A few pictures, not so many words.

Posts tagged “Reisen


Sunset in Sinsheim

Sunset in Sinsheim

Airplanes on display and the sun setting at the car and engineering museum of Sinsheim, Germany


Winter Walk in Eastern France

Viewing southwest on Pont d’Auvergne in Strasbourg, France


Here is the deal, ok? I will try to be as simple as possible for everyone to understand, not like your average math teacher. You on the other hand, please don’t laugh too hard. And if you do, let me know in the comments to join in. Deal? OK, here we go.

Following the two previous ‘lightning’-posts – Flashlights and Thunder & Lightning – I have the feeling, that real photographers and so many more give me too much credit for my capabilities. There also seems to be some awe as if the shots were magic. Well, I hardly think so. What follows is a try to describe how I did the shots. It probably is not even close to a valuable explanation how to shoot lightning during a thunderstorm, but I am not even close to be professional enough to teach things. I am happy if I can give you an idea or two how to do it on your own. Let me know in your comments, if you have shot lightning yourself and how you did.

Blitz über Hurghada, Ägypten; 3. November 2012
Lightning above Hurghada, Egypt, November 3rd, 2012

A few things first: One, never ever get yourself in danger because of a shot. Naturally, a thunderstorm needs to be close to see the lightning, but the human body doesn’t like the electricity so much. So, never get yourself too close to the fun, ok?

With that security message out, let’s see, what was my biggest advantage.

Blitz über Hurghada, Ägypten; 3. November 2012
Lightning above Hurghada, Egypt, November 3rd, 2012


Simple as that, I was extremely lucky. As I wrote in the comments of the previous posts, if there was any photography god, I would thank him (or her, of course), for eternity. For that long, I will not mock anyone who tries the same but is not as lucky as I was.

I was lucky because of a few things that worked in my favor. One, the thunderstorm was a dry one for the first hour. Rain did not start until I was done with my shooting, knowing that a few shots were ok. After it started raining, the shots got useless, since the lens is covered with drops.
Second, the thunderstorm was so close that lightning was pretty much above the place I was. I did not need to zoom in, reducing the movement of my camera and everything. Also, it was pretty much stable for most of the time. About 20 to 25 seconds between the lightnings. Pretty easy for me and my style of long-time-exposure. But more to that in a bit.
The third portion was the equipment. I don’t really live in Egypt. I was on vacation there with the best friend one can have for her birthday getaway and we were lucky enough to be in the hotel’s room at the time, the thunderstorm started. Also, I did not really think much about taking my tripod with me. And even did not use it at all until that night (or afterwards). But boy, I think it was worth the trouble at security and the customs.

So, here we were. Lightning struck, the best woman at my side on the hotel balcony, the equipment luckily set up and no rain from above. Just add some good songs and one could mix this up with a music club.

Blitz über Hurghada, Ägypten; 3. November 2012
Lightning above Hurghada, Egypt, November 3rd, 2012

How did I shoot, though. As written above, I had a tripod, and had my Nikon D300s mounted on it. When it became clear, that the storm was close and big, I changed from a 50mm to a wide-angle-lens.
The setup itself: Focal length was either 10mm (the first two in this blog post) or 12mm (the third one). Aperture stayed on f/4.5. I reduced the light sensitivity to ISO160 (L0.3 setting for Nikon’s D300s) and changed into bulb-mode for the shutter. Focus was set to manual and moved up to infinity.

All what was needed then was simply to push down the shutter and wait for the lightning to strike. Every so often you read about using a remote to reduce shaking of your camera. I absolutely encourage that! However, I don’t like using the bulb mode with a specific time in mind. My remote is only a one-time-release. If in bulb-mode it is equivalent to a 30s release time. Much too long for my goal. Instead, I pushed the shutter down with the right hand for as long as I wanted light to hit the sensor and released it a bit later. The left hand pushed the whole camera down to stabilize it and the tripod. I told you, this is way less professional than you might have imagined.

