B&W black&white

Travel Day (12)

White Whale

White Whale | Frankfurt | 2018

Travel Day once again, but this one is special. To find out why, continue after the jump… (more…)

Good Friday

Mystic Mountain

Mystic Mountain | Lungau | 2018

The Friday preceding Easter Sunday is Good Friday,  a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday. 

We are spending Easter at a very good friend’s house in the Lungau region in the Austrian Alps. Not really the place for Street Photography, but the opportunity to capture some monochrome landscapes.

The weather was not all that great, rather fitting for the subdued mood of Good Friday. While the kids took to the slopes, the Significant Other and I hiked up the Weißpriachtal along the Longa River. Readers of this blog might remember my post about High Contrast Landscape Photography, where I took some Ansel Adams like images on a sunny December day in the very same valley during an earlier visit.

Today there were only low hanging clouds, nothing spectacular to photograph, so we just enjoyed the hike. Only when returning, I took my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom out of my backpack and shot a few detail shots of what nature gave me. Kind of zen-like. Probably nothing anyone apart from me would look at, but really satisfying me as a visual artist. I will share these images tomorrow.

My photo of the day was that of the mountain above us, in a brief moment when the clouds opened up and gave us a vista of a moody mountainscape. Perfect for a Good Friday.

Image specs are 1/640 sec @ f/7.1 and ISO 200, focal length 100mm (equals 200mm full frame equivalent).

Wish you all a great start into a hopefully splendid Easter weekend!

Marcus

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Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty | New York City | 2010

Preparing for the trip to the Big Apple a week from Sunday, I was looking at some old photographs from my last visits in 2010 and 2012.

Just to play around, I was looking for some images with high contrasts, that I could convert to monochrome. All of those places (Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial / Top of the Rocks) are on our to-do list for our upcoming trip. The Significant Other even secured tickets to visit Lady Liberty’s Crown. Can’t wait!

Memories

Memories | New York City | 2012

Twin Towers

Twin Towers | New York City | 2012

Top of the Rocks

Top of the Rocks | New York City | 2012

All photographs were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the mZuiko 14-150 F4-5.6 Travel Zoom. RAW and monochrome conversion in Lightroom CC Classic.

Have a peaceful Good Friday

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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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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Snacktime

Lunchbreak

Light Snack | Portland | 2018

While standing on a parking lot trying to photograph a giant mural in downtown Portland last Saturday, I couldn’t help noticing this guy leaning on his car and munching a fully loaded sandwich he had just picked up from one of the food trucks across the street.

The reason I noticed him was because he had a good loud chuckle. So after snapping the mural, I walked up to him and asked him what was so funny. He pointed to a car still trying to maneuver its way into an empty parking bay, explaining it was his buddy who is just never able to properly park the car. I just replied that to some it is given, and to some it is not. And we shared a good chuckle together.

I thought he had an interesting face, so asked him if I could take his portrait. He thought for a second, than agreed without hesitation, and threw himself into this very serious pose. I just took two shots, and immediately liked this one with the tighter framing, after checking my camera screen to see if it was sharp. We wished us a good day and went our ways.

Just one of a few nice encounters I had with the people of Portland last weekend. More to come.

The photo was taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4 Pro Zoom. Image specs are 1/125 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 200, 44mm focal length.

Wish you a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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It’s getting cold

Exhalation

Exhalation | Nuremberg | 2018

The winter is icing the Streets of Nuremberg, forecasts are calling for double digit freezing temperatures. I’ve put on my hand knitted Scottish sweater I bought 20 years ago on the Isle of Skye.

This street portrait from one of my last outings into town was taken with my PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8, a perfect combo for street shooting. As m4/3 has a crop factor of 2, this translates to a “Nifty Fifty”, a 50mm prime lens on a full frame sensor.

During my last trip into the city I got myself a Hoya R72 infrared filter, just to venture a bit into infrared photography. Not that is the perfect timing, as we are still a few weeks away from lush green foliage. But stay tuned for some initial results, the first images are processed in my library.

This is the great thing about photography, there are so many creative possibilities we can venture in with relatively small efforts and investments.

If you look for more inspirations and tips around photography, check out my Learning Center for a comprehensive link collection to all my posts designed to inspire and empower my readers.

Wish you all a great weekend!

