get the best out of your long exposure shots.

Long exposure shots are nice and quite frankly a loooot of fun. At least when you finally meet somebody that teaches you how to do it. I’m not gonna lie, for a long time I used mainly the P mode in my Nikon (P for Program Automatic) and while I still felt that I was getting good results, a new world opens up when you finally start shooting in half or full manual mode (thanks to Julio who taught me).

SHOOTING: WAITING FOR THE BLUE HOUR

For my last Frankfurt shooting we met shortly before sunset to make use of the blue hour that lasts usually around half an hour after sunset (golden hour is half an hour before sunset). In doubt, check this calculator, works perfect for me.

DATA: CAM // LENS // EXIF

Nikon D7200 // Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 // f/11 20s ISO100 10mm

RESULT Out of Cam (OOC)

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BASIC IMAGE PROCESSING IN CAMERA RAW

The result out of cam without any editing is not bad but nothing like what you usually see around the internet which can actually be very frustrating. Believe me, I understand that very well, I’m trying with every new picture to get better and better. So this here is not coming from an expert, but from someone that is sharing what he’s learning along the way with you.

My first step is to open the RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw (opens immediately when you drag the file into Photoshop). Looks ok, not great. Here are my steps to improve the shot:

  1. Lens correction: if you’re using a current model it is likely that the lens will be detected and distortion and vignetting will be corrected atomatically
  2. In the basic settings, I start correcting by bringing highlights and whites a little down, while bringing shadows a bit up. I also bring up clarity quite a bit and vibrance a little. Although I’m a huge fan of contrast, with night shots, I usually take it down a bit. In this case, increasing the exposure also seems suitable.
  3. Going to HSL, adjust colors simply to how they seem right to you. Some people hate green, some don’t like orange or yellow. You’re free to work on saturation and luminance of each color and even shift single colors. Here, I’m going mainly for a more intense blue.
  4. Final step: adding a little sharpening, but careful to not sharpen the whole piece (masking amount high) and the radius not too much (around 1,8 is usually the max)

RESULT AFTER CAMERA RAW

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FINAL WORDS:

I also learned (again, thanks to Julio), that a great and easy way to give architecture pictures a stronger impact is to straighten buildings in Photoshop, especially because of the distortion coming from wide angle lenses. In this case, let us leave it like that, the distortion seems quite ok for me.

Let’s see if we make these editing instructions a regular thing.

 

where I stayed: Hotel Adler, Madrid.

Recently we went for a spontaneous weekend trip from Frankfurt to Madrid, always to get out of the daily rut. Besides the fact that Madrid had fantastic 35 degrees, lots of great food and drinks waiting for us, the cherry on top was the 5* hotel we stayed at: Hotel Adler.

We were lucky enough to get the fantastic Junior Suite which was spacious, classic and felt very upscale.

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Those are only short impressions from the room, I can tell you that the bathroom is actually as big as our apartment in Frankfurt (at least it felt like it).

Obviously, food is extremely important, so when I think about how a hotel was, I think of their breakfast. And I can tell you, this one will be in good memory. No buffet breakfast, instead a proper, well made breakfast. Scrambled eggs with bacon there: you have to try it.

Here is the entrance of the hotel:

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Besides this, extremely friendly staff that helped us out with some guidance and insights on where to go in Madrid. The staff was so friendly to let me take some more pictures of other rooms, e.g. the Presidential Suite.

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All in all, I think you get the idea: if you have the chance, stay there, you won’t regret it.

 

Contact details:

Hotel Adler homepage

Hotel Adler facebook

 

Frankfurt at night.

Pictures say more than a thousand words, so they say. Then I try to keep my mouth shut and show you what I shot the other day from Lindner Plaza in Frankfurt. 32 degrees, no clouds, empty terrace, what more can you ask for?

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sound of silence.

…this is kind of what it feels like around here. While I’m getting more and more active and focusing on my instagram channel, my actual “home” where it started is becoming one of those desert scenes in western movies where straw flies from one side to the other.

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This will not be like this forever, I just have too many ideas in my head what to do, at the same time no clue what ACTUALLY to follow.

It’s funny, when you start blogging, you’ll see a lot of fellow bloggers posting about how they had been distracted lately and why they didn’t post for a while. I think I got to that point but at the same time not thinking that somebody actually reads this. The blogging world does not revolve around me.

So after this stunning discovery, have a great Sunday and somewhen (ahorita / irgendwann) I’ll get to make some changes around here. Until then: stay updated by following my instagram feed: instagram mybeardandmypenguin

Cheers to all of you (who might be reading this nevertheless)

photo shoot with Vicky.

Had a spontaneous photo shoot in Frankfurt around the East Harbour (Osthafen) with Vicky who did a great job and was extremely uncomplicated. Although it was only a short one, I am pretty satisfied with the results. See for yourself.DSC_4570DSC_4593DSC_4618DSC_4640DSC_4646

what I ate in Rome, Italy.

Not sure if this is an universal thing but whenever we go to places where lots of tourists go to (and Rome is definitely one of those places), it can be quite tricky to find something that is (or at least feels) local and “real”. One trick always helps.

Cannot stress this enough: TripAdvisor and mainly the iPhone app is the most powerful tool for me during a trip. Ah, just to point it out, this is not sponsored. I normally download the city guide before a trip so that even on flight mode you can track where you are and what’s around you. Reviews and an estimate of how expensive each restaurant is, are always (and I mean always) a great help. Like this I managed to never feel like a ripped off tourist whether it was in New York, Amsterdam, London or Rome.

And here are my three recommendations for Rome. All lovely, small places that will give you something special and at first you’d walk past it.

Panepiu Bistrot

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This bistrot has fantastic sandwiches (as you can see in the picture also hot dogs but we didn’t try those) and all three that I tasted were all simply tasty and felt very unique. Ingredients were Italian ham, Italian cheese and baguette of great quality. Sandwiches are usually below 5 Euro, great value for money. Have you heard of those soulless sandwiches by Subway? Yeah, better go here.

TripAdvisor link.

facebook link.

homepage.

 

E.G.G.

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  1. After experiencing the Vatican in all its epicness (it is pretty epic) at 33 degrees, hunger attacks you when you least need it. But again the app helped out and we found this little pasta place. Homemade pasta that is of great quality. I tried the Carbonara and what can I say? It was great, haven’t had a Carbonara of that quality EVER in Germany. Well, not that surprising. Either way, if you’re around the Vatican, go here (currently number 22 on TripAdvisor for whole Rome).

TripAdvisor link.

facebook link.

 

Pasta Chef – Street Food Gourmet

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There is a reason why this little place (just around the corner of the Colosseum by the way)  is currently number 1 (!) out of 9.222 restaurants in Rome. An owner that is simply a great guy welcomes you friendly and with patience, no rush over here. Although the place is not huge, chances are good to find a spot to eat. We actually came twice because it was simply delicious at a great price (no main dish is more than 10 Euro). The pasta is probably one of the best I’ve tried in my life.

TripAdvisor link.

facebook link.

homepage.