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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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

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

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

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...

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

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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.

the kids of rajasthan

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


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

faces of rajasthan

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

the eagle has landed

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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.

portrait

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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso400 - f5 - 1/25 - Michael Grobe

Colleague and friend during a shooting in Rajasthan.

the colors of rajasthan

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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso400 - f11 - 1/750 - Michael Grobe


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Canon EOS-20D - 28-70mm - iso200 - f4 - 1/500 - Michael Grobe


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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

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

parallelism

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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.

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100% crop - actual pixels

holy cow

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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...

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.

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...

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...

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