Learning Photography

Warming Up

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 92 mm

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 92 mm

The Significant Other and I went for an afterwork drink to the Christmas Market in the Old Town. While enjoying a Glühwein (Mulled Wine) I happily snapped away at our bystanders with my EM-1 and the 12-100mm F/4.

Once more I was amazed at the image stabilization capabilities of the Oly cam. This photo I shot hand-held at 1/6 sec. The very slow shutter speed had the advantage that I captured the motion of the guy raising the Glühwein cup to his mouth.

Capturing gesture always adds interest to Street Photographs. In this case I was waiting for him to start drinking with the intention to capture the motion of the moving cup. And as people typically keep their head still when drinking, I was able to capture the face of the subject sharp, despite the slow shutter speed. Obviously, when shooting at 1/6 sec, it is always a bit hit or miss when going after these kind of images.

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (8) -Make a portrait of a stranger

Street Photography Quick Tip 3 – Practice shooting “blind”

Street Photography Quick Tip 8 – Capturing Gesture

Instant Inspiration (8) -Make a portrait of a stranger

Castle in the Dark

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Imperial Castle | Nuremberg | 1/25 sec – f/1.8 – ISO 1600 – 25mm

One week to go until Christmas – and slowly I’m getting into the spirit. Last night The Significant Other and I visited a Christmas Show by American Musical Star and Dancer Gaines Hall. This afternoon it is snowing, covering everything outside with a beautiful white blanket. Perfect backdrop for all the beautiful lights and decorations The Significant Other has placed all over the garden and the house. Like every year, I have to admit she’s outdone herself again.

Probably due to the many black&white night photos I have posted lately, I got a question how to best approach night photography.

As for the technical aspects, I have posts in my Learning Center that covers some of those aspects, like the Instant Inspiration episode about capturing nocturnal skylines. If you search for “Night Photography” in the search field of this blog, there are plenty posts with photographs taken in the dark, and in many I talk about some how-to stuff.

If you go for best image quality, you will need a tripod (or something less sophisticated like a beanbag) to rest your camera on. For best image quality dial in a low ISO number, and select an aperture like f/11 for max depth of field. Result will be a slow shutter speed, hence the need for a tripod. Use the self timer of the camera to trigger a vibration free exposure.

If your camera has good image stabilization and a good glass attached you might get by shooting hand-held. With my Olympus cameras I can shoot 1/5 sec out of the hand and still get sharp images. When trying to shoot handheld at night, I usually shoot in P-Mode with Auto-ISO capped at ISO 1600 and I see where it gets me. Obviously, it also depends on the ambient light available, from street lights or building illuminations.

Typically I shoot in RAW and do the conversion to monochrome in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, using one of my proven presets as starting point.

This photo of Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle was taken with the Olympus PEN-F with mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 prime lens, image specs are 1/25 sec @ f/1.8  and ISO 1600.

Wish you a relaxed Sunday!

Marcus

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Namibia Starry Night (and how I photographed it)

Never too late

Never too late | 1/100 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 100mm

Never too late | 1/100 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

For me it is never too late for a good hot Espresso. I can drink it in the morning, I can drink it in the middle of the night. I love my small coffee breaks when shooting in the streets, and I love my Espresso when doing some post processing late in the evening. I find it gets my creative juices flowing.

Image shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/2.8. Image specs 1/100 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600, 100mm focal length.

Post processing in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.

If you feel like picking up your camera and are looking for tips and inspiration around photography, check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you all a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (13)

iPhoneography by Night

Schwäbisch Hall Market Place

Schwäbisch Hall Market Place

Lately I have been playing a lot with my iPhone 8plus, photographically that is. During a trip to the nearby historic town of Schwäbisch Hall I was taking some night shots with the iPhone, just to see what I can get out of this images when importing them into Lightroom. I have to admit the results are not that bad at all, the dynamic range is quite amazing, for a phone. For more photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Hello November

Nightstand | 2018 | 1/4 sec - f/8 - ISO 1600 - 12mm

Vespa| 2018 | 1/4 sec – f/8 – ISO 1600 – 12mm

October has been good to us, especially weather wise, now November is upon us. A.k.a. the “greyest month of the year” (in the northern hemisphere that is). It’s getting cold and damp, daylight is getting shorter and shorter.

