involuntary holi

0239-holi-india-mumbai-michael-grobe-bilder-20140317_144631_14397-Edit
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L II IS USM - iso400 - f/2.8 - 1/500 sec - Michael Grobe

Probably the oldest Holi participant I met on the streets of Mumbai today. Looks like her grand kids had fun with dādī or nānī... or she was one of the many, who were involuntarily blessed with colour.

himalayan weaving mill

0238_mohakk_nanda_old_weaving_mill_himalaya_india_michael-grobe-bilder_20131023_101956_1051-Edit-Edit-2
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 24-70mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso800 - f/4 - 1/160 sec - Michael Grobe
Model: Mohakk Nanda

Travelling to the Indian lower part of the Himalayas for some business scouting, we found this old building on our way. A quick glimpse through the door revealed this fantastic abandoned weaving mill, covered in layers of dust and spider webs. Obviously we had to shoot there, no way around it. The owner was Ok with it and told us it had been shut down in 1974 and not been used for anything since then other than dropping off some old sofas. The shoot itself was strobist style with a travel kit: a few Canon 600RT flashguns in a Lightware Four Square soft box, radio triggered from the camera.
Definitely want to come back there for a fashion and portrait shoot in the near future. It’s just 1600 km from Mumbai...

last sunset over germany

0237_aviation_germany_sunset_michael-grobe-bilder_20130922_191559_982
Canon EOS-1DX - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5L II - iso1600 - f/4.5 - 1/200 sec - Michael Grobe

Enjoying the last flight over Germany this year, nice aviation weather will be over and I am returning back to India soon, after a quick visit to the city of Angels.

water games

0236_water_games_scheinfeld_michael-grobe-bilder_20110806_202738_1222
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/4 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

Sometimes images need time, this one needed two years before it came back to light from the deep corners of a hard drive.

back home

0235_scheinfeld_schloss_schwarzenberg_michael-grobe-bilder_20130905_220112_1852-Edit2
Canon EOS-1DX - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5L II - iso1600 - f/4 - 25 sec -
manual exposure blending - Michael Grobe

Back home in Germany… enjoying the last clear starry summer nights.

three ladies

0234_three_ladies_india_mumbai_girls_michael-grobe-bilder_20130808_184835_514
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L II IS USM - iso1600 - f/2.8 - 1/200 sec - Michael Grobe

The three ladies of the playground near our home captured during one of the warm Mumbai evenings while we were shooting for a commercial. That got them interested and I just needed to aim the lens over secretly to catch them. Great when you can switch between shooting video and stills with the same camera and equipment.

soon to be back again

0233_india_mumbai_lesser_flamingoe_sewri_jetti_michael-grobe-bilder_20130303_071508_10729-Edit
Canon EOS-1DX: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM + 1.4x EF Extender III (420mm)
- iso1600 - f/4 - 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe


Phoenicopterus minor - from October to March the “Lesser Flamingoes” come to Sewri Jetti in Mumbai to breed. In the morning they come around the corner of the jetti in low tide to feed in the mud so early birds can see them there in hundreds in first sunlight like we did last March. I’ll be back for more shooting from October onwards.

dahi handi

0232_india_mumbai_dahi_handi_Canon_1DX_michael-grobe-bilder_20130829_191247_12569
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L II IS USM
- iso4000 - f/2.8 - 1/80 sec - Michael Grobe

Dahi Handi - “making human pyramids to break the hung pot filled with milk, curd, butter, fruits and water” - originally to celebrate the birth of Hindu god Krishna. Very popular in Mumbai and part of the festivities of Krishna Janmashtami. These guys won their pot just a few hours ago in the early evening building a pyramid of 7 layers. On top there are the lighter kids, balancing 12-15m high in the air.

atta chakki

0231_india_mumbai_corn_grinder_Canon_1DX_michael-grobe-bilder_20121130_234354_7857-2
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 24-70mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso12800 - f/2.8 - 1/200 sec - Michael Grobe


Late night worker in the streets of Mumbai grinding the corn. One of the rather surreal moments in the city that never sleeps, saw this head covered in flour as if on display on the table. Loved the colour contrast and the moment lasted for a few seconds only.
Moments like this are the reason to have a camera with you always ready in your hands, they are not to be missed. The image is a heavy crop that handles the inherent noise very well and shows what can be captured with a modern camera at iso12800 in the middle of the night.

the return

0230_india_mumbai_lake_powai_bird_michael-grobe-bilder_20130317_175933_10980-Edit-3
Canon EOS-1DX - 420mm: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM + 1.4x EF Extender III
- iso1600 - f/5.6 - 1/1600 sec - Michael Grobe

Returning for the night after a day of hunting and fighting in the sky. Loved the unusual perspective from high above over the lake and shot this bird late at sunset a few weeks ago, just before leaving India for some business, intensives and holidays. I will return though, soon.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1DX: Canon's actual flagship professional camera body with 12fps, full frame 18MP sensor and what seems to be the best autofocus in a DSLR so far. Low light shooting with this body is addictive.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment. Get the updated vII: even sharper, 4 stops of IS and even lighter.

Canon
1.4x EF Extender III: The latest version III is a welcome update to the former, improving image quality including sharpness effectively. Together with the version II telephoto lenses (like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM) autofocus speed is improved also.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

the sharing

0229_india_mumbai_royal_palms_michael-grobe-bilder_20121204_181444_8360-Edit2
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L II IS USM + 1.4x EF Extender III
- iso25600 - f/4 - 1/125 sec - Michael Grobe

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1DX: Canon's actual flagship professional camera body with 12fps, full frame 18MP sensor and what seems to be the best autofocus in a DSLR so far. Low light shooting with this body is addictive. The shot above is a heavy crop of an iso 25600 shot at near darkness!

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the sharper, better stabilized (up to 4 stops IS) and overall great update to the long time classic. My most used lens.

Canon
1.4x EF Extender III: The latest version III is a welcome update to the former, improving image quality including sharpness effectively. Together with the version II telephoto lenses (like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM) autofocus speed is improved also.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

the king of nowhere

0228_royal_palms_mumbai_india_sony_dsc_rx100_michael-grobe-bilder_20130116_175019_9314
Sony DSC-RX100 - iso100 - f/5.0 1/60 sec - Michael Grobe

The guy got dangerously close to the edge. At this height a gust of wind could throw you off balance. Just one more of these common occasions, where it is clear that the assessment of risks here is not at the level I am used to.
Captured the shot right out of an office window, Mumbai in the mists in background, with the fabulous
Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100.
This little pocketable camera is now with me almost always, when I can't or won't carry the bigger DSLR gear.

The gear used to create this image:

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100: best pocket camera with professional image quality. Beats everything else at the same small pocketable size.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

light in the jungle

0227_india_mumbai_Canon_1DX_michael-grobe-bilder_20121204_182119_8376
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L II IS USM + 1.4x EF Extender III
- iso25600 - f/4 - 1/60 sec - Michael Grobe

A farmer's hut in the dark of the jungle. Even here a satellite dish on the roof...
This is a heavy crop of a handheld shot at at 280mm with 1/60 of a sec shutter at ISO 25600 in near darkness, showing how good 4 stops of image stabilization are. The
Canon EOS-1DX recorded ample detail here at the crazy ISO, but this dark version is how I saw and envisioned the shot.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1DX: Canon's actual flagship professional camera body with 12fps, full frame 18MP sensor and what seems to be the best autofocus in a DSLR so far. Low light shooting with this body is addictive.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the sharper, better stabilized (up to 4 stops IS) and overall great update to the long time classic. My most used lens.

Canon
1.4x EF Extender III: The latest version III is a welcome update to the former, improving image quality including sharpness effectively. Together with the version II telephoto lenses (like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM) autofocus speed is improved also.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

life on the lake

0226_lake_powai_mumbai_india_Canon_1DX_Canon_ef_300mm_f:2.8_michael-grobe-bilder_20121117_190120_7020
Canon EOS-1DX - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x III (420mm)
- iso100 - f/8 - 180 sec with long exposure noise reduction - Michael Grobe

Been living near the lake here now for a few weeks, but never saw anybody landing on or leaving these floating huts, wonder what they are used for, even having a satellite dish. Guess I have to investigate a bit. This is also one of my first real shots with the Canon EOS 1DX, that finally arrived in Germany in October after months of waiting and pre-ordering. So far after a couple hundred test shots, it seems the autofocus is outstanding, image quality in low light real good and overall an addictive camera to shoot with. The 12fps sure is...

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1DX: Canon's actual flagship professional camera body with 12fps, full frame 18MP sensor and what seems to be the best autofocus in a DSLR so far.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment. Get the updated vII: even sharper, 4 stops of IS and even lighter.

Canon
1.4x Ef Extender III: The latest version III is a welcome update to the former, improving image quality including sharpness effectively. Together with the version II telephoto lenses (like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM) autofocus speed is improved also.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

tire tube fisher

0225_lake_powai_mumbai_india_tire_tube_fisher_michael-grobe-bilder_20121007_184952_1764
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x III (420mm)
- iso3200 - f/8 1/500 sec - Michael Grobe

Getting up early (around 0600) rewards usually with photographic opportunities. One of the few fishermen of Lake Powai in Mumbai, India paddles from net to net in the early morning mist. That lake has a few crocodiles living there, so sitting on a tire with ones legs in the water might show either some bravery or disastrousness...

The 1.3x APS-H sensors are a breed of the past for Canon and most likely discontinued with the advent of the full frame highspeed 1DX. I will keep my 1D MK IV for a while, since that 1.3x factor turns the 300/f2.8 plus 1.4x teleconverter package into an 546mm f/4 equivalent with still gorgeous image quality. Can't wait to shoot the new autofocus of the 1DX though.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

panasonic olympics 2012

0224_carl_lewis_panasonic_olympics_2012_michael-grobe-bilder_20120420_084525_1395-Edit
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/3.5 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

A few weeks back I was supervising a commercial for the Olympics 2012 in London with sports legend and 9-time olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis. Due to logistics we shot the stadium plates in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Carl in a greenscreen studio in L.A., California. The VFX we delivered out of Mumbai, India so a truly multi-national production.

