Street Photography is about capturing scenes of every day life as it happens. Like this girl reading a book while sitting in the window of a coffee shop in Portland. I liked her style and the just so slight smile on her lips. I was standing on the sidewalk directly in front of her, snapping a few initial photographs. I always want to make sure to capture at least one good shot before the scene changes.
Then I waited, camera at my eye, for her to look up. I would have loved to take a portrait of her. But she didn’t look up. Not sure if it was because she noticed me snapping away at her. Or because she was fully engulfed in her book. But I guess also this falls under life as it happens ;-). After a few minutes I moved on. Street Photography is so unpredictable. This is why I love it!
Shot with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Image specs are 1/200 sec @ f/4, ISO 320.
Ok, technically this is not a meteorite shower. It is an art installation called “Moving Mountains” by PNW artist Annette Bellamy. It is part of the special exhibition “the map is not the territory” in the Portland Art Museum. I took this indoor street photograph during last weekends visit to the museum that I used for some indoor street shooting.
Winter Travel Weather
But to me it looks like a meteorite shower. Or a snow- or hail shower. And this is exactly the kind of weather hitting many parts of the continental US today. Making for less than ideal travel conditions for my trip back to the Streets of Nuremberg.
I got up at 3am in the morning to pack my bags (went also to bed at 8pm to start my adjustment back to European time). Left my Portland Hotel at 4:45 for the twentyfive minute drive to PDX airport. Due to the winter weather in the Midwest the 7:10am United Flight to Chicago was delayed, but as the plane spent the night at PDX it was only a matter of getting ATC clearance. We ended up leaving at 8:25 for the 3 hour 30 minute flight to the Windy City, getting there 65 minutes late in snow, ice rain and low visibility.
A useful travel tip for ORD airport
When booking a connection through Chicago O’Hare I try to give me ample buffer time, which turned out to be a day saver. The remaining problem was that I didn’t realize that SWISS departs from Terminal 5 and not from the C concourse of Terminal 1 where the rest of the Start Alliance partners leave for Europe (note to self: it would be helpful checking the travel documentation once in a while).
Going to Terminal 5 would normally mean leaving the security area, taking the airport train to T5 and having to go once more through. But a very friendly United Lounge agent not only let me have a coffee in the T1 Polaris Lounge, but also pointed out a short-cut to T5, one that you don’t find if you follow the official signs. For that I had to walk from T1 through T2 and on to Gate G17 at the tip of T3. A relaxed 20 minute stroll. And from there, every 20 minutes leaves a shuttle bus that takes you directly into T5. Without having to go through security again, as you never leave the security area. This friendly hint really made my day – thanks United (I have to thank them also once in a while as I normally just bash them).
So now it is just a matter of waiting for my SWISS flight to Zurich to board. I should be back on the Streets of Nuremberg by tomorrow early afternoon.
The sun came out today. Just in time to lighten up The Significant Other’s birthday. It seems everyone is out in the Streets of Nuremberg to catch some warming rays and anticipate the coming spring. Only the forecast calls once more for dropping temperatures and snow. Flying out to the Pacific Northwest on Monday I had hoped to escape the return of winter, but it seems the weather in Portland will be even worse in the next ten days. So it will be a lot of puddle shooting and plenty time to spend in the photography section of Powell’s books on West Burnside Street…. (more…)
With my first episode of “buy books not gear” drawing a huge response, here is the second edition of my new series about great photography books I own and which, by studying them, most likely help me improve my photography much more than buying yet another new camera or lens (ever heard about G.A.S. ?)
This post is about Elliott Erwitt’s coffee table book “Snaps”. For the book introduction and a few of Elliott’s photographs continue after the jump… (more…)
I get it..even we as passionate photographers don’t get to go shooting everyday. The job, the family, other things to do. Grabbing the camera bag and doing some meaningful photography takes time.
But there is no reason not to do some “on the fly” photography every day. We all carry our cellphones around, and all of those have decent cameras built in. So why not use your phone to do some “visual push-ups” every day?
This photo was taken last night when The Significant Other and myself went downtown to see a play. When I saw the staircase of the Schauspielhaus in Nuremberg, I just had to take a picture. My visual push-up of the day!
Taking the camera and shooting underground is always a good option when the weather is bad on the surface. Commuters are usually too much in a hurry to notice the inconspicuous standing street photographer, especially when he shoots with a small camera like the Olympus PEN-F with the attached 17mm F/1.8 prime lens. This photo I took crouched down, two catch the pigeon trying to beat the people exiting the train to the escalator (…just joking).
While the streets of Nuremberg are graced only by a touch of snow, Southern Bavaria and the Alps are hit by the worst winter weather in a decade. Downtown Munich (just 90 miles south) sports a whopping 2-3 feet of snow, and in the mountains many villages are cut-off from the rest of the world buried under up to 9 feet of snow. It will continue the snow and there is significant danger for people and buildings. Almost all small roads and train lines are interrupted. The winter weather is forecasted to continue well into next week. I cancelled the business day trip to Munich scheduled for today to avoid having to drive into the chaos.
After a two-week holiday break, tomorrow I will return to the job that pays the bills. The thing is, it feels as if I’ve left the office just yesterday and that I’m in need for a break. Isn’t this crazy?
This morning, The Significant Other received a text message from a friend reading “Wenn die stille Zeit vorbei ist, dann wird es auch endlich wieder ruhiger”. Probably the translation into English doesn’t really carry over the meaning in German – “When the quiet time is over, it will finally be calmer again” – as over here we refer to Christmas also as the “Stille Zeit”, the “Quiet time”.
With all the celebrations (Christmas, New Year, birthday) and a little skiing trip, plus all the shopping, visits with friends, shows, movies we saw…spirit soaring, body wrecked 😉
The above image is another from last years NYC trip that I have never posted. Right now I would love to take a two-hour subway ride snoozing happily away. Taken with the OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Image specs 1/25 sec @ F/4 and ISO 1600, 70mm focal length.
No, “say cheese” is not what I say when taking a candid street portrait of a complete stranger. Actually it is much simpler. Walking up, smiling, raising the camera, taking the shot, smiling again, maybe waving “thanks”, walking away. That’s standard street photography. About half of the people put up a smile and actually like having their picture taken, the other half doesn’t react much, and then there is maybe one in fifteen tries where the person signals they are not in agreement to have a stranger take their picture. In those cases I smile “thanks anyway” and walk away. No big deal. No reason to be anxious taking portraits of strangers.
Photograph taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Image specs 1/60 sec @ F/4 and ISO 250, 29mm focal length. I was standing directly in front of this guy, you can see my reflection in the window of the ice cream parlor.
With the start into the New Year and the fourth year of this blog, I’m launching a new series called “Buy books not gear”. As stated in my last post of 2018, I firmly believe that by reading good photography books we can improve our own photography much more than by buying yet another new camera or lens.
I’m starting the series giving you a glimpse into a marvelous coffee table book about the work of street photographer Vivian Maier, that I couldn’t resist picking up after seeing it in the window of a book store.
For the book introduction and a few of Vivians photographs continue after the jump… (more…)