White Luxembourg – Series of 15 streets photos

Hello there,
how much do you like walking on a cold, wet, soft snow?
Well, I have to admit, I’not a fan of it, I’d rather prefer the deep blue colour of a wavy sea, but it’s winter time, and I live in Luxembourg. Nothing more to add… :-p

Ok, said that, a city covered by snow it surely offers great photo opportunities, and my challenge was to capture the mood of Luxembourg trying to add the human being element as much as possible and to avoid postcard shots we’ve already seen thousand times here around.

Mmh, doesn’t mean that I did not take any landscapes pictures, but just a few… c’mon, a beauty landscape always deserves to be framed.

My gears

For this assignment, I had the opportunity to fully try my brand new Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90/f2.8-4 ASPH , a beast of a lens that performs very well an I may say it is not that heavy as I was expecting.

I bought this lens (always from Newoldcamera in Milano) just to add an automatic and versatile zoom lens to my equipment, even though I always prefer prime lenses and manual focus.

But, for special assignments or when travelling, there may be cases when I don’t want to change lenses and I need a fast focus. So now I’ve covered also this need.

Besides that, of course, I have used my great Leica SL and in some cases, the Summicron M 50mm f2. I’m incredibly happy with this camera, totally satisfied with the quality and usability.

White Luxembourg

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That’s all, I hope you enjoy this series, but keep following me and feel free to share or drop a comment down here.

Grazie, Sabino

Luxembourg city, a winter’s tale – Gallery

Each season in Luxembourg city offers unique photo opportunities, and so the winter.

I took my Leica SL with me and I walked around to capture the fairy tale atmosphere you can breath along the streets.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! If you want a print out of any of the pictures above, please get in contact with me.

Cheers, Sabino

Let it snow, Luxembourg!

The first snow arrived tonight in Luxembourg and this morning everything was covered by a soft white layer.  I always have my camera with me and I could not resist while driving to the office: I want to capture it!

Of course, the trees and the rooftops are scenic, but I wanted to find something different. I was attracted by an old-fashioned roulotte, selling Christmas trees, not so far from where I live.

The minivan was totally immersed in this white scenario and just in front of it, there were suspended small lights that make the whole scenario cosier.

I also “used” a girl with an umbrella just crossing by, to add some life and dynamics, but keeping her out of focus.

Pressed by the time, I just took 5 minutes, a quick and dirty shooting, but I’m happy I captured the very first snow in Luxembourg for this winter.

Gears : Leica SL + Summicron 28mm + Summicron 50mm

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Looking forward to taking more pictures in the city, hoping that it will continue to snow.

Cheers,
Sab

 

Sneak preview of my photo shooting in the forest of Luxembourg

A sneak preview of the photo shooting I had today, totally immersed in a beautiful forest somewhere in Luxembourg. A very special place that seems to be coming out of a fairytale.

Autumn is definitely the best time of the year to enjoy the green areas all over the country. The nature shows so many shades of warm colours and the underwood is full of different types of mushrooms.

Guess, where am I?

[momentopress url=https://momento360.com/e/u/642984540a034523aa1356194a17ad53?utm_campaign=embed&utm_source=other&utm_medium=other]

You will discover it soon, in the next few days I will upload the final pictures out of my wonderful Leica SL camera.

For now, just enjoy these few pictures I took with the iPhone 8Plus that demonstrate again to have a very good camera!

Thanks for reading, and please, come back soon for new pictures!

A presto,
Sabino

Street photo walk in Luxembourg city with the new iPhone 8 Plus: a gorgeous camera that will surprise you!

Yes, I’ve bought the brand new iPhone 8Plus, but no, it wasn’t for a caprice, instead, I took the opportunity as my 6s went broken just a few days before… (good excuse, isn’t?)

Anyway, I had few doubts before buying, because of the expensive price and the big size, but now, after a couple of days of usage, I don’t regret at all:

the iPhone 8 Plus is more than just a phone, is a powerful tablet and a high quality camera.

One of the main reasons why I chose the 8 Plus is the new camera features, different from the standard 8 model. Indeed, the 8 Plus has two 12 Mp cameras, wide angle and telephoto, while the standard 8 model has just one. And also the new portrait mode is an exclusivity of the 8 Plus.

But let’s see the technical specs:

  • 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras
  • Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • Telephoto: ƒ/2.8 aperture
  • Optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x
  • Portrait mode
  • Portrait Lighting (beta)
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Six‑element lens
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
  • Panorama (up to 63MP)
  • Noise reduction
  • Auto HDR for photos
  • Auto image stabilization
  • Photo geotagging

As you can see, from the list above, the new specs are really promising and interesting too, but, hey, the main focus of this post is photography, so, I will not annoy you by talking about the beauty of this iPhone:

it’s time to show you the real pictures i took after a pleasant promenade in the lovely city I live, Luxembourg.