With this, I get release times between 2.1 and 4.7 seconds. Depending on when lightning actually struck. I released the shutter right after the flash was gone. Maybe, something that I could improve to reduce the overexposure a bit would be to wait a bit longer.

Blitz über Hurghada, Ägypten; 3. November 2012
Lightning above Hurghada, Egypt, November 3rd, 2012

As I wrote above, I got very lucky with the timing, since the whole lightnings were pretty much stable. I started to push down the shutter every 25 seconds and waited. If there wasn’t a flash after five seconds, I aborted this particular shot and pushed down the shutter right away. Following each flash, I did the same. Either releasing it after the flash, or after five seconds or so. What I wanted to avoid was a delay of the camera while it was writing the file on the memory card. Upwards of seven seconds, it takes about ten seconds in which the camera is pretty much useless.

That is pretty much all the magic I can offer to you. I hope, it was useful to some extend. At least there are two new shots for you to enjoy. Did anyone of you shoot during a storm? How did you do it and what equipment did you use? Let me know!

Daily Black and White – Gravur

English translation below.

Ein kleiner Nachtrag aus Bern. Etwa 12.000 Steine wurden auf der Ostseite des Berner Bärenparks verlegt. Ende 2008 konnten sich Spender etwas besonderes leisten. Für einen Spendenbetrag von mindestens 100 Franken wurde der Name in einen der Pflastersteine graviert. Deutlich mehr als 1,2 Millionen Franken seien so zusammengekommen.

Gravierte Steine in Bern-CH

A little post scriptum from my trip to Bern. Around 12,000 Stones were used to pave the way of the bear park of Bern. At the end of 2008 donators could ‘buy’ an individual graving on one of the path stones by giving the park 100 Swiss Francs or more. During this initiative more than 1.2 Million Francs were collected and the path on the eastern side of the park received a whole lot of new cobble stones.

Daily B&W – Zwischen den Jahren

English translation below

‘Zwischen den Jahren’ ist so eine Redewendung, die als Kind eine große Rolle gespielt hat. In der Zeit zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr sollte möglichst nicht gearbeitet und auf Krach verzichtet werden. Eine prima Gelegenheit einfach mal in den Urlaub zu gehen. So geschehen 2006 in Richtung Balearen, wo dieses Bild entstand.

Mallorca-ESP, Balearic Islands

In den Bergen Mallorcas

‘Between the years’ is a term, which I heard a lot as a kid. Our family tried to avoid to work or cause any big noises. A time to come together in harmony. Or a time to travel for vacation. This is how the image was done between Christmas Eve and New Years day when we were hiking in the mountains of Mallorca.

Ein bewegendes Wochenende – A moving weekend

English translation below.

Pause auf dem Weg nach Stuttgart

Ein Arbeitswochenende. Mal wieder. Doch für die Familie sind Aufträge eine beliebte Abwechslung. Ein paar Eindrücke.

A few impressions I had during this weekend. Even though it meant working in some way, being busy for my family is never an issue.

Daily B&W – Winter in Indien

English translation below.

Für das Bild heute, ist man eine Weile unterwegs. Von mir aus auf jeden Fall. Aufgenommen im Januar 2009 in Neu-Delhi, Indien, zeigt es eine Markstraße in der Innenstadt. Für solche Trips mag ich meine Arbeit. Sehr.

Marktstraße in Neu-Delhi

Marktstraße in Neu-Delhi

Today’s picture gets us further away than before. At least from my place. It was taken early in January 2009 in New-Delhi, India and we can see one of many market streets in the inner city of town. Because of trips like this one, I like my job. A lot.

Berner Nachbetrachtung VI – Uf Wiederluege, Bern

English translation below.

Das war es dann über Bern. Erstmal. Denn obwohl ich deine Einwohner nicht verstehe und obwohl du verdammt teuer bist, komm ich gerne wieder, Stadt an der Aare. Du darfst zu Recht stolz auf dich sein.

