Berlin Friedrichstraße

 

Leica SL (Typ 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/2 | 1/30s | ISO 800

Leica SL (Typ 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/2 | 1/30s | ISO 800

When I have to stay overnight in Berlin, I usually stay in a very nice hotel close to “Bahnhof Friedrichstraße” train station. I was always fascinated by the architecture and the maze of underpasses and small alleys in that station. It’s extremely confusing. But normally you rush through a train station, you don’t have time to take photographs – or better: you don’t take your time to make them. This time, I was so amazed by the light in the small overpass that crosses Friedrichstraße and connects to the U-Bahn station that I quickly checked into the hotel and went back with my camera and took a few photographs and then edited them right away on my iPad during dinner with Lightroom Mobile. I increasingly like the ability to work on the photographs right away – when they are still fresh in your memory.

Later on today I was then reading a bit about the history of “Bahnhof Friedrichstraße”. I knew a little bit about it, that it was one of the train stations that basically got cut in half and truncated East and West Berlin after the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961. I also faintly remembered that it was one of the biggest gateways for East German Stasi (East German State Police) spies to get into West Berlin. In September 1967 alone 1,700 of those spies crossed the border at Bahnhof Friedrichstraße. That’s a couple dozen per day. One of the reasons why the train station was so heavily frequented was because it was extremely hard to oversee and observe. So it was not only used by Eastern spies but also by Western RAF terrorists to get more or less undiscovered to their Stasi contacts in East Berlin.

When you wander through the train station today you can still see and appreciate why it was such a great place for the Cold War spy business – even I get still lost here sometimes.

Back in Time: Old-School Photography Meets Modern Photo Editing

It was more by accident that yesterday I stumbled upon an old photograph of a condemned building that used to be a service point for trains, cars and other rail vehicles. I took it at a time when I was really into photographing old, abandoned, condemned houses. That was in 1997, in other words 18 years ago…

This series I shot in Black and White film, a Fuji Neopan 400 Professional. Looking at these old photographs and toying around with them a bit in Lightroom 6 I quickly became fascinated again by the character of the old film images and the latitude the scanned negatives still provided when using modern photo editing tools.

So I decided to re-scan and re-touch some of them using my Nikon Scanner LS 40 ED (aka Coolscan IV ED), Silverfast 8 and Lightroom 6.

And so here you go. Enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed taking, excavating and bringing them back to “light” again :).

Quick Video on Adobe’s All New Lightroom 6

When Adobe released its new version of Lightroom – Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC – I was a bit underwhelmed by the new feature set that came with it. The only interesting bits that I could make out were the new filter brush and an enhanced performance when you use a discrete graphics card and have a 4k hi-res monitor.

Of course I couldn’t hold back long in trying the new version myself and really find out for myself whether the upgrade is worth it or not. Luckily Adobe provides a trial version which I swiftly downloaded. After a bit of playing around I decided to let you know the results of my very initial test including a quick demo of the filter brush tool. And here you go:

Adobe releases Lightroom 6 – is it worth the upgrade?

box_lightroom6_150x150Today Adobe announced Lightroom 6 – the next major upgrade to its photo editing software.

Besides new features there is an even more important change: Adobe moves Lightroom into its Creative Cloud (CC). Fortunately Lightroom 6 is still available as a separate purchase option if you are not fond of Adobe’s subscription model (me included). The CC version which also includes Photoshop CC sets you back 9.99 USD (plus tax) in the US or 11.89 Euro in Germany (incl. VAT) per month. The standalone version (no subscription) is 149 USD (plus tax) and 129.71 Euro (incl. VAT) respectively.

The question it begs: Is it worth the upgrade? Continue reading →

New Lightroom 5 Tutorial: Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

One way of speeding up your workflow in Lightroom and making it more efficient is to use keyboard shortcuts instead of moving around with your mouse.

In this tutorial I go through the most commonly used shortcuts and explain how and in which context they work best.

Enjoy watching and please let me know if it’s helpful and more importantly where I have made mistakes and what I can further improve.

New Lightroom 5 Tutorial: How to use radial filters and the adjustment brush to highlight focus areas

When you take a photograph light is not always falling in the right direction to highlight your subject in the most accentuated way. Back in the days of analogue film photography you had basically two tools to change the light-fall in your picture during print: dodge and burn. In the digital Lightroom (5) you have various methods of changing light-fall, two of them are the radial-filter and the adjustment brush.

In this video tutorial I demonstrate how you can use those two tools to draw attention to specific areas of interest or focus in your image.

Enjoy watching and please let me know if it’s helpful and more importantly where I have made mistakes and what I can further improve.