Sonntag, 19. August 2012

Bilder / Pictures: Olympia Stadium Berlin, Germany

Pentax K-7

After the fantastic games in London I thought a picture from another olympic Stadium could do no harm. Here is one from Berlin, Germany. I heard, in the bowl you see on the picture, burnt the first olympic fire of the games since 1894.

Donnerstag, 2. August 2012

Book review: Light - Science & Magic by Fil Hunter

Lighting is the language of photography:… that's how the authors explain the meaning of light to photos. But first of all they just explain that every reader – not only the profis - could use their hints. Nobody has to be afraid of a secret-science. Lighting is just (understandable) physics. And one essential advice they give: try every example they gave in this book, only that's the way to learn a correct lighting. That's basically right, but I think not many of the readers have a large light for a proper illumination at home.

But first thinks first: Every book about „doing things“ or procedures has to talk about basics. And so did the authors: What is light, what is contrast? What are colors? What about shadows? What is the relationship between light, the subject of the photo and the viewers? What is reflection and much more basics you have to know. But it's only a short view of the basic physics. Quick they go into practical photography and how to light several objects or situations. So it's much more a practical than a theoretical book.

This book contains not only hints for beginners, it although addresses the experienced photographer and points out devices like a gobo (Do you know what a gobo is and how to use it? No? Go and read the book?) or how to use large lighs. All this they do by explaining concret situations: how to light objects with uneven surfaces, how to reveal the shape of an object, working with metal and much more. The authors use a lot of common objects for their example pictures, like cigar boxes, glasses or metal spatulas, so everybody should be able to repeat their photographing at home. Even the correct lights in portraits is an aspect in this book.

The writing is very interesting and you will not be bored even when the authors write a lot about technical stuff. But if you want to improve your lighting abilities, you have to know basics things about the physics and behaviour of light and you should know about practical examples.

A real helpful book and I hope I could improve my photographic abilities.

Dienstag, 10. Juli 2012

Bilder / Pictures: Phaeno

Phaeno - an experience museum in Wolfsburg (Germany).

Phaeno - discovered the world today already ?


Phaeno - ein Experimentiermuseum in Wolfsburg.

Phaeno - Da staunst du.

HDR - Tone-mapping with Oloneo HDREngine

All pictures: Pentax K-7

Samstag, 7. Juli 2012

Bilder / Pictures: Jüdisches Museum in Berlin

Last week I was in the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The architecture is from Daniel Libeskind, but I don't like the outside architecture very much. The house is very interesting, when you could see it from the sky:

Jewish Museum Berlin from sky

But inside it's real exciting.


Letzte Woche war ich im Jüdischen Museum in berlin. Die Architektur ist von Daniel Libeskind, aber ich mag die Verkleidung des Gebäudes nicht besonders. Interessant ist es, wenn man es aus der Luft betrachten kann:

Jüdisches Museum Berlin aus der Luft

Und innen ist es sehr aufregend.

Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012

Book review: Practical HDR by David Nightingale

Today I want to recommend a book from „focal press“; it's „Practical HDR“ from David Nightingale.

HDR-Photography – High Dynamic Range – is a possibility to capture scenes with a high dynamic range, that meens, with very bright and dark parts in one picture. The classic example is a picture of a bright window in a dark wall. When you take your camera you will got a right exposed wall and an overexposend window or a right exposed window and an underexposed wall. The best solution would be to take the right exposed parts of every picture and stitch them together, so you will get a right exposed picture overall. That's the goal of HDR-Photography.

First of all Nightingale explains the basics, in example why your camera captures such difficult scenes in another way than your eyes and tell you how to read a histogram. Very interesting are their effects on photography.

The second part will guide you through cameras, with which it is possible to create HDR-Images and the gear you would need. You will be amazed, that the most cameras are adequate for HDR-Photography. If you want to create a serious HDR-Image mostly only a tripod is inevitable.

Then it's time to get practical. Sure, you could use the HDR-Mode of your camera, if you want it easy and your camera have one, but will you be satisfied with the result? It's better to shoot a bracketed exposure sequence and then merging the pictures together. To create the typical HDR-style you need to edit the picture – this design-step calls tone-mapping.

But if you are going to merge the pictures and want to edit them afterwards, you need a software. Nightingale introduce the reader to some programs, like Photoshop CS5, Oloneo PhotoEngine or HDR Efex Pro. All these programs you have to buy and they will cost you 100 Euro and up (a tip from me: try Oloneo HDREngine, it costs about the half of the other programs and do its job although pretty well). He explains only those steps you really need to create a HDR-Image and not the whole bunch of possibilities those programs give you into your hands..

If you are in using only opensource software – and there are possibilities on the market for HDR-Photography – this book don't have to much information for you. Nightingale explains explicit with the mentioned programs how to merge and edit the pictures. It's difficult to transfer the hints from Photoshop CS 5 to Gimp because of the different levers you have to use. I wouldn't recommend this book to Gimp or Luminance users (an opensource program to create HDR-Images).

The last part tells you something about creating a pseudo-HDR-image from one raw-file and its problems, especially the noise in those pictures.

That's it... now you have to be able to create your own HDR-Images.

