Monday, November 21, 2011

Shopping and shooting at night

Shopping and shooting at night

Twice a year (in April and November), the Swabians go crazy and let people shop until they drop (or until midnight, whichever comes first). A couple of weeks ago, I went shooting with my photo friend Stephen to further test the nighttime abilities of my new A77. I was using both the Minolta 1.7/50mm prime lens and the Minolta 4/70-210 zoom, also known as the 'beercan' (because it looks like one!).
Obviously, the zoomed-in pictures were taken with the beercan. I wouldn't normally post two zooms at once, but the one above seems perfect to illustrate this story. And the one below I just love. When you are hand-holding a long lens like that, it is difficult to hold the camera steady so you can get straight lines.

The city had paid for various types of illumination, mostly elfinly phallic orange cones, signifying...I don't know what. Firelight perhaps? The evening was mild for early November, so Stephen and I were able to enjoy the sights from 6:30-11:00 pm.

The evening was devoted to the retail merchants, who did a good bit of business that evening, even though their winter clothes - such as these hats - stayed on the shelf because no one really wanted to believe that cold weather was on its way.

Buy me!
We got something to eat after watching the St. Martin's Day parade march past the Neues Schloß in the dark. Not even 6400 ISO could salvage a good picture of that parade. It will remain a challenge for yet another year. Here's a picture for those of you who have never seen a German St. Martin's parade. It's usually very cold and the kids (and parents) are hungry and no one knows but the first verse of the songs that are being sung (badly) to the accompaniment of the cold, out of tune brass instruments.

The Königstrasse was full of people, including street musicians from Chile who play new age Indio music and dress up for the Europeans.

The city had also paid for a few special acts, such as the fire twirlers. They put on quite a show for the several hundred on-lookers. It was difficult to get a good place to watch from but with the flip-out screen on the A77 I could easily shoot above the crowd's heads.

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