Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life's little surprises

Why do I like this picture? The staring bulbous eyes, the straight face coming through the clown's make-up, the sharp lines made by the pole and, finally, the little drawing on the pole that looks a bit like him.

Along with the shots you hope to get while out on the street shooting, there are always the surprises that await you around every corner. That is the great thing about street photography. It helps to keep your eyes open and looking around (and not always pinned to the little display on the camera!). I'll repeat a few rules here for up-and-coming street photographers:
1. Keep your camera on. Carry an extra battery pack.
2. Keep your lens cap off. A lens hood will protect your camera nearly as well as the cap.
3. Notice what's going on around you so that you can anticipate the action and be prepared for it.
4. Keep your camera's ISO speed high if you want to capture the action (and not just the blur).

 At a small Carnival parade in Forsbach outside of Cologne, I got this shot because I noticed the Red Cross jackets gathered just off the main route. For me, this sums up the parade atmosphere perfectly. The drummer has a bad cut on his hand and will have to be sewn up. The first-aid worker is calling in the information but still holding onto the bag of candy which she has caught during the parade.

Near the Rhine this couple was sitting and talking about something apparently fairly serious. The expression on the man's face is priceless. The various patterns make for an interesting photo.

A shot for background fans: I waited for a couple of costumed people to walk in front of the House of Cologne's Artisanry. The annual parade is an important part of the city's trade status.

Here I was shooting for the spots of color within this frame. "Toi, toi" means "good luck" to Germans in certain situations. Here it means "porta-potty".


  1. dont get where to^^

    Name: Julian Klingholz
    Matrikelnummer: 24412

    Research about light concerning Photography

    Photography is described as „painting with light“. So i was curious about the use of light and the handling of yet existing light sources.
    During my researches I found a hole lot of great pictured tips that explained their help with examples to set an impression of what they were talking about.

    Others were interesting in matter but distracted with sometimes confusing constelations.

    An very ambitious webpage is
    Once I stumbled over it I spend most of my research time at this extraordinary collection of tutorials and pictured explanations. Even though you have to register (for free) its worth it's 15 seconds of spent time because afterwards you gain access to a splendid compilation of about 2200 pictured tutorials and about 30 video tutorials.
    The know how is brought to you by beautiful pictures that make you want to get started.
    The site also contains a enormous forum that is heavy frequented and builds bridges to other media relations. Your questions are answered quickly and polite.
    What excited me most was a special contest area in which always competitions and battles of all kind are offered. That sucks you inside and keeps you in for the long term.

    After all it's reliving that beneath amateurs and semi pros there are some really ambitious professional photographers involved.
    To me a great webpage I could recommend to everybody.

    1. Very interesting links, Julian. The last one you mention is indeed a gold mine!

  2. Before I'm off to Bochum to join the Orchesterakademie of the Bochumer Symphoniker for one week (Stravinsky - yeeah!), I'd like to give some short reviews of some sites I found on the www.

    The Kirlian Photography is a possibility to conserve electrical discharges as a photograph. In the 'traditional' Kirlian Photography a high voltage is applied between a photographic film on a metal plate (or a plate of sheet metal) and the device to be captured, thus it is a analog procedure. On this website I found a possibility to easily shoot Kirlian images with your digital camera as well. Very interesting!

    All (well not really, but at least a lot of stuff) about macro photography, the page also contains a bit about basic photography rules and photography workflow, ...

    One of my absolute favorite pages about scientific photography.Ultra-shorttime photography, X-Ray-Flash-Photography, Schlieren Photography and much more.
    I really like this crazy stuff - I've already tried some of this, it's really fun!

    Did you ever want to shoot your own X-Ray-Photographs? Its not too hard to buil your own X-Ray-Head, but watch out not to become impotent...

    There are lots of crazy stuff one can do with some basic physic knowledge, a camera and maybe a bit of mental damage - so if you are interested, just ask me ;)

    Have phun and try not to kill yourselves!

    1. Thanks for your links, Johannes. One can tell you like the scientific approach to photography!