Street Portrait

Danger Zone

Give & Take | Memphis | 2018

Give | Memphis | 2018

No, “Danger Zone” was not a song from the King of Rock n’Roll.  But this is a photo straight from the danger zone. In multiple aspects.

I stopped by Graceland on my way to Memphis Airport. I intended it as a bit of time filler before my return flight, as the mansion is just a ten minute drive from the rental car return. After all, the Significant Other and I have visited before, although we’re not on the same page what year exactly, but both suspecting it was in the very early 90’s. So I figured a quick tour would bring back the memories into the digital age.

Getting in was not all that difficult, no line, a quick tour of the house where Elvis and his family lived from 1958 until his much too early passing in 1977. It was so wonderful retro (I have a post about it coming up). The thing is, they have built a huge Elvis Experience Park across the street. Plenty of dedicated expositions showing his car and motorcycle collection, memorabilia from his stint with the US military in Germany, an area about his acting career and another about his music, with plenty of multimedia content and artifacts. I totally lost my time, so much I enjoyed this new part of the Graceland experience that wasn’t there when we first visited. Which is not a good thing if you have to catch a plane – and gas up the car before returning it – and buy a Powerball ticket (no, we didn’t win the jackpot).

Something else probably sensing some looming danger was the big Olympus in my backpack. It got to tour Graceland. But it didn’t make it out of the bag, as the iPhone was handling all shooting duties. And it did just fine. Wait for the post.

And by the way – “Danger Zone” was a song performed by Kenny Loggins in the movie “Top Gun”.

Wish you a great start into the week!

Marcus

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Keep calm and drink coffee

Coffee Break | Genoa | 2018 | 1/60 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 100mm

Coffee Break | Genoa | 2018 | 1/60 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

I’m a coffee addict. I could drink coffee the whole day. I can drink a coffee before going to bed and still sleep like a baby. When I’m all stressed out (from the job that pays the bills), I drink a coffee, take a deep breath and carry on. Coffee also gets my creative juices flowing. That said, I’ve spent the last (slightly extended) weekend in Italy. And there is no other country (I’m aware of) that provides for great tasting espresso.

The above photo I took in Genoas old town from outside a coffee bar with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 – image specs 1/60 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600,  100mm focal length.

There are a couple of things I like about the photo, the overall story, the nice bokeh of the 12-100, the juxtaposition of the big, slightly tilted head of the coffee drinker in the foreground and the small slightly tilted head of the barista in the blurred background. What I don’t like is the clutter in front of the head of the main subject. Although blurred, it still distracts. But in that situation there was no chance for a composition with a clean background. Street photography is full of trade offs.

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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Escape Route

Into the Tunnel | Seattle | 2018 | 1/8 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 12mm

Into the Tunnel | Seattle | 2018 | 1/8 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 12mm

Well, escape route might be a bit exaggerated. I don’t need to escape. But The Significant Other and myself are heading out. We’re using tomorrow’s National Holiday combined with two free days to head down to Italy, into our former hometown Genoa. Taking in some Golden October mediterranean sunshine. And visiting with old friends. We’re so much looking forward to it.

Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom. Image specs 1/8 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600. I had dialed in the long exposure to capture the motion of the couple climbing up a lit up staircase in Seattle’s MoPop.

Wish you a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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1/200 sec | f/13 | ISO 500

Taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100 F/4. Image specs 1/200 sec @ f13 and ISO 500.

Wish you a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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Blue Hour

Blue Hour | Berlin | 2018

We’re back in Nuremberg after a great weekend in Berlin where we visited close friends. Besides spending real quality time together I also got some street shooting done when we headed into city center after we did a fun tour riding a rail trolley (Draisine) in the afternoon.

This street photo I took during the blue hour near the Alexanderplatz. I loved the color contrast between the blue light outside in the street and the yellow light in the shop window. Then I merely waited a few seconds until a subject arrived on the scene (didn’t have more, as the others in the party, already starved, where rushing towards a nearby Vietnamese restaurant that we always visit when in Berlin).

The photo was taken with the PEN-F and the 12mm F/2. Image specs are 1/250 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600. When shooting people in the blue hour, don’t even try to get the white balance right in order to get correct skin tones. That’s why it is called blue hour 😉

Monsieur Vuong | Berlin | 2018

Monsieur Vuong | Berlin | 2018

That’s “Monsieur Vuong”. Same camera/lens combo, specs 1/20 sec @ f/4.5 and ISO 1600. As I’ve written many times on this blog, instead of complaining about cars parked in the wrong place in front of your subject, use them to your advantage. Have I mentioned I love reflections?

There is more to come from our Berlin weekend, stay tuned!

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

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The Race | Portland | 2018

The Race | Portland | 2018

Taken with the OM-D E-M1 and the 12-100 F/4. Image specs are 1/800 sec @ f/7.1 and ISO 200.

Have a fun Saturday

Marcus

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Prom Fun

Prom Fun | Seattle | 2018

With the latest update to the Lightroom app (Adobe Lightroom CC 2018) as well as to the desktop version (Lightroom CC Classic), Adobe has finally given us users of the photography suite what we have long been waiting for: the possibility to import our self created presets into the mobile Lightroom CC environment.

Sure enough I had to put it to as test immediately. Once I had imported them from the vaults of the desktop version (they typically reside in the folder /Users/<yourname>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/Settings), they synced perfectly fine across all my mobile clients (iPhone/iPad) via the Adobe cloud (which you get automatically as part of the photography suite subscription).

