Olympus PEN F

My little Portland Christmas miracle

Hey What's Up

Hey What’s Up | Portland | 2017

Finally got to do some photography in the streets of Portland, heading to the Pearl District on my free Saturday in the Rose City, on a splendid but freezing cold afternoon.

I started shooting people through restaurant windows, where I got some cool reactions from the guest like from this genuinely surprised guy. As always, making eye contact and throwing some genuine smiles did the trick.

But I also experienced my little Portland Christmas miracle, when I approached an interesting looking guy and asked him if I could make is portrait, which he readily accepted. So I snapped off a couple shots why doing some small talk with him. We chatted about why I’m in Portland, and I asked him what he was just up to. Telling me he was just coming off work in one of Portlands large theaters (the Armory  – where we happened to stand just in front), he suddenly asked if I would like to see one the shows that were on last night. When I said yes he just took me inside to the box office and presented me with a complementary ticket.

I was totally taken aback by is genuine friendliness and generosity. Just because I asked him for his portrait and was interested in what he does. So I got to see a Truman Capote Christmas play with integrated musical performances by two stunning singers, a show I enjoyed tremendously.

This is why I love Street Photography – you meet so many great and interesting people.

The photo was taken with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 prime lens. Image specs 1/125 sec @ F/2.5 and ISO 200.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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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

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My Eric Kim Workshop Experience

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

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Back on the Streets of Nuremberg

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…)

I conquered my fears

Fetish Designer

This past weekend I have spent in Berlin together with Street Photo Legend Eric Kim, his wife Cindy, his sister Annette and a great crew of 12 other like minded Street Photographers who joined Eric’s “Conquer Your Fears In Street Photography” workshop in our Nation’s capital. It was a truly unforgettable experience. Mainly for meeting a bunch of fantastic and fun people. Thanks so much, Eric, Cindy, Annette and all of my co-students!! And it did the trick. Normally being rather “unobtrusive” in my street photography, I was blown away by how much fun it actually is to simply walk up to interesting looking people, asking them if I can “make” their portrait and share a few life stories with them. So the workshop really delivered on its promise, thanks to Eric.

 

Not Grumpy

Waiting

Already back in the treadmill of the job that pays the bills, I just wanted to quickly share the success message and a couple of my street portraits taken during the workshop, all with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm/F1.8 prime lens.

Here is the link to the post on Eric’s blog on the workshop results, check it out!  There were so many great photos that came out of that two-day session in Berlin, they deserve some appreciation.

Once I find time to sort through all my photos I will do a proper workshop review with some more of my workshop results and a few “making of” images. Stay tuned !

Have a great week!

Marcus

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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…)

Late Summer Family Street Fun

Late Summer Family Fun 05

1/160 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 1600, 120mm focal length

The day was too beautiful not to use it for some shooting in town, so I escaped for an hour into Nuremberg’s Old Town in the late afternoon of this last day of September. It was surprisingly warm, and everybody enjoyed what was potentially the last warm day of summer. Inspired by the atmosphere I was consciously looking for scenes of kids and their parents having fun together. I like giving me these small photographic assignments, it helps me to quickly focus and get into the flow (especially when I have only limited time for shooting) and to train visual awareness. I was with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom. For the rest of this series continue after the jump… (more…)

It’s time to Dance

Purple Way

1/80 sec @ f/2 and ISO 500, 17mm focal length

Slowly, very slowly, the signs of the nearing summer are appearing in Germany. It’s getting warm enough to start spending the weekend evenings comfortable out in the streets. Street festivals are happening everywhere so there is no reason to stay home. Grab the camera and get out there. It’s time to dance the streets 🙂

It's time to Dance

1/60sec @ f/1,8 and ISO500, 17mm focal length

Both photos were shot with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 17mm F/1.8.

