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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Into the Light

Into the Light
Into the light | Nuremberg | 2020

Yesterday was my first day back shooting on the Streets of Nuremberg after the passing of my mom. The past four weeks have been tough, both emotional and physical. The two weeks being daily at her side, when it was already clear that her life will come to an end. Sitting at her bedside the last hours. Then, coping with the loss and with all the tasks that come with it. I didn’t feel like picking up a camera. Neither I was up to do any blogging. But now it is time to get back into the light. I missed going out to play with the light. It’s the best therapy one can ask for.

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Revisit your work

Up! | Nuremberg | 2019

Sometimes it is important to revisit your work. This image from The Significant Other climbing up the staircase of Nuremberg’s Schauspielhaus I posted already back in early 2019. While putting together our photographic yearbook of 2019, I was looking again at this photograph I took with my iPhone, and it still is one my fav images from last January.

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Make the portrait of a stranger

Portrait of a Stranger
1/80 sec | f/2 | ISO 200 | 25mm

The Oregonians call their rain “liquid sunshine”. And true Portlandians refuse to carry an umbrella. This is different on the Streets of Nuremberg, especially on a day like today, where it felt like breathing pure water when outside.

But the pouring rain is also an easy subject to get into small talk with a visiting tourist. Before asking if I could make their portrait. The request was of course approved with a smile. And gratefully acknowledged by the photographer with a smile. It’s easy – try it!

For tips and inspirations around street photography check out my free Learning Center. Then take your camera, go out in the streets and shoot! Make the portrait of a stranger!

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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Back to work

After the two week Christmas break it was back to work today. It’s not that returning to the job that pays the bills made me cry today. But after a splendid sunny winter day yesterday, that is how the sky looked this morning. Kind of fitting, I guess. This image was the sole “visual push-up” I managed to get done today. Taken with my iPhone through the glass roof of my car. The shape and textures of the droplets just caught my eye. Every day with a photograph taken is a good day in the end.

Have a sunny Tuesday!

Marcus

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