Night Photography

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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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…)

Never give up

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse | Nuremberg | 2018

There were too many clouds in the southern sky. We were enjoying a great dinner with friends and family out on the patio on a warm summer night. Everyone was exited to see the total lunar eclipse. At 22:30, as announced, the International Space Station ISS appeared as a brightly glowing spot out of the North, passing directly overhead before vanishing behind the clouds. We almost gave up hope. But then, all of a sudden, the sky cleared and we had a perfect view of the eclipse. By the time I grabbed the tripod and my Oly, walked a few hundred yards to an open field and set up shop, the moon was already starting to move out of the Earth’s shadow.

The photo was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 40-150 F/2.8 Pro Zoom with the MC 14 converter attached, giving me a 210mm focal length (equals 420mm in full frame). Image specs are 1/8 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600. Cropped, curve adjustments and slight sharpening of the RAW was done in Lightroom Classic CC.

Wish you all a great weekend!

Marcus

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Fair Evening

1/6 sec @ f/6.3 ISO 200 54mm focal length

1/6 sec @ f/6.3 ISO 200 54mm focal length

Well, to be correct, last evening was not all that fair, but rather rainy. The summer is taking break in Nuremberg, before we are supposed to get another heat wave starting tomorrow. Still, we went to our local little summer fair, and I brought my (in this combination weatherproof) Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 for some shooting in the blue hour. Fairgrounds are great places to snap away, colorful and full of happy people. The person behind the camera can shoot fairly inconspicuous. You can experiment with various depth of fields and shutter speeds. For the rest of the photographs continue after the jump… (more…)

Thunder Night

Gloomy Night

Thunder Night | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/8 sec – f/2 – ISO 320 – 17mm

The hot summer weather came to a shrieking halt today, as a series of heavy thunderstorms passed over the Streets of Nuremberg. Nature is in dire need of the water after weeks of drought. And after spending the last evenings in the beer gardens of the Old Town, today people were rushing to seek shelter from the arriving torrential rains.

Time for me to work through my emails and catch up with blogging. There is an advantage to everything.

Taken with the PEN-F and the mZuiko 17mm F/1.8

For inspirations around photography head over to my free Learning Center.

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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The Classic Seattle Night Shots

Blue Hour

Blue Hour | Seattle | 2018

I know there is the theory saying you should try to find an individual angle in your photography, not going after the shots that million others have taken. Thank heavens it’s just that…a theory.

Of course I went after the two classic night shots of the Seattle skyline. The first from Kerry Park was taken with 1/6 sec @ f/4 and ISO 500. I took it handheld, camera tightly tucked against the body, arms resting on the railing of the viewpoint. As I have written in other posts, getting tack sharp images with 1/6 sec handheld is no big problem with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 combined with the 12-100 F/4, where image stabilization of the camera are added to the lens internal image stabilization. Amazing technology. It was that crowded at the viewpoint that it would have been difficult to set up a tripod anyway.

Night Lines

Night Lines | Seattle | 2018

The second classic night shot of the Seattle skyline is from the 12th Avenue bridge across the I5. You have Century Link Field (home of the Seattle Seahawks) to the left, the Interstate 5 and Seattle downtown. Image specs here are 4 seconds, f/7.1 and ISO 200. As I wanted to capture the light trails of the passing cars I used a slow shutter speed of 4 seconds with the camera on a small tripod. I would have loved to use a longer shutter speed, but the problem was the bridge was vibrating with passing cars. Anything longer than 4 seconds always resulted in shaking from a passing car. Still, I’m quite happy with the result.

Any reason not to go for the postcard shots?

Wish you a splendid Sunday!

Marcus

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NYC Experience – DUMBO

Bokeh Bridge

Bokeh Bridge | New York City | 2018 | 1/10sec @ f/4 and ISO 200

DUMBO stands for “Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”, the Brooklyn neighborhood on the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Originally a ferry landing, with 19th- and early 20th-century industrial and warehouse buildings, the area is now a hip and expensive neighborhood with plenty bars, restaurants and fancy apartments in the converted brick buildings.

I love NYC

I love NYC  | New York | 2018 | 1/80 sec @ f/4 and ISO 640

From Manhattan it best can be reached via the A-Line Station “High Street / Brooklyn Bridge”. Form the station you can easily reach beginning of the famous walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge, or you can wander down to the East River  to take in the awesome views of the Manhattan downtown skyline and the massive two bridges crossing the East River, best seen from the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I was quite amazed by the nice bokeh my mZuiko 12-100mm f/4 produced at its widest aperture, and I loved experimenting a bit in the waning light of a splendid NYC day.

Blue Hour Skyline

Blue Hour Skyline | New York City | 2018  | 1/13 sec @ f/4 and ISO 400

What also sets this lens apart, is the awesome lens internal image stabilization. I shot the next two photos with a shutter speed of 1/5 sec hand-held, and they are real sharp. This saves me lugging around a tripod, which is a key benefit when roaming a full day through a city on foot. Shooting low light with this lens and my Olympus OM-D E-M1 is so much fun. Despite the slow shutter speeds I could keep ISO at by, never exceeding 1600 (which is no problem noise-wise on the Olympus). And at f/4, the lens is still sharp across the frame and along the full zoom range. A great piece of glass.

Manhattan Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge | New York City | 2018  | 1/5 sec @ f/4 and ISO 800

If you want to rest a bit and are in for a pizza, directly underneath the bridges are various Italian restaurants featuring coal fired brick pizza ovens, something that is not allowed across the East River in Manhattan for fire prevention reasons. We went to Grimaldi’s on Front Street.

The Bridge

The Bridge | New York City | 2018  | 1/5 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600

This photograph of the Manhattan Bridge behind brick buildings of Washington Street, with the Empire State Building visible beneath the bridge was on my “must have shot” list. During my earlier trips to the Big Apple I never made it to DUMBO, and I have a framed photograph of this famous view by German photographer Steffen Böttcher (“Stilpirat”)  hanging in my office. So sure we finished our tour with this iconic view, just down from the High Street subway station.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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NYC Experience – Top of the Rocks

1 sec @ f/4 and ISO 200

View South towards mid-/downtown | 1.6 sec @ f/4 and ISO 200

In this episode about our week in NYC I want to take you up to the observation deck of the Rockefeller Center, called “Top of the Rocks”, just a few blocks to walk from Times Square. At 10:30pm there was no waiting line, so after showing our vouchers from the New York City Pass we could directly take the elevator up to the 67th floor, from where we enjoyed first views through glass panels (a bit protected from the cold winds), but then continued on to the open air viewing platform on the 70th floor. For a bit more info and some more photos continue after the jump…. (more…)

Happy New Year from the Streets of Nuremberg

Happy New Year

Happy New Year | Austria | 2018

I wish all my friends a blessed, happy, marvelous, successful, beautiful, inspirational, creative, wonderful and healthy 2018! May all your wishes and dreams come true!

Have a great year!

Marcus