Monday, 31 May 2010

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Street Photography Workshop

Today, was the day for my street photography workshop at Foto Koch in Düsseldorf. It was a great opportunity and something I have been looking forward to.

It was a small group of 7 people so made the workshop pretty relaxed. We went over a short presentation I prepared, then had a chat about street photography before we looked over a few of my pictures.
Before breaking for lunch, I set an assignment to go out and take pictures. The day was perfect for street photography with not just the weather being great with lots of people out in the Altstadt but also with the Japanese Days festival taking place. The fastival was great and I was really surprised to see how many people dressed up and were having a great time.
After lunch everyone submitted two of their best pictures so we could discuss them in the group. This was very interesting to hear everybody's comments to the pictures.

The day was great fun but went over too fast so I hope to do this workshop again in the future.

Saturday, 22 May 2010


GRD III, f6.3, 1/330, ISO 100, JPG

Today, a reminder for my street photography workshop in Düsseldorf next Saturday. I hope the weather will be good but the Japan Festival will be on in Düsseldorf so there should be plenty of opportunities to do some street photography.
I have also uploaded a gallery with some of my best street photography here.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Nobody Here

GRD III, f1.9, 1/75, ISO 400, RAW

When I arrived at Frankfurt Airport there was nobody around. Only after walking for a bit I saw this guy sleeping and found the scene very interesting.

Monday, 17 May 2010


RD1s, f0.0, 1/5, ISO 1600, RAW - Taken 12/11/2009

I was not very inspired today. I took a few pictures but deleted all of them, there was nothing I really liked or wanted to keep.
Instead I went through some of my pictures to find some pictures to use as examples for my upcoming workshop. I came across this picture that I really liked when I took it and although it is not perfectly in focus or very sharp, I wanted to process it a bit and see what I can get out of it. It also remind me of a picture from Robert Frank's "The Americans" book which I had a look at recently.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


What do you do if you are out with a non-macro lens but still want to take a closeup of a raindrop?
Well, you could use the compact camera you have along to get a macro shot or simply use the lens for what it's designed to and skip the macro shot. Since I like to improvise, I wondered how to make a macro lens out of a non-macro lens.
I figured if the lens in it's current state can't get closer than 30cm it might work better the other way around. I removed the lens and held it in front of the camera to get a much better macro range. This works very well but can be dangerous outside if you are not careful. The quality is also not as good as with a dedicated macro lens and slightly soft. Still, I like the result I got and you can see it below.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Dawn of the Business People

GF1, f8, 1/800, ISO 250, RAW, 56mm (Leica f2.8 28mm R)

When I saw this scene on my way to work and even after reviewing it on the camera it reminds me of a Zombie movie.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


GF1, f16, 1/1000, ISO 100, RAW, 56mm (Leica f2.8 28mm R)

Maybe not the best picture to introduce my new Leica lens for the GF1 but I liked how the clouds looked and thought it makes a nice picture regardless of the lens used.

One thing is certain though, only after you start using some good legacy lenses on the m4/3 cameras will you see their true potential. Even the highly praised 40mm Panasonic lens is very poor optically when compared to the Leica or the Voigtländer lenses. The contrast, the sharpness, the colors are all different and even my cheap Canon FD lens is superior to the native m4/3 lenses.
The only downside is that the new Leica lens and adapter weight almost more than the GF1 and 40mm lens together. It is worth however for the optical quality and also for proper MF ring around the lens instead of the stupid focus by wire system.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Lady in Red

GF1, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 200, RAW, 80mm (Voigtländer f1.4 40mm M)

Ok, this picture is not properly in focus but I like it anyway. At first I wanted to post is as I took it in b&w but felt that it works much better with the color.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Lovers at Tower Bridge

GXR A12, f2.5, 1/36, ISO 1600, RAW, 50mm

The GXR is equally fun and frustrating to use. I love the handling and build as well as the fantastic lens but the slow and unreliable AF manage to frustrate me to no end every time. I almost missed this picture because the camera mis-focused twice (and took ages to actually get there) and made a lot of noise so I had to manually focus in the end. This works great thanks to the distance and DOF scale but due to the useless magnification it's impossible to see if I focused properly so it's always a guesswork.

Overall, I enjoyed having the GXR with me but wished I would have taken the GF1 instead because it is simply more reliable to get the shot and has a working AF even in low light.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Private Conversation

GF1, f3.5, 1/500, ISO 640, JPG, 100mm (Canon f1.8 50mm FD)

Today, I attended a B&W workshop and have been out shooting during the break. It was interestig to see that to get great results in b&w you can use simple functions in Photoshop. The main thing for me was what to pay attention to when printing pictures.

This picture is a processed JPG where I used curves and selective dodging and burning to try and practice some of the things seen in the workshop.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Monday, 3 May 2010

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Flash Photography with Cristian - Part 1

No picture today, the weather was not great and I was not inspired. Instead you get a free flash workshop. :)

Imagine you are out with friends drinking and want to take some pictures, I know this is not difficult to imagine. Now, you have basically two options, you can use the on-board flash:

...ugh, maybe not.

You could boost the ISO and get a picture with a lot of noise:

This is much better but still not great.

Now you are out of options or are you?

Well, you could try to use a huge external flash and bounce it but seriously, would you want to carry this on a night out? Most likely not.

There is however another way to get great pictures and all it requires are things you would already have if you are out drinking with friends, beers and other colored drinks. If your camera has a pop-up flash (which most proper cameras have) you can use it together with your drinks to create great flash images.

All you have to do is enable the flash and hold a glass in front of the flash but not the lens and take your picture (see the 2nd picture in this post). Hold it as close as possible to avoid shadows but even with shadows it you can create great effects.

Try experimenting with different colored drinks and have fun but drink responsibly or you won't have enough of the drinks left to take more pictures. ;)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Mayday Protesters

Yesterday, I got my new Olympus 14-42mm m4/3 lens. While it's pretty plasticky and a very slow kit lens with f3.5-f5.6 it is small enough when collapsed and good as an all-rounder lens for holidays, it was also cheap enough. Still, I hope either Olympus or Panasonic will release a decent zoom lens for m4/3 like the one on the LC1 and not more of these useless slow kit lenses.
Today, I got the chance to try out the lens and take some pictures of the May Day protests. It performed very well although the zoom was counter intuitive for me since it's the 'wrong way round' compared to the LC1. It would have also been nicer if it would ocus faster or at least not be so slow when zoomed in.
Still, I really like it and would recommend it over the Panasonic kit lens because of the size and cheaper price. Sure, the Panasonic is optically better and has IS but neither are good or fast enough so I rather take the smaller and lighter lens.

Don't ask me how but all pictures I selected for this series ended up being taken at 84mm, will post more at different focal lengths in the next days.