black and white

A Photowalk through Hamburg

I have to admit,

getting up some pictures of my hometown Hamburg was way overdue. The place where I bought my first camera back in 2005 and where I since shot so many photos I kinda lost sight of how pretty this place can be. Ironically when I went there last week Hamburg didn't quite show it's sunny side. Instead we got mizzle and drizzle, so black and white was the only reasonable option to keep my photographic Me happy. 

A typical view from the riverside onto the dockyards

A typical view from the riverside onto the dockyards

I was quite lucky and my good friend Daniel kindly joined me for a stroll through the town, starting at the signature hanseatic harbour though the old tunnel below the river Elbe and then back into the centre.


What to do with all that rain?

If you're travelling to different places sooner or later you will hit a rainy day, it'll be lousy and cold, all theory about that perfect light and the Golden Hour lost behind a grey curtain of rainfall and fog. On the bright side these conditions are a great opportunity for some moody black and white shots. And it's also a great creative exercise as you have to be much more aware of your surroundings. Everyone can shoot great pictures during a sunset whereas getting that perfect shot on a rainy day is a great challenge. Here are my tips from last weekend:

  1. Look for contrast. Since you're gonna get rid of all the colours you're pretty much left with just luminance. Also thing ahead of what you might be able to do with an image in post processing. Harsh shadows are usually a no-go but can look fantastic in black an white
  2. Skies. Always make sure you're sky isn't clipped. I'd even go as far as slightly underexposing the foreground in order to get enough detail in the sky. Especially on a stormy day clouds can add a lot of dynamic and atmosphere to a landscape or panorama.
  3. Look for Shapes and Patterns. Stairs, brick walls, tiles, fences, everything that's geometric or repetitive. 
  4. Reflections. Look up, look down, look into puddles, get out of you're usual comfort zone. Move yourself, shoot downwards or upwards, shoot windows or mirrors, traffic lights reflecting on wet roads.

I'm sure there a dozens more things you could try, so leave a comment to send me a message if you fancy sharing any tips for that rainy summer day. These are the pictures I took. Enjoy.