Photo blog @ Karlsplatz, Karlstor

In my last photo blog post, I ended at Kaufingerstrasse. I continued along Kaufingerstrasse, away from Marienplatz.

At the other end of Kaufingerstrasse is a gate known as Karlstor, which is shown in the first picture in this photo blog post (above). For this photo, I set my tripod very low and found a spot where the sun was hidden behind the buildings. I did this to ensure that I had an overall well-exposed photo without flare and too many blown out spots.

The second picture in this photo blog post (above) is also of Karlstor. It's a different shot from the first one above. In Photoshop, I used the curves adjustment tool to dramatically increase the contrast and subsequently increased the saturation as well. I managed to get a retro look here.

Beyond this gate is a square called Stachus and there is a beautiful fountain in the center of it - shown in the third picture in this photo blog post (above). People often hang out here and sit on the stones surrounding the fountain. It was difficult preventing my lens from getting wet here. In fact, I had to wipe my lens with a microfiber cloth (that I always take along in my camera bag) several times. Anyway, I took this shot at an angle with the stones positioned further and further away to add some depth to the shot. I also wanted to capture that beautiful building in the background. The truth is, I don't know what is it.

Stachus was the end of the road for the day. It was about 9 am when I got there. After that, I made my way back to Marienplatz on foot and took the train home. I bought some rolls from the bakery on the way back for breakfast. It was a good start for the day.

Photo blog @ Kaufingerstrasse, Marienplatz

This is part two of my photo blog post on Marienplatz.

photo blog, pictorial, MarienplatzIn part one, I ended at the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche). Next, I continued along Kaufingerstrasse, moving away from Marienplatz and towards Karlsplatz. It was indeed a pleasant walk. It was still early and wasn't crowded yet. There are places to sit and relax along the way, beautiful plants and flowers, a nice fountain, fruit stalls, cafes, etc.

I surreptitiously took the first photo in this photo blog post (above) of this man reading his morning paper. This scene with the man reading his papers lends a sense of tranquility to the shot. I reduced the saturation, making it (almost) black and white to eliminate bright distractions in the scene. The red canvas sheet of fruit stall in the background for example, kept pulling away attention from the subject, which is the man reading the papers.

photo blog, pictorial, MarienplatzThe second photo in this photo blog post (above) shows one of the many fruit stalls along Kaufingerstrasse. It had gotten very bright and sunny when I took this shot, resulting in a slightly blown out sky.

photo blog, pictorial, MarienplatzThe third photo in this photo blog post (above) shows a poor man collecting trash from Marienplatz. Munich is one of the most expensive and wealthiest cities in Germany. Scenes like these are not often seen during the bustling hours of the day. Nonetheless, they obviously do exist. With this photo, I try to capture this contrast in society. In the foreground, a man is collecting trash for a living while in the background, you have George Clooney sipping his Nespresso.

photo blog, pictorial, MarienplatzThe final photo in this photo blog post (above) is my favourite from the outing in Marienplatz that day. It does suffer from a bit of lens flare in the bottom right but I still like it. When I took this photo, I was a little tired from lugging my tripod and camera gear around, embarassed from the quirky stares of the people there and a little pissed off that I hadn't really gotten a spectacular shot yet. I wanted to capture the "street mall" side of Kaufingerstrasse and I think I achieved that with this shot here.

I used two trees to frame the shot. Their different distances from the camera gives this photo more depth. I took the shot low, just a few inches off the ground, to make things look larger than life. Call it a cat's perspective.

More to come in my next and final photo blog post on Marienplatz.

Photo blog @ Marienplatz

If you've ever been to Munich, you'd have most likely visited Marienplatz, which is situated in the heart of Munich. Marienplatz is usually bustling with people. Kaufingerstrasse, which is one of the streets leading towards Marienplatz is filled with shops for just about anything, departmental stores, restaurants, cafes - you name it. People often go there to shop, window shop, hang out, eat out, watch a movie or simply just chill. It's a very popular spot. Besides these, Marienplatz is the location where some festivals and events such as the Christmas Market, St. Christopher's Street Day and political rallies are held.

This is my photo blog post on Marienplatz.

photo blog, pictorialOn the 11th of July, I got up very early in the morning and went out to do some photo shooting. My stop was Marienplatz. I left my apartment at about 7 in morning hoping to beat the crowd to Marienplatz. However, when I got into the train I realized "I ain't gonna beat no crowd". The train was practically already full. So much so that I couldn't even get a place to sit. I was hoping that most of them would not be getting off at Marienplatz and that was true for the most part. It seemed that most of them were headed somewhere else. Anyway, the train ride took me about 12 minutes.

As soon as I got out of the station, my heart sank. There was a huge stage and some tents being set up for the St. Christopher Street Festival and they had sort of blocked that "great view of Marienplatz" I had been planning for before - see the first picture in this photo blog post. Anyway, I did the best that I could considering the restrictions at hand. I took out my camera , set up my tripod and started taking some pictures.

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The most prominent monument you would see as soon as you get out of the train station in Marienplatz is the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) - shown in the second picture in this photo blog post (above). This picture is a HDR image that was created in Photoshop using a set of three photos with different exposures. For more information on HDR photography, check out my introduction to HDR post. The light was still quite soft at this time of the morning and I didn't really have any problem with shadows. I went close to base of the building, tilted my camera up, composed the image and took the photos. I used a portrait (vertical) composition since the dominant subject is the tower, which stretches vertically towards the sky.

I don't know any details about this building other than the fact that it really looks captivating. It's white and has a certain Gothic look and feel about it. It looks even more majestic at night when it's lit up. That will be the subject for another photo blog post on night photography.

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The New Town Hall also houses the world famous Carillon (Glockenspiel), which is shown in the third picture in this photo blog post. At 11 am, 12 pm and 5 am, the clock chimes and figures on this Carillon dance around for a minute or so. Somehow is was really difficult to get the photo straight. Thanks to digital photography, I was able to easily straighten the picture in post processing. I also reduced saturation and increased warmth in this photo to give it a sepia look. I feel that this gives the photo a nostalgic and timeless feel, which suits the Carillon.

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As soon as I was done taking some shots in front of the New Town Hall, I made my way towards the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) - see the fourth picture in this photo blog post (above). There is a nice Biergarten close to the church and imagined myself sipping some Weissbier while admiring this majestic building on a warm summer day. I tried to capture that feeling in this photo. I set my tripod to the eye-level of someone sitting down on a chair in the Biergarten, composed the shot to ensure that I got the full tower in it, set the aperture to f22 and used my infrared remote shutter release to take the shot.

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I decided to compose the photo above with some people in the foreground to better illustrate the size of the Church of Our Lady. I also like the reflections of the clouds on the windows of the building to the right. I find that reflections really do enhance photos.

I'll continue in the next post. Stay tuned.