READ MORE...


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of early 2012 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too. Superseded now by the 1DX, which still is hard to come by.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

hollywood morning : sony cybershot dsc-rx100

0221_los angeles_hollywood_blvd_sony_dsc_rx100_michael-grobe-bilder_20120831_073935_95
Sony DSC-RX100 - iso125 - f/4.9 1/1250 sec - Michael Grobe

Heading out early morning on Hollywood Blvd to catch the first sunlight. Waited 5 years for this little camera to come out: The
Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100
For the first time a pocketable little camera has image quality to satisfy even demanding professionals. So far I refused to take any point-and-shoot-small-pocket-camera on the road, since the image quality was always so disappointing, that I wouldn't want to shoot with it. This has changed now, the little Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 shoots RAW with a 20.2MP 1" Exmor CMOS Low-Light Sensor and a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens.
The files coming off this camera are astounding for it's size and don`t have to hide compared to what I am used to see off a standard DSLR. They hold up very well until ISO 3200, so you can use this little gem for night shooting as well.
All that available in a camera, that really fits into a jeans pocket. Love it. Almost always with me now.

This is the original uncropped image, so the one above is already heavily cropped and a 100% 1:1 pixel crop to show the resolving power of the camera.

0222_los angeles_hollywood_blvd_sony_dsc_rx100_michael-grobe-bilder_20120831_073935_95_orig

0223_los angeles_hollywood_blvd_sony_dsc_rx100_michael-grobe-bilder_20120831_073935_95_crop
100% 1:1 pixel crop

The gear used to create this image:

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100: best pocket camera with professional image quality. Beats everything else at the same small pocketable size.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

olympics

0220_panasonic_olympics_2012_malaysia_kuala_lumpur_michael-grobe-bilder_20120409_230440_759
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso2000 - f/2.8 1/320 sec - Michael Grobe

The 2012 Olympics in London are over and this athlete has been shot in a stadium in Malaysia instead. There is a relationship between the two though, a commercial, that was shot for the London Games.
While lens flares are often to be avoided (unless you are J.J. A.), I loved it here coming from the nice backlight.
More about the commercial to come soon.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh. Just released the latest version 4 with a few really helpful additions.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

banganga darkness

0219_india_mumbai_banganga_tank_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_Canon_ef_300mm_f:2.8_michael-grobe-bilder_20120303_191148_1388
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM
- iso12800 - f/4 1/40 sec - Michael Grobe

A house entrance around banganga tank, it was shot hand held in almost darkness, the interior of the house only illuminated by the dim shimmer of the TV. Current cameras with low light capabilities up to iso 12800 (and beyond if necessary) together with image stabilization made this possible. A shot like this without a tripod and a long exposure wasn't possible in old film days, when ASA 400 pushed to 800 was grainy and ASA 1600 was "super high speed". Photography has come a long way in digital age. I liked the contrast of blue and orange colors here and the hint of a man sitting behind the door.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of early 2012 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too. Superseded now by the 1DX, which still is hard to come by.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh. Just released the latest version 4 with a few really helpful additions.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

banganga tank

0218_india_mumbai_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_Canon_ef_300mm_f:2.8_michael-grobe-bilder_20120303_185410_1332
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM
- iso5000 - f/2.8 1/160 sec - Michael Grobe

A famous place in Mumbai, seen in many Bollywood movies and a few TV series as well. The Banganga Tank in Malabar Hill, Mumbai. I took this photo well after dusk with the last sunrays reflecting in the water tank, iso5000 and the lens resting on the knees made it possible.
You gotta love India's colors.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh. Just released the latest version 4 with a few really helpful additions.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

huntington summer

0217_los_angeles_huntington_garden_michael-grobe-bilder_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_20120818_130846_258
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso160 f/4 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

Back online after another few months of hibernation. Lots happened actually, just not too much time for online activities. Right now preparing a film project in London, L.A. and Mumbai, so I had the chance to meet old friends around the globe and enjoy the all-year-long summer in L.A. last weekend at Huntington Library and it's botanical gardens.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of early 2012 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too. Superseded now by the 1DX, which still is hard to come by.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

monkey brunch

0216_mumbai_india_monkey_michael-grobe-bilder_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_20120303_115726_1041
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/6.3 1/640 sec - Michael Grobe

Monkey enjoying potato chips for late sunday brunch near the Kanheri Caves in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park Mumbai, India.
A great place to relax, once you managed to get out of ever busy Mumbai for a while.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of early 2012 (until the 1DX comes along...) makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh. Just released the latest version 4 with a few really helpful additions.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

happy holi

0214_mumbai_india_holi_michael-grobe-bilder_Canon_1D_Mark_VI__20120308_141120_1429-2
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso320 f/5.6 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

The festival of colors again in India. Went out to the beach with a few fellows, which is admittedly quite a tough place to be as a stranger durig that day. Boys can get quite excited about getting you your load of colors...
You definitely want to seal your camera in some watertight plastic bags for shooting.

0215_mumbai_india_holi_michael-grobe-bilder_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_20120308_143929_1527
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso1250 f/9 1/250 sec - Michael Grobe

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of early 2012 (until the 1DX comes along...) makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM: great all-round zoom lens for all occasions, when one lens on one body is all you want to carry.

Adobe
Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh. Just released the latest version 4 with a few really helpful additions.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

the trade

0213_mumbai_india_michael-grobe-bilder_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_20120211_182407_604
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso800 f/4 1/125 sec - Michael Grobe

Shot at the old fishermen's bungalows in Andheri, Mumbai near the ocean.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of early 2012 (until the 1DX comes along...) makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

morning ablutions

0212_mumbai_india_morning_ablutions_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_michael-grobe-bilder_20120114_182127_242
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 f/4 1/100 sec - Michael Grobe

Another Hollywood project with a tight deadline caused a few nightshifts and early mornings at the facility here in Mumbai, so I could grab a few shots of the colorful life happening just below my office window right at dawn.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 (until the 1DX comes along...) makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too. The 10fps bursts helped even with this image to capture the right moment with the smile of the woman.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.


night barber

0211_mumbai_india_hospital_barber_night_Canon_1D_Mark_VI_michael-grobe-bilder_20120113_161910_90-2
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 16-35mm F/2.8 L II USM - iso8000 f/2.8 1/100 sec - Michael Grobe

Back in Mumbai for some time to supervise some Hollywood stuff in Bollywood. Got a first chance to do some drive-by shooting on the way from the facility to the hotel, which needs some fast shutter speeds, as the driver is racing across the bumpy roads of Mumbai. A barber shop next to a hospital. And there is always life in the streets atacking all your senses...

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 (until the 1DX comes along...) makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. I use it for fast and responsive street photography, too. Those 10fps bursts help you catch the right moment shot from a fast moving car.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM: great ultra-wide angle zoom lens for street photography. The wide 2.8 aperture is necessary to give you decent shutter speeds for low light street photography, while still maintaining enough depth of field.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

goetz of the iron hand

0210_schloss_schwarzenberg_goetz_von_berlichingen_canon_ef_300mm_f:2.8_michael-grobe-bilder_20111113_183754_1692-Edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso160 - f/2.8 1.6 sec - Michael Grobe

Schloss Schwarzenberg in Frankonia, Goethe opens his 1773 play "Goetz von Berlichingen" in a tavern near the castle. The famous quote of "Goetz of the Iron Hand" can still be used to give excuse and justification for ones malicious tongue...
"Mich ergeben! Auf Gnad und Ungnad! Mit wem redet Ihr! Bin ich ein Räuber! Sag deinem Hauptmann: Vor Ihro Kaiserliche Majestät hab ich, wie immer, schuldigen Respekt. Er aber, sag's ihm, er kann mich -".

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

the fifth white tree

0209_white_tree_of_gondor_lord_of_the_rings_tolkien_michael-grobe-bilder_20111027_130017_07
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso800 - f/5.6 - Michael Grobe

During a few days of business meetings in London I stumbled upon the fifth white tree.




Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II to straighten perspective with shift and create that magical miniature look with it's tilt.

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x: the Zacuto viewfinder is invaluable to properly focus a TS lens using the tilt feature. Through the viewfinder of the camera it is very hard to get the exact rotation and location of the plane of focus right, but judging it through a Z-Finder Pro 3x in live view (going to 5x or 10x magnification for absolute accurate focusing) gets it done quickly and precisely.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

to be a photographer

0208_death_valley_Canon_1Ds_Mark_III_michael-grobe-bilder__1D_4973
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso800 - f/2,8 1/250 sec

I had been asked, what it takes to be a photographer. While that is a very subjective and personal question, for me this might be a possible answer.

The urge to get up before dawn to hike into the the dessert carrying too much of your gear to the perfect spot to catch the first rays crawling over the dunes painting the mountains gently while freezing your hands off capturing the moment you had envisioned and hoped for to be found in loneliness.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance. The image has been taken with the 1Ds Mark III, but I recommend the newer 5D Mark II with comparable image quality and slightly better ISO performance.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

last clouds of summer

0207_last_clouds_of_summer_michael-grobe-bilder_20110901_191021-Edit
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso320 - f/5.6
- exposure blending of 7 HDR exposures - Michael Grobe

Another summer gone by.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

light my way

0206_light_my_way_statue_of_liberty_new_york_michael-grobe-bilder__14G0845-Edit
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/8 - 1/500 sec - Michael Grobe

A distant memory of New York, taken from Liberty State Park looking over to Liberty Island.
Light my way by N.F.D. the offspring of the legendary Fields of the Nephilim.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

slovenian beauty

0205_slovenian_beauty_michael-grobe-bilder_20110831_185141_446
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso160
- f/2.8 1/160 sec - Michael Grobe


Not only truffle pigs, but also beauty to be found in Slovenia.

