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I decide to take my camera with me to Amsterdam. Usually I don’t like to be “the tourist” who takes pictures while walking around. Architecture requires more time and knowledge. Where are the best spots, the best view, the best angle? No, I want to enjoy the city, maybe come back then to take pictures of spots I visited during the day.

As I reach Amsterdam there are too many tourists. It’s loud, the streets are full of people and there is no atmosphere in this beautiful city. I do not take any pictures. I’m staying for one week, but only pull out my camera twice. The picture that I’m going to show you was taken from a boat on a little tour through the canals of Amsterdam. I enjoyed the beautiful light of the sunset hitting me, the water, the threes, just everything looked awesome.


Sony a6000, Canon FD 50mm, f5.6, ISO 100, S 1/160, edited in Lightroom




Grass, Drops & Fern

We go for a walk.

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This shot was taken in a forest around 8 o’clock pm. I used a flashlight to have some more light and added a CPL filter in front of my canon FD 50mm f1.4 lens to have deeper and more saturated green. There are only a very few things in that picure. The water drops are the brightest objects and draw the viewer’s attention, the leaves tell what the topic is: nature. Also the shallow depth of field leads to the only sharp areas of the pictures. The light falls off beatifully which adds a mood to the picture.


Sony Alpha 6000, Canon FD 50mm f1.4, ISO 250, S 1/200



What You can do in Lightroom and Photoshop.

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Planning, Shooting and Editing: the three steps to get your best results. Some people will disagree but I think, editing is the most important part of the whole process when it comes to publishing images. Let me give you an example with a photo that I took recently. 

field1This image was shot in RAW and then edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

originThe original RAW just converted into a JPEG looks like this. That is a huge difference!  

Let’s split the whole process into 3 steps:

#1 The Idea and the planning: What is in the picture, what do I want to express, what do I need to get this right. What camera? Which lens? A tripod? Other gear like reflectors or a flash?

#2 Taking the picture. Try to make the idea come true and get the shot you want. Experimenting is also useful cause there are always circumstances that you can not imagine just in your head. Things that are important: aperture, shutter speed, iso, focal length, light, framing…

#3 Editing: adjusting colors and brightness, maybe crop the picture. Maybe retouch.


Lets go back to my example.

#1 I see the field and sky and a few straws that are ways taller than the rest. The horizon is the line between orange and bluish grey and the straws start at the bottom, cross the horizon and reach into the sky. I choose the widest angel I have which is 16mm to get as much sky and field as possible. Since I’m just walking I don’t use anything else.

#2 I shoot handheld so I set the shutter speed to 1/200 to avoid any blur in the picture. It is bright enough to set the iso to 100 and the aperture to f3.5 to have a little bit of a bokeh.I frame the picture. More sky than field because I want to show how the straws reach up into the sky and I move the camera down to make them look even taller.

#3 I import the RAW file in Lightroom to adjust the brightness, colors and contrast. I decide to make the field more orange to enhance to contrast to the sky. Then I do some fine-tuning in Photoshop where I crop the image to get rid of non interesting parts and paint in some soft shapes around the corners that look like a bokeh in the front to add a little more depth. Done!mix

Comparison. Lightroom and Photoshop can be really helpful!


Grey Sky

I decide to go take some pictures around my neighborhood. Mona is excited as soon as she sees me getting her leash. She’ll come with me. We go the standard route to the forest. While I’m taking the first test shot, she is chasing a rabbit already but, since she is not fast enough, she gives up quickly.

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The sky is grey which makes the greens and browns in the forest pale and boring. I had decided to take a tripod and two lenses: the Porst 50mm f1.7 and Sony’s kit lens a 16-50mm f3.5. I start off with the Porst lens but the first pictures are frustrating. There is nothing interesting around me even though I try my best to relax and look for things that are not visible right away. Nothing.

1With Lightroom I was able to bring back some colors. 50mm f5.6 ISO 100 S 1.3

Lots of ferns but same thing here, Lightroom fixed it. 50mm f5.6 ISO 100 S 1/103

50mm f1.7 ISO 100 S 1/320

I just leave the forest and walk till I reach a field. That is more interesting! The sky is still grey but that forms a nice contrast to the field. Gold and bluish grey. Expose for the sky because I do not want it to burn out. I change to the kit lens to take more pictures without having to focus manually all the time. I’m using the lightmeter. There is enough light to stay at ISO 100 and a shutter speed of 1/200. In the field, I find some flowers but nothing special.

My favorite of today. 50mm f1.7 ISO 100 S 1/1600

Good old railroad. I like how the curve leads into the forest. 50mm f5.6 ISO 100 S 1/135

16mm f3.5 ISO 100 S 1/25

When I look at the taken pictures on my LCD screen of my Sony A6000 , I am not satisfied at all. Stupid weather, stupid walk, stupid camera. I just walk back to my house, put the pictures on my laptop and scroll through them. Maybe they are not as bad as I thought. I write this text first, then I pick some of the images to edit them in Adobe Lightroom.



Just a puddle

I take a walk and I take my camera with me in case I find something interesting. I find a puddle, which is nothing special, but I decide to take a picture of it. Later, I’m at home already, scrolling through the pictures, I find this picture and it takes me a few seconds to recognize what’s in the picture. I decide to make this a black and white photo, because this will underline the scructures and textures. I show this picture in a stack with many others to different people, and every time they stop at this picture, look at it, recognize it and smile while telling me, that they like this one the best. So here it is. Just a puddle.


16mm f3.5 ISO 100 S 1/40

I think it does matter what’s in the picture but also think that often we just guess what looks good or bad and even though, we’re totally wrong we trust in ourselves. It’s true, that a puddle is boring, but when it comes to photography a puddle is not just a puddle. It’s water, reflections, dirt, textures, shadows, light and shapes. This applies for every situation. The first thing you have to learn, is to start seeing things how they realy are.

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Green Forrest, Golden Sun & a Cute Dog

Walking the dog can be annoying but most of the time I really enjoy it. Mona, a Border Collie-Dalmatian mix is smart and always looking for eatable things. With us, I have my Sony Alpha 6000 combined with a 50mm f1.4 Canon FD lens that I bought on EBay for around 50 bucks. The manual aperture and focus require some practice but once you figured it out, it’s fine.

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Forrest during the golden hour can be quite beautiful. The golden and orange light against the green is a nice contrast.


50mm f1.4 ISO 100 S 1/125

The sunlight which breaking through the trees looks wonderful in the bokeh and is important for the look of the picture.


50mm f1.4 ISO 200 S 1/125

It’s quite hard to get Mona stay in one spot for more than 2 seconds.


50mm f1.4 ISO 200 S 1/200

The contrast green-brown is more calm, the dark areas around the head draw attention to the main point, Mona.

All pictures are shot in RAW and then edited in Adobe Lightroom.



When light hits the sensor

When light hits the sensor

Alright, here I am Internet, here I am. My name is Johann, I’m 21 years old and I live in Germany where I’m going to start studying  in a couple of months, that’s all you need to know so far. This is planned to be about photography and life, let’s see how that goes.

When light hits the sensor

Knowing that this is my first post, I want to keep things clear and easy.

My ideas and the reason why I chose this name: When light hits the sensor, an image of the real world is captured inside of a camera and freezes the reality visually as a photograph for us. Life is always going on because time never pauses, but a photograph can trick this rule, even though it’s neither reality nor existence nor time that gets paused. It is light that gets captured and frozen for our eyes so that we can think or talk about this moment over and over again, but more importantly, time has no matter any longer.

This will be for people who are interested in photography, the technology and the ideas behind the pictures. Feel always free to contact me, if you have any questions!

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