La Lanterna – revisited

Lanterna - Genova's historic lighthouse
La Lanterna | Genoa | 2004

With the two-week holiday break behind us, The Significant Other and I returned to the jobs that pay the bills today. But we’re still fueled by the memories we made visiting with friends in the Austrian and Swiss alps and, in between, spending the first days at our new “second home” in Genoa. As decoration for our living room we decided to put up a large photo of Genoa’s historic lighthouse – La Lanterna – printed on a 47×32 inch (120×80 cm) canvas.

One of my favorite images of La Lanterna is one I took back in 2004 during a winter sunset with my first digital camera, a Minolta Dimage A1. Revisiting the image in Lightroom Classic, I realized that the quality of a 18 year old digital photograph might not be up to todays standards, and could be unsuitable for a large scale print. Thankfully, Lightroom Classic offers the possibility to upscale any image to double its original size, so I could increase resolution to a modern 5210×3840. Changing the calibration process (in the development module) from the original V1 to the current V5, I was also able to use the modern day capabilities of Lightroom to clean up the noise in the original photograph and enhance clarity and the colors. Exporting the old image to its 2023 clone, I got a clean 10,4 MB file with 300dpi, perfect for a large print.

La Lanterna, as we still see it today, was built in its current shape in 1543, replacing a previous structure on the same rock. It is the world’s third oldest lighthouse and, for more than 350 years, was also the tallest lighthouse in the world.

Have a great start into the week!

Marcus

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My favorite photograph of 2022

View of Genoa Harbor
Room with a View | Genoa | 2022

As mentioned in my recent post about my photographic journey of last year, I did not include my favorite photograph of 2022 in that gallery. But here it is. My fave image of last year. The one I looked at the most. The one I showed around the most. The one that means the most to me. I titled it “Room with a View”. The thing that makes it stand out for me? It is the view from our living room balcony.

Last year, The Significant Other and I realized a dream many years old. Since having lived in Genoa from 2001 to 2005, we have fantasized about one day getting us a little place there. After all, it’s only a seven hour drive from Nuremberg. Three years ago we decided to try to turn the dream into reality and actively started to search for a little apartment. The key premise was it needed to have a view of the port, the city and the sea. It took us two and a half years to find the right place, and we closed the deal in May. The needed renovations took until December. It was quite a project. Last night was the first time we slept in our little Happy Place. We made the dream reality. Now we have a room with a view. This is my favorite photograph of 2022.

Have a great start into 2023, and keep pursuing your own dreams. One day they can become reality!

Marcus

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My photographic journey 2022

Dome of the Rocks
Dome of the Rocks | Jerusalem | 2022

The last day of 2022 is upon us. With all that happened, it was a difficult year for the world. And for sure it was a busy and special year for us as a family. But as every year, new years eve is the time to look back and reflect on my photographic journey 2022. Did I grow as a photographer? No, not really. It felt like „more of the same“. Due to various reasons, photography (as well as this blog) took the back seat of life in the past 12 months. My own perception was that I didn’t even made half as many images as usual. But as I looked at my Lightroom archive of 2022, I discovered that I took just as many photographs this year as I did in 2021. Noteworthy was the shift of the used tools, from mirrorless camera to my iPhone. I just didn’t have as much time to venture out with my camera as in the years before. But seemingly I compensated with many snapshots I took with my ever present iPhone 12 Pro Max and its truly good camera. Contributing to this shift was also the fact that during our only real vacation this year, our trip to Israel, my then new Leica SL2-S broke on the second day, so I had to shoot the whole trip on my iPhone.

So it was, photographically, a difficult year. But going through this years archives, I still found 15 photographs that triggered remembrances about places, moments and emotions that made my 2022. And that I’m truly happy about. Spoiler: My photograph of the year isn’t among them. For my „POTY“ and the story behind check back on January 2nd ;-). My second favorite image of 2022 is the one above of the Dome of the Rocks in Jerusalem. For me, this is as close as I probably will ever get to emulating a shot of Steve McCurry, one of my photographic heroes. For the rest of the gallery, continue after the jump….

Continue reading “My photographic journey 2022”

Castle on the Hill

Mauterndorf Castle
Castle on the Hill | Mauterndorf | 2022

I really don’t know why Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” came into my mind when passing below medieval Mauterndorf Castle during a little afternoon stroll earlier today. But somehow it got stuck in my brain, so I keep singing it silently….

“I’m on my way
Driving at 90 down those country lanes
Singing to Tiny Dancer
And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real
When we watched the sunset over the castle on the hill”

Actually the 11th century castle is on hill above the old mountain town of Mauterndorf in the Austrian Alps, but you realize it only when looking at it from down below (see image after the jump). But I liked the black and white version (doesn’t the iPhone take awesome monochrome photographs?) better for the title image of the post 😉

Continue reading “Castle on the Hill”

Halloween Ghost Tour

Halloween Kids
1/60 sec | f/2.4 | ISO 6400 | 50mm

Spending the long Halloween weekend in our second home town Genoa down in Italy, The Significant Other and I celebrated the Halloween evening in style, participating in a Halloween Ghost Tour through the medieval town center. Tagging along was my Leica SL2-S and the TTArtisan 50mm .95 prime “Nifty Fifty” M-Mount lens.

