wanderlust

Smoke but no fire

Keep Calm | Genoa | 2018 | 1/50 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 100mm

Studies| Genoa | 2018 | 1/50 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

After yesterday’s coffee photo (a vice I admit adhering to) here is one with a bit of smoke.  Like coffee drinkers, also smokers claim they can relax over a cigarette, although I personally can’t find why that is, with all that smell. But I do admit, a passerby puffing steam can make for an interesting street image. And this lady sure looks relaxed, as she is studying real estate offers in a shop window in Genoa’s old town.

I thought of converting the photo to monochrome, but eventually decided against, as the blue-yellow-blue sequencing of colors makes for an eye-catching color combo (as blue and yellow combined always does). Also, her blowing smoke (and looking) towards the upper left corner and her body shape angling towards the lower left adds a triangular component to the composition. And there is a story, as you would wonder what she might be looking at (in case I hadn’t told you before).

Taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4 – image specs 1/50 sec @ f/4 and ISO 1600,  100mm focal length.

Have a great Wednesday!

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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Instant Inspiration (27) -Alternative Postcard Shot

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/20 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 100mm

“Instant Inspirations” 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. Episode 27 is for you, if you are tired of taking the same “postcard” photographs of famous attractions that everybody else shoots.

When in Berlin the other week, we stepped onto Alexanderplatz where the famous huge TV tower is situated. Affectionately called “Spargel”, with its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second-tallest structure in the European Union! Located in Berlin Mitte, you can take a lift 207 meters up and have a 360 degree view of the German capital! On top there is also a bar and a restaurant where you can eat and enjoy the fantastic view while sitting!

First reflex would be to take a photo of the big tower, maybe combine it with the red Berlin City Hall or the bell tower of the Nikolai-Church. The Postcard Shots. Which of course I have taken as well during prior visits. There is nothing wrong with Postcard shots. Everybody back home would be disappointed if you don’t have the classic shot everybody knows from magazines and coffee table books. So take one. But then, to satisfy your creative genes, go look for slightly different perspectives. For some ideas continue after the jump…. (more…)

The Way Home

Ghostly Encounter | Berlin | 2018 | 1/5 sec - f/18 - ISO 1600 - 12mm

Ghostly Encounter | Berlin | 2018 | 1/5 sec – f/8 – ISO 1600 – 12mm

Sometimes I feel like I’m gliding through this world like a ghost. Here, there, everywhere. Constantly changing places, changing tasks, seemingly always on a whisk, not able to properly plant a foot. The glory of business travel. After ten days in the Pacific Northwest I’m on my way home, currently at Zurich Airport, waiting for my last flight of the trip back to Nuremberg (this time my routing was PDX-SFO-ZRH-NUE). And hey, I got to catch at least a glimpse of San Francisco while approaching the Bay Area.

The flight across the big Ocean on a United Dreamliner B787-800 was kind of special, as, for the second time in not more than a few weeks, I had my Flight Captain retire on me. Like the first time back in July on a Delta Amsterdam to Portland flight, there was a big party organized by the crew, complete with a big sign in front of the cabin signaling the final farewell. Myself flying in seat 1D, I was surrounded by the pilots family, ready to embark on a European vacation after the final landing of an accomplished career at Zurich airport. Isn’t this a happy retirement in style?

The photo above was taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12mm F/2. Image specs are 1/5 sec @ f/8 and ISO 1600. I had dialed in a slow shutter speed of 1/5 sec, perfect to capture the ghostly appearance of the passing shoppers on a Berlin evening. I loved the lighting of this shop window, the texture of the decoration. Then it was a matter to wait until two pedestrians passed each other in front. I shot in the monochrome mode of the PEN-F, intending a black&white image from the beginning.

Wish you a great Friday!

Marcus

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Choices

Ice Bar Lobby Color | Berlin | 2018

I believe every photographer, when editing the day’s harvest, would for some images ponder the decision whether an image would look better in color or monochrome. For me, this happens mainly with photographs that have a high contrast range, like this scene I took in the Lobby of the Ice Bar Berlin (ever had a drink in an arctic environment?). I was attracted by the harmony of the colors, in addition to the playful lighting effects), so I shot this in color with my PEN-F and the 12mm f/2 prime lens (image specs 1/80 sec @ f/2.2 and ISO 2000). When processing the photo in Lightroom CC Classic, I was seeing the potential for a monochrome conversion, and applied a high contrast preset, that also introduced some grain, mimicking an analogue film (as you see above, the PEN-F has no noise issues at ISO 2000, at least if you keep the image at a reasonable size). I like both version, but if I need to pick one I tend to take the colored version. I would be interested in your views, please comment below.

