blackandwhite

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

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Friend

Jeune et Heureux

This weeks Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ “The Daily Post”  has the theme “Friend”. Here are a few of the street images that perfectly symbolize friendship for me.

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts of life and we all need to make sure we cherish it. Have you called an old friend lately? Pick up your phone and do it. One of the great treats of true friendship is that it is timeless. It doesn’t matter when you have last spoken. You start talking, cherishing to hear your friends voice, and it is as you have just spoken yesterday. Let’s all be inspired by this weeks photo challenge…..

For a few more friendship images continue after the jump… (more…)

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

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Stay Interested !

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

Wayback Machine

Generations

Generations | Camogli | 2001

The magic of photographic archives is that whenever you like you can turn on the “wayback machine”. Today I was looking back into the very beginnings of my digital photography. Searching for a complete different photograph, I stumbled across this shot from December 30th 2001. The camera was a Sony Cybershot DSC 1. We just had moved to Italy that year. When friends from Nuremberg visited us in Genoa we visited the little coastal town of Camogli. The three little girls in this image are now grown women of almost 20 years. We adults have a few wrinkles more. And we all are still friends. Live is changing, but life is also good. Yes, we should capture all those moments in our hearts. But photography helps to preserve those hidden little treasures that put a smile on our faces when we look at them and remember……

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Peter Iredale

Peter Iredale | Oregon | 2017

During last weekend’s trip to the Oregon Coast I took some photographs that due to the high contrasts within the composition, I thought would look good converted to monochrome. When shooting with B&W already on my mind, I typically set my camera to a monochrome preset (most modern cameras have that feature). So when composing, I’m looking already at a monochrome image in my viewfinder or on my LCD screen. This helps me judging the impact of light and contrast before pressing the shutter. Maybe this is not the right approach for a purist, but I gladly take this as a great supportive feature of modern cameras and is as helped me discover the fun in B&W photography. For more monochrome coastal images and some more thoughts around it continue reading after the jump…. (more…)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

End of the World

End of the World | Oregon | 2017

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge has the title “wanderlust”.  It is the perfect theme to show you another photo from my trip to the Oregon coast this past weekend.

I took this image at Cannon Beach, where the late afternoon sun used a short break between showers to backlight the trees on the cliffs at the northern end of this magnificent mile long sandy beach at the shores of the grand Pacific Ocean.

I’ve been privileged to have been at the Pacific many times before, but never this far north. The moment felt special, the beauty of this moment where I saw the glow of the sun on the wet sand of this magnificent beach, the cliffs and the tree providing a perfect backdrop. The sound of the waves, the spray of salty air on my face. It felt great, I felt wanderlust throughout. I felt blessed that despite all the hard times that the job that pays the bills demands of my family and myself, it still gives me the opportunity to occasionally explore places I haven’t seen before and that I might never have seen otherwise.

Wanderlust!

The photo was taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom, image specs are 1/640 sec at f/9 and ISO 200 with 12mm focal length. B&W conversion of the raw file in Adobe Lightroom CC.

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Where the river meets the ocean

Astoria - Megler Bridge

The Bridge | Oregon | 2017

Yesterday I did a nice tour from Portland, driving up along the Columbia River to Astoria where the mighty river flows into the Pacific, then down the coast to Cannon Beach and finally back to PDX. All in all I was 14 hours on the road. The weather was very oregonic, starting with pouring rain along the river, turning to a sun / show mix on the coast and eventually finishing in a nice sunset. I will need to hit the digital darkroom over the next days to look through my images, but I’ll show you a first photo from the mouth of the Columbia River, where a mighty, 4.1 mile long bridge takes Route 101 across and connects Astoria in Oregon with Megler in Washington State. It opened in 1966. The south part has a 200 ft clearance so oceangoing ships can pass on their way to the upstream harbors of Portland and Vancouver.

I took this long exposure image from the Cannery Pier just west of it. To smooth out the water and clouds I dialed in a 13 second shutter speed, closed aperture down to f/20 and used the lowest ISO of my PEN-F. To avoid overexposure I had attached my Haida ND3.0 neutral density filter, essentially a piece of darkened glass that reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor by 10 stops, the only way to achieve these long shutter speeds in bright daylight. The camera was mounted on a tripod and I used the Haida ND3.0 filter.

I converted the RAW file to monochrome in Lightroom CC, using a monochrome preset as a starting point and then mainly adjusting the gradation curves.

You will get to see more of this trip in the next days. Today will be all rain and I haven’t decided if I drive up to the Columbia Gorge to see the waterfalls.

Wish you all a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Sicilian Good Friday Procession

Easter Procession

Easter Procession

It is Good Friday. For many this day is the start to a long Easter Weekend. Time for relaxation, time to spend with families and friends. For many this is a day to celebrate and live their faith.

To this day I never felt the intensity of a Good Friday more than back in 2002 when we spent Easter in Sicily and watched the Good Friday procession in the Old Town of Trapani.

Easter Procession

Easter Procession | Sicilia | 2002

Easter Procession

Easter Procession | Sicilia | 2002

Whatever you do and wherever you are, I wish you a peaceful, blessed and happy Easter!

Marcus

Spring Streets

Symmetry

Symmetry | Nuremberg | 2017

Spring has blessed the Streets of Nuremberg, people all are out and about, seeking those warming rays and a relaxed Saturday in Nuremberg’s pedestrian zone. Also for me an opportunity to look for some fresh street photos with my Olympus PEN-F. In this shot it was the striking symmetry of sun bathers on the bench, pedestrians moving into the scene from both sides in the background and the window dressing dummies right and left of the tree that caught my eye. Me and my significant other were sitting in a cafe enjoying a great double espresso and I was merely waiting for the elements to fall into place. Image specs are 1/320 sec @ f/5,6 and ISO 200. I shot in P-Mode. Fore some more photos and the stories to the images continue after the jump….

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The Earth from above in monochrome

Monochrom Aerial Photography 01

Mt. Jefferson | Oregon | 2017

As the job that pays the bills denied me any time to go shooting these past days I need to dig in last weeks archive to send you into the weekend. All these photos are from past Thursday and I took them on my Delta flight from Portland to Los Angeles  on my way home to Nuremberg. Camera was my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom. I post the images in sequence from Mount Jefferson that we passed soon after Takeoff from PDX to the streets of Los Angeles while landing in LAX. For the full series continue after the jump….

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