my home is my castle

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso640 - f/5.6
- blending of 3 hdr exposures - Michael Grobe

Not exactly my home, but the castle "Schloss Schwarzenberg" overlooking my small home town. Grew up here, so lots of memories, experiences and adventures. A small wooden cabin on a hill near the castle was and is a place as close as any place could get to "Aventurien"...

snowed under

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II - iso100 - f/8 4 sec
- Michael Grobe

40 cm of snow - can't remember when we had that much snow falling in one night. It is amazing how silent the world is once covered and hidden under snow.

delorean in 3D

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso320 - f/2.8 1/400 sec
- Michael Grobe

"Yes, the way I see it, if your gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” Doc Brown, Back to the Future.

So when we (long time colleagues at "Alex Lemke Visual Effects" in Munich and myself) decided to shoot a research project to dive into the stereoscopic acquisition and execution of visual effects for 3D feature films, we also did it with some style. I woke the DeLorean up from hibernation and with the support of director, dop and Academy® Award winning developer Sebastian Cramer and his Production Rig we shot a few scenes at Munich's "Kunstpark Ost" now called "Kultfabrik", during the day a kind of industrial looking area with studios and some cool sceneries, during the night one the biggest party areas in Europe.
The Rig equipped with 2 RED Mysterium X cameras performed great and we managed to get all shots in just one day. Now the visual effects post production starts and during the next weeks we will finish the shots and setup the necessary workflows. So in a few weeks we should have a nice 3D VFX demo and a proper pipeline for future projects.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - Canon EOS-5D Mark II - Michael Grobe

lighting the moon

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 15mm 1:2.8 Fisheye - iso100 - f/11
- manual combination of 3 hdr exposures - Michael Grobe

Ever wondered as a kid who lights the moon at night? Found the secret place where they do it. Had to be here in Hollywood for sure.
Urban light sculpture at the LACMA in Los Angeles. While I use the fisheye lens mainly for HDR panoramas for movie post production, here it works quite well as an artistic tool.

hollywood fog

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/8 1/125 sec - part of stitiched panorama - Michael Grobe

People here in L.A. would immediately refer to bad weather, when there is fog, haze, or clouds covering the sky. The photographer in me would immediately think of carrying my camera up the hills and shoot well into dusk and beyond. Clear blue skies and atmosphere lack just the magic. The foggy haze here covers most of L.A. and reaches inbetween the Hollywood Hills.

close encounter

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso1600 - f/3.5 2sec - Michael Grobe

A close encounter in the woods - or just some flood lights at a corner of Griffith Park. We were scouting for some spots for the next night time photography tour, while I spotted this shot, the tilt of the TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L added to the mystic mood here.

manhattan nights

Manhattan Nights from Michael Grobe on Vimeo.

Night impressions of Manhattan, New York. A few timelapses and shots taken during a few nights of still photography in New York. The Manhattan skyline is enjoyed best from the New Jersey side over the Hudson. You just have to love New York. Shot with the Canon 1D mk IV and 5D mk II at ISO 2500-6400. Obviously there is some noise present at 6400, but nothing that can't be cleaned with the help of Neat Video Noise Reduction in Final Cut. With the latest generation of dslrs it is a joy shooting at night, stills or video. I shot stills with the 1D mk IV at ISO 12800 without hesitation, as long as the are well exposed. Some cleanup in post and you get printable images. The timelapses are shot at ISO 800 to catch decent shutter speeds (less than 10sec) once night has fallen in, so that I could have a picture taken every 10 seconds.

the ring

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 1/2500 sec
- Michael Grobe
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 1/2500 sec
- Michael Grobe

You can find some extraordinary folks on Venice and Santa Monica Beach. Especially this athlete on the rings shows some amazing exercises: George Berg.

coming home

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso5000 - f/2.8 1/2 sec
- Michael Grobe

Sailors coming home late in the night, passing Venice Pier to find the moorings in the marinas at Marina Del Rey.

goodby for good

0174_aviation_clouds_godrays_germany_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_4389 copy
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso100
- f/3.5 1/8000 sec - Michael Grobe

Last impressions from Germany before I leave for good this time.

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso100
- f/2.8 1/640 sec - Michael Grobe

alles in obi

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/16 1/100 sec - Michael Grobe

Recently joined the shooting of the 40th anniversary commercial for OBI as vfx supervisor on the set in Slovenia. Always love helicopter shoots. The image above shows the difficulties of shooting a helicopter properly. To get the desired motionblur on the rotor blades, a shutter speed of 1/100 sec was used, but that means tracking the helicopter with the camera to achieve sharpness of the hull. So the camera goes into AF servo mode for focus tracking and you shoot continous bursts of images to capture the peak moment. Aperture was set to f/16 to be able to shoot a bright target in full sunlight with that slow shutter speed, for a wider aperture a Neutral Density (ND) filter would be needed but wasn't handy at the moment.
Shooting the helicopter wasn't the main task obviously, the usual set photography on a commercial or movie set to collect data for the vfx post production is mostly of technical nature and not to achieve creative results. You bring home hundreds or sometimes even thousands of images for texturing, digital environments and mattepaintings together with HDR 360° panoramas for lighting the computer graphics.