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

slovenian truffle pig

0203_truffel_pig_slovenia_michael-grobe-bilder__14G2513
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso1250 - f/5 1/200 sec - Michael Grobe

Back in lovely Slovenia again to supervise a commercial shoot. Spotted this rare sight in the evening just next to our shooting location deep in the country side. From far it looked like a strange monster dog, but then it turned out to be a giant truffle pig. Following this master through the meadows and woods, that is how the Slovenian truffles are hunted down, which you can eat aplenty in Ljubljana...

0204_truffel_pig_slovenia_michael-grobe-bilder__14G2485
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso1250 - f/5 1/200 sec - Michael Grobe

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

summer over germany

0202_aviation_germany_michael-grobe-bilder_20110820_165822_162
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/4.5 - 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

Finally some summer in Germany after all the cold and rain. So the best thing is to jump on a plane and explore the world from above, when you are lucky enough to have a flying friend. And I love to take a shift and tilt lens with me into the skies, as this lets you rotate your focal plane exactly where you want it for that special look.

The gear used to create this image:

FK 9 Lightplane: the light way to fly

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II to straighten perspective with shift and create that magical miniature look with it's tilt.

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x: the Zacuto viewfinder is invaluable to properly focus a TS lens using the tilt feature. Through the viewfinder of the camera it is very hard to get the exact rotation and location of the plane of focus right, but judging it through a Z-Finder Pro 3x in live view (going to 5x or 10x magnification for absolute accurate focusing) gets it done quickly and precisely.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

white storm

0201_white_storm_movie_vfx_supervision_michael-grobe-bilder

The Comic Con started today, time for the "White Storm" website to go online. A few weeks back we shot a trailer for the movie in a Studio in L.A. and lots of background plates and material in Death Valley. I had the pleasure to join the project as vfx supervisor and contribute additionally the vfx and set photography. The trailer is still in post production, but the website is worth a first look and the director Bruno Werneck is presenting the project at Comic Con in San Diego.

20110417_134132_6894
Image from timelapse sequence shot with Canon EOS-5D Mark II and TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L

been shooting

0200_los_angeles_vfx_supervision_michael-grobe-bilder_grobiset_006
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - photo by Andre Cantarel

Haven't posted here for a few weeks, but actually a lot has been going on. Went back to L.A. for three weeks for some business and shooting. I had the pleasure to supervise a VFX driven movie shoot there, including location photography and extensive work in the greenscreen studio. I will post detailed "making of" and "behing the scenes" once the project is released. Now back in Germany at the right time for some more car photography in beautiful spring, some consulting work and RND for the possible next big gig. Blog posts on those to follow as well as some "behind the scenes" and "how to" on texture photography.


0199_death_valley_michael-grobe-bilder20110412_082455_24
photo by the secret director

0198_death_valley_michael-grobe-bilder_20110412_171703_149-2
photo by the secret director

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

alien invasion : Mil Mi-24

0197_aviation_mil_mi-24_michael-grobe-bilder_20110305_165608_127-Edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso160 - f/4.5 1/40 sec - Michael Grobe

Rocket launcher of a Mil Mi-24 shot during an extensive VFX photography session at Luftwaffenmuseum in Gatow, Berlin. More stuff to follow from that shooting soon.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II to straighten perspective with shift and create that magical miniature look with it's tilt.

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x: the Zacuto viewfinder is invaluable to properly focus a TS lens using the tilt feature. Through the viewfinder of the camera it is very hard to get the exact rotation and location of the plane of focus right, but judging it through a Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x in live view (going to 5x or 10x magnification for absolute accurate focusing) gets it done quickly and precisely.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

resurrexit

0196_vienna_belvedere_resurexxit_cross_michael-grobe-bilder_20110226_140037_404-edit-2
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/8 - 1/250 sec - Michael Grobe

Resurrexit - an agnostic abstract. Taken in Belvedere, Vienna.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

and the scissors danced

0195_vienna_belvedere_scissors_michael-grobe-bilder_20110226_134740_365-edit
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/6.3 - 1/80 sec - Michael Grobe

Found the dancing scissors in Belvedere in Vienna. Since it is ballseason right now, it must have been a waltz. I layered two exposures, one with the scissors in focus and one out of focus shot through a hedge. There is some lovely historical architecture in Vienna providing the flair of the city.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

vienna coffee house

0194_vienna_coffee_house_musicians_michael-grobe-bilder_20110226_182003_488
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso5000 - f/4.5
- 1/25 sec - Michael Grobe

One of those great afternoons at a Viennese coffee house, Cafe Schwarzenberg. You can spend a whole afternoon just ordering a coffee, no one will push you out to make room for the next party. Try that in L.A. ... where the check comes a second after your plate is empty.
After all you wont stop at that one coffee, as there is Kaiserschmarren, Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte, Gulaschsuppe mit Salzstangerl ...
And there is music as well, piano and violin create the perfect ambience.
The Tilt and Shift lens allowed me to place the focus on the upper part of the wall and through the window, while gently fading the musicians out of focus.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II to straighten perspective with shift and create that magical miniature look with it's tilt.

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x: the Zacuto viewfinder is invaluable to properly focus a TS lens using the tilt feature. Through the viewfinder of the camera it is very hard to get the exact rotation and location of the plane of focus right, but judging it through a Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x in live view (going to 5x or 10x magnification for absolute accurate focusing) gets it done quickly and precisely.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

delorean.de relaunch

0193_delorean_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0642
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 1/250 sec - Michael Grobe

15 years online - and now a relaunch: www.delorean.de
All you need to know about the stainless steel gullwing beauty. Contributed a few images and a trailer to the redesigned website. Recommended for all DeLorean fans and classic sports car enthusiasts, still the leading website about the DeLorean in Europe.

delorean.de from Michael Grobe on Vimeo.




The gear used to create this image and the video:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance.

Canon
EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. Fantastic 1080p video shooting as well.

Canon
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the video was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

Apple
Final Cut Studio: all in one solution for editing, color grading, sound editing and dvd creation on Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

bavarian woods

0192_neuschwanstein_ludwig_II_winter_michael-grobe-bilder_20110222_133814_190
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso160 - f/14 1/80 sec - Michael Grobe

Almost an aviation shot... but taken from a hill in the deeper bavarian woods in Ostallgäu.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

land of the moonking

0191_neuschwanstein_ludwig_II_winter_michael-grobe-bilder_20110222_131539_123
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/4.5 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

On June 13th 1886 Ludwig II King of Bavaria died mysteriously in Lake Starnberg, being declared crazy and seized just the days before. Up to date the theories around his death are cultivated and his fans still believe in a murder complot. I wanted to capture a view from his famous castle Neuschwanstein conveying the mystery of the whole story and came up with this look into the surrounding mountains in deepest Bavaria. The tilt feature of the TS-E 24mm again translated my vision into the image I had planned to shoot and the final color grading was done to the raw image file in Lightroom.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II to straighten perspective with shift and create that magical miniature look with it's tilt.

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x: the Zacuto viewfinder is invaluable to properly focus a TS lens using the tilt feature. Through the viewfinder of the camera it is very hard to get the exact rotation and location of the plane of focus right, but judging it through a Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x in live view (going to 5x or 10x magnification for absolute accurate focusing) gets it done quickly and precisely.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

dog days II

0190_india_mumbai_night_dog_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0761
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso3200
- f/4 - 1/40 sec - Michael Grobe

A stray dog in Mumbai, India. Quite a contrast to the image of the hairdresser's dog from the last post. Different world indeed. There are uncounted stray dogs in the big cities of India. During the day with it's high temperatures and the humidity they are usually quiet and lay down tired, while in the night they become active. You can hear barking and dog fights all nights long. These fights leave a lot of the dogs with wounds and scars. We had a few stray dogs coming to the facility being fed by employees and thererfore defending their territory against other dogs. I created the picture sitting in the back seat of a car, waiting for departure. The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a great walk-around lens for all the situations, where you want just one lens on a camera body covering most shooting opportunites that show up.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1DS Mark III: still Canon's professional fullframe flagship with 21 Megapixels, an upgrade is due at some point. I recommend the
Canon EOS-5D Mark II: also 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor in a smaller body with 1080p video, better display and lesser high ISO noise.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM: great all-round zoom lens for all occasions, when one lens on one body is all you want to carry.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

dog days I

0189_san_francisco_hair_saloon_dog_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1111-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L USM - iso100
- f/2.8 - 1/50 sec - Michael Grobe

A hairdresser's dog in San Francisco. Since I had only a split second to shoot it (the dog was walking in) the camera was still set to the wide open aperture f/2.8 in AV mode and a low ISO setting resulting in a 1/50 sec. Ideal would have been ISO 800 f/5.6 and 1/100 sec to render deeper depth of field and a tad additional sharpness for the moving dog. But it is also a good example, that technical image quality is not the main importance in street photography, capturing the right moment is. The image was shot with the Canon EOS-1DS Mark III, that didn't have an auto-ISO setting. It is quite useful in these situations, as you can choose aperture and shutter speed in manual mode and let the metering system of the camera decide upon the correct ISO setting to expose the image. The newer Canon cameras have that feature, like the Canon EOS-5D Mark II, Canon EOS-1D Mark IV or the Canon EOS-7D and I use it regularly.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-1DS Mark III: still Canon's professional fullframe flagship with 21 Megapixels, an upgrade is due at some point. I recommend the
Canon EOS-5D Mark II: also 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor in a smaller body with 1080p video, better display and lesser high ISO noise.
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM: great ultra-wide angle zoom lens for street photography.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

my home is my castle

0185_winter_snow_night_schloss_schwarzenberg_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bidler_2010_1218_180507_fuse
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

0184_winter_snow_trees_michael-grobe-bidler_20101210_083203_123
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.

lighting the moon

0181_los_angeles_lacma_urban_light_sculpture_night_moon_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_5030-Edit
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

0180_los_angeles_griffith_park_night_panorama_hollywood_fog_michael-grobe-bilder_griffith_pano_01_part
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

0179_los_angeles_griffith_park_night_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_4516
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.

the ring

0177_george_berg_veice_beach_rings_michael-grobe-bilder_14G1509
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 1/2500 sec
- Michael Grobe
0178_george_berg_veice_beach_rings_michael-grobe-bilder_14G1527
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

0176_los_angeles_marina_del_rey_sailboat_night_michael-grobe-bilder_14G1270
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.

