While in Berlin for Business I took a small time slot to quickly check out the Reichstag Dome and the Brandenburg Gate. Two iconic sites in Berlin!
This is another story of being ready when an opportunity comes up. As mentioned on other occasion I travel whenever possible with my camera. And I try to use every opportunity to snap a cityscape. Having been to Cologne for an all day meeting I first did not expect that there will be a chance in my filled schedule to really take a shot anywhere in Cologne. I had about one and a half hours to spend before picking up a co-worker at the airport. So how to best spend the time?
This is how I approached it: I used my iPhone to check google pictures and 500px for cologne photos. Realized that besides the dome and Hohenzollernbridge there was not much to see and not much in terms of beautiful cityscape or skyline. So that was set. Now for the best location to shoot I used google maps and went straight for the Hyatt Regency opposite the river from the Dom to park my car. Easy enough so far! There are however two shortcomings with any of the apps and tools one can use on a smartphone: it doesn’t tell you that is is raining pretty hard outside and it also does not tell you that there is a construction along the whole riverbank from the Hohenzollernbridge to the Deutzer Bridge and with that no access to the water front as everything is sealed of with a tall, ugly and pretty high fence! That is frustrating to realize. But who would I be as travel photographer trying to “make” and not just “use” opportunities if that would stop me! So I had to walk around the area to find spots that gave me at least a somewhat satisfactory view on the left side of the Hohenzollernbridge containing the bridge and the Dom. The first two shots show what I managed to get there. Then I went up onto the bridge to find a chain fence fencing of the rail tracks that was filled to burst with love locks. I have seen many places with these locks before, but never before such an abundance of locks. So I thought … what a great shot if I can get the locks together with the Dom. Shot number three is what turned out. Then on to the other side of the bridge because I wondered why I had never seen a photo of the bridge and Dom from the right side of the bridge. And interesting enough this side makes for a pretty good shooting location too and there was NO CUNSTRUCTION going on! So I took a few shots on this side as well. The last couple shots show the opposite of what everybody else is shooting and we therefore all are used to see.
There was only one litte downside to that photo outing. The time to shoot was actually too late. The sun had set shortly after 5pm and I was at the location at about 6:15pm so it was completely dark. But that’s life. When photography is a hobby and only comes when the work is done … one has to take what’s available. But then again that ended up still being positive as it was raining anyway and rainy Cologne looks less appealing then Cologne at night.
Hope you enjoy the photos
As a photographer who loves landscape photography there are certainly a lot of landmarks to see and shoot. But then there are those natural wonders that are even more enticing. Certainly one of these is Aurora Borealis.
Everyone interested in Aurora Borealis knows that NOW IS THE TIME TO GO AND SEE THEM! So my daughter who is into photography went ahead and booked a Northern Light photo tour with Hurtigruten and Frank Wolliger a German photographer. Well it goes without mention – I could not let her go on her own – so I booked the same tour 😉
As it goes with nature, things don’t always develop as planned. The weather was good for only a day and a half and the rest of the six day tour was rainy with constantly overcast skies. Nevertheless, we were lucky enough to see Northern Lights of a magnitude (i’m not sure it that is the correct term) of between 2 – 3 for about 15 Min. But we were on a ship! And exactly during the “lightshow” the ship bounced quite heavily on the waves and shooting the light was quite a challenge. Only 2 out of a total of 65 photos I shot were useable at the end. You find them below.
To capture the beauty of the light I used the following camera settings and tools. Manfrotto tripod, cable release, Canon EOS5D Mark III, EF14mm 2.8 lens, aperture set at 2.8, ISO 3200 and between 3s to 6s exposure Time. Now I realize that one would suggest to use longer exposure times of up to 1o or even 15 sec and if possible try to reduce ISO to 1600 or less. Our challenge however, was to get the time as short as possible as the ship was constantly in motion. This would not have been a problem with the capture of the lights, but there was that beautiful star sky as well. You can imagine how the stars looked on most of the pictures with longer exposure times on a bouncing ship!
Norway is such a beautiful country that even without Northern Lights one can capture beautiful sceneries. The light (if there is any in December – the days are extremely short the further north one goes – we had days with 1.5h hours of daylight only!). is fantastic. 2 – 3 hours of beautiful sunrise/sunset light! Just perfect!
Now I hope you enjoy the photos even if there are only a couple with Aurora Borealis . By the way – we were told that the light we’ve seen was a rather rare form with colors ranging from green to red! Sounds good to me – that certainly makes the 15 Min lightshow even more precious 😉 We certainly enjoyed the majestic feeling when seeing Northern Light for the first time in life!