All the pictures have not been retouched or altered, so what you see is the result straight out of the iPhone.


Gallery – Photo walk in Luxembourg city with an iPhone 8 Plus

 

Conclusions

This new iPhone 8Plus is extremely good, powerful and fast, other than having a wonderful design. On a photography point of view, the two 12 Mp cameras, wide-angle lens with 1.8 aperture and a telephoto lens, with a 2.8 aperture, together with the new “portrait mode” feature, makes this phone become a truly high-quality photo-camera for everyday usage and street photography.

The iPhone 8Plus can be a very good backup or side camera paired with my Leica SL, to be used in those situations where you need to be very light and discreet.

Well done Apple, once again!

Thanks for reading,
Sabino

 

 

25 photos and stories from The Color Run. And why a photographer should get dirty…

I have just come back from the front line of a very special “war”, from where I came out dirty, destroyed, happy and colorful. I photographed “The Color Run” in EchternachLuxembourg, an event now widespread around the world and inspired by the famous Indian Holi Festival, but applied to the race. The main theme of the event is, therefore, the colors that are thrown on runners when they pass through dedicated and monochrome spots.

Obviously, such an event can gift original and special photographic opportunities, so I did not miss it.

“If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough” – Robert Capa

But, let me tell you few thoughts I’ve recorded after the event, based on what I’ve seen…

During the race, I saw so many professional photographers in action, sent by newspapers, TVs and websites, and one thing I particularly impressed was:

to not see any of them get dirty and dive into the heart of the scene, except one, fool, with the camera completely dusty and stained by the colors: me. And I’m proud of it.

Everyone is free to be a photographer as best they believe, of course, but I see too many photographers who just observe and do not tell. I mean, too many comfy and lazy photographers. Seeing those fully camouflaged, protected, covered cameras and then see them off the “dirty” area, safe and clean, well, it made me laugh a bit. As perhaps they laughed or scoffed at me, surely.

In my humble opinion, a “reporter” photographer has to be in the center of the scene, can not photograph at its margins. The photographer has to touch with hands what happens, feel it on his own skin.

You can not tell a story standing comfortably behind the window to observe it passively.

Most importantly, in such a dynamic and moving situation, you must dive inside and live it. It’s even more fun.

But then we damage the camera!?

No, you’re the slaves of your camera. It is the tool that has to adapt to you, not the opposite. And the camera does not get damaged (internally, I mean), if you comply with simple rules, like not to change the lens while it is immersed in a cloud of dust.

I can tell you, my cameras and lenses come back stressed, dirty and full of signs at the end of my travel or reportage. Just as me…

They are not memorable to keep immaculate inside a vacuum, clean and perfect. No. They have to live and get scratches, bring the signs of a thousand trips and keep memorable memories of unforgettable stories.

So, dear friends photographers and enthusiasts, to tell a story, leave home cleaning kits, air blower and protections and get inside, get dirty you and your gears, breathe the moment.

Maybe your pictures will probably be dirtier, but certainly more alive and emotional.

My 25 pictures of the Color Run

For this reportage, I used the Canon EOS 5D Mk III with the EF 24-70mm f2.8 mkII zoom lens. I chose this lens because it allowed me a lot more flexibility and versatility in a situation where I knew I could not change the lens during the action.

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And what’s your favorite picture among these? I would like to read your opinion and preference.

Thanks for reading,
Sabino

Photos, stories and techniques from my reportage at ING Marathon in Luxembourg

The ING Marathon has become the most important sports (and not only) event of the Grand Duchy, a race capable of attracting thousands of runners, amateurs and tourists alike. Although I do not particularly love sports photography, this event offers many great opportunities for street photography, so it was in past editions when I have always managed to bring home some good and original shots.

In fact, for several years and with my great satisfaction, my pictures taken in past editions, are used in official promotional media, such as brochures or banners. Here is my photo used for the giant banner installed near the start, in this 2017 edition:

With my Leica M and the zone focusing, the recipe is perfect!

A Leica is forever, perhaps, probably. I am now more and more comfortable with this system and therefore for this reportage, I used my Leica M and alternating two lenses, the Summicron 28mm f2 and the Summicron 50mm f2. I actually never had to focus in the viewfinder on getting the shot, because I’ve learned the extraordinary and perfect technique for the street photography, which is the zone focusing.

Once I decide which distance range I want to focus on, I just place the subject in that range and so always having the certainty of not losing the focus and concentrate exclusively on the composition of the photo.
C’est magnifique!

Here is a rare picture of me on the field 🙂

The waiting, a colourful party in blue and orange

After having missed it last year, this time I decided to photograph this great event again, taking advantage of an exceptional and warm sunny day.

But … what to photograph without getting bored?

The most important thing for me when I have to photograph is to have motivation and enthusiasm, especially in those cases where I happen to observe something I already know and that I have already photographed in the past.