0175_aviation_clouds_godrays_windmills_germany_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_4402
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

0173_obi_commercial_helicopter_slovenia_michael-grobe-bilder_1A_1967
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

0172_new_york_ronnie_james_dio_salute_manhattan_michael-grobe-bilder_14G0207
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

0171_new_york_central_park_sax_player_michael-grobe-bilder_14G0078
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

0168_aviation_miniature_germany_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilder__MG_1312
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...

0169_aviation_miniature_germany_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilder__MG_1299
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/500 - Michael Grobe

0170_aviation_germany_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilder__MG_1332
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso50 - f/3.5 1/800 - Michael Grobe

maximilianeum

0167_munich_bavaria_maximilianeum_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0045
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.

last struggle of winter

0165_bavaria_winter_snow_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0812
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

0164_los_angeles_hollywood_mulholland_drive_night_michael-grobe-bilder_mg_0716
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

0163_los_angeles_venice_beach_dawn_ocean_surfer_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0556
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

0162_los_angeles_venice_beach_dawn_ocean_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0550
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

0161_winter_snow_tree_olympiapark_munich_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0056
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

0160_winter_berlin_nikolassee_sun_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0970
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

0159_winter_snow_ice_tree_sun_michael-grobe-bilder_mg_0085
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

0158_snow_winter_night_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0146
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

0156_munich_new_year_fireworks_olympiapark_mihcael-grobe-bilder_MG_0023
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.

0157_munich_new_year_fireworks_olympiapark_mihcael-grobe-bilder_1A_0467-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM
- iso1600 - f/2.8 -1/5 sec - Michael Grobe

famous details

0155_munich_olympiapark_frei_otto_tensile_roof_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0742
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/2,8 - 1/50 sec

Architectural details to be found on one of Munich´s most famous roofs. Frei Otto´s roof tensile structures.
A tele-lens can be a great tool for capturing details, despite it´s bulkiness the 300/2,8 becomes my favorite lens.

the roofs of munich

0154_munich_roof_olympiapark_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0548-Edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - 420mm (EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x) - iso800 - f/8 -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

A foggy winter night over Munich´s roof tops.

island in the fog

0153_los_angeles_santa_monica_ocean_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4733
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/4,5 1/2500 sec - Michael Grobe

A distant memory of the last summer... a sailboat on the ocean near Santa Monica, Los Angeles. Not really a view one can enjoy here in Germany during the winter.

last sunset in berlin

0152_berlin_potsdam_nikolassee_sunset_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0926-Edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/2.8 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

Enjoying the last sunset before Christmas reflected in the Nikolassee near Potsdam, Berlin.

distorted night

0151_munich_night_olympiapark_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0791-Edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/5,6 -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

The Olympiapark is becoming a favorite shooting ground... but then again, there is so much detail to be explored, each time I take my camera there, I find new opportunities. Spotted this one walking by the Olympic Stadium and chatting to a friend. First hesitated as I had to shoot through a fence. But then positioning the lens inches away from the fence got rid of any obtrusive lines in the out-of-focus area. Shot as a bracketed exposures to blend dynamic range detail together, I guess it was worth the freezing hands...

the last guest

0149_munich_beergarden_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilder_mg_0556-edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso6400 - f/4.0 1/10 sec - Michael Grobe

The last guest in “Seehaus“ at the “Kleinhesseloher See” in Munich´s English Garden.

The lamps are indeed beer mugs...

0150_munich_beermugs_canon_eos_7d_michael-grobe-bilder_mg_0074_5_6_fuse
Canon EOS-7D - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4.5 -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

biomorph

0148_munich_olympiapark_biomorph_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0494
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso800 - f/7,1 6 sec - Michael Grobe

Biomorph: organic architecture. The famous roof tensile structures of Frei Otto.

digging in mud

0147_munich_night_olympiapark_duck_michael-grobe-bilder_mg_0501-2
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - 420mm (EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x)
- iso3200 - f/4.0 1/8 sec - Michael Grobe

And another night at the Oly-park in Munich again. The Olympia-lake has been drained partially, a great opportunity for some unusual low light mud photography.

pangolin

0145_munich_night_olympiapark_pangolin_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_9622
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 300mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/8 13 sec - Michael Grobe

Another night at the Olympiapark in Munich, photographing the timeless architecture.
Pangolin - das Schuppentier.

Incredible detail and sharpness rendered by the EF 300mm 1:2.8L IS USM in this 13 sec long exposure.

0146_munich_night_olympiapark_pangolin_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_9622-1
Detailed crop of image above.

the last adventure

0143_lightpainting_fantasy_das_schwarze_auge_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0087-Edit2
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso400 - f/8 20 sec
- composite of 15 images - tree-lighting by Udo Smutny and Michael Grobe

Another night out in the woods to create some light paintings in darkness. The barbarians, knights and wizards where shot on a small wall lit by a campfire, the moon and a 580EX II flash a few days later during a medieval gathering of old friends. Even the photographer was wearing a chain mail that night, which added another 15 kg to the usual 20 kg of photographic equipment, that he is lugging around.
The guys gather once a year in battle gear, to celebrate the old times as fantasy-role-players. They started almost 25 years ago, spent uncounted nights in a small wooden hut guiding their characters through quests and fantastic adventures...
... and maybe, when they are all retired in years to come, they gather again, grab out those 50 year old documents and finally finish the last campaign fighting the return of Borbarad, the master of demons.

0144_lightpainting_fantasy_das_schwarze_auge_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0331
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso3200 - f/6.3 1/2 sec - Michael Grobe

on the road again

0142_delorean_germany_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_9441-1
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - 420mm (EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x)
- iso100 - f/4.5 1/250 sec - Michael Grobe

The ultrasharp 300mm f/2.8 works exceptionally well with the 1.4x Teleconverter resulting in a very sharp 420mm f/4 capturing this beauty on the road again.

the skies over germany

0139_aviation_germany_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1731
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 15mm 1:2.8 - iso100 - f/8 1/125 sec - Michael Grobe

Airborne... a friend flies the great ultralight planes FK Leichtflugzeuge and I take the chance to join him exploring the skies over Germany. Next time we take the older plane, where the doors can be left out, should be great for photography and maybe the hairstyle.

0140_aviation_germany_michael-grobe-bilder_MVI_1690
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 15mm 1:2.8 - iso100 - f/16 1/60 sec captured from HD video

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 15mm 1:2.8 - iso100 - f/16 1/60 sec captured from HD video

just a shoe

0138_shoes_roland_emmerich_2012_hollywood_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1342
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/25 sec - Michael Grobe

Shoes taken off as a guest reads in the comfy chair in the library...
Shot through a glass table at the wrap party for “2012”. Iso 6400 on the Canon EOS 5D Mk II is great for those low light events.

2012 - almost done

0135_roland_emmerich_2012_hollywood_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1282
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/10 sec
- Michael Grobe
This Saturday we celebrated the exclusive Uncharted Territory wrap party for Roland Emmerich´s next blockbuster “2012”. Roland invited the in-house unit generously to his house for a really extraordinary festivity at an extraordinary and beautiful place. Our effects work for the movie is almost done, the last shots are to be finaled, soon...
I am wrapping up to go back to Germany for holidays... Munich beer-gardens, Schnitzel, Weisswuerste, Brezen and Radler are waiting...

0136_roland_emmerich_2012_hollywood_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1366
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/50 sec

0137_roland_emmerich_2012_hollywood_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1407
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/8 sec

4th of july

0134_independence-day_4th_of_july_fireworks_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_9166
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/3.2 1/140 sec - Michael Grobe

Watching the fireworks sent off into the sky at the hollywood bowl behind the hills to celebrate Independence Day.

l.a. gun club

0133_los_angeles_gun_club_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0829
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/2.8 1/160 sec - Michael Grobe

Should we go to the movies or... to the gun club?
Completely impossible back home in Germany: you go to a gun club shooting on a friday night with your friends, choose the weapon and with a short instruction you get it handed over together with the ammunition. In a basket over the counter. Then you walk to the shooting range and shoot as long as your supply lasts.
If you asked yourself, what would happen, if anyone goes crazy with the guns there, a quick look at the personnel assures you, that they would use their loaded guns.


scheimpflug in alcatraz

0132_alcatraz_scheimpflug_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilderMG_1190-1
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/1600 sec - Michael Grobe

Tilting Canon´s TS-E 24mm Tilt + Shift lens rotated the focal plane for an unusual depth of field. Called the bird in focus “Scheimpflug”, but it wouldn´t listen...
And I like crushing the blacks in this one, something that we always avoid in the world of feature films. Guess that´s why I like it once in a while...

jumping america

0131_usa_stars_and_stripes_flag_jumping_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_8913-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/4.5 1/1600 sec - Michael Grobe

san francisco

0129_san_francisco_alcatraz_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_8867
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 1/3200 sec - Michael Grobe

Hiking in one of San Francisco´s parks.


0130_san_francisco_alcatraz_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_9005
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/4 1/1600 sec - Michael Grobe

View to the bay from Alcatraz. The gulls and birds have taken over the small island long ago.

alcatraz

0127_sanfrancisco_alcatraz_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_9036
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/8 1/160 sec - Michael Grobe

0128_sanfrancisco_alcatraz_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_9033
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4 1/60 sec - Michael Grobe


Locked up in Alcatraz. Great location, if one ignores the other 300 tourists on the island...
There are some photographic opportunities once you aim your cameras away from the crowd. The boat trip to Alcatraz was part of a weekend in San Francisco.

hollywood hiking

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/6.3 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

Hiking in the Hollywood hills on a Saturday afternoon. Two colleagues jumping on a hill, Los Angeles Downtown in the distance and some color processing in Lightroom.

