Business-Travel

Travel Day (15)

Takeoff from PDX

Takeoff from PDX | 1/1000 sec – f/8 – ISO 200 – 100mm

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…

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My FedEx Experience

Fedex 01

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…)

Travel Day (14)

1/160 sec - f/1.8 - ISO 1600 - 17mm

1/160 sec – f/1.8 – ISO 1600 – 17mm

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…)

The Way Home

Ghostly Encounter | Berlin | 2018 | 1/5 sec - f/18 - ISO 1600 - 12mm

Ghostly Encounter | Berlin | 2018 | 1/5 sec – f/8 – ISO 1600 – 12mm

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!

Marcus

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Variations on a Tunnel

Chicago Color Therapy 02

1/160 sec @ f/1.8,  ISO 1600,  17mm

Here are some more variations from the passenger tunnel between concourses B and C of Chicago O Hare’s Terminal 1. I took the photos while connecting through ORD last week. They show a different view of the tunnel than the photos I showed in my post “Travel Day (13)“. A good example how you can play with your camera, working the scene with different creative approaches. For three more images continue after the jump…

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Travel Day (13)

Color Race

Color Rush | Chicago | 2018

It’s been almost a week since my last post, but it was an intense work week in the Pacific Northwest, that, combined with a bad case of jet lag, left no room for blogging or venturing out with the camera. I had to wait until my return trip to Nuremberg to put the PEN-F and the mZuiko 17mm F/1.8 to work, albeit in one of my favorite connecting locations, Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The colorful tunnel between concourses B and C of ORD Terminal 1 is a great place for some street photography. For a few more photographs taken yesterday continue after the jump…. (more…)

Color appreciated

Purple Lips

Purple Lips | Seattle | 2018

A bit of color would be so much appreciated! Because it is super grey outside. Grey as in fog. My flight from Amsterdam to Zurich just got cancelled due to foul weather. I’m now flying back to Nuremberg, hope that I and my bag arrive in time to catch a flight to ZRH from there. I never had a turnaround at my home airport. Like arriving at 2pm, getting the bag off the belt, booking a ticket and doing the check in for a 3pm departure. There is a 7pm flight as well. I just need to get to Nuremberg. Color appreciated!

Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100 mm F/4. Image specs are 1/125 sec @f/5 and ISO 200. Shot outside of the Museum of Pop Art (MoPOP) in Seattle.

For  tips and inspirations around photography in general check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into the weekend!

Marcus

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Big Blue

Sea Life

Sea Life | North Sea | 2018

I’m back home in Nuremberg, after an eventless, smooth flight across the Northern Atlantic.  The 9h 30 min flight from PDX to AMS (I was able to rebook to the direct flight instead going via Seattle) was long enough to watch two movies (“12 Strong” and “The Post”), enjoy a wood plank grilled salmon dinner and get in some sleep before landing in Amsterdam. There I had only 60 minutes connection time, so I was back  home in time for a late family breakfast. My long travel back at least helped my to unwind after a hard work week in Portland.

The photo above, taken with my iPhone somewhere from high above the North Sea, was actually the only one I got out of this business trip. The OM-D didn’t even leave her bag all week (is a camera a she??). The scenery with the wind park and the passing boat visually attracted me. The soft color gradient from dark to light blue, the lines of the offshore wind mills, the 90 degree angled line of the passing ship (the pic would have made a great entry to this week’s WPC challenge).  So I took my phone and clicked.

It made me feel good.

It was my visual push-up of the day.

Have an awesome and creative weekend!

Marcus

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A Killer Week

Seeing Ghosts

Seeing Ghosts | New York City | 2018

The job that pays the bills is really giving me a hard time tis week in Portland. No chance to enjoy even a tiny bit of the record temperatures and summer sunshine that graces the Rose City in April, and no chance to pick up the camera for any kind of photography.

Instead I’m sitting in a windowless office solving all kinds of problems that came up in the last days. Tough luck…the glory of business travel.

At least I get to fly back home tomorrow, although need to go via Seattle to Amsterdam instead of taking the direct flight. Believe it or not, this is cheaper and we need to save travel costs.  But also one more chance to miss a flight due to delays or whatever other reasons.

The photo above I took in the American Museum of Natural History in NYC the other week. Good example that you can shoot perfectly fine street photography in a museum.

Taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom. Image specs are 1/25 sec @f/4 and ISO 3200. Focal length was 35mm (70mm full frame equivalent). I needed to crank up the ISO as it was pretty dark in the Hall of Human Origins, where I caught this great juxtaposition of the prehistoric skeleton looking into the face of a visiting lady and vice versa. I wonder who is seeing ghosts 😉

Wish you all a great Thursday!

Marcus

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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…)