Bern-CH Kramgasse, Schwarz-Weiß

Kramgasse in Richtung Osten

Well, that is it with Bern. For the moment that is. Even though, I have no clue what your people are talking (even though, they would call it ‘German’) and even though, you are not the cheapest city in the world, I can’t wait to come back to you, city at the river. You are proud of you. You can be.

Berner Nachbetrachtung V – Perspektiven

English translation beneath the intro picture.

Der vorletzte Post aus Bern. Ein paar Besonderheiten, ein paar Dinge, die aufgefallen sind. Relativ ungeordnet.


Theaterplatz, Kabelsalat?

The second to last post about Bern, Switzerland. A few things I noticed. No special order in it, but I hope, you enjoy it even though.

Berner Nachbetrachtung IV – Markttag

Markttag im Schweizer Bern

English translation beneath the intro picture.

Ein kleines bischen Glück war dann auch dabei. Gerade am Samstag war auch Markttag in Bern. Und es gab alles, was in der Region und auch weiter weg hergestellt wurde. Fleisch, Käse, Fisch, Gemüse, Pflanzen, Kleidung und Schmuck. Und alles einer unaufgeregten Art, wie es für die Schweiz so üblich scheint.

Markttag im Schweizer Bern

Wurst aus der Region

Lucky me, Bern had market day on Saturday. Everything got sold. Amongst other things there was meat, cheese, fish, vegetables, plants and flowers, dresses and accessoirs. Nearly everything is produced either in the Bern Canton or closeby. And quite relaxed, just how you would imagine a Swiss market to be.

Die anderen Bern-Posts:

Berner Nachbetrachtung III – Nachtschicht

Bern-CH, Theaterplatz

Zytglogge von Osten aus gesehen

Let’s try something different this time, shall we? English introduction follows beneath the gallery.
Ich mag die Nachtfotografie: Der Kontrast zwischen Lichtern und der Dunkelheit in den Städten ist faszinierend. Dazu kommt, dass ich Stück für Stück das Langzeitbelichten lerne, womit sich nochmal immens viele Möglichkeiten ergeben. Dazu eine Stadt wie Bern. Voll von Strahlern, die die Gebäude der Altstadt anstrahlen, die Trams und Busse, die rot beleuchtet durch die Innenstadt ziehen. Faszination pur.

English version: I like to shoot at night. It is fascinating to see and capture the contrast between the light and the darkness in the cities. An even better, I keep learning more and more about long time exposure. Another possibility to get creative. And most importantly, the city of Bern offers a huge variety. Lights, illuminating the old buildings of its city core. The buses and trams in alarming red, driving through the city center. All in all, a great place to shoot and make pictures.

Die anderen Bern-Posts:

Outlook, Switzerland here we go again

Rohrschach, Bodensee 30. April


Es wird nicht ganz Rohrschach, aber von Bern hört man ja auch nur Gutes.

Die Einträge über Bern bisher:

Paris, April 2012

Mitunter hat meine Arbeit dann doch wieder Vorteile. Um Kollegen und Geschäftspartner zu treffen, sind Termine vor Ort nicht immer umgänglich. Aus dem Grund ergeben sich Möglichkeiten wie am Sonntag und Montag im April. Paris erleben und das eine oder andere Motiv einfangen.

Und ganz nebenbei: So langsam habe ich dann auch das Wasserzeichen im Griff.

Dresden, März 2012

Blick in die Altstadt

Landeshauptstadt und zweitgrößte Stadt des Freistaates Sachsen in Deutschland, hat Dresden einiges zu bieten. Zu schade, dass so ein Wochenende nur zwei Tage hat, an dem man die Stadt erleben kann.

Dennoch, oder gerade deswegen ist Dresden immens empfehlenswert. Kultur, Architektur, Natur und Subkultur, wie es beliebt.