0126_hollywood_hiking_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_8838
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/4 1/640 sec - Michael Grobe

runway beauty and the plane

0124_runway_beauty_plane_usa_ontario_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_2242-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4.5 1/80 sec - Michael Grobe

End of a long and fascinating shooting day at the airport.

hollywood moon

0123_hollywood_moon_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_0148And6more_adjust
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/8 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

Moon over Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Los Angeles. Sometimes one can find Hollywood on top of a parking garage.

california moon

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/4 1/1000 sec - Michael Grobe

Dark of the Moon: Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre, Arkham House, 1947



More 600mm f/4

0119_Canon_600mm_f4_L_IS_USM_Canon_5D_Mk_II_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0608
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso250 - f/8 1/2500 sec - Michael Grobe

Need to get one of these amazing Canon Tele lenses one day... love the 600mm, but the 500mm f/4 is substantially lighter and a bit smaller, so you can even hand hold it for a while. The 600mm is simply too heavy.

0121_Canon_600mm_f4_L_IS_USM_Canon_5D_Mk_II_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0218_edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

100% crop (actual pixels): the 600mm with the 5D Mark II reveal the heat distortion around the engines of a jet. Sometimes reality looks like a crazy bump map....

0120_Canon_600mm_f4_L_IS_USM_Canon_5D_Mk_II_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0218
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM

Update:
Here is the short movie edited from the material we shot back then with the Canon EF 600 f/4 L IS USM on the 5D Mk II.

600mm from Greg Strasz on Vimeo.



0116_Canon_600mm_f4_L_IS_USM_Canon_5D_Mk_II_michael-grobe-bilder_1S_2236
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4.5 1/25 sec - Michael Grobe

Due to some late hours and pressing deadlines I have neglected this blog for a while. But I have been shooting...
In this case I had the opportunity to shoot my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the amazing Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM, one of the worlds finest super-tele lenses. Since the 5DM2 arrived right before Christmas, I have been using it extensively and comparing it to my Canon EOS 1DS Mark III. My conclusion: the Canon EOS 5D Mark II delivers image quality on par with the Canon EOS 1DS Mark III and adds the long awaited low light capabilities up to usable ISO 6400 (12800 and 25600 are for emergencies only, when you need to get a photo at all). So both cameras make up a great team for all occasions, I still will grab the 1DS Mark III first for a shoot, as it has all the additional features of Canon`s Pro series bodies: weather sealing, superior autofocus (a real difference to the autofocus of the 5D Mark II), 7 brackets for HDR shooting (only 3 with the 5D Mark II, which is a deal breaker for professional use on a movie set), faster frame rate and a lot of other advantages.
But... when the last sun-rays hit the lens, the 5D Mark II starts to shine. While it can´t beat the Nikon D3 and D700 with its low light sensitivity, it comes close.
I was shooting the EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM at one of the photo shootings for a soon to come Hollywood movie together with colleagues (equipped with two Nikon D3´s). That lens is simply amazing. While you hate the weight and bulkiness (5.36 kg), you fall in love with the image quality it delivers. The shot below shows the beautiful bokeh and the incredible detail you can capture, when the lens is connected to a 21 MP 5D Mark II. The crop is at 50% magnification (1200x800 pixels at 100% scaled down to 600x400). Obviously a lens of that focal length requires a sturdy tripod and careful shooting technique: mirror lock up, remote release and either spot on autofocus or manually adjusted focus via live-view.

And what about the video capture....
of course we shot some video footage with the EF 600mm f/4 L and the 5D Mark II in HD video mode. More to come here, once I had the chance to edit the material. First impressions: I have a laughing and a crying eye (we say that in German, I guess it doesn´t translate properly to English). Why? Stay tuned...

0117_Canon_600mm_f4_L_IS_USM_Canon_5D_Mk_II_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0223
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/500 sec
Photo by Greg Strasz

0118_Canon_600mm_f4_L_IS_USM_Canon_5D_Mk_II_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0223-Edit
Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/500 sec
50% magnification (1200x800 pixels at 100% scaled down to 600x400)

Photo by Greg Strasz

death valley IV

0114_usa_death_valley_sand_dunes_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_5179
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso50 - f/2.8 1/2000 sec - Michael Grobe

Sand dunes at Stove Pipe Wells.


0115_usa_death_valley_road_michael-grobe-bilder__1D_5488
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso200 - f/4.5 1/ 25 sec - Michael Grobe

The road to nowhere.

death valley III

0112_usa_death_valley_sand_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_5131
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8 1/800- iso100 - f/2.8
- Michael Grobe

Blindfolded lady of the sand dunes


0113_usa_death_valley_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4957
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/4 - 10sec - Michael Grobe

death valley II

0110_usa_death_valley_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_5139
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8 1/2000- iso100 - f/4 - Michael Grobe

Dried Mud in Stovepipe Wells.

0111_usa_death_valley_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_5101
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/640 - Michael Grobe

Thirsty bushes at Ubehebe Crater.

thanks giving in death valley

0108_usa_death_valley_dawn_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4951
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso200 - f/8 -30sec - Michael Grobe

0109_usa_death_valley_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_5142
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8 1/8000- iso100 - f/2.8
- Michael Grobe

No Turkey for the German guys for Thanks Giving... Death Valley instead. We (the Helicopter Boy and myself) went for a photography trip, getting up at 03:30 in the night to catch dawn at Ubehebe Crater around 05:30. Death Valley is quite pleasing in winter time, only 35 degrees celsius, not the 50 during summer. I will post more images in the next days.

shift and tilt

0107_canon_ts-e_24mm_tilt_shift_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4927_26_29_28_31_30_25_adjust-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/4.5 - HDR exposure blending of 7 bracketed shots
- Michael Grobe

First shot with the recently acquired Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 shift and tilt lens. Tilted to the right, the focal plane rotates away from the image plane, the power pole in the middle is in focus, while the ones to the left and right are out of focus. That Scheimpflug Principle opens some fascinating possibilities.

it rains in southern california

0106_usa_los_angeles_venice_beach_rain_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4726
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/5.6 -1/250 - Michael Grobe

Yesterday, a short but heavy rain came in from sea to Venice. This shot was taken just minutes before everybody ran away from the beach to seek for cover - here in L.A. a little rain causes the same reactions as a thunder storm elsewhere in the world. I guess people are too used to their sunny californian weather. Reminds me of London: the Tube breaks down in winter, when a few snowflakes fall and people run to the streets from their offices to take pictures of that white stuff on the sidewalk...

halloween in hollywood

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4 -1/100 - Michael Grobe

0102_usa_los_angeles_hollywood_halloween_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4704
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4 -1/100 - Michael Grobe

0103_usa_los_angeles_hollywood_halloween_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4702
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4 -1/100 - Michael Grobe

0104_usa_los_angeles_hollywood_halloween_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4723
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4 -1/100 - Michael Grobe

0105_usa_los_angeles_hollywood_halloween_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4711
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4 -1/100 - Michael Grobe

Halloween Parade on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood/Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

l.a. nights II

0099_usa_los_angeles_night_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4436_5_4_tonemapped
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/5.6 -
HDR tonemapping of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

0100_usa_los_angeles_night_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4439_8_7_adjust
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100- iso100 - f/2.8 -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

venice beach

0097_usa_los_angeles_venice_beach_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4151
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso100 - f/7.1 - 1/500 - Michael Grobe

Venice Beach Pier

0098_usa_los_angeles_venice_beach_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4107
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1/8000 - Michael Grobe

l.a. nights

0096_usa_los_angeles_night_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4308
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso50 - f/5.6 - 1/30 - Michael Grobe

Los Angeles at dusk shot from the Griffith Observatory.

back in l.a.

0093_usa_los_angeles_venice_beach_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4189
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1/640 - Michael Grobe

Venice Beach - lifeguard tower


0094_usa_los_angeles_venice_beach_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4174
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1/1000 - Michael Grobe

Venice Beach - miniature sandstorm

Just arrived in L.A. a few days back, to find things haven´t changed much over here in the last decade (been working here in 1997). Just more cars, different cars than in the nineties, you see these Hybrid Priuses all over the place. Venice Beach still looks the same (except Baywatch isn´t shot anymore...). Charly Temmel still sells his famous Austrian ice cream at the Ocean Front Walk, but has closed his cafe on Third Street Promenade. Prices feel like they have doubled over the years, petrol is still “cheap” compared to our German prices. 30 degrees (Centigrade that is) in mid October is something to dream of in Germany. So I hope to find some time over the next few months to cover my impressions with the camera. But first it is: housing, bank account, mobile phone, driver licence, car, ... I do love cities with proper public transport, something that most likely won´t ever happen in L.A.

0095_usa_los_angeles_venice_beach_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4169
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1/4000 - Michael Grobe

A Heidelberger in Los Angeles....

london calling

0092_london_tower_michael-grobe-bilder_14
Sony Cybershot DSC-P9 - Michael Grobe

London. Drilling platform of the European film industry. Hectic. No escape. Sometimes beautiful. Sometimes carpet in the bathroom.
Some old shots from London a few years back, 2002-2004. All taken with a point-and-shoot Sony then - more likely as memories than composed pictures. Lived there for almost 3 years altogether working at a few of Soho’s post production facilities.
These images have been posted on www.grobifx.com originally, I move them over here for their proper retirement.

munich sundown

0091_munich_olympiapark_hdr_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_3970_1_4_3_2_adjust
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso50 - f/4.0 - HDR exposure blending of 5 shots
- Michael Grobe

First of a series: Dusk at Olypark in Munich. All shot as bracketed exposures for HDR blending and tone-mapping. HDR exposure blending together with iso50 gives a clean and noiseless image. Still the 21mp files of the 1Ds Mark III amaze me every time I zoom into the shots to reveal the fantastic detail captured. Can’t wait to get hold of a new 5D Mark II to see how the same resolution performs with iso settings from 1600-6400. Good to see Canon release some competition to Nikon’s D3 and D700, although I am not the only one, who had wished, they had developed a 12-16 mp sensor instead of another 21 mp. Imagine the possible low light sensitivity: you might have been able to shoot images at iso12800 with the same low noise as lets say iso3200 on a Nikon D3... That could be shooting a 1/125 at f/4 handheld in a candle lit environment. Another aspect of the 1Ds Mark III will apply to the 5D Mark II as well: only the best resolving lenses will satisfy with that resolution. Most likely the Mark II will replace my 5D as second body and hopefully complement the 1Ds Mark III with it´s low light capabilities to form a great team for all shooting conditions. This series will be my last impressions from Munich this year. Moving to L.A. for a few months I´ll be posting Californian stuff in the near future (I hope a demanding job there still leaves me enough time for some photographic exploration). So after all the Indian adventures it is “from Bollywood back to Hollywood” now...