I recently spent a few days together with my wife in the Dolomites, Italy.
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy. It is a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extends from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley. The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino. in 2009 part of the Dolomites has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
The Dolomites is a breathtaking mountain range. See for yourself and enjoy!
Here are a few photos from my last trip to Paris where I not only had the opportunity to dine in the fine Restaurant up on the Eiffel Tower but was able to have guided Tour of one of the Tower’s elevator shafts that was under reconstruction. Amazing and breathtaking is all I can say.
Tokyo is as well one of the cities I get to visit more often for business. This time around I had again just a couple hours to spend for my hobby. In prior research through some tourist sites I found Mori Tower in Ropongi Hills to be a perfect location for my plan. I was hoping for a nice sunset. The whole day was perfect with a few clouds in the sky. It was very hot with temperatures in the mid nineties and it was very humid. This was probably the reason why my sunset got spoiled. Even though we made it through heavy after work traffic just in time to the Sundeck platform of Mori Tower . there was not sunset. The horizon was very cloudy and the air was very smoggy! Having paid for the ride up to the viewing platform with an extra payment for the Sundeck I knew I had to at least wait for the lights to come on in the city to at least get a few night shots.
Ande here is what I got. Enjoy
Once again I visited Paris on one of my business trips. I arrived around 8pm and knew I had to focus on basically one site to take photos. In walking partially to and all the way back to the site there were a few photographic opportunities I took along as all. My target for the day was the Louvre and there the Pyramid. I quickly realized I was in for some pretty decent light with a string sunset but unfortunately an almost clear sky.
The equipment I brought along was my all new Canon EOS 5D MKIII, the 16 – 35mm 2.8 and the 24 – 70mm 2.8 lenses. And I should not forget my Novoflex Minipod. This is the greatest, most stable and smallest tripod I’ve ever used. It folds totally flat is less then a foot long when folded and ways less then 10 oz – and this thing holds 10 pounds absolutely stable with no shake! Oh, I almost forgot – I had my new Hoya ND400 Filter along as well (10 f-stop neutral density filter). What a great tool for long exposures while you still have too much light!!
One thing I learned with photographing while traveling on business – you have to take what you get in terms of weather. location and timing. If you plan ahead and know your schedule, the place you are staying and the times of sunrise and sunset you take away a lot of uncertainty and can predict if it’s worth your while to haul your equipment along to a business dinner. Also if you do some internet scouting of great locations around where you plan to stay, you’ll be most efficient in getting to the chosen locations.
So all it takes is determination (I want to shoot breast pictures while I’m on the road for business), planning ahead of time (location, sunrise and sunset times, weather information) and hauling your equipment around. You would have laughed if you could have seen me in Paris. As I had no room in my luggage for a backpack – my suits had to come first this time 😉 – the only way I could carry my equipment was a plastic bag! I must have looked like my standard living quarters are under one of those lovely bridges over the Saine river in Paris 😉 But keep in mind – It’s not how you look with your equipment, and it’s not your equipment but it is you that makes the difference when you are out shooting!
Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Another business trip with just an hour spare time to quickly visit Hangar 7 at the Salzburg airport. There is a great RedBull museum with race cars, wonderful and and new planes – well just all kinds of great RedBull toys. If you are ever in Salzburg, go and check it out. It’s free and easy to get to – it’s just opposite the runways of Salzburg airport.
A fun place to see.
Back from a business trip to Hong Kong.
As with every trip with limited time – preparation is everything. Google+ comes in pretty handy for this task. I searched for pics I liked, tried to figure out where they were taken, hoped for good shooting weather (whatever that is) and hoped for a long enough time slot to smear away and take some pictures. I had two hours to work with!
I stayed in a hotel in Kowloon and first headed over to Hong Kong Island to get a few pics of Kowloon and the ICC – not a very good idea. So I grabed a taxi and drove back to Kowloon and directly to the ICC – International Commerce Center, Hong Kong’s tallest building with an observation deck on the 100th floor called Sky 100. The ride up cost 150 HK$. You have a 360 degree view around the city, but as is normal for skyscraper observation decks, there are windows and reflections on these windows to merely destroy every opportunity for a decent night shot. So one has to get creative. First I looked for a somewhat clean window corner and had to find a possibility to place my camera as close to the window as possible to prevent to many light reflections. Now a jacket, scarf, Shirt or sweater is needed to block all light around the lens and one is ready to shoot – not an easy task. But it can work 😉
Hope you like some of the shots. I at least enjoyed the challenge!!