What else should I have to tell you? Right: the book is peppered with HDR-Images. And a very good part of this book is, that Nightingale explains, how he reached the results or you could read in a small table at the side of the most pictures, which calibration the photographer used. So you have a whole bunch of tips for your first steps in HDR-Photography.

If I could give this book five stars, I would give it only 4 because Nightingale ignored opensource programs for HDR-Photography. This would be an enrichment in the hopefully coming next edition.

Samstag, 30. Juni 2012

Pictures / Bilder: My first HDR-pictures...

Now I'm trying to go into HDR-photography, too. These are my first pictures from the Berlin Victory Column (Siegessäule). I mapped them with the Oloneo HDREngine.

Pentax K-7, Tamron 18-200mm f/3,5-6,3 IF Macro

Pentax K-7, Sigma 28mm f/2,8 Super-Wide II

Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012

Bilder / Pictures: Queen Elizabeth 60 year reign

A fifth place in a challenge on DPReview. What would be the queen without her guards?


Ein fünfter Platz in einem Fotowettbewerb auf DPReview. Ist das nichts? Was wäre die Queen ohne ihre Wachen?

Leica Digilux 2

Montag, 25. Juni 2012

Bilder / Pictures: Some more blossoms

I like flower-photography, obviously. But I hope I could add up some architecture-pics, because I will travel to Wolfsburg (Germany) to see a rather unique museum: Das Phaeno.

Phaeno - Discovered the world today already ?


Offensichtlich mag ich Blumen als Bildobjekte... Nun gut, ich hoffe demnächst mal etwas Architektur-Fotografie dazuzustellen, denn ich werde das Phaeno besuchen:

Phaeno - Da staunst du

Freitag, 22. Juni 2012

Bilder / Pictures: I have proof - the world is a ball ...

Ich habe das Bild - oder besser die Bilder - heute früh mit meiner kleinen Canon gemacht und mit Microsoft ICE zusammengefügt...
In the morning I made these pictures and stitched them with Microsoft ICE...

Canon IXUS 300 HS

Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2012

My Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3

Now to a cheap but wonderful little lens from Tamron. I just bought it a second time. The first for my Pentax K-7 and now the second one for a Nikon d3200. The lens I talk about is the Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro.

It's an all-pupose-lens. It can't compete with prime-lenses but it's a very good alternative, when you don't want to take your whole camera-equipment with you. If you own a beginner-consumer-DSLR like the d3200 by Nikon, then this is a good lens, when you don't want to buy the expensive lenses from the camera manufacturer. And with a price of about 160,00 Euro / $ 299,00 I think everyone could affort it.

It's a plastic-lens (the body, not the lenses) but that don't mean, it have a bad build-quality. No, nothing hang loose, nothing squeaks when you use the zoom. And that changes not a bit during the live-cycle of the lens. My first lens is now about a year old and as good as new. And with such a range up to 200mm it's a short build lens.

left: Pentax K-7 with the Tamron in 200mm-mode (approx. 19cm long)
right: Nikon d3200 with the Tamron in 18mm-mode (approx. 10cm long)
The extraordinary camera strap I bought in 1991 in Florida / Disney's Magic Kingdom !

And now, the important question: How about the picture quality?

A short answer: For a price that low you can't get a better all-purpose-lens.

On both following pictures you see the sharpness of the lens. It doesn't matter if you use the 200mm – like on the picture with the two wild hounds – or the macro-function – like on the photo with the coffee. The camera have a great part in the sharpness of the pictures to play but the lens have to fit to the potential of the camera. And the Tamron lens fit to every camera. At least to my K-7 and d3200, so why should it not fit to any other DSLR?

both: Nikon d3200

With 18 to 200mm you have a wide range for almost every possible photoshooting. Any other questions? Sure. Everyone talks about the Bokeh when it comes to macro-photography. It's the blur or fuzziness in the background of a macro-photo. But let a picture talk for itself:

Pentax K-7

I don't have a sample-pic for a 18mm-photo in a town. But be aware that 18mm means slopey houses especially at the edge of the photos. So please don't use the 18mm on your city-trip to whereever. That would be a good possiblity to buy a 40mm prime-lens.

Montag, 18. Juni 2012

Bilder / Pictures: Fading beauties

Es ist Sommer oder zumindest fast, da er ja schließlich erst am 21.07. beginnt. Die Böüten welken aber schon und zeigen ein zweites Mal eine etwas andere und durchaus interessante Pracht:


Now it's summer - although the summer will begin at the 21st July - and the blossoms are fading. But nevertheless they are beautiful. Here are some impressions:

 Pentax K-7, Tamron Asph. LD XR DiII 18-200mm und SMC Pentax-DA 1:2,8 40mm Limited

siehe auch / see although: Blumen in diesem Blog / Flowers in this Blog

Samstag, 16. Juni 2012

Bilder / Pictures: Bornholm

O. k., it's a new blog, so I think I have to make a lot of posts in the beginning. Try out the following pictures, they are from Bornholm (a danish island in the Baltic Sea). Hopefully I could add some more pics after the summer.

Panasonic DMC-FZ50

Ein paar Bilder aus Bornholm, zu denen ich hoffentlich nach dem Sommer noch ein paar weitere dazustellen kann.