goodby germany

0090_munich_olympiapark_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_3968
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/2.8 - 1/1600 - Michael Grobe

Winter is closing in, fall has taken over with cold and foggy grayness. A silhouette defying the cold october evening enjoys the last light of the sun on “Olympiaberg” in Olympiapark, Munich.
Time to leave the country for a warmer place...
Once in a while I like to name these posts after songs, this one is “Goodby Germany” from “And One”. The right music for the moment is the soundtrack to my life.

night trip

0088_munich_olympiapark_duck_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4053
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/2.8 - 1/250 - Michael Grobe
0089_munich_olympiapark_duck_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_4059
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/2.8 - 1/250 - Michael Grobe

Late night encounters on “Olympiasee” in Munich’s Olympiapark.

bejeweled

0087_idian_wedding_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0614
Canon EOS-5D - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - is3200 - f/4 - 1/50 - Michael Grobe

Close relatives bejewel the bride during the engagement ceremony in a composition of colors, henna and jewelry.

indian wedding

0084_idian_wedding_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1038
Canon EOS-5D - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - is1600 - f/4 - 1/30 - Michael Grobe

0085_idian_wedding_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1014
Canon EOS-5D - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - is1600 - f/6.3 - 1/30 - Michael Grobe

0086_idian_wedding_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1055
Canon EOS-5D - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - is1600 - f/4 - 1/640 - Michael Grobe

During my stay in India, I had the pleasure to attend an Indian engagement and wedding ceremony. Spanning over 3 days, the celebrations differ quite a bit from our european weddings. Always remembered will be the groom traditionally riding on a white horse to the wedding venue, where the bride and her guests wait. We have stuff like that only in fairy tales... The groom’s family and guests join the procession, dancing to the tunes of a “louder than everything else big band”.
You get to see the women dressed in colorful sarees and their hands and arms painted with henna. The men dressed in stylish Indian clothing, if they avoided the kind of standard business suits, that look the same all around the world.

hippies hate water

0083_india_goa_beach_hippies_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_1795
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso800 - f/7.1 - 1/4000 - Michael Grobe

The Hippie-Trails to India still seem to be alive, or some of the species have survived in Goa since the 60´s and 70´s...
The image shows some grainy noise, which can easily be explained. It is a 1700 x 1700 pixel crop of a 5624 x 3736 pixel file shot at iso 800, showing the amazing detail captured, but obviously emphasizing the inherent noise.

the kids of rajasthan

0081_india_rajasthan_kid_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_4205
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso200 - f/8 - 1/250 - Michael Grobe


0082_india_rajasthan_kid_michael-grobe-bilder__MG_4203
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso200 - f/8 - 1/180 - Michael Grobe

take off

0080_india_mumbai_bird_michael-grobs-bilder_MG_0454-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM -
iso400 - f/5.0 - 1/6400 - HDR composite of 3 exposures
- Michael Grobe

To get the detail in the clouds and the shaded underside of the lantern, a HDR capture was necessary. 3 shots (-1.3 ev, 0 ev, +1.3 ev) were merged in Photomatix. As a fast moving object, the bird was only in the first exposure (0 ev), so that guy is technically LDR (low dynamic range), only the background and the lantern are merged. I had to wait a while and shoot a few times, to get this one. Birds tend to do what they want, not what the photographer would love them to do...

bombay boys

0078_india_mumbai_boys_holi_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0738
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f8 - 1/160
- Michael Grobe

0079_india_mumbai_boys_holi_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0741
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f8 - 1/200 - Michael Grobe

Guys having fun and showing off after the celebration of Holi. Whenever you show a camera, there are different reactions around the world, but in Mumbai you always find a group, who wants to pose for a picture.

LEICA APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100 on Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

0072_leica_apo_macro_elmarit_r_2_8_100_michael-grobe-bilder
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100- iso100 - f/2.8 - Michael Grobe

0073_leica_apo_macro_elmarit_r_2_8_100_michael-grobe-bilder
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100- iso100 - f/4.0 - Michael Grobe

0074_leica_apo_macro_elmarit_r_2_8_100_michael-grobe-bilder
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100- iso100 - f/5.6 - Michael Grobe

A few months back there was the tough decision, whether to stay with Canon or switch to Nikon, as the D3 was released. I decided to buy the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III as it fits my professional needs best with its 21 megapixels. It is a great advantage to have that resolution for visual effects photography on a movie set. And Canon allows to adapt a variety of lenses from different manufacturers like ZEISS, LEICA, MAMIYA, PENTAX and others. So you can choose among the finest lenses available.
The 1Ds Mark III being very demanding with lenses to deliver the full resolution, that it is capable of, I started to look for lenses with outstanding performance. After reading a few reviews, especially Diglloyd´s ZEISS ZF lenses and his insights on the Leica APO-Summicron-R 90/2 ASPH, I bought a Contax ZEISS AE 35/2.8 Distagon and recently a LEICA APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100, both used, but optically in perfect condition. LEICA lenses don´t come cheap, when new, so it is a good idea to look on ebay. As long as you buy from an ebay shop, you have the right to give it back here in Germany, if it doesn´t meet your expectations. Something you can´t do, if bought from private party.
I choose the APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100 over the APO-Summicron-R 90/2 ASPH, as they ought to offer quite similar performance (the Summicron leading by a bit), but the Macro-Elmarit offering the welcome close range up to 1:2 magnification. Read Erwin Put´s columns on Leica lenses for details.
I won´t get into deep technical reviews of lenses with all their characteristics and performance (see Diglloyd and Puts for that), I will evaluate just the rendering of a lens under my personal shooting conditions and what they bring to the table for my requirements.
That said, today I took the first shots with the APO-Macro-Elmarit and if deeper exploration over the next few weeks doesn´t prove me wrong, I have to say, that this a truly outstanding lens. Just the one you need on a 1DS Mark III. Have a look at the beautiful bokeh (the look of out-of-focus areas) in the shots above, while the lens renders amazing detail and sharpness even wide open at f/2.8. It seems stopping down isn´t necessary to improve performance. The following 100% crops show the actual pixels: dust and a hair on a synthesizer´s keyboard.
I can´t wait to shoot more with that lens...

0075_leica_apo_macro_elmarit_r_2_8_100_michael-grobe-bilder
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100- iso100 - f/2.8 - actual pixels

0076_leica_apo_macro_elmarit_r_2_8_100_michael-grobe-bilder
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100- iso100 - f/4.0- actual pixels

0077_leica_apo_macro_elmarit_r_2_8_100_michael-grobe-bilder
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100- iso100 - f/5.6- actual pixels

portrait

0071_india_portrait_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_3859
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso400 - f5 - 1/25 - Michael Grobe

Colleague and friend during a shooting in Rajasthan.

sandy feet

0070_india_goa_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_1820-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso1600 - f4.0 - 1/200 - Michael Grobe

bollywood sleeps

0069_india_mumbai_bollywood_michael-grobe-bilder1DS-1254
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso100 - f8 - 30sec - Michael Grobe

Film City - a large studio complex in the hub of the indian film industry: Bollywood in Mumbai. The state government has built Film City at the outskirts of the National Park, Goregaon, where leopards, tigers and snakes call the shots. I took the shot from the rooftop of a 22-story apartment building, just before dawn. Luckily the guard at the entrance was sleeping, when I entered around 4 am, so no questions, what I would want on the roof in the middle of the night. It was a great experience to witness dawn over Mumbai from that height. Just had to stay in the middle of the roof, as there were no railings to keep me from a final flight...

The next image is a HDR (high dynamic range) composition of 3 single shots. I used Photomatix for the exposure blending to get all the fine detail in the shadows as well as in the highlights and the sky. The exposures were taken at -1.3ev, 0ev, +1.3ev. Sometimes a range like -2,0,+2 or even wider is better, that depends on the dynamic range, that a given scenery presents to your camera. For professional work on a movie set, I normally shoot 5 exposures from -4,-2,0,+2,+4 ev, or even 7 from -6 to +6 ev, that gives enough dynamic range in most situations for real HDR image based lighting in 3D computer graphics. For pure artistic photography, that dynamic range is in most cases over the top and produces a lot of data (the 21mp raw files of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III are around 25 mb each). If the scenery presents an extreme range from shadows to highlights, one should measure the dynamic range using a spotmeter, then bracket the exposures accordingly. It doesn´t hurt too much, to have more exposures than necessary, but it definitely hurts, if you didn´t capture the necessary range and find that out back home after the shoot...

