Street Photography Quick Tip 19 – Shoot their backs
Here is the nineteenth edition of my Street Photography Quick Tips. Some short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is about shooting the backs of your subjects
What looks like a scene from the arctic is actually just a few kilometers from my house, on the Dillberg. With 600m (2000ft) above sea level it is one of the higher elevations in the area. A perfect place to for some sportive activities in the snow, properly socially distanced. Or as I call it, snowsolation.
Once in a while I do stray away from my usual street-, urban- and travel- photography and do some commissioned work. Like yesterday, when I did my first ever pregnancy shooting. While I’m still busy editing a load of images, this is the one The Significant Other liked the most. Belly in Red – remember the Chris de Burgh song from the 80’s with a very similar title?
The photograph was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X with the mZuiko 12-100 F/4. Image specs 1/250 sec @ f/5.6 and ISO 200, 31mm focal length. Shooting indoors (it was a home shooting), those settings (I was using manual mode) eliminated all ambient light in the living room. The only light source was a Godox AD200Pro strobe on a lightstand to the right, firing through a large strip light softbox at 1/8 power (also in manual mode). The strip light prohibited stray light from the flash falling on the background, illuminating only the front of the lady in red. Another perfect example that photography is essentially playing with light and composition.
Once I’m done with editing I’ll do a post with my faves and my approach.
My last post was about my first attempts shooting with a 60 year old lens. For that The Significant Other and I took a short trip to the nearby ruins of medieval Gnadenberg Abbey. We’ve never been there before, despite it being only a 15 minute drive from our house. And it is much too beautiful not to share a few photographs and the history of this magic place with you…
I was very much looking forward to this, shooting with a 60 year old lens. My Dad gave me a vintage 90mm Leica Summicron F/2 for Christmas (thanks, Dad, for the awesome present). The beauty of the Leica M system is that you can attach any lens from the Leica (M)esssucher (=rangefinder) system introduced back in 1954 to modern Leica digital cameras with an M-Mount. And as I have acquired a (for digital camera standards also vintage) used Leica M (Type 240) about a year ago, the 90mm is a great addition to my small collection of Leica prime lenses.
This is my last street photograph of 2020. People passing through the old city gate under the Imperial Castle. Like castle ghosts. Using my Olympus OM-D E-M1X and the mZuiko 12-100 with a long shutter speed of 2.5 sec to create the ghosting effects through intentional motion blur, both of the moving subjects as well as light intentional movements of the camera (ICM) to blur the old stones in the ancient tunnel.
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” is one of my favorite photographic quotes, said by the godfather of street photography Henri Cartier-Bresson. Always be open minded when you are out and about shooting. Experiment with whatever comes to your mind. You digital camera (or your smartphone) is just like the shovel that you used to play with in the sandbox when your were little.
Make 2021 your year to be more creative with your camera! If you are looking for tips and inspirations, check out my free Learning Center.
To everyone out there, but particularly to all the many magic people I’ve had the blessings to meet virtually during my five years blogging on the “Streets of Nuremberg”, I wish a peaceful and merry Christmas and much love and laughters together with your family and friends. And please stay safe!
Do you still need a present? Well, you need to hurry. At least when you live in Germany. Tomorrow our government will announce that it’s gonna send the whole country into a total lockdown. From early next week until at least mid January, everything apart from super markets and drug stores will be closed. The originally planned easing of curfews over the holidays is likely to be withdrawn. Is it necessary? There is no doubt about it. The intensive care units in the Nuremberg area (as all over Germany) are filled to capacity. And cases are still rising significantly. There is no alternative to the total lockdown. It will be a very, very quiet Christmas.
Today I was revisiting some old photographs from the trip to Moshi, Tanzania, that The Significant Other and I took back in early 2016. I will apply a different editing style in Lightroom Classic, which will be fun. It is amazing, how different you look at your own images after having them let marinate on your hard disk for a couple of years. There will be quite a few posts coming with photographs from this trip. As it looks I will plenty of time to play with my archive in the next weeks. Oh, and I have got all my presents. Hopefully I will be able to see all the people to hand them over.
I never did post some images I took during our last trip to a museum, at least for the foreseeable future, as all museums are closed due to the Covid lockdown. While I brought the Olympus OM-D E-M1X with the mZuiko 12-100 F/4 for the tour through the exhibitions of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, I never really got into the flow that evening, so the yield was rather limited, but there are a few shots that are worth sharing.
Another quick one from the recent snow day, showing the Imperial Castle in the snow. I love shooting into the light, be it artificial or sunlight. When used correctly, it makes for beautiful effects in your photographs. Just look at how the light from the street lamp falls on the reflecting surface of the snow. The shadows it creates add interest to the image, leading the eye into the frame to the brightest part and the massive tower behind.
The image “Castle in the Snow” was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4. Image specs 2.5 sec @ f/4 and ISO 250. Another quick tip for shooting in the cold: keep your spare battery warm in your pocket, to have it usable in case you need it!
If you are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, check out my free Learning-Center.