Travel Day (17)

Man sitting behind illuminated globes in a travel book shop
Travel Dreams | Nuremberg | 2019

I’m back in the air this morning, this travel day taking me once more from Nuremberg via Amsterdam to Portland, Oregon. The direct routing from Europe to the Pacific Northwest avoids weather induced travel delays while connecting through an eastern or central US airport. Fingers crosses, of course, but I’m leaving the sunny streets of Nuremberg for the, according to my iPhone weather app, equally sunny but even warmer Rose City. Not that I will get much out of it, as I’m staying only four and a half days and it will be all work (plus maybe a dinner or two).

Continue reading “Travel Day (17)”

Under the meteorite showers

A man looking at a Meteorite Shower
Meteorite Shower | Portland | 2019

Ok, technically this is not a meteorite shower. It is an art installation called “Moving Mountains” by PNW artist Annette Bellamy. It is part of the special exhibition “the map is not the territory” in the Portland Art Museum. I took this indoor street photograph during last weekends visit to the museum that I used for some indoor street shooting.

But to me it looks like a meteorite shower. Or a snow- or hail shower. And this is exactly the kind of weather hitting many parts of the continental US today. Making for less than ideal travel conditions for my trip back to the Streets of Nuremberg. Continue reading “Under the meteorite showers”

Travel Day (16)

img_2245
Selfie

Today it was finally travel day again, my first out-of-country business trip of the year. Just a one day trip from Nuremberg to Zurich. I left 5:15 to drive to the airport for the 7am flight to ZRH, needing the extra time due to the couple of inches of snow on the ground, as it had continued to snow throughout the night (last night I took camera and tripod to town for some awesome shooting of the snow-covered Old Town and the Imperial Castle – post coming up). For the rest of the photos and the days story continue after the jump….

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StoNur on the Road – Hong Kong

Morning view of Tsim She Tsui | 2.5 sec - f/8 - ISO80
Hotel room morning view of Tsim Sha Tsui | 2.5 sec – f/8 – ISO80

These days it is the job that pays the bills that prohibits me to pick up the camera and head into town. Especially now, that the gruesome weather of the past days has given way to calm winter weather.

But it is also the same job that comes with some benefits, like traveling to places around the globe. And while those business trips for the most part are limited to seeing airport, office and hotel, sometimes arises the opportunity to sneak away for an hour or two to catch some more touristic glimpses of those fascinating places. Especially, when you are willing to fight the jet lag and wander around a foreign city all by yourself late at night or very early in the morning. Continue reading “StoNur on the Road – Hong Kong”

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…. Continue reading “My FedEx Experience”

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… Continue reading “Travel Day (14)”

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…

Continue reading “Variations on a Tunnel”

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