Marcus

 

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10 Day Photography Challenge – Day 4

Espresso Cups

Weekend Espresso

Day 4 of Cassia Denner’s 10 Day Photography Challenge carries the theme “Coffee”. Which is good…Coffee…Sunday….you get my point?  I need to add a second coffee related photo though, as the “Streets of Nuremberg” have their own coffee mug 🙂 .

Check out the blogs of the other participants: Cassia (our host),  Susan,  Gracie, ArianaJenna,  Arabella

After returning from my 3 day trip to the Pacific Northwest I’m really enjoying a downtime Sunday with the family….plenty of coffee, music, legs up….the night will be short, as I will be watching the Super Bowl, the game starting 30 minutes past midnight here in Germany. Let’s see if I will make it to bed at all 🙂  The Big Boy is organizing some hot chicken wings, beer is in the fridge…life is good 🙂

Streets of Nuremberg Coffee Mugs

Streets of Nuremberg Coffee Mugs

I wish you all a great Super Sunday!

Marcus

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10 Day Photography Challenge – Day 1

You serious?

I’ve made it safely to Portland, and for this of you who read yesterday’s post, I got into my hotel by 10 pm, which made it a 27 hour travel and work day. But after a sound 6 hours sleep (which is good, considering the jet lag effects) I’m ready to tackle today’s challenges. Talking about challenges, today is Day 1 of Cassia’s 10 Day Photography Challenge.  Today’s topic is “A portrait”.

Well , that’s not overly difficult for a street photographer. Take the camera, walk up to the first interesting looking person and ask if I can make her portrait. This young lady is a visitor from Korea. Sure she was initially puzzled by the question from a total stranger, but then I got the (almost always) usual answer “yes, why not?”, and while starting to talk I snapped away. I don’t exactly remember at what point she gave me that surprised look, but it is the photo I liked the most, as I always try to capture some emotions in the faces, like a thoughtful stare into the distance, a funny face or, like here, an expression of surprise.

Check out the blogs of the other participants: Cassia (our host),  Susan, ArianaJennaGracie, Arabella

Tomorrow’s topic is “Something Red”. I already have something my mind 😉

Be sure to check out my free Learning Center, if you also look for tips and inspirations around photography.

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Travel Day (9)

Tube TV

Tube TV | Somewhere in the Sky | 2018

The taxi picked me up at 4:30 am in the morning. The first leg to Amsterdam took a good 60 minutes, leaving Nuremberg Airport at 6:00am. Connection time in Schiphol for the intercontinental flight to Portland is a good two hours, most of which is taken by the security controls before boarding a flight to the US. When I’m lucky I have time for a quick coffee in the KLM Lounge and doing a first round of business e-mails and a quick call or two. The westbound flight to PDX takes about 10h 30 mins.

Delta changes its meal selection every three months, so doing this trip twice a month there is no surprise about the food I will get. I don’t even bother to take the menu any more. Another nasty disadvantage of a frequent traveler is the movie selection. Having roughly 40 hours of flight time a month there is also not much left to see on the inseat entertainment system. Typically I load a couple Netflix movies on my iPad and use this, normally watching one movie per flight while eating. After the food I usually take a short nap on the westbound flights which are day flights. Then I usually work the rest of the flight, which is quite nice as there is no telephone that disturbs, but a good WiFi connection so I have email access.

The Amsterdam flight arrives in Portland at 11:30 am local time (which is 8.30 pm German time). I pick up my rental car and do the 30 minutes drive to our office, where I usually arrive around 1pm. By then my day is already going on for 18 hours. Normally I work until 7pm on my arrival date, then head to the hotel, normally skipping dinner. By the time I’m settled in it is 8pm, which translates to 5am in the morning German time. On the next day! This is a 25 hours nonstop travel and work day, minus the 90 minute nap on the plane. I normally have no issues falling asleep, but it happens that due to the jet leg and 9 hour time difference I’m wide awake at 3:30 am in the morning. And another full day ahead. The glory of business travel. So for all of you who aspire a traveling job – be careful what you wish for 😉

I took this image with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom. Image specs are 1/15 sec @ f/3,2 and ISO 1600. Raw and monochrome conversion in Lightroom CC Classic.

I wish all of you a great and stress free Wednesday!

Marcus

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