Don’t miss my collection of free photography tips and inspirations in my new Learning Center.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Happy Easter from Bruno

Killed the Easter Bunny

Killed the Easter Bunny | Thalwil | 2017

Down with the bunnies
Easter belongs to kittens
The Lamb is waiting

Easter is upon us. Finally time to relax. We are visiting friends in Zurich. The weather is rather portlandish 😉  So enough time for a second Sunday Haiku 🙂 ! We plan to visit the Swiss Photo Awards Exhibition in the afternoon, I’m really looking forward to it.

The morning show belonged to kitten Bruno. He was not at all into all the hidden chocolate eggs, but the plushie bunny came just right.

Taken with the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12mm F/2.0 @ 1/60 sec, f/2 and ISO 500.

You all have a great Easter Sunday!

Marcus

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Travel Day (3)

Let there be Light

Let there be light | France | 2017

I’m safely back home from my trip to Portland. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a very northerly route, that took my Delta Airlines A330 over the center part of Greenland, I was on the lookout for Northern Lights, as I had a window seat on the left side of the plane. A few weeks ago I saw a Blog Post from someone who actually photographed the Aurea Borealis from a plane. As it is a dream of mine to see the magnetic lights in the sky, I stayed up (watching “The Accountant” with Ben Affleck – a super movie) and waited for the green flares to appear, but I didn’t saw any. As it turned out, I might have missed them by just one night, as from this fantastic blog here I learned the Aurea Borealis was active the night before.

But I got lucky on two very important aspects on my return flight. The first you see in the photo to this post, I was blessed with an incredibly colorful dawn high in the sky above France. The colors were insane. I took the photo with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 Travel Zoom pressed to the window. Image specs were 1/10 sec @ f/4.9 and ISO 1600. The photo is a jpg out of camera.

Let there be light

Let there be light

Almost more important was the fact I saved 4 hours of lay-over at Paris Charles De Gaulle. The Delta flight got in 30 minutes early, which gave me an outside chance of catching the 8:35 morning flight to Nuremberg instead of the 13:00 connection I was booked on (and believe me, waiting 4 hours in the remote Terminal 2G of CDG is no fun). I gave up hope when we taxied in for 15 minutes and then on top parked at an apron position where buses took us to the terminal 2E once everybody was out of the plane. But then security control went so smooth and there was an immediate shuttle bus connection to Terminal 2G where I arrived just when Boarding started for the Air France / HOP flight to Nuremberg. I went directly to the Transfer Counter (where there was also no other passenger) and asked if they can put me on the early flight. The lady there told me it would not be possible as I was on a Delta ticket, and rebooking that would take too long as boarding was already in progress.

Refusing to give up I went directly to the boarding gate to try my luck once more. And there you go, the great guy at the gate typed something in his computer, made a phone call and then printed my new boarding pass. The flight was not even 1/3 full. Instead of coming home Sunday afternoon I was home in time for breakfast with the family, what a treat!

So the lesson learnt here is: Never give up, always try! Works wonder in travels! And: try to fly with carry on baggage only. With a checked bag this would not have been possible. I can live up to 6 days out of my carry on, I’ve optimized that over the years, so I never check bags unless I absolutely have  to.

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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A penny for his thoughts

In thoughts

In Thoughts | Kronach | 2016

The job that pays my bills has me fully absorbed in a major project. On one side that’s great. The downside is too much time away from home and right now no time to shoot. Not even a tiny little bit. After a fifteen hour work day there is only a chance for a quick dive into last years archive before I call it quits.

This photo I took at the Kronach Light Festival last year. This is what I wished for during the day. To take a quick timeout from the meetings, sit for a few minutes in a quiet, spiritual place, thoughts drifting, eyes gazing around, unwinding a bit, reloading the battery, then back to work with new strength. My cold is still bothering me. As much as the many photographic projects I have on my mood board and that will have to wait.

Image taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 17mm f/1.8 with 1/30 sec and f/1.8 at ISO1600, handheld, jpeg out of camera, cropped to 4×6 ratio in Lightroom. The PEN-F generates excellent jpegs as you can see. Besides cropping I did not touch this image in post processing.

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Stay Interested !