Pictures from an exhibition

Well – the title is slightly misleading. Firstly, yesterday’s event was way more than just an exhibition, and it also has nothing to do with Emerson, Lake & Palmer (or Mussorgsky for that matter, and that is why I didn’t call it pictures *of* an exhibition). So here are a few photos from “Home is where…”:

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Markus

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Huge prints

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Huge camera

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Goj T-A-TR

And while speaking the keynote (or the laudatio), Markus took my picture as well, and he kindly allowed me to show it here:

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_DSC1679 ©Markus Kuhn

See lots of more photos in Markus’ Flickr album. Or go there if you want to see those photos yourself – those prints are really impressive, and they will stay there for the next two weeks.

Thanks for viewing.

We’ve had some visitors

Some friends of Mitchie’s visited us over the weekend, and tho they came well-equipped themselves (everything from smartphones/tablets over a GoPro and some Sony mirrorless), I took some photos of them and uploaded them on Flickr – but for friends & family only. These 4 have some pretty high level positions, and since they post their photos in a closed Facebook group only, I’d rather not show any here without asking first.

First thing on their pretty busy schedule was a visit to Eltz Castle, which we did:

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Burg Eltz

This is a photo which almost everyone takes, and which you can even buy as a postcard inside of the castle, but I thought if they want pictures like these, they can have them.

On the way back I almost managed to get back into the planned schedule (which was to check in into their hotel at 1700) – until we ran into a traffic jam exactly at Frankfurt airport, which cost us an hour again:

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In a traffic jam

This is under a newly built bridge where aircraft passes the A3 motorway, and yes, we had to stay in this lane. After the traffic cleared and we found their hotel in the vicinity of Frankfurt’s trade fair area, I left Mitchie, Zuleikha and the four friends who had planned some sight seeing and a girl’s day and sleepover.

And today at home I took a photo of these:

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Mitchie and Zuleikha bought some flowers

Thanks for viewing.

A visit from Mélanie

Today Mélanie came over to visit us. She was one of the other two photographers with whom I met on January 18th in Mainz for an outdoor photo walk together with Meike, Rhia, and Jana.

After having some cake, we started to play around with my lights, so Mélanie took some photos of me, and I took some of her – with both her camera and mine.

From the ones out of my camera I selected nine, and it’s hard to narrow them down further – even Mitchie wasn’t able to select just a few out of these. So I decided to upload all nine to Flickr, and to let Mélanie see if she likes or even can use any of them:

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I cropped the first one into a 5:4 format, but the rest are as good as out of camera. Not cropped and definitely not retouched.

To see more of Mélanie, and to have a look at her own art, please consider viewing her page on Facebook.

Merçi Mélanie – it was great to have you here. Cannot wait to repeat this.

Thanks for viewing.

I was photographed…

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Me, photographed by Markus Kuhn

… taking a photograph:

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Meike on the Rhine river in Mainz, shot by me. Simulated Ilford FP4+ film with an orange filter.

As you probably remember, I was invited to a shooting with friends in Mainz mid January. And the two other photographers were Mélanie and Markus.

The photo of me shooting Meike was taken by Markus, and he has some more awesome photos, some of which he kindly allowed me to show here:

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Jana, photographed by Markus

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Rhia, photographed by Markus

Markus has made two albums on Flickr – see his sets one and two for more great examples. I have ‘favorited’ several of these, and I can hardly wait to see some which Mélanie took.

It was a fun day, really. And it should be repeated as soon as possible.

Friends shooting friends

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

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Meike & Rhia, January 2015

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Looking through her hair…

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Cigarette break

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Rhia, profile, January 2015

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Meike, profile, January 2015

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Mélanie & Markus reviewing photos, January 2015

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The fading sun in her eyes…

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On the bridge

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Messages

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Jana, January 2015

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

Thanks for viewing.

What I’m reading right now

I was finally able to get the paperback version of Kirk Tuck’s first novel, called “The Lisbon Portfolio“:

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The Lisbon Portfolio

I’m only some 50 pages in right now, but it seems to be a fun read. Espionage / suspense thriller, and for photographers I consider this a good one already. And now you have to excuse me – can’t wait to finish Kirk’s book…

Thanks for viewing.

P.S. (Update, from Tuesday, Oct. 14th, 2014):

I’ve finished it. Yesterday evening or rather this morning at 3 minutes past 12 (midnight). Just couldn’t stop.

And it’s a real nice book. Fits right in the list of spy fiction authors, and people like Jeffery Deaver, James Patterson, or the Kellermans (Jonathan and his wife Faye) come to mind. And while as a first it’s not as polished and perfect as these, it’s fresh instead.

If you know Kirk’s Blog and have seen some of his photos, you’ll admire how he describes the ‘making of’ of some of them.

This is no book review, so I’ll stop here. But I really recommended it to Mitchie already, since our bookshelf is full of the authors mentioned above, so I think she’ll love it as I did.

