Freitag, 7. Oktober 2016

Concert photography with your X100

I always have a camera with me (at least my smartphone) and I took my X100s to a "the rifles" concert yesterday in Hamburg. The light was very dim and the room was small and packed with people from door to stage. The X100s has only a 23mm lens and I was standing in the sixth row. The challenge in this situation is to capture not only the artists on stage. In such a narrow space you can also create very close images to capture the magic of the moment. I set my cam to an ISO value of 6400 and a shutter speed of 125 of a second. And then I just fired away. I did not care about the results.

When you shot low light and very high ISO the images become a bit blurry and grainy, but bear in mind that no one looks at photos in a hundred percent view. The contents of the photo are important, not the quality. This is not fine art photography! The photo above was shot with wide open eyes at f 2.0 to add some depth from the crowd to the stage. The light from the right creates a great mood and the audience becomes a part of the whole thing showing how dense this place was. I also love the hat of the guy in the right on stage. It is a visual anchor in the whole image.

Motion blur is also great to create some movement and emotion. It is not always a sign of bad photogrpahy. This guy was touched by the music clapping his hands.

In my conclusion a fixed lens camera like a X100s is a good companion for concerts. You have to move and you can't do the same stuff like with a telephoto lens, but if you try to do more reportage style photos the results can reflect the emotions at and around the stage. The limiting factor of this camera can be a huge advantage.

"We believe in limited resources, don't we? Absolutely. I'm dead keen on limiting resources." - (Delia Derbyshire)


Mittwoch, 28. September 2016

Do you have a philosophical approach to street photography?

Why are you doing it and what are the feelings behind the thing you do? There are a thousand questions on my mind when I look at my photos and try to reflect on the whole thing. Many people see photography as a technical things where you need skills and knowledge about gear to take a photo. Sure you need that skills to have your settings etc. right, but the questions above are still unanswered. The missing link is the philosophy behind the things we do. It helps us look at the whole thing and helps us finding out why are we doing certain things (or not).

Street photography is a very philosophical style of photography for me. It is about taking a different position as a viewer or director and there is no second chance to take the same photo again like in a studio setting. For me it is a combination of wanderlust, curiosity and meditation at the same time:


Walking around and let things happen around you. Exploring new streets and places without any urgency or being in a hurry. Walking around keeps you healthy and is the perfect refreshment for your soul.


"Stay foolish, keep hungry" like Steve said back in the days. Finding strange situations in a mundane place or situation. Turning things upside down. There are so many ways to discover new things every day. This is where you becoming the director. Don't forget that every photo is lie because you are the director who decides how the result will look like. If you change one setting or your angle of view the whole thing becomes different.


Get lost as a viewer. Just observe and don't interfere. Let things happen and enjoy the scene in every detail. This can become a kind of meditation and helps you seeing the world with different eyes. There is only one moment called "now" and you are part of it! Ignore smartphone and time and look at the surrounding world through the frame lines of your camera and get lost...

But why are you doing it?

This question could not be answered to your fully satisfaction, because the is no final answer. For me this kind of photography is about curation, sharing and pleasure. I capture images to show later generations how we lived and how everything looked like in the streets at a certain time and I also enjoy capturing life in all it's strange, meaningful and hilarious details. And I do it for my own pleasure. This is a very important point, because you should be the first impressed viewer of your visual content. I don't want to take photos that are meant to satisfy the taste of the masses to get a million views. It is not important how much people like your work if you are satisfied with what your are doing. If other people like your work too you are a lucky person!

So take some time and think about your style of photography and what it means to you. I also suggest to read some philosophical books to get some inspirations and views.



Montag, 19. September 2016

Sport photography with your Fuji X-T1

A lot of people on the web are writing about the new AF performance of the new X-T2 and how good this camera will perform when it comes to fast moving subjects.

Yesterday I had my old trusty Fuji X-T1 hanging around my neck with the Fujinon 55-200 mm attached to it. I love to use this combination when I am out in the wild or - like I did yesterday - at the beach. It gives you a good range from normal to telephoto and helps you to compose your shots under changing conditions when you are for a walk like my wife and I did.

After composing some dense shots like the one above I spotted some kites in the sky and by following the ropes down to the ground I saw some guys with surfboards. Usually I don't do much sport photography, but the setting and the light was perfect.

I dialed in a fast shutter speed and a wide open aperture going into the maximal focal length of 200 mm. I also activated the continuous AF and drive mode to get some material to choose from. I took plenty of shots hoping for the decisive one in the pile of images. I also tried to create some kind of visual storytelling. This helps a lot to get into the mood and gives the viewer some more information around the main activity.

