Street Portrait

She didn’t look up

Girl reading a book in a coffee shop

Coffee Shop Reading | Portland | 2019

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.

Have a great Thursday!

Marcus

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Sun’s Out

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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…)

Play with perspective

Subway Snooze | New York City | 2018

Another fun thing to do when composing photographs is to play with perspective, something that works just as well when doing street photography.

Look at the guy I caught deep in thoughts (or snoozing) on a subway ride. He is holding his cellphone in his right hand. Only that it seems like the hand holding the phone is coming out of the arm of the person sitting in the background, rather than is own arm.

The human eye tends to follow lines. And the hand and the arm behind form an almost natural looking line, and, together with the hunched over subway rider, forms a full circle, adding a certain harmony to the composition.

The eye of a casual observer, even if subconsciously, catches the anomaly and will try to solve the riddle. This little play with perspective adds an additional interest to the photograph. And lets the observer’s eye remain a second or two longer on our image. Which is what we want as photographers.

Image taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4, specs are 1/25 sec @ F/4 and ISO 400, 48mm focal length.

If you look for more tips and inspirations around photography, check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into the week.

Marcus

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Back to business

Back to Business | Berlin | 2018

What I love about street photography is that is capturing everyday life as it happens. When roaming the streets, I’m always on the lookout for situations that reflect the stories of life.

This is a photograph of a business man walking seemingly away from the fun stuff happening in holidays. Like diving. Or, when you look to the far right, a bike tour.

The image works for multiple reasons. First, there are the juxtapositions of the man in a business attire and the lady diver. Another one is the man and the diver going in opposite directions. Then there are the similarities in their leg positions (it was the hard part capturing the exact moment). Then there are multiple layers to the image: the man in the foreground, the ad in the middleground and then the bikers and the subway in the background. And as extra element there is the partially hidden text message on the ad, something the mind automatically tries to decipher. Another compositional element is the triangle between the man, the diver and the bikers.

The photo is also symbolic for my day, as it’s back to work day after the Christmas break.

Image taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4, specs are 1/25 sec @ F/4 and ISO 200, 38mm focal length.

If you look for more tips and inspirations around photography, check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you a great start into the week.

Marcus

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Need for sleep

Midterm | New York City | 2018

Midterm | New York City | 2018

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.

Wish you a great Sunday!

Marcus

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Say Cheese

Big Wave | New York City | 2018

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.

Wish you a great Saturday

Marcus

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Go out and shoot

1/60 sec - f/2 - ISO 1000 - 12mm

1/60 sec – f/2 – ISO 1000 – 12mm

Christmas is behind us, and with it the seemingly endless flow of festivities and opulent meals. My calorie balance is deeply negative in the past four weeks, but as the saying goes, you don’t gain wait between Christmas and New Year but rather between New Year and Christmas.

So now is the time to grab the camera (maybe the new one you got for Christmas) and head out into the streets. Roaming through the cities provides not only for plenty of street photography opportunities, it also gives you the opportunity for some brisk walking in fresh air to shake off those holiday cobwebs and re-energize yourself, creatively and physically.

This is why street photography is such a great genre, it keeps you out and about, and you can combine exercise and creativity!

If you look for tips and inspirations around photography check out my free Learning Center.

The photograph was taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12mm F/2. Image specs 1/60 sec @ f/2 and ISO 1000. Post-processing in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.

Wish you a great Saturday!

Marcus

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Are you in the mood?

Christmas Kiss | Nuremberg | 2018

Christmas Kiss | Nuremberg | 2018

We all know Christmas is not the most relaxing of holidays. Shopping frenzy, decorating competitions, preparing festive meals, Christmas parties everywhere, last minute travels. And all of this with a looming deadline…well, sort of. But you get my point.

Let us all remember that this is not about who gives the biggest gift, has the fanciest decoration or cooks a 5 course dinner.

Image taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100 F/4, image specs 1/30 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600, 17mm focal length

Have a great Saturday!

Marcus

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Warming Up

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 92 mm

Warming Up | Nuremberg | 2018 | 1/6 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 92 mm

The Significant Other and I went for an afterwork drink to the Christmas Market in the Old Town. While enjoying a Glühwein (Mulled Wine) I happily snapped away at our bystanders with my EM-1 and the 12-100mm F/4.

Once more I was amazed at the image stabilization capabilities of the Oly cam. This photo I shot hand-held at 1/6 sec. The very slow shutter speed had the advantage that I captured the motion of the guy raising the Glühwein cup to his mouth.

Capturing gesture always adds interest to Street Photographs. In this case I was waiting for him to start drinking with the intention to capture the motion of the moving cup. And as people typically keep their head still when drinking, I was able to capture the face of the subject sharp, despite the slow shutter speed. Obviously, when shooting at 1/6 sec, it is always a bit hit or miss when going after these kind of images.

Wish you a great Tuesday!

Marcus

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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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