the potential for a monochrome conversion, and applied a high contrast preset, that also introduced some grain, mimicking an analogue film (as you see above, the PEN-F has no noise issues at ISO 2000, at least if you keep the image at a reasonable size). I like both version, but if I need to pick one I tend to take the colored version. I would be interested in your views, please comment below.

Ice Bar Lobby Monochrome | Berlin | 2018

I’m back in the Pacific Northwest, but this time for work again. It has been a busy week, thus the lack of posts and opportunities to venture out and shoot in the streets. I’m heading to Seattle for the weekend, so this will change 🙂

Wish you a great Friday

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip 5 – Composition – the hidden subject

Street Photography Quick Tip 11 – Using Color Accents

Instant Inspiration (6) – Storefront Windows

Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

Evening Colors

Blue Hour

Blue Hour | Berlin | 2018

We’re back in Nuremberg after a great weekend in Berlin where we visited close friends. Besides spending real quality time together I also got some street shooting done when we headed into city center after we did a fun tour riding a rail trolley (Draisine) in the afternoon.

This street photo I took during the blue hour near the Alexanderplatz. I loved the color contrast between the blue light outside in the street and the yellow light in the shop window. Then I merely waited a few seconds until a subject arrived on the scene (didn’t have more, as the others in the party, already starved, where rushing towards a nearby Vietnamese restaurant that we always visit when in Berlin).

The photo was taken with the PEN-F and the 12mm F/2. Image specs are 1/250 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600. When shooting people in the blue hour, don’t even try to get the white balance right in order to get correct skin tones. That’s why it is called blue hour 😉

Monsieur Vuong | Berlin | 2018

Monsieur Vuong | Berlin | 2018

That’s “Monsieur Vuong”. Same camera/lens combo, specs 1/20 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 1600. As I’ve written many times on this blog, instead of complaining about cars parked in the wrong place in front of your subject, use them to your advantage. Have I mentioned I love reflections?

There is more to come from our Berlin weekend, stay tuned!

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

My Eric Kim Workshop Experience

Eric Kim Workshop Making Of

Marcus & Eric | Berlin | 2017

Just a little over a week ago I had one of the most memorable photographic weekends ever when I attended the workshop “Conquer Your Fears in Street Photography” with Street Photo Legend Eric Kim in Berlin. For my in depth experiences from the workshop plus a bunch of both “behind the scenes” images and my workshop “results” continue after the jump…

(more…)

I conquered my fears

Fetish Designer

This past weekend I have spent in Berlin together with Street Photo Legend Eric Kim, his wife Cindy, his sister Annette and a great crew of 12 other like minded Street Photographers who joined Eric’s “Conquer Your Fears In Street Photography” workshop in our Nation’s capital. It was a truly unforgettable experience. Mainly for meeting a bunch of fantastic and fun people. Thanks so much, Eric, Cindy, Annette and all of my co-students!! And it did the trick. Normally being rather “unobtrusive” in my street photography, I was blown away by how much fun it actually is to simply walk up to interesting looking people, asking them if I can “make” their portrait and share a few life stories with them. So the workshop really delivered on its promise, thanks to Eric.

 

Not Grumpy

Waiting

Already back in the treadmill of the job that pays the bills, I just wanted to quickly share the success message and a couple of my street portraits taken during the workshop, all with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm/F1.8 prime lens.

Here is the link to the post on Eric’s blog on the workshop results, check it out!  There were so many great photos that came out of that two-day session in Berlin, they deserve some appreciation.

Once I find time to sort through all my photos I will do a proper workshop review with some more of my workshop results and a few “making of” images. Stay tuned !

Have a great week!

Marcus

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

Street Photography Quick Tip (1)

Street Photography Quick Tip (2)

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Temporary

Cuddly Protection

Cuddly Protection | Berlin | 2017

After a totally crazy week at work, where the job that pays the bills has pretty much sucked up all my time and energy, I’m at the doorsteps of a hopefully nice (only contents-wise, the weather forecast is gruesome) weekend in our Nation’s capital Berlin, where I will attend a workshop with Street Photography Guru Eric Kim, a gift from my family and friends on the occasion of my half century birthday I had earlier this year.

Curious about what will await me I’m posting a street photograph I took during a visit to Berlin back in May, which is my entry into this week’s Word Press’ Weekly Photo Challenge, that has the theme “temporary“.

What is more temporary than a fleeting moment of life captured in a street photo. In the end, all street images are snapshots of life as it happens in that exact instant, and that never will be repeated. And it is especially true for this photograph of a father sharing an intimate moment with his little son.

Taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom. Image specs 1/13 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 1600 and 120mm focal length. Monochrome conversion in Lightroom Classic CC.

I wish everyone a great and creative weekend!

Marcus

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On the Streets of Berlin

Blurred Shopping Girls

1/8 sec @ f/6,3, ISO 200, 49mm focal length

As already mentioned in my previous post, I’ve spent last weekend in our Nation’s Capital, which is always a treat. As the main purpose of the trip was visiting a very close friend and going on a specialty Whiskey tasting (which was totally awesome by the way), an actual visit to the Streets of Berlin was limited to a few hours on Saturday when we went to the Potsdamer Platz district,  visited the Mall of Berlin and the Otto Bock Science Center. I brought along the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-10mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom, and after the jump you can see some of the results…. (more…)

Berlin Quick Pic

Of handed

Off handed | Berlin | 2017

Just got back in from our marvelous Berlin weekend. My bag is already repacked for another quick trip to Portland. My alarm will go off at 3:30 am, then I’ll drive to Munich for a 7am flight to Amsterdam and then on to PDX.

The photo above was my personal favorite from the weekend, a shot I took in staircase of the Otto Bock Science Center in Berlin. Taken with the PEN F and the mZuiko 14-150mm F4-5.6 travel zoom. Image specs are 1/60 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 320, focal length was 22mm.

Will sort through the rest of my Berlin photos on the plane tomorrow and post from the US.

Habe a good week!

Marcus

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Road to Berlin

Road to Berlin

Road to Berlin | Germany | 2017

Before heading back to the Pacific Northwest before sunrise on Monday morning, the significant other and myself took the road for our Nation’s Capital on Friday afternoon to visit close friends, do some shooting and shopping in the city  and attend a Whiskey tasting I got as present for my 50th birthday back in January. The photographs shown here are taken out of the moving car in a combination of slow shutter speeds (both were shot at 1/13 sec) and panning the camera backwards against the driving direction. The conversion to monochrome was done in Lightroom CC with the pre-set mimicking a TRI-X analogue film.

Wind Song

Wind Song | Germany | 2017

For more tips and inspirations published on the Streets of Nuremberg visit my free Learning Center.

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

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New Memories and Remembrance

Brass Concert Berlin Breitscheidplatz

Brass Concert Berlin Breitscheidplatz

Today my US friends celebrate Memorial Day. And I hope everyone has a blessed and especially peaceful holiday. Peaceful is especially important, after the dreadful happenings in Portland last Friday. Stabbing people who stood up to protect two teenage girls who haven’t done anything is a vicious crime. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. Those men stood up to the values we all should adhere to, tolerance and respect.

Just as vicious where the terror attacks in Manchester, were the suicide bomber deliberately attacked to slaughter innocent children after a concert. As father of two teenagers this is especially agonizing, as I know there is nothing I can do to protect my children (or myself, for that matter) from falling victim to a similar random attack of terrorists.

If there is anything positive from all this terrible events it is that the terrorists don’t succeed in driving a wedge into our modern, open and tolerant societies, despite some of our politicians trying to tell us otherwise.

That there are so many people offering help in the aftermath of terror attacks with  shelter, food, transportation to all affected people regardless of nationality or religion is proof enough that we can differentiate very well between what is the work of terrorists and what are just regular people like you and me that happen to come from different nationalities or religious backgrounds and that happen to live with us in open, multicultural societies. Also the actions from the men in Portland are proof of this.

And this brings me to what this post is about. On December 19th a terrorist drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas Market, killing 12 people and injuring 55. This happened on the Breitscheidplatz in the very center of Berlin, where the ruins of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche still stand as a silent memorial to the horrors of World War II. At the steps of the church is the memorial to the victims of this horrendous attack.

When I visited Berlin this past weekend for the German Protestant Church Day I witnessed a fabulous concert at this very same location. It was a joint concert of Genesis Brass, an ensemble of 15 professional brass players, and about a thousand amateur brass players that visited Berlin for the Church Day event. The Breitscheidplatz was filled with joyous music during a beautiful summer evening. Between the musicians and the onlookers the were thousands of people of many nationalities and religions, enjoying the music. Everyone had a good time. I felt is was good and right to fill this place with joy, creating happy memories for all who witnessed. Music is a perfect tool to bring people together.

During the moderation of the concert as well as in the blessings that were given at the end the speakers found prefect words to also pay tribute to the victims of the December attack. And I felt this was needed and just as good and right.

There needs to be grief and remembrance, but we need to stand up and show the terrorists that we stand together as one, regardless of nationality and religion, and that opens ad tolerance will prevail in the end.

For more impressions from that summer evening in Berlin continue after the jump….  (more…)