0068_india_mumbai_bollywood_michael-grobe-bilder_1DS-1272_1_0_adjust
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f8 - 2,5sec -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots

dark fields

0067_night_lightpainting_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_3715-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso200/400 - f5.6 - 20sec/30sec
- composite of 6 images - Lighting by Udo Smutny and Michael Grobe


Another bavarian lightpainting...

he who walks behind the rows

0066_night_lightpainting_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_3733-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso200/400 - f5.6 - 20sec/30sec
- composite of 6 images - Lighting by Udo Smutny and Michael Grobe

Another composite of my last lightpainting session in bavarian outskirts. Luckily there was no wind, so the leaves were kind enough to hold still for all the 20-30 sec exposures. Backlight is again a 1 million candle power halogen spot, front lighting is a rather blueish led-flashlight. The colors have been graded to taste and the layers have been handpainted on top of each other to reveal the right amount of light for key, fill and rim.
Inspired by Stephen King`s “Children of the Corn.

togetherness

0065_india_goa_beach_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_1582-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso200 - f3.5 - 1/1000 - Michael Grobe

the tree and the lamp

0064_india_goa_beach_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_1827-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM -
iso1600 - f2.8 - 1/250 - Michael Grobe

holi - festival of colors

0063_holi_mumbai_india_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0664
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso400 - f4.5 - 1/2 - Michael Grobe


0061_holi_mumbai_india_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0727-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f8.0 - 1/200
- Michael Grobe


0062_holi_mumbai_india_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0723
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f8.0 - 1/200 - Michael Grobe


0060_holi_dog_india_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_0753
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso1600 - f4.0 - 1/30

Holi - the festival of colors. A spring festival in February or March (this year it coincided with Easter) celebrated all over India. On the first day bonfires are lit to burn the demoness Holika, on the second people start early in the morning to throw colors in each others faces. That means dry color powder as well as liquid water colors. Children use balloons, water guns and their fathers don´t hesitate to pour full buckets over each others heads. As much as I would have loved to shoot right where the action is, I had no water proof housing for my camera and on the first night already a ballon full of liquid color missed my camera by only a few inches to explode on my chest. The camera is weather sealed, but you really don´t want liquid red color on your camera body and lenses... So next day I chose to wait inside, till the action is over and explore the aftermath in the afternoon. That little dog would be clean again after a few days I was assured, like the kids, who had fun with him...

reach for the stars

0059_night_lightpainting_michael-grobe-bilder_1D_3745-Edit
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso200/400 - f5.6 - 20sec/30sec - composite of 8 images - Lighting by Udo Smutny

What do you do during a nice summer evening at the bavarian countryside...
First you have a proper “barbecue” - we call it “Grillen”, which requires lots of dead meat and beer or “Radler” for the ones like me.
Then at midnight you go into the wild for some shooting. Grab your camera, tripod, a few lenses and lots of light...
Lightpainting... a technique I used for some surrealistic photographs 20 years back and recently re-discovered. You shoot at night outdoors or in a dark studio indoors with a long exposure (e.g. 20 sec or as long as necessary) and reveal your objects by lighting them in painting style. You use your light source like a brush.
While often photographers try to light everything in one exposure, I prefer a different approach for static objects. I light every part of the image on separate exposures and combine them later in Photoshop. That leaves me much more control and freedom to create the desired lighting and I guess it is a tribute to my history as a Technical Director, lighting shots for feature films in the realm of 3D computer graphics.
For the shot above, 8 exposures were taken, a 30sec at iso400 for the stars and 7 20sec at iso200, while lighting the objects with a 1 million candle power (55 watts) halogen spotlight. The spotlight needs to be in constant movement to prevent hotspots, smooth circling provides softer light. The blue color was introduced later in Photoshop, easily possible, if the objects are lit on separate exposures.
I am going to get lights with 2 million candle power, as that will enable me to shoot at iso100 without extending the exposure times further, resulting in better image quality due to lesser noise.
Lightpainting is a technique, which I will explore deeper, it is great fun and delivers the unusual covered in darkness. It is for the night creatures, who love to be on the move, when others sleep...

faces of rajasthan

0058_india_rajasthan_face_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_3937
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso400 - f6,7 - 1/90 - Michael Grobe

the eagle has landed

0057_india_rajasthan_doves_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_3973
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso400 - f8 - 1/2000 - Michael Grobe

Not exactly an eagle, but a proper bird, I guess. These doves are special forces: instructed by an animal trainer, they are waiting in the wings for their appearance in a Bollywood movie. Shot during a training session in Rajasthan.

the colors of rajasthan

0054_india_rajasthan_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_3916
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso400 - f11 - 1/750 - Michael Grobe


0055_india_rajasthan_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_4208
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso200 - f4 - 1/500 - Michael Grobe


0056_india_rajasthan_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_3915
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso400 - f11 - 1/500 - Michael Grobe

In late 2007 we went to a small town in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a salt desert in Rajasthan, for the shooting of a Bollywood movie. It was a great experience, to be in this world of colors and textures, would have loved to stay there for a couple of days longer to have more time for photography. It seemed as if I had been the first european guy there, at least it felt like that to me. It was sometimes quite tricky to take pictures without someone in front of the camera, a few guys were quite keen to be on every photograph. So they constantly moved into frame with a smile...
It is a different and beautiful world out there, if you have the chance, go off the usual tourist track and explore the real beauty of India.

synchronicity

0053_india_mumbai_boat_michael-grobe-bilder_MG_1092
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso200 - f8 - 1/250 - Michael Grobe

last exit for the lost





0052_fields_of_the_nephilim_last_exit_for_the_lost_grobe-bilder



where the night has become elizium
for the sleepless souls
and our days to come
may be i'll just pass away
or may be i'll stay
but i feel alive with you
and i feel some kind of heaven
hear me
give me some kind of heaven


At The Gates Of Silent Memory

Fields of the Nephilim






parallelism

0050_india_mumbai_boat_shoe_grobe-bilder_MG_1114
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f3.5 - 1/1600 - Michael Grobe

This photo of a series had to be taken silently without the attention of the subject, otherwise the opportunity for this shot would have been destroyed. So the camera (EOS-1Ds Mark III) with the EF 70-200mm attached rested on my knees, while I was sitting. Zoomed to almost 200mm, live view enabled me to focus manually to precisly focus the shoe, the aperture wide open limited depth of field. Using autofocus would have had a great chance of missing the exact focus. It takes some practice to shoot hand-held with live view at 10x magnification for focussing, especially on a shaky boat.
The 100% crop below shows the actual captured detail.

0051_india_mumbai_boat_shoe_grobe-bilder_MG_1114_crop
100% crop - actual pixels

holy cow

0049_india_mumbai_holy_cow_grobe-bilder_MG_1054
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f8.0 - 1/80 - Michael Grobe

Yes these guys are all over the place in India, in the cities, on the streets. And they have the right of way. Imagine that in New York, London or Berlin...
But then... I´d love to have some elephants around in Munich... I know they can become dangerous, but I definitely would prefer them to all the dogs in the parks...

live the dream

0047_delorean_dmc_grobe-bilder_1D_2200
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - ZEISS ZF 35/2,8 DISTAGON -
iso100 - f4 - 1/40 - Michael Grobe

0048_delorean_dmc_grobe-bilder_P9080037
Canon EOS-650 - Kodak Ektachrome 100 - Michael Grobe

What is a classic sports car all about? What makes it so desirable that you switch off your rationality and don´t even think about it´s uselessness for daily transport? Emotions - there are cars that deliver pure emotions. When you approach, you get weak knees in anxious expectation of sliding into the drivers seat. The cockpit fits you like a tailor-made suit, you sit just a few inches above the asphalt, that soon will fly beneath. The design is futuristic and almost timeless, not the average modern day car, but a masterpiece of one of the few world class designers.
John Z. DeLorean`s DMC-12 is one of those cars. Designed by Giorgio Giugiaro and developed with the support of Colin Chapman`s Lotus, the car became a stainless steel gullwing beauty - dream of an extraordinary man.

By the way... the first photo shows the smooth rendering of the Contax ZEISS AE 35/2.8 truly a great lens delivering a destinctive and admirable look. I highly recommend the ZEISS ZF lens line for shooting with a high resolution camera, that needs only the best lenses to deliver the maximum quality.

at world`s end

0045_new_zealand_lake_grobe-bilder_IMG_1647-2
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso100 - f5.6 - 1/100
- Michael Grobe

0046_new_zealand_sign_grobe-bilder_IMG_1858
Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso200 - f3.2 - 1/3200 - Michael Grobe

lost in the clouds

0043_new_zealand_cloud_grobe-bilder_IMG_1282
Canon EOS-20D - 19-35mm - iso100 - f9 - 1/1000 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-20D - 19-35mm - iso100 - f9 - 1/1000 - Michael Grobe

The clouds are coming down to kiss the mountains. South Island of New Zealand, near Milford Sound.

Wasserfuchli

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Canon EOS-20D - 80-400mm - iso100 - f13.0 - 1/8000 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-20D - 80-400mm - iso100 - f13.0 - 1/8000 - Michael Grobe

Hydroplane floating in golden sunlight at dusk on Lake Te Anau, South Island of New Zealand.

mumbai harbor

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM -
iso200 - f13.0 - 1/1250 - Michael Grobe

A fisher boat is traveling lonely across Mumbai Harbor in full midday sun. The haze once again beautifully faded the layers of the city skyline and overall the image screamed for black and white.

sleeping beauty

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Sony Cybershot DSC-P9 - iso100 - f4.5 - 1/125 - Michael Grobe

Sleeping black swans on lake Rotorua, North Island of New Zealand.

dark forest

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Canon EOS-650 - Kodak Ektachrome 100 - Michael Grobe

Another slide-scan of photographs, which I took during my first stay in New Zealand in 2003. Cold morning mist covers the snowy top of the mountains while the forest still sleeps in darkness. It is the most amazing and beautiful country I have seen and I would love to stay there, if it wasn´t at worlds end...

marine drive in mumbai

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso1600 - f5.0 - 1/8000 - Michael Grobe

Shot from a fast moving car, exactly exposed to my taste, the sky and the sun burning away while the silhouetted people in the foreground still show detail and the skyline of Mumbai Harbor fades in the haze. No additional post-processing was necessary, apart from the standard sharpening. A situation like this ended up with a wrong exposure, if you are on evaluative metering, with all cameras I previously owned. Looks like the latest breed of Canon gets it right here. Having detail in the sky and in the foreground would require a hdr capturing of the scene, as the dynamic range is far to wide for a standard low dynamic range digital capture. As hdr (high dynamic range) capture with a slr camera means exposure bracketing (in this case at least 3 shots, 0ev, -2ev, +2ev), how do you accomplish that, when you are shooting handheld from a moving car... Real hdr capture in a single exposure is one of my favorite points on the wish list for future camera developments, but it is likely to take a few years, before we see that.
But here the image shines because of the burned sky and sun, so additional detail wouldn´t make it any better.

saree


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso400 - f6.3 - 1/500 - Michael Grobe

