Standstill

boy wearing a protective mask in downtown Nürnberg
1/350 sec | f/9.5 | ISO 1600 | 35mm

Public life has come to a total standstill on the Streets of Nuremberg. Bavarian state authorities have issued a 24/7 curfew for the next two weeks. We can leave our homes only to go to work (if we have a pass from our employer), to seek medical assistance or to buy groceries. Single persons (or people living in one household) can also go for a walk outside. Only grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and places selling take-out food are open. When things got bad in China and the government locked up 15 million people in Wuhan, we all said that would be impossible to do in our western democracies. Four weeks later we know better. Crazy world. Amazingly, the majority of the affected population is fully supportive of the measure. Including me.

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The Rangefinder effect

What's up, shutterbug
1/350 sec | f/9.5 | ISO 1250 | 35mm

Shooting street photography with a Leica produces what I call “the rangefinder effect”. While people in the streets have a tendency to find it disturbing having a big ass DSLR pointed at their faces, their reaction is definitely quite different when they see the casually wandering photographer working the manual focus and the aperture ring of an almost anachronistic looking small black camera.

Obviously, shooting with other retro looking cameras like the Olympus PEN-F or the Fuji X100F is also much less intimidating than using a big DSLR with a huge lens attached. But those cams use autofocus and thus the process is often reduced to a simple point and shoot. The point and shoot approach would also work on a rangefinder using zone focusing (the systematic pre-focusing of a lens at specific distance and aperture to achieve a sharp image), but to get the hang of using a rangefinder I mostly take the time to set up the shots individually. Which, as totally unusual these days, draws curiosity and often a (probably pitiful) smile, the rangefinder effect. Especially when you are close to your subjects, what you have to be when you shoot street photography using a 35mm lens.

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

Wish you a great Monday!

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip 2 – Another way to shoot inconspicuously

Street Photography Quick Tip 3 – Practice shooting “blind”

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

Instant Inspiration (29) – Frame your subject

Contact Sheet (1)

Boys skating im front of Estonian Liberty Monument
1/320 sec – f/7.1 – ISO 640 – 25mm

During our recent visit to the Estonian capital Tallinn we also passed across Freedom Square, which features the Cross of Liberty and the Monument to the War of Independence. The 23.5 meters tall pillar made of 143 glass plates commemorates all those who have for freedom in the Estonian war of independence. While nothing particularly spectacular, it was still worth a documentary shot to be part of my Tallinn travel photos. Let me show you the contact sheet with my shots of Freedom Square.

Continue reading “Contact Sheet (1)”

Back to work

Motion blurred passengers exiting a subway in Nuremberg
1 sec – f/14 – ISO 200 – 100 mm

After a truly nice long Easter weekend and great times with friends and Family it is back to work, but at least on a short week. I took this photograph during my recent subway photo walk with the Nuremberg Instagramers (detailed post is coming up). I experimented with long shutter speeds to capture the motion in the passengers exiting the train. One second proved to be the best choice, as I got interesting effects from the moving people while retaining clarity and texture in their bodies. Also, the one second handheld exposure allowed me to capture a sharp train as background. The diagonal lines, the layered people and the motion blur effects add compositional interest and depth, making this image work. Taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4.

If you are looking for tips and inspirations for your own photography, check out my free  Learning Center.

Wish you a great Monday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip 9 – Motion Blur

Instant Inspiration (2) – Motion Blur

Street Photography Quick Tip 6 – Shoot in a station

Street Photography Quick Tip 5 – Composition – the hidden subject

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