Ice Bar Lobby Monochrome | Berlin | 2018

I’m back in the Pacific Northwest, but this time for work again. It has been a busy week, thus the lack of posts and opportunities to venture out and shoot in the streets. I’m heading to Seattle for the weekend, so this will change 🙂

Wish you a great Friday

Marcus

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Finally Weekend

Ball Python | 1/80 sec - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 57mm

Ball Python | 1/80 sec – f/4 – ISO 1600 – 57mm

You also have those weeks where the job that pays the bills gently surrounds you and gradually turns on the pressure in order to suffocate you? Like a majestic Ball Python (aka Royal Python)? Well, I did make it into the weekend, although barely. The Significant  Other and I will head into the mountains to visit good friends. Looking so much forward to it!

The photo of the snake I took just the other week when visiting the Biosphere in Potsdam. I post-processed it in Lightroom Classic CC to a high contrast black& white image to be added to my fine art wildlife series (I blogged about the how-to here).

Hopefully I find some time on the weekend to catch up with blogging!

Wish you a great weekend!

Marcus

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Football is back

Cathedral

Cathedral | Texas | 2015

Football is back! Last night, and most Sunday nights (consider the time difference, the early games will start 7pm our time) in the next couple of months, Big Boy and myself will enjoy father-son game nights. The setup is as follows: On our big flat screen TV we’ll have the game of the week broadcasted by  a German television station. On Big Boys laptop he’ll be streaming the 49ers game (his team since he likes football) of the weekend or the Red Zone Channel if they play at another kickoff time. On my MacBook I’ll be streaming the Dolphins game (my team for 34 years) or any other that I find interesting. So we watch three early games in parallel and then three late games. On our smartphones we keep track of the fantasy football stats, as Big Boy runs his own fantasy football league with some friends and his old man. Call us crazy 😉

The Fairest Of Them All

The Fairest Of Them All | Texas | 2015

These photos I took during my last visit to an NFL games, when I saw the Patriots play the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Dallas in 2015. But the three year drought of  love football will come to an end in just in less than two weeks, when I will see the Dallas Cowboys again, this time visiting Lincoln Financial Field and the Seattle Seahawks. I can’t wait for the game in this iconic stadium. So bright times are ahead.

I just need to figure out which camera to take to the game. The NFL (as the NBA) has become quite restrictive about bringing cameras with interchangeable lenses into a stadium. I nearly got turned away with my PEN-F when visiting a Portland Trailblazers game earlier this year. It took me quite some talking and pulling off the “I’m a tourist – I didn’t know – you can’t send me away – don’t have a place to put the camera” number to finally get admitted.  So I think I will bring the old Panasonic TZ-61 from The Significant Other (that she put aside for good in favor of doing only iPhoneography), it’s got a 30x optical zoom with 720mm full frame equivalent. Image quality is not on a level with my m43 system, but it will have to do. The results will be posted here after the game on September 23rd, so check back if you are interested.

Brady Bunch

Brady Bunch | Texas | 2015

Friends

Friends | Texas | 2015

What I admire about US sport in general that fans from both teams mix and mingle without getting into fights (something that is seemingly impossible in European Soccer) and sharing the love for the game. I love the atmosphere around NFL games with the tailgating parties before and after the game around the stadium. I wish we had this here in Europe.

Oh and by the way, my Miami Dolphins, notoriously success less in the past 30 years, won their opener. Due to two lightning delays of two hours each it turned out to be the longest NFL game ever played. It started at 7pm my time, and finished at 2:10 am in the morning. It was a short night 😉

Wish you a great week!

Marcus

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Nuremberg Explored (6) – Historic Waterway

Alter Kanal 05

Historic Lock near Schwarzenbach

This post falls under my category “Nuremberg Explored”, although the Ludwigskanal is a bit outside of the city, just a few kilometers from our house. After yet another warm and sunny Saturday The Significant Other and I decided for a late afternoon trip to our favorite little Beergarden (Gaststätte zum Ludwigskanal) in Schwarzenbach for some food and a sunset beer. Just in case I decided to bring a camera, so I grabbed the PEN-F with the 12mm F/2. After dinner and just before sunset, we took a small walk along the historic Ludwigskanal, a now abandoned historic canal. For a bit of history and a few more photographs continue after the jump…

(more…)

Evening Colors

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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