Instant Inspiration (29) – Frame your subject

St Lorenz church glowing in evening light in old town Nuremberg Germany
St. Lorenz | Nuremberg | 2019 | 1/ 60 sec – f/10 – ISO 800 – 16mm

“Instant Inspiration” 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 29 is about a compositional element – using frames.

I am sure you have framed photographs in your house. We frame our photos as a way of displaying and drawing in the attention of the viewers, but there is another type of framing that can be just as effective doing exactly the same thing, only in our images themselves.

Continue reading “Instant Inspiration (29) – Frame your subject”

Love is in the air

Valentines Hearts balloons and a walking couple holding hands
Love is in the air | Portland | 2019

This past Valentines Day I was in Portland, Oregon. And while shooting some Street Photography during the weekend spent in the Rose City, there was plenty of Valentines vibes in the air. Some decorations were more weird than others, true to the motto of the city. I originally intended to save those “love is in the air” street photos for a Valentines post next year, but they are also the perfect fit for today, which marks my 26th wedding anniversary.

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Play with perspective

Subway Snooze | New York City | 2018

Another fun thing to do when composing photographs is to play with perspective, something that works just as well when doing street photography.

Look at the guy I caught deep in thoughts (or snoozing) on a subway ride. He is holding his cellphone in his right hand. Only that it seems like the hand holding the phone is coming out of the arm of the person sitting in the background, rather than is own arm.

The human eye tends to follow lines. And the hand and the arm behind form an almost natural looking line, and, together with the hunched over subway rider, forms a full circle, adding a certain harmony to the composition.

The eye of a casual observer, even if subconsciously, catches the anomaly and will try to solve the riddle. This little play with perspective adds an additional interest to the photograph. And lets the observer’s eye remain a second or two longer on our image. Which is what we want as photographers.

Image taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4, specs are 1/25 sec @ F/4 and ISO 400, 48mm focal length.

If you look for more tips and inspirations around photography, check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into the week.

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip 5 – Composition – the hidden subject

Street Photography Quick Tip 6 – Shoot in a station

Life in the Big Apple

NYC Experience – DUMBO

Back to business

Back to Business | Berlin | 2018

What I love about street photography is that is capturing everyday life as it happens. When roaming the streets, I’m always on the lookout for situations that reflect the stories of life.

This is a photograph of a business man walking seemingly away from the fun stuff happening in holidays. Like diving. Or, when you look to the far right, a bike tour.

The image works for multiple reasons. First, there are the juxtapositions of the man in a business attire and the lady diver. Another one is the man and the diver going in opposite directions. Then there are the similarities in their leg positions (it was the hard part capturing the exact moment). Then there are multiple layers to the image: the man in the foreground, the ad in the middleground and then the bikers and the subway in the background. And as extra element there is the partially hidden text message on the ad, something the mind automatically tries to decipher. Another compositional element is the triangle between the man, the diver and the bikers.

The photo is also symbolic for my day, as it’s back to work day after the Christmas break.

Image taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4, specs are 1/25 sec @ F/4 and ISO 200, 38mm focal length.

If you look for more tips and inspirations around photography, check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into the week.

Marcus

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World Cup fever and some thoughts on composition

Oregon International Air Show (and how I photographed it)

Street Photography Quick Tip (10)

Instant Inspiration (4) – Juxtaposition

Smoke but no fire

Keep Calm | Genoa | 2018 | 1/50 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 100mm
Studies| Genoa | 2018 | 1/50 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

After yesterday’s coffee photo (a vice I admit adhering to) here is one with a bit of smoke.  Like coffee drinkers, also smokers claim they can relax over a cigarette, although I personally can’t find why that is, with all that smell. But I do admit, a passerby puffing steam can make for an interesting street image. And this lady sure looks relaxed, as she is studying real estate offers in a shop window in Genoa’s old town.

I thought of converting the photo to monochrome, but eventually decided against, as the blue-yellow-blue sequencing of colors makes for an eye-catching color combo (as blue and yellow combined always does). Also, her blowing smoke (and looking) towards the upper left corner and her body shape angling towards the lower left adds a triangular component to the composition. And there is a story, as you would wonder what she might be looking at (in case I hadn’t told you before).

Taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 – image specs 1/50 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600,  100mm focal length.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (16)

Order Here | 2018 | 1/320 sec - f/6,3 - ISO 200
Order Here | 2018 | 1/320 sec – f/6,3 – ISO 200

Street Photography Quick Tip 16 – Capture what captures attention

My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets.

When shooting Street Photography, I’m always on the lookout for photographs that have the potential to make the viewer stop and think about the story behind it, before swiping on to the next image.

In this photo, the contrast between the bright face and the darkness of the window behind should capture the attention of the viewer. Then comes text, which is also something we more or less automatically scan. “Order here”. What is it that can be ordered from this girl? Also, the hand written sign about not accepting American Express cards tends to attract attention more then the logo cards of the other credit cards.

How do you see it?

Photo taken with the OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4. Image specs are 1/320 sec @ f/6,3 and ISO 200.

Make sure to regularly check out my free Learning Center for all of my tips and inspirations around photography.

Wish you all a great week and a good start into the week!

Marcus

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World Cup fever and some thoughts on composition

Playing Ball
Playing Ball | Seattle | 2018 | 1/500 sec @ f/6.3 and ISO 200

In less than 72 hours the FIFA World Cup will be upon us. Strangely, here in Germany it is still pretty quiet around the Nation’s favorite sports team, and we are far away from the euphoric mood that rocked our country four years ago and that culminated in one huge party when Germany won the final against Argentina for our fourth World Title. Maybe it has to do with the meager results in the test matches leading up to the tournament. Maybe it has to do with the host country Russia, which is not really known as a soccer nation. I myself am rather bearish on our chances for defending the cup.

But at least we have a chance, as opposed to the US team that didn’t even make it through the qualifiers. Maybe players like this highly skilled soccer dad would have helped the Team USA to make the tournament. His dedication for the ball and the fun he had with his kids was contagious. Eleven guys like him would make for a formidable squad, I’m very sure.

Photographically I worked the scene a bit with this guy. In the first image I intentionally used the unsharp faces of the kids enjoying their ice cream to frame the soccer player as they passed directly in front of my lens, shooting at the long end of my 12-100mm F/4 zoom. This creative composition element created depth in the image, served as a frame for the main subject and also provided a juxtaposition between savoring food and doing sports. My other photos from the scene you can find after the jump… Continue reading “World Cup fever and some thoughts on composition”

I wanna be loved by you

Love Attack
Love Attack | New York City | 2018

Those commuters for sure seem totally ignorant about that love attack from their right side. Or maybe nobody dares to look anymore? I took this is the new subway station below the Oculus near the new World Trade Center. Image specs are 1/125 sec @ f/4 and ISO 250. After RAW conversion I corrected the white balance in Lightroom CC, so it correctly shows the white marble of the station, not the yellowish color that the automatic white balance gave me. A good example why shooting RAW makes so much sense, when it comes to correcting the white balance in post processing. No chance to get this straight in jpg. While the AWB typically does well outside, indoors with artificial light in often is lost.

Another point fo discussion in this image is whether to clone out the tubes of the roof construction that are visible in the top right. Cropping does not work here, as you would lose the leading lines of the walkway and the electronic billboard. So either leave them where there are, or take the work laborious approach to clone them out, without disrupting the lines of the marble tiles. I decided to leave them. Although a bit of a disturbance of the otherwise clean composition, the eye doesn’t really notice them. I would be interested in your opinions, leave them in the comment section.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Instant Inspiration (13)- Pictures in an Exhibition

Masterpieces Duerer01
Exhibition III | Nuremberg | 2016

“Instant Inspirations” is my series for you if you feel you suffer from “Photographer’s Block”  or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried. Or at least not recently. In time for the weekend here is  Episode 13. I want to inspire you to go out, visit an exhibition or a gallery  and capture pictures IN an exhibition. With a bit of patience and a good eye these places offer plenty opportunities to play with light and composition. On top of working your photographic skills you can cross-pollinate by studying the masterpieces of other artists and art forms. For more images and info continue reading after the jump….

Continue reading “Instant Inspiration (13)- Pictures in an Exhibition”

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