So this is really recommended, especially to photographers, but also to fans of the modern espionage thriller genre.

Three from yesterday’s school party

Zuleikha’s class had a goodbye party yesterday, where they performed a theatre play, showed some of the stuff they made, and invited for snacks and so on. I took photos, while Mitchie made a video of the play. Of course we know these people and respect their privacy, so I can’t show any photos of people here without asking them first. So here are three which I can show:

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Mitchie’s camera, set up to record a video of a theatre play at school (E-PL5 photographed by E-PL5)

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Zuleikha, proud artist

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Paper owl, made by Zuleikha

Thanks for viewing.

My DSLR, long

So today I had the longer 40-150mm “kit zoom” lens on my DSLR, but I didn’t have time to take too many photos. Therefore, I’ll show you one from today and one older one again:

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Leaves. Olympus E-520 and 40-150mm lens at 150mm.

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Arno, June 2013. Olympus E-520 and 40-150mm lens at 150mm.

In that second one you see how you can blur the background on closer distances to your subject. The first one above is a bit “busy”, but you can also see how thin the depth of field really is – one of those leaves is really sharp.

Also a really nice lens, and for the price as good as unbeatable. A long zoom like this is really recommended if you want to concentrate onto a single subject, and leave as much as possible out of the frame. Or to blur it into oblivion like in picture #2.

Now I have to find some even nicer light, maybe at those golden or blue hours of the days. Oh well, maybe on the weekend which lays ahead.

Thanks for reading.

A 135mm equivalent angle of view

Today I was in the mood for something a bit longer than usual. When I started with analog film photography, I had lenses with 28, 50, and 135mm, and I wanted to see and to get a feeling for the latter again.

On Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds cameras, you have sensors with roughly a quarter of the area of film, which means they have a so-called “crop factor” of two. So as a substitute for my 135mm film-aera lens, I had to use something around 67.5mm to get an almost similar angle of view (beside the differences in formats; (Micro) Four Thirds has a 4:3 format, while 24x36mm film was of course 3:2).

The only lens I have in that focal range is my Zuiko Digital 40-150mm zoom lens, so I decided to use that one today, first on the Olympus E-520 DSLR, and later with a cheap Viltrox autofocus adapter on my E-PL5 “Pen”-type camera. So here are some photos I took with that lens today:

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Toys on Arno’s monitor. E-520 with the lens at 64mm.

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Through the roof of Arno’s car. E-520 with the lens at 64mm.

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Soup. E-520 with the lens at 67mm.

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Corpse. E-PL5 with the lens at 70mm.

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Zuleikha. E-PL5 with the lens at 67mm.

Differences? Well yes. First, the lens was made for the phase detection autofocus of the DSLR. Which means it’s lots faster on it, but not as precise as on the Pen which uses a contrast-based autofocus technique. Second, it’s sharper on the “Pen”, not only because that one has more megapixels (16 instead of 10), but also because it has a much thinner or almost non-existent anti-aliasing filter in front of its sensor. And another part of the reason for the higher sharpness is the contrast-based autofocus – I said already that it’s more precise than fast.

As part of my DSLR double zoom kit, this lens was and still is an absolute bargain, and as such an easy recommendation. If you have – or plan to get – a Micro Four Thirds camera, there’s also an M.Zuiko version of it today, and some dealers offer these as a rip-off from double zoom kits from around 150€ or so, which is still a very nice proposition.

If – like me – you have a Micro Four Thirds camera and like faster lenses or even fixed focal length lenses, you have several other options in that focal range:

– the Panasonic 35-100mm/2.8 zoom is one of them. Costly, but very very good. And Olympus is planning to release something similar, even with a tripod collar if I remember correctly
– the cheapest fixed focal “prime” lens option with autofocus would be the Sigma 60mm/2.8 “Art” lens, of which I keep reading only the best comments. Very nice portrait lens or general short tele for not too much money (around 200€ or so)
– then there is the probably most versatile one: the Olympus 60mm/2.8 Macro. Maybe three times the price of that Sigma, but if you want or need a macro lens, it’s worth every penny of it. Comparable with my Zuiko 50mm/2 macro, which says a lot.
– and last not least one of the kings or poster childs of Micro Four Thirds: the awesome Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm/1.8 – probably the best lens of the whole system so far. Costs about as much as the Panasonic (or Olympus) zoom, but if you really want to “melt” away the background of portraits with Micro Four Thirds, you don’t really have any better option. For even shallower depth of field, you would need one of the old, heavy, and super expensive Zuiko Pro Grade lenses with aperture 2, which are still available bust cost north of 2000€. Or you’d need a real 135mm/2 on a “full frame” camera. The cheapest of these would be a Canon 135mm/2 which is offered starting slightly under 1000€ (like the 75/1.8 from Olympus). See this or this photo from Elena – or more from her impressive collection – to get the idea.

Thanks for reading.