The perfect time to head out into the streets to capture interesting shades and textures under the streetlights, without having to wait too long that it gets dark.

Shot with the Olympus PEN-F and the 12mm F/2. Image specs 1/4 sec @ f/8 and ISO 1600. F/8 was needed for the extended depth of field I wanted to achieve, having everything sharp from foreground to background, and focusing 1/3 into the frame. Obviously, this resulted in a slow shutter speed of 1/4 sec, which still can be handheld due to the good image stabilization of the PEN-F.

Wish you a great All Hallows day and a good start into a creative November

Marcus

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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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Not always “on”

Social Media | Berlin | 2018 | 1/40 sec - f/2 - ISO 2000 - 12mm

Messaging | Berlin | 2018 | 1/40 sec – f/2 – ISO 2000 – 12mm

Most of us photographers don’t only shoot solely for our own archives, but share our work on our blogs and social media accounts (Instagram, 500px, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter). To find recognition, collect likes and comments.  And who doesn’t like to receive positive feedback?

But it shouldn’t turn into an obsession. I’m picking up my camera because I want to create art. If I shoot an image that visually pleases me, I’m totally happy. And if some of you like it as well, after I post in on my blog, that’s even better. My blog posts are automatically posted on my facebook pages, but I have to admit I rather infrequently check my facebook, be it my feed or comments/notifications. Flickr I hardly use anymore, on 500px I’m practically a no-show.

On Instagram I have two accounts  – Travimago for my travel images, streetsofnuremberg for the street photography. I have days where I post regularly on Instagram, followed by weeks where I am not active. Probably that shows in my followers there, only about 100 and 200 respectively. It spikes a bit when I post, then drops again to that level. I don’t see Instagram as an outlet that brings much benefits for me, also because I like to share some info with my photography, that I can do only in a limited way on this platform. And that probably no-one reads anyway, as Instagram is a swipe and like only medium. So as I’m not on a hunt for  likes and followers, I feel there is no real need to invest much time on my Instagram accounts. I mainly use it as a picture archive that I have on my phone where I can quickly show particular images to other people I talk to face to face about my photography.

So my main outlet is this blog, that requires already much of my time, preparing posts and photographs, writing, answering comments and browse to my feed from the many blogs I follow myself. Generally, the interaction through blogging beats anything I find on other social media channels.

As I mainly restrict myself to blogging, I’m not constantly “on” to check all social media channels, checking my likes and count my followers. Instead I use the time to pick up my camera and create art which is much more gratifying.

The above image was taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12mm F/2. Images specs are 1/40 sec @ f/2 and ISO 2000.

If you look for tips and inspirations around photography and want to use the weekend to pick up your camera, check out my Learning Center.

Wish you a great weekend!

Marcus

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Weekend Rush

Weekend Rush

Weekend Rush | 2018 | 1/200 sec – f/3.5 – ISO 1600 – 12mm

Who says people aren’t in a rush on the weekend? Example of walk-by street photography. I kept the camera (Olympus PEN-F with the 12mm F/2 prime lens) in front of my chest and just snapped away at interesting looking people. I set the shutter speed at 1/200 sec, kind of the minimum required to “freeze” moving people, especially when I’m moving myself.

Obviously there is a lot of hit and miss in this approach, but actually I’m enjoying this “hunt” as a kind of photographic challenge to myself. You need to know your camera pretty well, as just a slight tilt in the wrong direction will result in chopped-off heads or people only half visible in the frame. I used the 12mm (24mm full frame equivalent), so this is as wide angle as it gets in the streets. And it means I need to be awfully close to my subjects to fill the frame.

Try it yourself, there is a lot of fun in this type of photography, and trust me, no-one will notice you snapping away, as long as you are moving as well. Obviously, having a small, inconspicuous looking camera like the PEN-F helps.

Check out my free Learning Center for many more tips about Street Photography.

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip (1)

Street Photography Quick Tip (2)

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A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

Wordless Wednesday

1/200 sec | f/13 | ISO 500

Taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100 F/4. Image specs 1/200 sec @ f13 and ISO 500.

Wish you a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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