Heat Wave

Woman strechted out in a shop window
1/160 sec – f/4 – ISO 250 – 80 mm

July is upon us. Not that it makes any difference, as the scorching heat wave of the past two weeks just carries on. Which would make me rather lie down in the shade of a tree near a swimming pool, rather than in a shop window in front of the unforgiving lens of a street photographer. But the heat wave is definitely no reason to get a summer blues. 

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The start of something great

A few weeks ago I asked you to cast your vote for “Ginger”, a creative project that is supporting Nuremberg’s application to become the European Capital of Culture in 2025. From many ideas submitted, the Open Call N2025 initiative advanced 96 projects to the stage of public voting. Also thanks to your help, “Ginger” received the fourth most votes and will be one of ten projects whose realization will be funded with 5.000 EUR.

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In the Tunnel

1/3 sec – f/4 – ISO 200 – 7.5mm

My life continues to be on a fast track these days. Sometimes I feel like a subway train racing through a tunnel, occasional streaks of light, a rare stop in a station, moving again. Not unpleasant, apart from the feeling that there is not enough time for all I need and want to do (like finally posting the images from the Instawalk through the Nuremberg subway system organized by the admins of the Nuremberg Instagram community that I did join a few weeks ago).

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I need your vote

Update: “Ginger” was voted 4th overall in the N2025 Open Call and will go into the realization stage! Thanks to all who supported with their votes!

I am involved in a creative project that is trying to support Open Call N2025, an initiative within the framework of Nuremberg’s application to become the European Capital of Culture in 2025. The realisation of the 7 projects with the most votes will be funded with 5000 EUR, plus the Jury will select another 3 projects that will be funded.

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Instant Inspiration (30) – Look for that different face

A woman's face on a huge electronic billboard in Chicago
Chicago | 2019

“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. With episode 30 (!!) I want to inspire you to go looking for those different kind of face….

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Instant Inspiration (28) – Handholding slow shutter speeds

1.3 sec - f/5.6 - ISO 200 - 12mm
1.3 sec – f/5.6 – ISO 200 – 12mm

“Instant Inspirations” 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 28 is for you, if you think you have those really steady photographers hands.

Last night I grabbed my camera and headed into town, using a short window where the rain of the last days actually stopped – here in Nuremberg we can still dream of a White Christmas, but it won’t happen. Forecasts call for a real wash-out. Global warming?

The Christkindlesmarkt in the Old Town was packed with visitors, as everybody used the opportunity for Glühwein and Bratwurst without getting soaked.

While I did have Glühwein and Bratwurst, my real goal was to experiment with slow shutter speeds, and doing this handheld. And I mean reeeally slow shutter speeds, as in one and a half seconds. I wanted to capture the motion blurred movement of the strolling visitors, while keeping the stationary background sharp.

1.6 sec - f/7.1 - ISO 200 - 66mm
1.6 sec – f/7.1 – ISO 200 – 66mm

I was shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with my trusted all-round 12-100mm F/4. This lens has actually built-in image stabilization, that can be combined with the camera’s internal 5-axis image stabilization. With this cam-lens combo I frequently do shoot 1/5 sec and know that I can get real sharp results. But 1/5 sec is not enough to capture the motion blur I was after. So I was doing trial and error shooting while slowing down the shutter speed even more. Isn’t that creative, experimental approach something that makes photography even more fun? I feel like a little child doing playing in my photographic sandbox. In the end I found that dialing in a 1.6 second shutter speed gave me the best results. One point six seconds. Count slowly “Twenty-one, twenty…”. And this while holding the camera above my head using the foldable back screen to compose.

I was totally amazed that the wooden stalls and the buildings in the background actually came out pretty sharp. I know I have steady hands when photographing, but would never have thought I can get away with shooting one and one half second and get a sharp background. But see yourself. Amazing technology.

1.6 sec - f/8 - ISO 200 - 50mm
1.6 sec – f/8 – ISO 200 – 50mm

The above photograph I had in mind taking when heading into town. I knew that on the Children’s Christmas Market was a carousel and a little ferris wheel, I wanted to combine the vertical and horizontal motions into one motion blurred image. Also this one I shot holding the cam above my head.

I was quite happy with the results, although using this technique is a lot of hit and miss. But hey, that’s why we shoot digital.

Obviously, you can use a tripod to achieve the same effect, probably with better and much more consistent results. But in certain situations, like on a packed Christmas Market, there is no way to set up a tripod, so this technique comes in quite handy.

All photos post processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC

If you feel inspired to take your camera and experiment with handheld shooting at very slow shutter speeds, post the links to the results in the comments below.

A lot of other tips and all previous episodes of my Instant Inspirations around photography you can find in my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into a creative weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (2) – Motion Blur

Instant Inspiration (9) – Concert Photography

Instant Inspiration (25) – Foodporn

Street Photography Quick Tip 3 – Practice shooting “blind”

Evening Colors

Blue Hour
Blue Hour | Berlin | 2018

We’re back in Nuremberg after a great weekend in Berlin where we visited close friends. Besides spending real quality time together I also got some street shooting done when we headed into city center after we did a fun tour riding a rail trolley (Draisine) in the afternoon.

This street photo I took during the blue hour near the Alexanderplatz. I loved the color contrast between the blue light outside in the street and the yellow light in the shop window. Then I merely waited a few seconds until a subject arrived on the scene (didn’t have more, as the others in the party, already starved, where rushing towards a nearby Vietnamese restaurant that we always visit when in Berlin).

The photo was taken with the PEN-F and the 12mm F/2. Image specs are 1/250 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600. When shooting people in the blue hour, don’t even try to get the white balance right in order to get correct skin tones. That’s why it is called blue hour 😉

Monsieur Vuong | Berlin | 2018
Monsieur Vuong | Berlin | 2018

That’s “Monsieur Vuong”. Same camera/lens combo, specs 1/20 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 1600. As I’ve written many times on this blog, instead of complaining about cars parked in the wrong place in front of your subject, use them to your advantage. Have I mentioned I love reflections?

There is more to come from our Berlin weekend, stay tuned!

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

House of Blue and Gold

Willamette Blue Hour

StoNur on the Road – One Night in Budapest

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

Mysterious New York City

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

I’m in a bit of a gloomy mood today, not only for yesterday’s depressing World Cup loss of Team Germany, that was well deserved and does not leave much room for any hope of going very far in this tournament.

I had this post on my launchpad for quite some time now. Trying to look at New York City in a very different way, I took a creative approach in post-processing. After monochrome conversion of my Olympus RAW files in Lightroom Classic CC, I played with selective blurring and darkening to create this moody series about some ironing NYC sites. To see them all continue after the jump…. Continue reading “Mysterious New York City”

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