learningphotography

Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

Hands

Hands | Portland | 2017

In time for the weekend here is episode 21 of my “Instant Inspirations”, 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.

Not every photo you take needs to make perfect sense. That is, making perfect sense to the outside world. It only needs to please you, make you happy. If someone else likes it, that’s a bonus.

That said, you are not limited to taking “conventional” photos of people, landscape, architecture etc…shoot it all! Whatever visually stimulates you, take a photo of it. Don’t be shy, the limit is only defined by your own taste. Try things out! Let interesting colors, shapes, textures and juxtapositions that catch your eye get your creative juices flowing. Be a visual artist. Go out and experiment and have fun! You only need to please yourself!

The “Hands” shot above I took last night with my iPhone while at dinner with two of my awesome colleagues here in Portland. We were enjoying a fab dinner in a Peruvian restaurant (Andina) in the Pearl District. We were sitting at a copper plated table, and while enjoying wine and great talks I observed my friend Anton lay out the shape of his hand with the chips of the cork from our wine bottle. The mixture of colors, shapes and textures really triggered the desire to take out my iPhone and capture that for my eyes visually appealing scene. Just for myself. And this is what I did. It was my creative moment on an otherwise quite unnerving day of project work, and it made me happy. And this is exactly what photography does for me.

For some more examples of random creativity and links to previous episodes of “Instant Inspirations” continue after the jump….. (more…)

A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

Lunchbreak

Lunchbreak

For all my free tips and inspirations around Street Photography visit my Learning Center


A street photographer’s dialogue:

Street Photographer: “Excuse me, can I make a portrait of you?”

Subject: “Ahm…yes…yes, generally yes….but why?”

Street Photographer: “I’m a street photographer from Nuremberg, I like to document everyday life in the streets and meet interesting people, like you!”

Subject: “Ok, that’s interesting, but why did you pick me?”

Street Photographer: “Oh, I like your style. And you radiate a kindness that I like to capture. Great smile!”

Subject: “But I’m eating….it will look stupid, what shall I do with my box?”

Street Photographer (already snapping away): “Don’t worry, you look great, I’ll show you in a second!”

Subject (quite relaxed): “Ok, can’t really imagine that.”

Street Photographer, showing the back LCD of the camera: “Check it out, I really like this photo. Great street portrait of you!”

Subject (smiling): “Yes, it really is a nice picture. What are you gonna do with it?”

Street Photographer: “I have a street photography blog, where I post some of my photos. Would you mind if I post yours?”

Subject: “No, that’s ok!”

Street Photographer (smiling): “Here is my card with my website, check it out if you like. Thanks for letting me make your portrait, was great talking to you! Have a great day!

Subject (smiling): “Well, you too”

Street Photographer and subject continue their ways…..

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

My Eric Kim Workshop Experience

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

Street Photography Quick Tip (9)

Keep Portland Weird

What’s there and what’s missing

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud |Berlin | 2017

For all my free tips and inspiration around photography visit my Learning Center.

Putting a camera in someone’s face takes some getting used to. It is obviously something where you need the consent of the person you are photographing. This image I took with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8, the “nifty fifty” of micro four thirds (due to the m43 crop factor of 2). Which by the way is also an awesome portrait lens, if you are close, like a good arms length away. Image specs are 1/160 sec @ f/3.2 and ISO 200.

This is for sure not the prettiest of street portraits but it shows a couple of things that are important for this kind of photography.  This guy caught my eye, I walked up to him and asked if I could make his portrait. Turns out he is visiting from Montreal, Canada, and he was just looking for a place to eat some typical German food. A win-win for sure. I got to shoot his portraits, he got directions to a place where he could find some good beer and a “Schweinshaxe” (he asked me to type everything in his iPhone).

While we chatted I snapped away. I liked the shot of him best. I had asked him what he liked best about visiting Europe, he closed his eyes and thought hard. Asking people about something (e.g. what they like best about something….where they got their interesting outfit, glasses…what they are doing here, what is their profession…) puts their mind away from being photographed, puts them at ease and tends to draw some interesting poses, face expressions and gestures.

And this what is missing here. I wish he had made a hand gesture, putting his fingers to his face, adding interest to the shot. I didn’t want to ask him to do that, maybe I should have. But then again, I’m just starting this kind of street photography, and I will learn. And you can learn along here on the “Streets of Nuremberg”.

