Archive for March, 2007

Richard Bottram, Mr. Uber-Marathon

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

 

Richard Bottram
Richard Bottram talks to Christine Strobl
Photo © 2007 by Mark Zanzig/zettpressToday I photographed the arrival of Richard Bottram on Munich’s Marienplatz. You might not have heard his name before, but you should have. You see, this guy is absolutely crazy. Since June 30, 2006, he has been running a full marathon (i.e. 42 km) every single day, somewhere in Europe. And he plans to continue until June 30, 2007 – a full 365 days! Hence the name of his project: Marathon365.So, on the 236th leg of his trip he was now visiting Munich (again), coming from Ebersberg, just outside of Munich (in fact, er, 42 kilometers away). Bottram was joined by nine other runners, and he arrived on time to meet the press. He was greeted by Munich’s Mayor, Christine Strobl, and the Consul General for The Netherlands, Lionel Strenghart Veer, upon his arrival at the Marienplatz.

 

Richard Bottram is a vibrant guy, certainly inspiring when you talk to him, and full of athletic energy. But why is he doing all this? He is raising money for the charity “Run against Cancer”. He lost his partner Elise, aged 37, in March 2005 after the previous diagnoses of lung cancer in the summer of 2004. The goal of this unique event is to gather as many donations as possible for the research and direct support of people with cancer. Having lost both my father and my mother to cancer, I wish him and his team good luck for this important project.

For further information on the project, please visit Richard’s web site.

marathon365.org (official website)

 

Happy in Munich: Richard Bottram (center)
Richard Bottram in front of Munich’s city hall*
Photo © 2007 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress*and his supporters (from left): Monique Morssink (Organization & Blogging), Lionel Strenghart Veer (Consul General of The Netherlands), Richard Bottram, Christine Strobl (Mayor of Munich), Eric Bottram (Organization & Support)

 

Where the Hell is Matt?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I think that the popular video sharing site Youtube (now owned by Google) is very similar to music sharing site Napster back in 2000, and it is facing the same legal challenges as Napster did back then. That’s why I usually do not post about anything Youtube related on my blog.

However, once in a while I come across really unique, fresh, high-quality content. The early Chad Vader episodes, for example, were funny and original. But even that did not make me write a blog entry here. I did not want to write about Youtube videos. Until now.

A colleague made me aware of Where the Hell is Matt? by Matt Harding, a 30-year-old bloke from Connecticut. In 2003, he made a trip around the world (low cost, as I understand) and started to film a silly dance in the places he visited. Guess what? The video became extremely popular, and Matt became an Internet icon. Soon after his video floated on the Internet, Matt was asked by Stride Gum to do another trip around the world, sponsored by them, to do more dancing and filming at some unusual places. The result: a six month trip through 39 countries! Now, congrats, Matt, for this excellent deal, and thanks for the awesome video!

Now, if only that would happen to me. For once. ;-)

Where the Hell is Matt? (Video at Youtube)
Where the Hell are Matt’s Outtakes? (Video at Youtube)
Where the Hell was Matt? (Original Video from 2003, at Youtube)
Where the Hell is Matt? (official site)

P.S.: In case you are wondering – yes, we have been to some of the places where Matt has been: Monument Valley, Berlin, The Sossusvlei, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London. We did not dance, though. :-)

The beauty of RAW photography

Friday, March 16th, 2007

 

Before and After in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Mercedes-Benz Munich at Night
Photo © 2007 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress
Only recently I spent some time on shooting in RAW format, after having seen that strong recommendation from several sources, including the manual of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The message was clear: RAW allows much more post-production flexibility and control. This goes on to a degree that I would not have believed to be possible.Take the above shot I did yesterday evening. The original shot was dull, slightly overexposed with a color temperature that was completely off. In older times (i.e. the JPEG days) I probably would have deleted that shot as unusable.Using the new freedom of loss-free post processing (in my case with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom), I could adjust the color temperature (from 2,450K to 2,200K) and the exposure (-2/3), and then add some vibrance (+10) and saturation (+20). The result is stunning.

 

Lightroom has this neat feature of Before/After comparison, so it’s easy to see how well you’ve done. And if you do not like the result, you can easily undo the changes, because the original file is never touched by Lightroom.

The one drawback of the RAW format is its bigger file size (on average, my files are now 13.6 MB instead of 10.3 MB with JPEGs), but the additional freedom is definitely worth it.

So, if your camera offers RAW shooting, I definitely recommend to use it. See for yourself whether your results improve.

P.S.: Here are the essentials of the shot – Canon EOS 1ds mark II and EF 24-70 mm (at 70mm), ISO 50, f22, 55 seconds.

Allianz Arena After Sunset

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Allianz Arena After Sunset
Munich’s Allianz Arena After Sunset
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Petra was on a business trip, and she had asked me to pick her up at the airport yesterday. Whoa! As the weather was excellent, I said, “sure, as you wish”, took the tripod and the camera, and before picking her up I stopped on the way to the airport to do a number of shots of the beautiful Allianz Arena, the world famous soccer stadium, right after sunset. I had a clear vision of what I wanted – traffic rushing on the highway 9, completely blurred, and the illuminated stadium in the back, crisp and sharp.So I did a couple of shots. Hope you like ‘em.

Allianz Arena Munich
Allianz Arena, showing the traditional color of FC Bayern München
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Allianz Arena München bei Nacht
Allianz Arena at night
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Munich, 13-MAR-07 – The soccer stadium “Allianz Arena” is certainly one of Munich’s attractions, even more so after sunset, once its lighting system has been switched on. On days without matches, the color changes about every 30 minutes between white, red, and blue. White is its neutral color, red stands for co-owner FC Bayern München, and blue stands for 1860 München. Both clubs are located in Munich. When one of the clubs plays, the arena is illuminated in the club color the whole evening. And when one club invites the other (so-called “local derbies”), the stadium is presented in the color of the host.