The commercial can be found here.

the last salute

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/8 1/1600 sec - Michael Grobe

Yesterday one of the greatest rock singers passed away, Ronnie James Dio. I just happened to catch this image the evening before. Even the sun throws the horns for a legend... the "Malocchio".

central park

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso160 - f/2.8 1/320 sec
- Michael Grobe

In New York at the moment, enjoying fantastic warm spring weather in Manhattan. Shot the Sax player in Central Park over and through a bunch of benches. As always in NYC, there will be plenty of night time photography of beautiful Manhattan for me. Last time we shot a lot on top of skyscrapers for a movie production, this time I will stay more grounded. Photography from a tripod in the middle of Manhattan can bring you in quick contact with the police, but over in New Jersey you get the better shots of the skyline anyways...

miniature germany

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/160 - Michael Grobe

The great weather got us flying again. This time I took the 24mm shift+tilt. Tilting gives this miniature feel due to the tilted plane of focus and using that from high above can result in an unusual look at the usual. We were flying despite the volcanic ashcloud from Iceland, wasn´t really a problem at 300-700m flying altitude, only the range of vision was somewhat reduced, whether that was the volcanic stuff or just usual haze, who knows...

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/500 - Michael Grobe

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso50 - f/3.5 1/800 - Michael Grobe


Canon EOS-7D - 420mm (EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x) - iso1250 - 1/3200 sec - f/4
- Michael Grobe

Some more shooting with a borrowed EOS 7D. Still have to figure, whether I really like this camera and it's image quality (it definitely has more high iso noise than it´s bigger sisters), but it gives great additional reach due to it's APS-C sized sensor. The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x Extender becomes a 672 mm full-frame-equivalent. So this shot was taken from several hundreds of meters away looking up through the trees near the "Isar" towards the flags on top of Munich's "Maximilianeum". Used a monopod to stabilze this 672 mm combo and the 1/3200 sec exposure assured a sharp photo.



I have connected both my websites, and my portfolio Now the one big site can be reached through either web address. That brings all information together in one place and emphasizes the connection between my photography and my profession in visual effects. And makes maintaining the sites also easier...
It also allows me to incorporate more business news in this blog.

last struggle of winter

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1/1600 sec
- Michael Grobe

The last bits of snow a few days back in the munich outskirts. But now the temperatures are going up again, spring is around.

mulholland night

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1.6 sec
- Michael Grobe

Driving along Mulholland Drive at midnight. The million lights of L.A. shining through the bars of an electricity pylon. Btw... love David Lynch movies...

catch the wave

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/8 0.8 sec
- Michael Grobe

An earlybird dares to go into the cold water. The surfers still wear neoprene in this time of the year, but this guy likes to freshen up at 6am.

blue dawn

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/8 1.6 sec - Michael Grobe

Arrived in L.A. and headed out to the Beach early in the morning, jetlag woke me up at 4am.

last thought of winter

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/8 - 30 sec
- Michael Grobe

The last impression of winter before flying to L.A. for a few weeks.

the little sun

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso800
- f/2.8 1/320 sec - Michael Grobe

A tiny little sun goes down in Berlin. They should get a bigger one this year, this one passes almost unnoticed.

winter night sun

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/3.2 - 30 sec
- Michael Grobe

What looks like a shot into the sun is really a 30 sec. night exposure, the “sun” light is sent from Munich´s olympic tower.

daisy and the snow

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/2.8 - 1/100 sec
- Michael Grobe

Daisy, Europe´s current low-pressure system brought lots of snow all over Germany and really cold temperatures. All that snow makes a lovely backdrop for some night shots. And at 1am, there aren´t too many guys plowing through the white scenery, it is quiet and one can enjoy the freshly fallen white stuff. If those cameras were just built with bigger buttons, so that you can easily operate with gloves on, it´s quite difficult to do that properly with modern DSLRs.

happy new year

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/8 - 0.8 sec
- Michael Grobe

I wish everyone a happy new year!
These shots have been taken on Munich´s Olympiaberg, the highest point of the city with views all around. A couple of thousand people gather there each year to celebrate and make the little mountain disappear peacefully in fire and smoke.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM
- iso1600 - f/2.8 -1/5 sec - Michael Grobe