Inspiration

Instant Inspiration (27) -Alternative Postcard Shot

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/20 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

“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 27 is for you, if you are tired of taking the same “postcard” photographs of famous attractions that everybody else shoots.

When in Berlin the other week, we stepped onto Alexanderplatz where the famous huge TV tower is situated. Affectionately called “Spargel”, with its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second-tallest structure in the European Union! Located in Berlin Mitte, you can take a lift 207 meters up and have a 360 degree view of the German capital! On top there is also a bar and a restaurant where you can eat and enjoy the fantastic view while sitting!

First reflex would be to take a photo of the big tower, maybe combine it with the red Berlin City Hall or the bell tower of the Nikolai-Church. The Postcard Shots. Which of course I have taken as well during prior visits. There is nothing wrong with Postcard shots. Everybody back home would be disappointed if you don’t have the classic shot everybody knows from magazines and coffee table books. So take one. But then, to satisfy your creative genes, go look for slightly different perspectives. For some ideas continue after the jump…. (more…)

Instant Inspiration (26) – Shoot an optical illusion

Ship in the Sky | Olympic Mountains | 2018

Ship in the Sky | Olympic Mountains | 2018

“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 26 is about shooting an optical illusion.

The shot above was taken with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 40-150mm F/2.8. Image specs are 1/250 sec @ f/6,3 and ISO 200, with 150mm focal length (300mm full frame equivalent).

What do you see? A ship, crossing the sky like an airplane? Let me tell you, there are no flying ships in the skies above Washington State, even with innovative aircraft manufactures like Boeing in the area. But why is there a mountain, the clouds above, and then a ship?

I took this photo up on Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. It shows the Juan de Fuca Strait below (the narrows between Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island), the sea fog near the shore and a some kind of freighter behind.

It is not always as it seems. Especially visually. Grab you camera, go out and look to capture an optical illusion. Please share a link to your results in the comments section.

Wish you a great Sunday

Marcus

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Instant Inspiration (22) – Variations on a Billboard

Instant Inspiration (20) – Backlit Fountain

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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Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

Stay Interested !

Rainy Streets

Rainscape

Rainscape | Nuremberg | 2016

My son asked me to post this photograph as this was his favorite image of my Saturday Street Shoot in rainy old town Nuremberg. These are reflections of Nuremberg’s Sankt Lorenz Church and of a Bratwurst Hut on the wet cobblestones of the Karolinenstrasse.

I photographed this puddle reflections with the Ricoh GR II down on my knees in pouring rain to the amusement of the passing shoppers who must have wondered about this crazy guy who took photos of a puddle.

I then flipped the image in Lightroom and worked a bit with curves, increased saturation and clarity.

Next up is an “Instant Inspiration” about puddle shooting 😉

Have a great day!

Marcus

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Shooting on a rainy Saturday

 

Go out and experiment!

Playing a guitar for himself

For himself | Porto Azzurro | 2016

Walking through Porto Azzurro the other week I was passing through the small shady alleys of the old town trying to find some protection from the blazing midday sun when I heard someone playing a bass.  Through the open doors of an otherwise empty bar I saw this guy sitting in front of wide open windows, seemingly  fully ignorant of the world around him, playing away some experimental tunes on his bass guitar. Even while improvising he played full of passion, and I felt very attached to the sights and sounds of this particular scene.

Shouldn’t we all do some more experimenting of our own? Playing around with things and in ways we are not familiar with? Ignorant of those who tell us what we should do and ignorant of the first achievements while expanding our creative horizons. After all, expanding our knowledge and horizons through experimentations is deeply embedded in our genes, as this is exactly what children do when they “discover” their world. And children don’t really care how the initial results look while singing, drawing, building etc., they rather enjoy the activity itself, the process of experimentation and discovery.

As photographers we can learn a lot from the trial and error approach of children. First of all it helps you to get your creative juices flowing when trying out new photographic styles.  Experimenting around is fun, and don’t let yourself get discouraged when initial results don’t meet your usual standards. And don’t let other people tell you what you should or should not do, or what looks nice and what doesn’t. Just experiment with things you like and see how the results gradually improve. Enjoy the road of discovery.

Photography is my passion, Street Photography is the style that works best for me, but photographically I have tried many genres and still try out new styles. For example during this years summer holidays I experimented a lot with portrait photography.

And also creating “Streets of Nuremberg”, starting a blog to write  about my photographic endeavors was (is still) an experiment to open a new creative outlet for me.

By experimenting more try to expand your horizons and find out what works best for you. Inspirations you can find everywhere, in books, other websites and blogs, social media or by talking to friends and connections in the digital world.

Discovery through experimentation can help to overcome the dullness of daily routine and  to find happiness, purpose, and more motivation to live.

So go out and experiment!

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Off Topic – Studio Anywhere

Off Topic – Studio Anywhere

Portrait of Teenager Daniel

Daniel | Porto Ferraio | 2016

With today’s post I’m venturing far away from my usual posts around Street- and Travel Photography. But vacation time is not only time for intensified photography around documenting our family trip to Italy.

Holidays means also having finally time for a lot of (photography) related reading of books, blogs and websites to get fresh doses of inspiration. And also having time to try out a few things off your usual beaten paths.

In this case I decided to do some portrait photography with my (more or less willing) family. First victim up was my son Daniel. To see more and learn how this studio-like portrait was taken without help of any flash on a 1m stretch of white wall inside our rented apartment’s bedroom continue reading after the jump.

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Street Photography Below Street Level

Rush Up

Rush Up | Stockholm | 2016

Sometimes I turn Street Photography into Subway Photography. There are various good reasons for that. In the underground you can escape foul weather. On their way to and from the trains people are mostly in a rush so they tend to oversee the “hunting” Street Photographers. And in the subway cars travelers are often so focused on their smart phone or their books and papers that you have a very good chance to go unnoticed while taking candid portraits. For other good reasons to take your Street Photography below ground and more subway photographs continue reading after the jump. (more…)

Music and Street Photography

Some street photographers do listen to music while they are roaming the streets with their cameras. Some say it is beneficial for their creativity, some see the advantage that having their headphones on sort of protects them from potential comments from people they are taking pictures of. Though I can see the rational I personally don’t agree with both those arguments. (more…)

Under Surveillance

A couple of shots I took while being shopping  with my wife. Who says you can’t have it all 😉 ?   Rather than just strolling through the streets of Nuremberg looking for shots I gave myself the small assignment to work out some images that include the dressing dummies in the store’s windows.  All shots taken with the Olympus E-PL7 and the m.Zuiko 17mm F/1,8. These are jpgs made with the in-camera high-contrast B&W program.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Under Surveillance” – Olympus E-PL7  1/320 sec @ f /3,5 and ISO 200

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