These shots are the result of a quick and dirty fifteen minute session and show how great even the old X-T1 (and the 55-200 zoom) can perform in such conditions.



Montag, 5. September 2016

Why it is no pain to cary your heavy tool always with you...

I know that it could be a pain sometimes to cary your camera almost every day with you. It feels like a little brick sometimes in my messenger bag, but there is this little moment where you wish you had your camera with you.

I took this shot on my way home from work. I was waiting for my wife to pick me up by car when I saw a muslim girl smoking an electric cigarette. I took five to six photos an this one was my favorite.

Trust me: the best opportunity for taking good photos in the streets is here and now. You can't leave the house to take good photos. The situations are coming to you. They just happen in front of your eyes. And imagine all these moments without where your camera was at home laying in a cupboard.

Try to love your little brick and cary it around, even if your heading for some groceries.



Dienstag, 23. August 2016

Know your rights

Some days ago I had an unpleasant experience with a security guy. I was taking photos of a skyscraper in a public area in Hamburg. After I aimed my camera at the building I heard him shouting after me from three meters away. After I turned around he came closer telling me that I need a permission from the owner to take a photo of this building.

I asked him if he knows the German media laws and that there is no need for a permission for various reasons. He just repeated the same phrase over and over again. I had a bit of a short temper this day and told him that he behaving not in a polite way and that he is pestering me. I left the scene without listening to his angry voice anymore.

This incident showed me how important it is to know your rights as a private or commercial photographer. Maybe you get into a similar situation with someone more important than the security staff or the police. When you know your rights you can argue better and stay cool.



Freitag, 5. August 2016


...gonna hate. The internet is a great place to hide and rant. After watching the latest videos from Eric Kim I browsed through the comments and was shocked by the amount of hate people put into some lines of text. They criticized the way he was taking photos in the video and some technical aspects. He must be doing it all wrong.

What is wrong with you guys? If you have something to mention then do it the right way:

"Don´t shove your camera into the subjects face and a wide angle lens will ruin the portrait."

"I saw in your video that you get real close to the subjects face. What are your experiences with wide angle lenses and how do the subjects react to this way of taken portraits?"

Be kind and ask question or make suggestions. What do you expect to happen when you post a hate comment on YouTube? Try to learn something from a living exchange not by offending other people.

It is a sad that such things are even going on in the street photography community.



Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016

I need more time for photography

Really? When photography is very important for you but not your main source of income there are just small slices of time left for it.

Have you ever made a list how your day divided into certain actions:

  1. get up in the morning
  2. go to work
  3. work
  4. go back home
  5. grocery shopping
  6. cooking some food and eat it
  7. cleaning some things up, feeding the cats etc.
  8. watch television or play a game
  9. sleep
Maybe this is the typical daily routine for most people and there are some points that can have a tremendous impact on the amount of time that is left for your precious inspirational hobby. What can you do to get more time?

the daily grind...

You work too much

Sounds harsh, but sometimes we don't reflect on the things we do and forget that lifetime is limited until you die and that work is not the main thing you will remember on your deathbed. Maybe you can work a bit less and leave your workplace a bit earlier. Don't forget that you can't buy time back with all the money you made from your job. It is gone forever!

Integrate your hobby into your daily routine

When you have your camera always with you (like I do), you can take photos whenever you want. Think about all the photos that are possible in the daily grind. You also get a different viewing angle on things of your daily routine.

Stop watching television or playing computer games

Television and playing a computer game is not creative. It is nice to watch and play a bit but it can be a real waste of time if you do it too often. You are a consumer not a maker when you see things that are all made up for your entertainment. You get lazy and hypnotized and lose the sense of time and space. So many hours are running down the drain...

Try to make the daily grind feel like a little vacation

The best thing my wife and I did the last years was meeting up after work and explore our own hometown. It is a bit like being a tourist in your own city. And as a tourist you enjoy a good cup of hand brewed coffee and go for a walk to find new places and enjoy the place you already live. After a while you forget that work is just an hour away and time stretches and you feel like being on a great vacation. Pull your camera out of your bag and take some awesome photos to document this great time! ;-)


The most important thing is that you take the time to think about your life and what are the things that make you happy. It is important to be honest and kind to yourself. Without a real evidence that there is a life after death we should try to get the most out of time that is left in a sand clock where the amount of sand is unknown. And read this manifesto, it contains all the important stuff to think about.

What are your thoughts about this topic? Leave me a comment!