Now I get even more mobility in my creative post processing work. Basically, I can now work on a RAW file (or jpg) residing in the Adobe cloud on my iPad, using my proven presets, while I’m on the road. Then it syncs perfectly back also into my desktop version, where my main Lightroom catalogue resides.

Me and many other users have waited for this for a long time. Thanks Adobe!

For plenty of other tips and inspirations around photography head over to my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great Friday!

Marcus

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Color appreciated

Purple Lips

Purple Lips | Seattle | 2018

A bit of color would be so much appreciated! Because it is super grey outside. Grey as in fog. My flight from Amsterdam to Zurich just got cancelled due to foul weather. I’m now flying back to Nuremberg, hope that I and my bag arrive in time to catch a flight to ZRH from there. I never had a turnaround at my home airport. Like arriving at 2pm, getting the bag off the belt, booking a ticket and doing the check in for a 3pm departure. There is a 7pm flight as well. I just need to get to Nuremberg. Color appreciated!

Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100 mm F/4. Image specs are 1/125 sec @f/5 and ISO 200. Shot outside of the Museum of Pop Art (MoPOP) in Seattle.

For  tips and inspirations around photography in general check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into the weekend!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted

Legs

Ricoh GR II | 1/40 sec @ f/2.8 and ISO 200, 18 mm focal length

Twisted” is the prompt of this week’s WPC. And I have just the right street photographs for this challenge, with pedestrians having a twist and doing the twist. Both images were taken in Portland, which is also a good fit for this week, as this is where I currently am, doing another two-week work stint in the Pacific Northwest.

The Move

Olympus PEN-F | 1/250 sec @ f/5.6 and ISO 1600 |120 mm focal length

The good news is I’ll be enjoying the long Memorial Day weekend over here. I haven’t decided on any plans yet, but there will be plenty of opportunity for some extended photography. And the weather should also be quite ok. Now I just need to make it into the weekend….

Wish you all a great Wednesday!

Marcus

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The sun is coming out again

Summer Smile

Summer Smile | 2016

After a few intense days researching the impact of the new European GDPR law going into effect next week (May 25th) my initial slight panic attacks have subsided. I think I think I know what requirements I need to fulfill in order to make my personal, non-commercial blog compliant, at least to a degree where I feel comfortable. There is still a lot of uncertainty out there, but I think it will be a process where we all (bloggers, lawyers, service providers) will need to learn how to adjust to adhere to the principle of data privacy, which, and I hope we all agree to this, is doubtless necessary, considering the recent data scandals of Cambridge Analytica and the likes.

After my initial rant about WordPress / Automattica I must concede that WordPress has come out with tools that we can use to mitigate a few of the GDPR induced challenges. As of me writing this post, these tools have seemingly come out only in the English version of WP, but should be available across all WP platforms shortly. You can read the WP announcement about this privacy and maintenance release here. Also, Automattica is now providing a Data Processing Agreement that will be signed by both sides (unfortunately only available for paid plans (so far)). So things are progressing, there, but should be monitored closely.

So what were my initial activities? I did some upgrades to the pages “About Me” and “About this blog“. As this is a personal blog I am not required to have a detailed, official contact page (Impressum), but I want to make sure people can understand who his behind this blog and  how to reach me. And I want to make clear that this is a personal blog with which I do not pursue any commercial interests. I also want to explicitly state that this blog about capturing life in the streets as it happens is an art form, as also recently stated by the German Constitutional Court. This should give some freedom about posting photography with people in it. As before, I have a clear statement that if anyone thinks a photography of himself or others is inappropriate, this person can contact me and I will take down the photo without discussion (has never happened in two and a half years of blogging – fingers crossed).

The other change is the publication of a Data Privacy Statement, which I understood every blog should have, regardless if commercial or personal. Again, there are mixed opinions out there, and I’m no lawyer to judge objectively. As personally I don’t have a problem with that I created a statement. There are German IT lawyers who offer for private bloggers for free the generation of a tailored DP statement based on a questionnaire they have on their website. You just copy it on a word press page including the reference to the generator website. I added some information I regarding the purpose of my blog and my service provider Automattica, including a link to their GDPR privacy page. Unfortunately for my English speaking blogger friends, this DP generation service is only available in German language. Research the web if in your country similar services are available. I will do a translation of it in the next days, as even a German blog in English language needs also to have an English DP page. The German version of my Datenschutzerklärung you can find here. It is also accessible form every page of my blog via the side menu on a PC and bottom menu on the WP mobile version.

DISCLAIMER: This is a best try at putting together a compliant DP statement, I am not a lawyer and the page has not been created by a lawyer. If you want to have a legally checked DP statement, you will need to spend money and go see a lawyer, that can create  a legally foolproof page tailored to your exact situation.

The next thing I will do later today is signing the Automattica Data Processing Agreement and send it to them for counter signature.

For now I will not turn off any features of this blog, and will wait and see how things will eventually fall into place and what needs to be done.

With my implemented measures (that were not all that complex) I feel comfortable taking the “Streets of Nuremberg” into the GDPR age. I will stay on top of this DP issue and improve this blog as I gain more knowledge. I will continue to write about it here and share my experiences.

But the good thing is I continue with my blog which I am passionate about.

The sun is out again!

Have a splendid weekend!

Marcus

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