night barber

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.

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

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.

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

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

lighting the moon

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

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

hollywood fog

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

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

close encounter

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

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

manhattan nights

Manhattan Nights from Michael Grobe on Vimeo.

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

coming home

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

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

mulholland night

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

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

blue dawn

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

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

winter night sun

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

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

daisy and the snow

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

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

happy new year

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

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

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

the roofs of munich

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.

distorted night

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...


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

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.


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.

Detailed crop of image above.

the last adventure

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.

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

california moon

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

shift and tilt

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.

halloween in hollywood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

l.a. nights

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.