Indian saree flying in the wind through a hole of a ferry boat`s cabin wall. I like the beautiful and rich colors of indian clothes, they often stand out from their surroundings and compliment darker skin tones. Back here in Germany, people love to darken their skin in summer or by going to solaria, while in India everyone seems to long for fair skin, the TV channels are full with advertising of skin whiteners. Maybe one always wants, what is on the other side...

the 2000 dollar car


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso3200 - f5.6 - 1/30 - Michael Grobe

This picture shows the target group for the 2000 dollar car: an indian family, riding altogether on a motorbike. The 2000 dollar car would only be slightly more expensive than a decent new bike and most likely provide more safety to these families for their travels. I shot this one from a car window, while we were overtaking, iso 3200 made it possible, as the sun already had gone down and darkness was closing in.

monkeys on elephanta island

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f6.3 - 1/160 - Michael Grobe

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM -
iso200 - f5.6 - 1/100 - Michael Grobe

Caught some of the monkeys on Elephanta Island in Mumbai harbor with the 24-105mm, a great walk-around-lens for all occasions, where you just want to carry a single lens with your camera. But the EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM feeds the demanding 21MP of the 1Ds with better quality in terms of detail, sharpness and the bokeh is also much more pleasing and “alive”.
To explore the real capabilities of the 1Ds mk III there are a few special lenses beyond the best Canon L glasses: the ZEISS ZF lens line, some medium format lenses or the legendary LEICA 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R ASPH, which all can be used manually with adapters on an EOS body. For my professional work, where I demand high resolution, I use a Contax ZEISS AE 35/2,8 DISTAGON. Manual focus is anyway the way to go with live view from a tripod for perfect focus and manual stop down is a burden to take for that extra quality.
Go and get a review of the ZEISS ZF lenses from
Diglloyd, worth every dollar, as the author provides one of the most comprehensive and detailed reviews to be found on the net.
If you are a Nikon shooter, the ZEISS ZF line is a no brainer, as you get it with Nikon lens mount originally, so it is manual focus, but no manual stop down. The author of this blog has been called “young enough to wait for a Canon EF mount version of the ZEISS lenses” by a ZEISS executive during a photo trade show in Mumbai, India in early 2008... whatever that means, a few months or a few years?
The LEICA 90/2 APO is very high on the wish list, if just the price of that good-old-german glass was a tad more on the casual side...

ardea cinerea

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso100 - f2.8 - 1/640 - Michael Grobe

albert einstein house

Whenever you are in Berlin, Germany make a trip to Albert Einstein`s Summerhouse in Caputh, Potsdam and get a guided tour. The house itself feels in some ways more depressing to me than inspiring as a home for a genius. I guess that is due to the small rooms covered in dark brown wood. But you will get some insights of Einstein, his family and how they lived, when they were at that place near the lake “Schwielowsee”. The lake area itself is fantastic for recreation, you don´t believe, that you are only half an hour away from pulsating Berlin. Here is a link:

Einsteinhaus in Caputh (Potsdam), Germany

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM -
iso800 - f4.0 - 1/25 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM -
iso800 - f8.0 - 1/250 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso100 - f7.1 - 1/125 - Michael Grobe

stranded

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso100 - f4.0 - 1/640 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f2.8 - 1/2000 - Michael Grobe

A trip to Elephanta Island (Gharapuri Island) in Mumbai Harbour in March 2008 revealed these stranded boats, waiting for the elements to raise them to the dust, from which they came.

dark wings

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso200 - f7.1 - 1/800 - Michael Grobe

“people once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead” - proem of “The Crow”
I don´t know if that bird there is even a crow, but it reminds me deeply of that movie, a favorite of mine and makes me wonder, how many great cinematic moments Brandon Lee could have given the audience, if he didn`t die while shooting that film.
So get the soundtrack from the movie, put on your headphones and fly away gothic style with “The Cure: Burn”...

dark moon

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso400 - f6.3 - 3.2sec - Michael Grobe

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM - iso400 - f5.6 - 1.3sec - Michael Grobe

Some night shots at Royal Palms Estate, Mumbai, India taken in March 2008. In that “satellite city in the jungle” photography is not allowed. I managed to shoot for half an hour, before some guards came on a motorcycle and asked me to stop. One thing often helps in India with these problems, you immediately switch to your mother language... dann versteht man dich nicht mehr, man selber spielt den Unwissenden, der die anderen nicht versteht... und mit etwas Glück löst sich das Problem durch gehörige Entnervung des Gegenübers.

dark waves

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso400 - f8.0 - 25sec - Michael Grobe

I love darkness. This one a 25 sec. exposure of the ocean waves coming and going between the rocks in Goa, India in March 2008. Note the spooky guy on the left. As it was almost pitch black, I couldn´t see him, he must have stood still for the whole exposure, probably a fisherman...

faces of euro 2008

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f3.2 - 1/60 - Michael Grobe

Great weather and great football... I admit, that I am not really a football fan, but European championships or World cups get even my interest. Watching an exciting match together with friends at a nearby pub or a public viewing area is great fun.
And another welcome opportunity to shoot some pictures. Technically another test for the low light capabilities of a 1Ds Mk III with the EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM and a 5D with the EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM. Gave me enough sensitivity to capture under street light conditions at ISO 1600 and 3200. I don´t like changing lenses, while I am standing on a wobbly table amongst thousands of crazy football fans, who don´t hesitate to give you showers with beer and sparkling wine, so I shot also with two cameras. The results are quite usable, even for printing. While a Nikon D3 would have given roughly another 2 stops of usable low light sensitivity with low noise, the Canons still produce very good results under these conditions. And I really like the 5616 x 3744 pixels of the 1Ds Mk III. As high resolution with great image quality at low ISO is an indispensable assett for my kind of “visual effects photography” for commercial and feature film shootings, I chose the Canon over the Nikon D3. Still everytime the daylight is fading, I wish I had one...
And by the way, Germany is in the finale.

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM -
iso3200 - f4.0 - 1/25 - Michael Grobe

Yes, there is no football without beer in Germany. Especially in Bavaria...
Some of the pictures got some flash fill from the 580 EX II, while the rest is available light and I preserved the orange mood of the street lamps in Lightroom.

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f4.0 - 1/100 - Michael Grobe

Interestingly this one (aswell as the title photo) is lit by the flash of another photographer, makes me wonder about the probability of catching another photographer`s flash in a 1/100 second...

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso3200 - f4.0 - 1/20 - Michael Grobe

Hmm... is this guy selling beer to the police?

old cheesy slides

What should one do with some old slide-scans of cheesy sundowners at the ocean...
One might say, you shouldn´t have taken the picture in the first place, but then, when you are at that beach you probably don´t feel cheesy about the view at all.
Thanks to the digital darkroom that can be fixed.
The images have been taken with my old trusty Canon EOS 650, the first serious of EOS cameras from 1987, which still just needs a fresh battery and a some film to work beautifully. I can still use my old lenses from that decade directly with my digital EOS bodies, don´t know of many technologies, which can provide that. Still I won´t switch back to film shooting at all, digital 35 is so much more enjoyable, has better image quality and you have the direct and full control in camera and in your computer.

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Canon EOS-650 - Michael Grobe

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Canon EOS-650 - Michael Grobe

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Canon EOS-650 - Michael Grobe

cross processing

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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso3200 - f3.2 - 1/40 - Michael Grobe

C41-E6 cross processing. Cross-processing is a technique used in analog photography where C-41 print film is processed in chemicals, that you use for the processing of E-6 slide film, or vice versa. Nowadays these effects can be easily achieved with certain Photoshop filters. I used the PixelGenius PhotoKit Color 2.0 with the C41-E6 yellow settings (they had been converted from color to black and white before). This way you can sometimes “save the image” by adding an interesting effect (nothing out of the fancy spectrum, which burns your eyes...). The images below all suffer from technical deficiencies: due to poor low light capabilities of the used camera and lens and a rolling and shaking train as the shooting platform, sharpness, detail and noise are way on the bad side. But with some enhancement in Lightroom/Photoshop, they reveal the mood of taking a train ride in Mumbai, India. That´s where people stand in the open door frames and even on top of the carriages during rush hours.

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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso3200 - f4.0 - 1/60 - Michael Grobe

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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso3200 - f4.0 - 1/60 - Michael Grobe

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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso1600 - f3.5 - 1/60 - Michael Grobe

color and composition 2

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4.0L IS USM -
iso400 - f5.6 - 1/125


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4.0L IS USM - iso400 - f5.6 - 1/200 - Michael Grobe

There is some barrel distortion when the 24-105 is shot at the wide end, but a big part of it is “natural”: most of the beautiful houses in Goa haven´t seen a straight line, when they were built.

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 24-105mm 1:4.0L IS USM - iso200 - f8.0 - 1/1250 - Michael Grobe

color and composition

Some abstract images, playing with smooth color and composition.
Also shot in Goa, India.

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso800 - f5.0 - 1/160


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso800 - f7.1 - 1/200 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso200 - f5.0 - 1/1600 - Michael Grobe

the beaches of goa

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso200 - f8.0 - 1/4000

After a year working in Mumbai, in April 2008 I took the opportunity to relax a few days in Goa, together with a director and friend of mine. We stayed in Calangute, a very nice “hippie” part of Goa.

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM -
iso400 - f6.3 - 1/800 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso800 - f7.1 - 1/1000 - Michael Grobe

grobe-bilder.com online

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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso100 - f5.0 - 1/800 - Michael Grobe

Finally after some sleepless nights of webpage design, www.grobe-bilder.com is online.
I will post all sorts of photographies, either related to my profession as a VFX Supervisor for feature films and commercials or my personal joy to capture the moment.
Photography is one of my great interests since I was a child and I got my first camera from my father, a Rollei 35. Professionally I use (nowadays digital) camera as tools to gather information for VFX (visual effects) post production, like high dynamic range (HDR) environments or reference and texture images.
Some advise on equipment, techniques and workflows will follow. So I hope you enjoy the pictures and maybe get some ideas about visual effects and photography.
The site is still under construction, only roughly done and will get a few updates and obviously more pictures, which need further preparation before publishing.