Tuna the cat, sleeping, with Mitchie’s 20mm lens

Had the camera on -0.3EV when I took this, but it had to be corrected to +0.5EV during post. Even at ISO 800, this push of +0.8 steps still gave a nice result. The camera was set to black & white without a simulated filter, and using RawTherapee I toned the image a bit with pushing the lights of the ‘b’ curve in LAB mode to +18 – in my opinion that fits the ‘old fashioned’ look of a b&w image taken with a 40mm-equivalent lens:


Tuna the cat, sleeping on Zuleikha’s bed, April 2014

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Thursday: two photos taken with the “kit zoom”

Wow. A week off isn’t much – these days are going much too fast. It’s Thursday already, and today we even didn’t leave the house, tho it was warmer outside than in.

I played around with the “kit zoom” of my Olympus E-PL5 camera, taking about the equivalent of a roll of film (about 35 shots or so). Some I can’t show, but here are two from today:


Zuleikha, April 2014


Long way down

Both taken with ISO 800 and the lens as wide open as the focal length allowed. These lenses have the best price-/performance-ratio you can get, and for a photographer who’s just beginning, they’re possibly the best way to get into it all. Very convenient, and more than good enough, especially for a walk-around lens during daytime. I don’t use mine that often, since I prefer my fixed focal length lenses with 14, 25, and 45mm, but this one almost covers the range of these three. Just get one of these if you plan to buy a camera. It might be everything you really need.

Thanks for reading.

The night sky

It’s Wednesday morning already, and I’m still awake. Which isn’t unusual when I have a week off like now, but because yesterday during daytime I didn’t take a single photo (instead several of me were taken – which I don’t have yet), I decided to leave the flat way after dinner for a short walk around town.

I did take some photos, but looking at this night’s sky was what amazed me the most. So here are two photos from around the old and new protestant churches – I did take one from the first place already some time ago, but still:


The sky above 1/2


The sky above 2/2

Both taken with the Panasonic Lumix 14mm/2.5 lens on my Olympus E-PL5 camera. Slightly auto-cropped due to rotation correction. I had to manually focus the lens for the second one, because it was much darker in reality than what you see here. But with magnification in the electronic viewfinder that still worked quite well, even if that “Live View” appeared to be a bit noisy – yes, it was that dark.

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Easter Sunday and Monday

Easter was quiet & easy this year, at least for us. We had thought about visiting my dad, but he didn’t feel too well and asked us to rather come another time. So yesterday we were invited for a barbecue in the garden of some friends, where I took these two:


Easter eggs


Tic tac toe

And today we’ve followed a tip of one of our neighbours and went to Gernsheim, which is some 20km south of Gross-Gerau in the direction of Mannheim. Here are three photos from this short trip:


River Rhine at Gernsheim


Not the bridge of Avignon – we can do the same…


Ferry over the Rhine, in Gernsheim

The two photos from yesterday were taken with the Olympus 45mm/1.8 lens, the three from today with the PanaLeica 25mm/1.4 and a polarizer.

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Two more from Wednesday, five from today

From my lunch walk on Wednesday:





And from a short walk of today:


Ruins of a former concentration camp


A stone of a former concentration camp


Detail of one of the wooden bridges over Gundbach


This was once a living thing as well



All taken with an Olympus E-PL5 camera and a Panasonic Leica 25mm/1.4 lens.

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Plants, in- and outside the office

Today I saw a nice article and some great photography by Thomas Stirr. He sometimes takes photos of flowers with telephoto lenses, so I thought: “why not?”, and mounted my 40-150mm lens onto my “Pen” camera. Then, during lunch break only, I looked around and took these:


A plant inside the office


A plant outside the office

Of course these can’t compete with what Thomas shows. But since I had less than an hour for that lunch break, and tho the first one isn’t “critically” sharp (it’s hand-held with 1/13 of a second with an equivalent of 300mm at ISO 5000), it’s a beginning. Should do this more often, like Mitchie (my wife) also does.

Inspirational article, and if you like flower and nature photography, he’s well worth a look.

Thanks for viewing.

Impressions from a Sunday walk

The weather forecast is: April weather, and most of Germany has it already as we’re told in the news. So today I decided to make use of the sunlight we were still having around here, and to take a walk. I took a camera and a lens, or to be a bit more specific, my E-PL5 “Pen” type camera with its 14-42mm “kit zoom” lens. And all of the following photos were taken at 17mm:


German ICE train


New life




Plane spotters at Frankfurt airport


Plane spotters at Frankfurt airport




Modern cell tower behind historical airplane


Rhein-Main Air Base


Direction: upwards


Light at the end of the tunnel



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Surrogating room light with flash

From the place where I sit at my computer I looked right – and saw one of Zuleikha’s small backpacks laying on the ground, lit by only the room light from the kitchen. “What a nice picture” I thought, and took my DSLR and measured it with 1.3 seconds (lens fully open at f/2, and ISO 100).

Yeah, I could have taken a tripod to take that photo, but I thought about something else instead. How if I would just mimic that room light with using a flash?

So I took my Yongnuo YN-460II and set it onto a radio remote, put it on a shelf in the kitchen and pointed it to the ceiling, just over the room light. I switched the flash to full power, and then I went back and measured again. The meter said f/2.2 with ISO 100, and this is how I took it:


One of Zuleikha’s

The difference? Mainly two or three:

First, the shadows from the original room light are harder and sharper – it’s a more direct light; I could have faked that also with just going nearer to the ceiling with my flash (and thus, making the light source appear smaller). Used that way, I could have tried with half power instead of full.

Second, instead of 1.3 seconds I could use 1/160th, the maximum sync speed of my DSLR. So this is probably sharper.

And third, flashlight has of course more blue components than any other artificial light source. That means that the camera doesn’t have to increase that blue channel that much, which would also increase noise. So when you use light which is pretty much like sunlight, you’ll end up with great colours and a clean picture.

So whenever you see something nicely lit in the evening, think about using a flash to simulate the light you already have. It could pay off, especially if it’s something more beautiful and precious than just a backpack 😉

What should one learn from this? Photography is all about light, and if there’s not enough of it, then go and create some light. Happy flashing…

Thanks for reading.