Friends shooting friends

From a short (ca. 4 hours) photowalk with friends, yesterday in Mainz:


Meike & Rhia, January 2015


Looking through her hair…


Cigarette break


Rhia, profile, January 2015


Meike, profile, January 2015


Mélanie & Markus reviewing photos, January 2015


The fading sun in her eyes…


On the bridge




Jana, January 2015

Full size photos on Flickr if you click on them, as always.

Thanks for viewing.

Crazy high ISO

No, I’m not Steve Huff, so excuse the title. But what would you expect when taking photos with a Micro Four Thirds camera set to ISO 25600, with no noise reduction? Not much I guess. Well this morning I took a few photos of Mitchie in almost complete darkness, lit only from the back by the remote kitchen light, and from the side illumination of her tablet or phone screen (forgot). At ISO 25600. And guess what – when I removed the colours (the two light sources had different temperatures), I quite liked it. A bit like film, and not too grainy.

What if I tried that even with colour? Here are two of Tuna which I took some minutes ago:



Again, both taken at ISO 25600 with no noise reduction, and also without sharpening. In fact I didn’t try any processing here and converted the raw files like they came out of camera (with saturation set to “-1”). If you try to change anything (like the saturation for instance), things fall apart quickly. But you can still improve them when converting them to black & white.

Of course the dynamic range of these is reduced, but the noise even doesn’t bother me too much even when looking at them at the size of my 24 inch monitor. I guess an A4-sized print would still be ok.

Pretty amazing what these small cameras can do today.

Thanks for reading.

Windows 7 support

A day or two ago one of my colleagues told me (or rather us) that Windows support for their version 7 of the operating system ended this week. And yesterday I told the same to a friend who’s also in IT (in a manager position even), and his reaction was a bit like:

“What? We just rolled out version 7! Cannot be – I’m sure you’re talking about Windows XP?”

Well yes and no. For XP, even the “extended” support ended last year, that is correct. But if you look at Microsoft’s “Lifecycle” page, their so-called “mainstream” support for version 7 ended this week indeed. But the “extended” one will continue for another 5 years, time enough for most enterprises to upgrade to some newer client operating systems.

Should you have any questions about this, the page lists 3 commonly asked ones, and have a look at the “what does it mean?” page as well.

Basically, for Win7 that means that you have to install Service Pack 1, and/or to enable automatic updates. That way, your Win7 will still be supported until its “end of life” in about 5 years from now.

Vista? Oh well – two more years if you’re on Service Pack 2 (see my first link above).

Hope that clears any questions.

Loud and clear…

Sometimes when Tuna the cat jumps right up the kitchen sink, I know that’s her way of telling us that she’s thirsty. So I had to give her something after taking this:


Thirsty. Tuna, January 2015

Thanks for viewing.

How to gain over 8 stops

I often take photos with room lights, tho our energy-efficient LED room lights aren’t really that bright, at least not when measured with a camera. Often enough the camera has to go all the way up to ISO 2500 (which I’ve set to the uppermost acceptable level, the Olympus E-PL5 will show everything from ISO 3200 as boosted or amplified anyway). Still I often don’t get really hand-holdable pictures, even with the very good in-body stabilization of our Olympus camera, and with fast prime lenses wide open.

So today I looked at the lights (one small reading light in the corner of our living room, and an over-the-table light in our dining area, and thought about the studio strobe with the beauty dish attached to it which is almost in the same position as that dining room light. What if I could use my small compact flash at about the position and pointing into the same direction (which is down) as our reading light?

Had to test it of course, and it really looks almost the same:


Study: emulating evening room lights with flashes

So this is ISO 200 with 1/160th of a second and the lens wide open at f/1.4 – with the room lights I would have had some 1/4 to 1/5th of a second at ISO 2500, or about 3 seconds at ISO 200. So even with boosting the shadows a bit afterwards, and with selecting “Auto gradation” in the OV3 raw processor, I still gained over 8 stops of light. And that is way more than you could get with switching your camera to the best “full frame” model you could get (like a Nikon D4s or a Sony A7s, both of which can go to ISO 400k or so). Even if you consider ISO 3200 on these cameras as practically noise-free, you’d still have shutter times of maybe 1/8th of a second – not enough for anything breathing.

Lights are much more important, and make a much bigger difference than any “dream camera” you could think of. Just try it.

Thanks for reading.


At the moment we have some pretty strong winds here in Germany, especially so in the North. And if you believe the forecasts, it won’t change for a while. So this ain’t no weather for long walks, not even with a camera. In fact, everyone seems to be happy to be inside.


Outside it’s windy – but the floor is nice and warm

Thanks for viewing.

Kind & Katze

Since the new year began three days ago, I’ve only taken photos of the family, and also of the cat (which is a member of this family, too). Took some with flash, some with available room and/or the modeling lights of the studio strobes, and some using daylight. But almost all of them – except the first one of Tuna the cat – with the camera set to black & white, and with the same Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4 lens, which has the angle of view of a “normal” lens on our µ43rds cameras.

Here are some of them:







Thanks for viewing.