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

My Eric Kim Workshop Experience

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

Street Photography Quick Tip (8)

Back on the Streets of Nuremberg

My Eric Kim Workshop Experience

Eric Kim Workshop Making Of

Marcus & Eric | Berlin | 2017

Just a little over a week ago I had one of the most memorable photographic weekends ever when I attended the workshop “Conquer Your Fears in Street Photography” with Street Photo Legend Eric Kim in Berlin. For my in depth experiences from the workshop plus a bunch of both “behind the scenes” images and my workshop “results” continue after the jump…

(more…)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

Underground Ascent

Underground Ascent | Berlin | 2017

For all my free tips and inspiration around photography visit my Learning Center

Experimental” is the theme of the Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ The Daily Post for this week. When I experiment with my Street Photography, I often use slow shutter speeds of 1/8 sec or less for creative motion blur effects. There is a lot of hit and miss with this technique. Crucial for an image that works is an interesting background in which to place the blurred objects, like this entry to a Berlin subway station.

This shot I took with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12mm F/2 prime lens with a shutter speed of 1/3 second for intensive blur, an aperture of f/9 to have ample depth of field and ISO 1000. I took the shot handheld, another example how effective the image stabilization system of the PEN-F is.

Experimenting with slow shutter speeds is fun, it can be applied to moving persons, moving traffic or a combination of both. For some more of my experimental street photos continue after the jump… (more…)

Street Photography Quick Tip (13)

Studies 1/60 f/1.8 ISO 640 PEN-F 25mm

Studies | Berlin | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 13 – Shoot in a Coffee Shop

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. Today’s post is for those of you who dread hitting the streets in this awful wet and dull November weather. Take your camera into a coffee shop near your, sit down, enjoy a strong Espresso, observe the other guests and take some candid portraits of scenes that will catch your eye. People in coffee shops tend to be really relaxed, engaged in talks with others, reading papers or books, staring obsessed into their mobile devices or simply use the free wi-fi to blog or do their studies. And believe me, they will not notice you.

The photography above I took last weekend (during my Street Photography workshop with Eric Kim) at the Bonanza Café (Oderberger Str 35) in Berlin with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 prime lens, image specs are 1/60 sec @ f/1.8 and ISO 640. Raw processing and monochrome conversion in Lightroom Classic CC.

For a few more coffee shop shots continue after the jump… (more…)

Storefront Lambada

Shopkeeper's Dance

Shopkeeper’s Dance | Meran | 2017

Just a quick snapshot from today’s stroll through the streets of Meran in Italy. For me, this photograph represents perfectly why I love Street Photography. It is all about capturing life as it happens. It is about walking around with open eyes, observing people going about their daily routines, anticipating what interesting scenes might just emerge in front of your lens. Capturing that candid shot that makes you laugh or makes you think…

Taken with the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom. Image specs are 1/80 sec @ F/2.8 and ISO 640, 40mm focal length.

Next weekend will be all Street Photography, as I’m heading to Berlin for a workshop with Street Photo legend Eric Kim, and I’m really exited about it.

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Instant Inspiration (6) – Storefront Windows

Street Photography Quick Tip 8 – Capturing Gesture

Finding your photographic style

Be creative today

Creative

Creative | Portland | 2017

It’s the start of of a new week, albeit a short one here in Germany, as we’re looking forward to two bank holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday, to which I’ll be adding two days of much needed vacation. Throw in Halloween tomorrow, and there will be plenty of opportunity for photography the next days.

November is coming up, in Central Europe commonly dubbed as the most dreary, grey and dullest month of the year. To bridge the time until the start of the festive season, why don’t you take on some creative projects during November, whether it is taking your camera and go shooting some things you haven’t before (find ideas in my Instant Inspiration series in my Learning Center), improve your post processing skills, compile a photo book of your work, or try something completely different like sketching or sculpturing. Brighten up your November by doing something creative.

For some more “creative” Street Photo impressions from Portland’s Saturday Market continue after the jump… (more…)

Street Photography Quick Tip (12)

 

From the Gallery 01

1/8 sec @ f/22 and ISO 1600

Street Photography Quick Tip 12 – Shoot from a Gallery 

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. Today’s post is about changing the usual perspective of taking photographs from eye level by shooting down from a gallery in a shopping center. For a few, hopefully inspirational images continue after the jump… (more…)

Need help?

 

Calling for Help

Calling for Help | Portland | 2017

 

Have you checked the tips and inspirations in my Learning Center? Are you looking for specific photography related advice? Anything out of the realms of Street- and travel photography you want me to write about? Let me know in the comments section!

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip (6)

Finding your photographic style

Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Instant Inspiration (11) – Change of Perspective