Distanced Observations

Nazi Ralleygrounds

With the daily infection rate on the rise again here in Germany, Covid is still dominating our lives, and somehow also my blogging. A couple of days ago, The Significant Other and I visited the Documentation Center of Nuremberg’s historic Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Our first trip to a museum since the start of Covid was the opportunity for some photographic, distanced obervations…

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The Long and Winding Road

1/400 sec | f/10 | ISO 200 | 29mm

Once in a while I like to name a post after a song title. Like in this case: “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles. If you don’t know it, check it out, a truly magic song. I was inspired by watching the movie “Yesterday” the other night, the story of a successless songwriter who, after a global power outage”, discovers he is the only person left on earth who remembers the Beatles and now makes a career of playing their songs as his own. And I happened to take a fitting image during one of recent mountain hikes.

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Past Memories

Contemplating the past
1/60 sec | f/4 | ISO 1600 | 47mm

There are those days where you think about past memories. Good or bad, joyful or sad. Happy or frightful. Memories are something that define us, that we live on, that no one can take away from us.

This photograph was taken at Värska Farm Museum near Tallinn during our visit there a year ago. The scene had black and white written all over it when I saw it. Taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X with the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. I was spot-metering on the midtones on the wall, in order to capture the best dynamic range. Postprocessing in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop (I had to clone out a rope that blocked the entrance to the door).

For tips and inspirations around photography head over to my free Learning Center!

Wish everyone a great Tuesday

Marcus

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Tallinn Explored – Patarei Prison

Finding your photographic style

Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Weather Check

Weather Check
1/125 sec | f/4 | ISO 3200 | 90mm

I have no idea if the guy staring into his cellphone was checking the weather. But a weather check for the Streets of Nuremberg would have shown a cold front passing through today, with heavy rains and a significant drop in temperature. Was definitely time for a warm jacket for everyone out and about.

I was playing around with my Elmarit F/2.8 90mm on the Leica M. Image specs 1/125 sec @ f/4 and ISO 3200. The high ISO is not a problem for the M, and the monochrome images directly out of camera are quite beautiful. The backdrop shows the historic Heilig-Geist-Spital with the River Pegnitz passing underneath.

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Marcus

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Back on the Streets of Nuremberg

Standstill

boy wearing a protective mask in downtown Nürnberg
1/350 sec | f/9.5 | ISO 1600 | 35mm

Public life has come to a total standstill on the Streets of Nuremberg. Bavarian state authorities have issued a 24/7 curfew for the next two weeks. We can leave our homes only to go to work (if we have a pass from our employer), to seek medical assistance or to buy groceries. Single persons (or people living in one household) can also go for a walk outside. Only grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and places selling take-out food are open. When things got bad in China and the government locked up 15 million people in Wuhan, we all said that would be impossible to do in our western democracies. Four weeks later we know better. Crazy world. Amazingly, the majority of the affected population is fully supportive of the measure. Including me.

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Spring Cleaning

Marcus Puschmann Self Portrait

March is upon us, and spring is coming to the Streets of Nuremberg. And it’s really time for it. Albeit, how much we will be able to enjoy it will also depend on how things will continue with the new coronavirus. And it doesn’t look good these days. The latest company directive is to avoid all travels, and everyone who can work from home should work from home for the time being (affecting me as well). And I just learned from TV news that Italy has put the entire nation under lockdown, that means 60 million people. And who’s to decide if that’s insanity or necessary precautions. But, coming back to the Streets of Nuremberg, well into the fourth year of existence of this blog, I thought it was about time for some needed personal spring cleaning.

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The Rangefinder effect

What's up, shutterbug
1/350 sec | f/9.5 | ISO 1250 | 35mm

Shooting street photography with a Leica produces what I call “the rangefinder effect”. While people in the streets have a tendency to find it disturbing having a big ass DSLR pointed at their faces, their reaction is definitely quite different when they see the casually wandering photographer working the manual focus and the aperture ring of an almost anachronistic looking small black camera.

Obviously, shooting with other retro looking cameras like the Olympus PEN-F or the Fuji X100F is also much less intimidating than using a big DSLR with a huge lens attached. But those cams use autofocus and thus the process is often reduced to a simple point and shoot. The point and shoot approach would also work on a rangefinder using zone focusing (the systematic pre-focusing of a lens at specific distance and aperture to achieve a sharp image), but to get the hang of using a rangefinder I mostly take the time to set up the shots individually. Which, as totally unusual these days, draws curiosity and often a (probably pitiful) smile, the rangefinder effect. Especially when you are close to your subjects, what you have to be when you shoot street photography using a 35mm lens.

If you are looking for tips and inspirations around photography, be sure to check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great Monday!

Marcus

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