Continue reading “Halloween Ghost Tour”

Little Smile

Little Smile
Little Smile | Capernaum | 2022

Going through some street photographs from earlier this year I noticed this image I took with my Leica SL2-S and the Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2.8/24-70 ASPH just before the camera suffered a terminal shutter failure on the second day of my Israel trip. What is still clearly visible here is the incredible dynamic range of the Leica’s full frame sensor. I just love the soft tones on the face of the little girl, the triangular spot of light on her cheek. Given the fact that here is brightest sunlight in the background behind her face, it is amazing the sensor still captured these subtle details of that beautiful little smile.

Exif Data show 1/160 sec | f/4 | ISO 100 | 70mm. Black&White jpg out of camera.

If you are looking for some tips and inspirations around street photography, check out my free Learning Center

Have a great Saturday

Marcus

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Multitasking

Multitasking
Multitasking | Jerusalem | 2022

While multitasking generally is a good concept, there are just some things that don’t run well in parallel. Especially, when they are time consuming activities. Like finding ample time for photography and blogging and matching that with the demands of a time consuming day job. And then throwing in a big project The Significant Other and I have been driving the past half year. And then another personal project that I’ve been on for a few months now. And as much as multitasking might help, the day has only 24 hours (albeit a former boss of mine insisted that a day has 48 hours).

But as the finish lines of the mentioned projects are in sight (no worries – you will eventually read about them here), there will be more time to pick up the camera and roam the streets again.

The photo from the streets of Jerusalem was taken with my iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Wish you a great Friday and a hopefully relaxed ending to a successful week

Marcus

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Color Rush

Herbstfarben - Color Rush
Color Rush | Franken | 2022

October is slowly coming to a close. And what a beautiful month it has been. I have read that it will be the warmest October ever in Germany since weather recordings started back in 1881. Fall colors are stunning this year. No reason to travel elsewhere for that, Franconia is enjoying its own Indian summer. I took the photos in this post in the woods behind the house, using my iPhone 12 Pro Max. My daily 5K walk has become my personal color rush.

Continue reading “Color Rush”

Ground Control to Major Tom

Ground control to Major Tom - a sleeping astronaut is depicted on a mural in a restaurant in Genoa.
Space Oddity | Genoa | 2022

“Ground Control to Major Tom” – I’m sure, you know the lyrics of David Bowie’s legendary song “Space Oddity”. I would question whether Major Tom would be available on the other side of the line. Not only, because yesterday NASA had to cancel for the third time the launch of the new Artemis moon rocket due to technical problems (I would be curious if they dubbed one of the travelling passenger dummies “Major Tom” – if anyone knows please comment below). But also because this astronaut, depicted on a mural in a restaurant in Genoa we (fittingly) visited last night, sure looks to be offline.

Let’s hope NASA fixes whatever probs they have with the Artemis rocket soon – and then goes on the radio:

“Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you”

iPhone 12 Pro Max snapshot, converted to monochrome in Lightroom Classic. Oh, and the food in this place was awesome!

Have a great Sunday!

Marcus

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The only one

Mean looking man with a helmet holding a motorcycle
Got a question? | Genoa | 2022

Yesterday afternoon I was roaming the streets of Genoa with camera in hand, while accompanying The Significant Other on some downtown shopping. I snapped quite a few images over a couple hours time. Only a few came out decent. And then there is the only one that I consider a real keeper. Not a good success rate. But I’m totally happy if I get one good photograph out of a photo walk. The only one.

Image taken with the Leica SL2-S and the Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2.8/24-70 ASPH. RAW conversion into monochrome and some post processing (mainly cropping) done in Lightroom Classic.

If you are looking for some tips and inspirations around street photography, check out my free Learning Center

Have a great Saturday!

Marcus

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Night Vision Lens

Band playing in a pebble stone alley
1/125 sec | f/2 | ISO 6400 | 50mm

I still owe you the images from the second night of “Viggiona by Night”. Different bands, different street food. I wanted to shoot with a different lens, and put my night vision lens, the TTArtisan 50mm .95 prime “Nifty Fifty” to a real test. I attached the M-Mount lens via adapter to the L-Mount Leica SL2-S. I was really curious how the manual focus 0.95 China built lens would perform vs the Leica Vario Elmarit zoom I used the previous night in the same conditions. See the results below…

Continue reading “Night Vision Lens”

Pasta King

Cook in front of a steaming pot of pasta
Pasta King | Viggiona | 2022

Just a snapshot from last night when I shot with my Leica SL2-S and the TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 prime lens. A photograph that works. The guy was cooking pasta at a street kitchen, and it was nearly midnight. He was a master (we tasted his delicious Bolognese when it was ready), a true Pasta King.

The Exif Data for this image read 1/1250 sec @ f/2 and ISO 3200. The file was so clean of noise that I introduced some noise in post production, when converting the RAW to monochrome. It was really pretty dark in the alley, but the TTArtisan 0.95 made it all come to live. Manual focusing with the marvellous electronic viewfinder of the Leica was a breeze.

Wish you all a great Sunday!

Marcus

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