Portland

Instant Inspiration (22) – Variations on a Billboard

Illusion

Illusion | Portland | 2018

During my last transatlantic flight I watched “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, a quite impressive movie, for which Frances McDormand deservedly won the Academy Award in the category Best Actress in a Leading Role.

“Variations on a Billboard” is the title of the 22nd episode of my “Instant Inspirations”, my series for you if you feel you suffer from “Photographer’s Block”  or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried. Or at least not recently (you can find all previous episodes in my  Learning Center“).

I saw this huge advertisement on the side of high-rise building in downtown Portland. It caught my eye in more than one aspect. Even though it is obvious, I honestly saw it only when I processed the photographs on my computer. They eye wants to see what the eye expects to see.

Then, I started to work the scene trying to capture more variants of this big billboard advertisement. My other favorites and links to previous episodes of “Instant Inspirations” you can find after the jump…. (more…)

Hockey Fans

Fans

Fans | Portland | 2018

Strolling around the Rose Quarter, a sports and entertainment district located east of downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River, I saw a couple of Hockey Fans waiting in front of the Memorial Coliseum. This couple caught my eyes, so I walked up to them and asked them what game they are waiting for, as Portland doesn’t have a NHL team. So they educated me about the Western Hockey League, where hockey is played by young athletes between 16 and 20 years old. The league consists of  teams coming from Canada and and the Northwestern US. The Portland based team is called the Winterhawks.

Joan and Ron told me they like the passion with what the kids play the games, that it is a very laid back atmosphere at the games that, obviously, are much more affordable to watch than the high profile NHL games.

And after a very nice conversation they happily posed for a portrait.

Today is my last workday in the Rose City, tomorrow morning I head back home via Seattle and Amsterdam. Can’t wait!

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

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip 8 – Capturing Gesture

Snacktime

Lunchbreak

Light Snack | Portland | 2018

While standing on a parking lot trying to photograph a giant mural in downtown Portland last Saturday, I couldn’t help noticing this guy leaning on his car and munching a fully loaded sandwich he had just picked up from one of the food trucks across the street.

The reason I noticed him was because he had a good loud chuckle. So after snapping the mural, I walked up to him and asked him what was so funny. He pointed to a car still trying to maneuver its way into an empty parking bay, explaining it was his buddy who is just never able to properly park the car. I just replied that to some it is given, and to some it is not. And we shared a good chuckle together.

I thought he had an interesting face, so asked him if I could take his portrait. He thought for a second, than agreed without hesitation, and threw himself into this very serious pose. I just took two shots, and immediately liked this one with the tighter framing, after checking my camera screen to see if it was sharp. We wished us a good day and went our ways.

Just one of a few nice encounters I had with the people of Portland last weekend. More to come.

The photo was taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4 Pro Zoom. Image specs are 1/125 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 200, 44mm focal length.

Wish you a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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A quick Sunday Movie Quiz

Passengers

Passengers | Portland | 2018

Used my free Saturday in the Rose City for some street shooting and shopping, before finishing off a relaxed outing with watching a great performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem by the Oregon Symphony in the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (next to the Heathman Hotel).

Endangered Species

Endangered Species | Portland | 2018

Both photos were taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Specs of the first image was 1/125 sec @ f/4 and ISO 500, 61mm focal length, the second image was shot with 1/200 sec @ f/6.3 and ISO 200, 100mm focal range.

While browsing quickly through my images this Sunday morning I found that the combination of two of yesterday’s shots make for a great movie quiz.

Can you guess the title? Leave your answer in the comment section.

After uploading this post I will head out to the Oregon coast for some hiking on the cliffs of Cascade Head. I really need to maximize my free weekend in the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned for some photos.