Strongly inspired by one of my favourite photographers, Alex Webb, I’ve been trying to get a very contrasted picture with vivid colours, even with multiple action levels. Ahhh, not that easy, though…

So, with Webb in my head, I began to observe all that was happening before my eyes. Thanks to the colours of the main sponsors, ING and TANGO, the whole event was dominated by two colours that I love very much, the blue and the orange, which, with the strong sunlight, have created very interesting contrasts. And here are some photos were taken just before the stzart of the race.

Ready, Set, Go!

For the first time, I’ve been watching the race start and I have to admit that it was a good choice because at this stage of the event it’s concentrated most of the adrenaline and enthusiasm of all the participants up to the explosion of joy at the start. It was not easy to find space near the starting line, but in photography, I think any pose or situation always has something interesting to offer and so I tried to capture the best from my point of view, the only one I could have at that time.

The essence of a marathon? The race.

Apart from some classic photos just after the official start, I focused on capturing the race, that continuous movement of legs, and lots of colourful shoes that alternated second after second. using the panning technique, these situations always give me interesting shots. I lowered myself to get a point of view that was at the same level of the runner’s legs and, with the focus already set, I clicked without looking at the viewfinder or the screen (which is not possible with my Leica M 262).

Being in symbiosis with the car, I can almost predict the final shot even when the camera body is distant from the eyes. In fact, many shots, I realised without looking through the lens. Impossible? Not exactly…

As the hands held to keep the camera steady, down there, and the finger to snap, with my eyes, up, I was looking directly at all the legs that passed in front of me, and when I saw something special … I click!

In this way, a direct link between my eyes, my brain, my arms, my hands, my finger, and finally my camera was created. As soon as I saw something interesting, my finger pushed the button, while my mind already knew what and how the final shot it would look like.

The last ray of light before the end?

I do not know how long this glasses did, but, considering the thousands of feet that would have passed through them, I think that ray of light was one of the last to be able to see…  🙂

Special mention: Take the heart and run!

Among the many shots of the day, this is among my favourites.
If I had the eye in the viewfinder, I do not think I would be able to capture it because I won’t see the guy approaching, While, as I described earlier, with the camera offset and the eyes free to observe the scene, I saw this weird man running holding a heart and got this nice “lovely” shot.

 

Viva la fotografia e viva la luce!

Grazie e alla prossima,

Sabino

The Wellenstein trail, 8 km hiking along the wine road in Luxembourg

While waiting for the next trip and venting on my insatiable desire to photograph, I took the time to dive into the green of the Luxembourg hills. Just a few miles from the city, there is the “route du vin (wine road), 243 kilometers through a romantic river landscape covered with acres and acres of vineyards that, following the sinuous shapes of the hills, designs very interesting patterns.  A long route bordering on the Moselle River, one of the major tributaries of the Rhine.

Wellenstein’s trail, along with the tracks of Riesling.

Not knowing exactly where to go, I searched on the internet information about some trails and casually I chose to do that from the village of Wellenstein that lasts for about 8km, crossing also a protected natural reserve. The cultivated vine in this area is the Riesling, from which comes an excellent white wine.

Here is where to find all the details and the map of the trail:

http://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/place/walking/circular-walk-wellenstein

 

Free Spirit and Leica M

The choice of the t-shirt I wore on this trail was not casual, “Free Spirit”, but exactly reflected the desire to relief myself from all the stress of the city and so walk and photograph in nature, as a free spirit, in fact. And so it was. With my faithful Leica M and my wonderful wife, I walked for over two hours, bringing home some beautiful photos, plus a pleasant feeling of wellness and serenity.

 

Following some pictures I took with the Leica M typ 262 and the Summicron M 28 f2 ASPH:

 

Thanks for reading keep following me,
Sabino

 

Luxembourg is preparing for Christmas: the pleasant solitude that anticipates the party

Christmas is almost upon us and like every year, Luxembourg is preparing to welcome thousands of people to the traditional markets. Tonight, I had a half hour of free time in the heart of the city, and, you know, I can not live without photography and I always go hunting for stories.

That pleasant solitude that anticipates the party

So, walking through the Place d’Armes and Place Guillaume II, under a light but constant drizzle and a soft cold, I was attracted by the sense of peace and quiet all around: the silence of the empty huts, the loneliness of Christmas trees still bare of all light and decoration.

But I hadn’t a feeling of sadness, indeed, I felt like everything was suspended in time, with the stare of the giant Santa Claus.

As for surprise party, when you wait still and silent until the birthday boy comes, then someone presses the button and …

… TA DAAAAAA!!
colored lights turns on, the music starts, carousels riding, scent of gingerbread and gluhwein and  the joy explodes all around:
It’s Christmas time!

(pictures were taken with my iPhone 6s and processed with Visco on the phone itself)

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LussemburgoBuonanotte Lussemburgo,
Sabino