Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

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Frequent readers probably know by now that I try to meet the Weekly Photo Challenge from Word Press’ “The Daily Post” with one of my Street Photos. This week’s challenge has the theme “Surprise”.

While visiting Tanzania last year (a trip organized by our local church parish), on one of our tours out of Moshi (where we were based) we also visited the little town of Muikwa on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro where we took a stroll on a small path through lush vegetation and little coffee and banana farms left and right the way. And in this very remote (touristically speaking) area all of a sudden a wild and laughing group of young kids in school uniforms came downhill towards us.

Based on their “surprised” reaction I assume they never before saw or could have expected a group of foreign visitors wandering up the small path through their settlement.

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Communication obviously was limited to smiles and waving hands and their curious looks in the display of my camera that got them really exited. While the little students disappeared into the settlements left and right of the path we continued a bit uphill were we eventually found their school, the Maremi Primary School. I did a post about this school early into my blogging and you can find it here.

I hope you like my interpretation of the challenge.

I wish all of you some happy, relaxed and peaceful Easter days!!

Marcus

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose

Travel Day (2)

First Flight
First Flight | Tanzania | 2016

It’s travel day again. I’ll get up at 4am to be at Nuremberg Airport for my 6:15 KLM flight to Amsterdam (remember the great Heineken bar in the Terminal?) and then onwards with Delta to Seattle where I’ll arrive at 11:24 am local time. Then its a 3 hours drive via Interstate 5 down to Portland where I’ll arrive just in time for the big Kick-Off meeting of my new project that will take me to the Pacific Northwest quite a bit over the next couple of months. It will be a 26 hour day before I get to fall in a bed again. Need to catch some sleep on the plane ! Going west helps with the Jet lag. Will try not to adapt too much to the 9hours time difference, as my flight home is already Saturday.

The photo of the Marabous I took a few minutes before sunrise in Tanzania last year with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 Travel Zoom. Image specs are 1/60 sec (handheld) @ f/5.6 and ISO 200 with the zoom at the far end of its focal range. The RAW conversion was done in Lightroom CC, where I increased contrast, dynamic and clarity. I increased also sharpness a bit (you always need to do that when working on a RAW file. What is important is to mask  the sharpness so you limited sharpening of pixels to the high contrast edges of the birds and the branches so you avoid over sharpening and subsequent introduction of unwanted noise in the clouds.

Have a great Wednesday

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (5)

Lost Feet
Lost Feet | Tanzania | 2016
Street Photography Quick Tip 5 – Composition – the hidden subject

In time for some Sunday shooting here is the fifth edition of my Street Photography Quick Tips. Some short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is a first tip on composition – placing a hidden subject in your photo that catches the eye only on the second pass of the image, thus adding additional interest to the image.

Here, the smiling African boy holding the saw and waving his hand at me is the clear primary subject. But as you take in this friendly African Street Scene you notice the two naked feet sticking out from under the van. Now what happened here? Was another person just run over by the vehicle? Is some guy taking a nap in the shade of the van? Are these just the feet of a mechanic who is working on the van parked in front of a repair shop?

Adding an additional layer with an additional, hidden subject adds interest to your composition.

This photo was taken with my OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 Travel Zoom with 1/160 sec @ f/5.6 and ISO 250. Focal length was 90mm (equivalent to 180mm full frame with the m4/3 crop factor of 2).

Take your cam, hit the streets and find your own composition with a hidden subject. And have fun!

Marcus

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Street Photography Quick Tip (4)

Sleeping Mr. Price
Sleeping Mr. Price | Tanzania | 2016

Street Photography Quick Tip 4 – Shoot out of a moving car or bus

On the heels of my latest Instant Inspiration  here is a new Street Photography Quick Tip. Street Photography isn’t limited to shooting while walking on the streets. You can do it as well shooting out of a moving car or bus, as you can see from my photograph “Sleeping Mr. Price” above, that I took in Tanzania through the window of a fast driving Land Cruiser.

Interesting street scenes are everywhere. Just make sure you set the camera to a fast exposure time (I suggest at least 1/1000 sec) to make sure the photo you take is still sharp, despite the moving car you are sitting in. This technique comes in handy when traveling in groups, where you can’t avoid being caught in buses and cars for hours and where the driver won’t stop just because you saw a nice street scene you wanted to capture. It  helps if you use a fast prime or zoom lens so you can use very short exposure times without having to increase the ISO too much. Switch your camera to manual focussing and pre-focus your camera to infinity so you don’t waste any time focusing while doing “drive-by-shooting”, set an aperture that ensures everything is sharp from 10 feet out and then just press the shutter.

This photo was taken with my OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Lens with 1/2000 sec @ f/3.2 and ISO 200. Focal length was 36mm (equivalent to 72mm full frame with the m4/3 crop factor of 2). I did some cropping and straightening in Lightroom.

Take your cam and practice. And have fun!

Marcus

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StoNur on the Road – Banana Streets

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StoNur on the Road – Banana Streets

Banana Market Mika Tanzania
Thumbs Up | Tanzania | 2016

I have promised to some readers that I show some more photographs from our Tanzania trip in February 2016. I visited this marvelous East African Country together with our local Lutheran Church’s Trombone Choir on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of the new Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) Frederick Shoo, to which our Choir was invited to participate. We spent a whole week in Moshi on the southern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Besides participating in the program during and around the inauguration ceremony we had the opportunity to tour Moshi and visit some church projects in the vicinity, before finishing off with a Safari in Arusha National Park (remember the movie “Hatari” with John Wayne, which was shot there?).

In this first blog post of a little Tanzania series I take you to the Banana market in the little town of Mwika in the Moshi Rural District. It is situated on the South Eastern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in Africa,  rising approximately 4,900 m (16,000 ft) from its base to the highest summit at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level. To find out more and see more images continue reading after the jump…

Continue reading “StoNur on the Road – Banana Streets”

StoNur on the Road – African Primary School

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Siblings | Maremi | Tanzania | 2016

One of the things I observed during my stay in Tanzania were the many primary schools and young students roaming the streets. The Government seriously pushes for all kids to get education, and even in remote areas outside the cities the children have their primary schools.  Continue reading “StoNur on the Road – African Primary School”

StoNur on the Road – Ain’t I cool ?

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Olympus OM-D E-M1   Tanzania, 2016

One from the archives, albeit a recent one. In February of this year I spent one week in Tanzania in the town of Moshi on the foothills of majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro. A puzzling African town, Moshi is a fantastic place for Street Photography, as you constantly encounter characters you don’t get to see in our European environment.

This cool dude, even though looking like every bit of an African Warrior, was “just” a security card in front of a small banking outfit. We sat in a cafe next to his workplace, and he kept constantly looking at us. And we were obviously looking at him. Eventually I asked him if I could take a portrait of him, which he initially refused, but than suggested he would pose for a little donation of 2 USD.

As typically you don’t get these kind of shots every day I decided that this opportunity was just too good to pass up. I know that there are purists who say real Street Photos need to be candid and can’t be staged. On the other hand, this guy proudly presenting himself is a just as typical an African street scene.

I have quite a few other interesting shots from my Tanzania trip, so keep looking for those.

Have a very peaceful day

Marcus

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StoNur on the Road – African Primary School

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