Wish you all a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Rip City Experience 01

After flying into Portland on Tuesday and four intense work days, I finally got off Friday night and treated myself to something special, visiting my first ever professional basketball game. The opportunity was too good to pass up, as defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors came to town to take on Portland’s Trail Blazers, both currently in second and third place in the Western Conference. For my photographs of this memorable evening and some in game experience continue after the jump…. (more…)

10 Day Photography Challenge – Day 3

Intensity

Intensity | Portland | 2018

Frequent readers know that when I participate to photography challenges on WordPress, I try to enter street photography images to match the theme. Day 3 of of Cassia Denner’s 10 Day Photography Challenge calls for a photograph with “An Instrument”.

Good that I ran across this street musician in Portland to get my image for today. The total intensity of his performance was mind-blowing, and I tried to capture it in this shot I took with my Olympus PEN-F with the 14-150mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom. Image specs 1/80 sec @ f/5,6 and ISO 1600, focal length was 150mm (equals 300mm in full frame equivalent).

Check out the blogs of the other participants: Cassia (our host),  Susan,  Gracie, ArianaJenna,  Arabella

I’m back on the ground in Nuremberg, and look very much forward to a four week stint at home before returning to the Pacific Northwest.

Be sure to check out my free Learning Center, if you also look for tips and inspirations around photography.

Wish you all a great and relaxed weekend!

Marcus

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The Magic Cook

Cooking Magic

Cooking Magic | Portland | 2017

Street Photography captures life as it happens. Or as it not really happens. Like me making me a cook for a moment. In front of a Chinese restaurant in Portland.

I wonder what the cook must have thought, seeing the strange guy with a camera in front of his window, crouched down, inching his way sideways, upwards, downwards, in a desperate attempt to put his head on top of another body.  But the opportunity to become a cook for a moment was just to good to pass up.

In case you wonder why the cam is not at the photographer’s eye? Thanks to the rotatable LCD screen of my PEN-F.

Taken with my Olympus PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens. Image specs 1/60 sec @ f/2 and ISO 1600.

Have a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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A Street Photographer’s Dialogue

Wait and shoot

Contraflow

Contraflow | Portland | 2017

As I wrote in a previous post, there are two ways to approach Street Photography. You can actively “hunt” for an interesting image to happen, for example following an appealing subject until it enters the right background scene. Or you come across a background that catches your eyes first. Then it is a matter of you waiting for the right subject to enter the scene to get the photo you are after. I call this the “gathering” approach.

This was the case when I saw this colorful mural in Portland. I loved its shape and dynamic, and its colors that really came to life during the blue hour of this late Saturday afternoon. I really wanted to capture it in a street photo, but taking a photo of a mural by itself is a bit lifeless without a foreground that adds interest.

I was with my PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens, which limited myself to this composition, as I had to stand between to parked cars half on the street to have mural and sidewalk filling my viewfinder. A frontal position would not have been possible as due to the lens being very wide angled, I couldn’t stand behind the car parked in front as the roof would have blocked the lower part of the mural.

Then it was a matter of waiting in the freezing cold wind for passing people, and there weren’t to many around. The first that passed came in groups, blocking the mural, then people passed on my side of the sidewalk, with only their top half visible in the frame, also blocking the mural. I needed someone to pass close to the wall, so I could capture the whole person in front of the big face behind him.

With this guy I finally got lucky (after about 15 minutes and a few unsuccessful shots), as he passed close to the wall, and I managed to capture him in full stride, always something I look for when pressing the shutter. Perseverance paid off once more.

Have a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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Look at me!

Mirrored

Mirrored | Portland | 2017

Can you find the photographer in this Portland street portrait? I was awfully close with my 25mm F/1.8 prime attached to my Olympus PEN-F. The image is not cropped. I took this photo with 1/80 sec and a wide aperture of F/2 to throw everything behind the face out of focus. ISO was 200.

Another super friendly person I met on the streets of Portland last weekend. I just asked him for his portrait. He said “sure – why not?” While I snapped a few shots we had a nice chat. Not all that difficult! Go out and try it!

Have a super Sunday!

Marcus

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

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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