Instant Inspiration (30) – Look for that different face

A woman's face on a huge electronic billboard in Chicago
Chicago | 2019

“Instant Inspiration” is my series for you  if you look for something to overcome “Photographer’s Block”  or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried, or at least not recently. With episode 30 (!!) I want to inspire you to go looking for those different kind of face….

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Street Photography Quick Tip (17)

Street Portrait of a bearded old man
1/400 sec – f/5 – ISO 200 – 100mm


Street Photography Quick Tip 17 – Shoot with what the sun gives you

My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets.

Photography literally means „drawing with light“. The sun is the principal lightsource out in the streets. But unlike a studio lightstand, you can‘t move the sun around to direct the light to where you want/need it. Obviously there are some workarounds, like using a reflector to throw back the light on the subject and brighten up the shadows. But in street photography, this is not practical and we need to shoot with what the sun gives us.

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I can see clearly now…

Rain Day | Nuremberg | 2018
Rain Day | Nuremberg | 2019

…the rain has come. I know, the song by Jimmy Cliff has a slightly different title. But the snow on the Streets of Nuremberg has been replaced by torrential rain. It’s gruesome outside. The maximum you can do as street photographer is going for some puddle shooting. And then finding a coffee shop for some hot Espresso.

The photograph was taken with the Ricoh GR II, specs are 1/125 sec @ F/5 and ISO 1600.

RAW conversion and monochrome processing in Lightroom Classic CC.

If you want to pick up your camera this Sunday and are still looking for inspirations what to shoot, check out my free Learning Center.

Wish you all a sunny Sunday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Purple Rain

Thunder Night

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

Instant Inspiration (14) – Car Reflections

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

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip 7 – Work the Scene

Street Photography Quick Tip 8 – Capturing Gesture

Instant Inspiration (12) – Playfulness

Instant Inspiration (5) – Puddle Shooting

Street Photography Quick Tip (13)

Studies 1/60 f/1.8 ISO 640 PEN-F 25mm
Studies | Berlin | 2017

Street Photography Quick Tip 13 – Shoot in a Coffee Shop

My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is for those of you who dread hitting the streets in this awful wet and dull November weather. Take your camera into a coffee shop near your, sit down, enjoy a strong Espresso, observe the other guests and take some candid portraits of scenes that will catch your eye. People in coffee shops tend to be really relaxed, engaged in talks with others, reading papers or books, staring obsessed into their mobile devices or simply use the free wi-fi to blog or do their studies. And believe me, they will not notice you.

The photography above I took last weekend (during my Street Photography workshop with Eric Kim) at the Bonanza Café (Oderberger Str 35) in Berlin with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 prime lens, image specs are 1/60 sec @ f/1.8 and ISO 640. Raw processing and monochrome conversion in Lightroom Classic CC.

For a few more coffee shop shots continue after the jump… Continue reading “Street Photography Quick Tip (13)”

Street Photography Quick Tip (12)

 

From the Gallery 01
1/8 sec @ f/22 and ISO 1600

Street Photography Quick Tip 12 – Shoot from a Gallery 

My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is about changing the usual perspective of taking photographs from eye level by shooting down from a gallery in a shopping center. For a few, hopefully inspirational images continue after the jump… Continue reading “Street Photography Quick Tip (12)”

Off Topic – Studio Anywhere

Portrait of Teenager Daniel
Daniel | Porto Ferraio | 2016
With today’s post I’m venturing far away from my usual posts around Street- and Travel Photography. But vacation time is not only time for intensified photography around documenting our family trip to Italy.

Holidays means also having finally time for a lot of (photography) related reading of books, blogs and websites to get fresh doses of inspiration. And also having time to try out a few things off your usual beaten paths.

In this case I decided to do some portrait photography with my (more or less willing) family. First victim up was my son Daniel. To see more and learn how this studio-like portrait was taken without help of any flash on a 1m stretch of white wall inside our rented apartment’s bedroom continue reading after the jump.

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Finding your photographic style

Drinks before the Show
Drinks before the Show | Hamburg | 2016

In today’s world photography has become mainstream. Excellent cameras have become very affordable and smartphones are 24/7 companions that allow everyone to do serious photography on the spot.

Each second thousands of photos are uploaded to social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and image platforms (flickr, 500px). And all of us who contribute to this never-ending stream of photographic output hope that somehow our work finds some recognition.

With the growing numbers of aspiring photographers also the amount of educational and inspirational information has vastly increased. Photography magazines, how-to books, websites and blogs provide a wealth of technical knowledge and inspiration for just about every genre of photography that you can imagine. Thanks to this resources teaching yourself the technical and artistic aspects of photography (and even the business side if you want to look at that as well) is not difficult at all if you learn to differentiate the wheat from the chaff. I’m not saying that this replaces the need for a professional education (if you really want to work as a professional photographer you should have a proper one) but for all us aspiring wannabe professionals who dream about generating some cash out of our hobby one day the training material available online or what you can pick up by attending workshops is more than sufficient to get us properly started.

With affordable gear, a wealth of information and inspiration available remains the question what to shoot. I for myself feel attracted to all sorts of genres. Landscape, portrait work with available light or strobes, boudoir, street photography, macro, wildlife, fashion, travel, documentary, you name it. I have tried most of them to some degree or other. Even bought gear (ever heard of GAS – gear acquisition syndrome) to being able to properly do it, inspired by one article or another in one of my many photography magazines, books or on a blog or photography portal site.

The thing is, all of this is nice, some come with caveats that are not easy to overcome (e.g. getting yourself models for portrait/fashion shootings, getting up in the middle of the night to catch the golden hours of landscape photography) so the genres that eventually attract you will narrow down themselves. And if you really want to become good at something you need to focus. Most great artists / scientists have been or are specialists of some sorts. Sure there are exceptions. Bryan Adams is a great Rock Star and also a well-known photographer, but in music he focuses on Rock and in his photography on portraits and fashion.

So how do you focus, how do you find the style of photography that suits your aspirations, that allows you to become good enough that you yourself are satisfied with the results. And again, as long as you don’t have to make a living out of your photography your own judgement of your results is the only relevant criteria. If in addition to that your work finds whatever recognition on social media, image sharing platforms, websites or photography magazines that is just icing on the cake.

The road to discovering your individual style as a photographer is a very personal one. But there are some things can help you and that have certainly helped me. Find out more after the jump. Continue reading “Finding your photographic style”

Street Photography Below Street Level

Rush Up
Rush Up | Stockholm | 2016

Sometimes I turn Street Photography into Subway Photography. There are various good reasons for that. In the underground you can escape foul weather. On their way to and from the trains people are mostly in a rush so they tend to oversee the “hunting” Street Photographers. And in the subway cars travelers are often so focused on their smart phone or their books and papers that you have a very good chance to go unnoticed while taking candid portraits. For other good reasons to take your Street Photography below ground and more subway photographs continue reading after the jump. Continue reading “Street Photography Below Street Level”

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