A night at the Oktoberfest

I had once promised that I would write more about photography and now finally the time has come! I would like to share my learning with my Canon 550D. In this post I will just talk about my shots from the Oktoberfest, where I tried to shoot different rides in the evening, when the rides were brightly lit.

Auf gehts…

Frisbee

Frisbee

The picture I want to talk about is the shot of a ride called ‘Frisbee’, one of the most popular rides at the fest. It has a big circular disc which can rotate on its axis and also swings like a pendulum. Since I wanted to capture the colorful light, I had to reduce my shutter speed to 4 secs. Shutter speed basically tells me how much light goes into my camera. Longer the time, more light goes into my camera and for so long my lens will be open to capture all the information. I could have captured the same at may be 2 secs shutter speed but then I could not have captured the rotation motion of the disc. At this point i also took care that my shutter speed is not too long, which would distort the whole picture by letting in more light and also because of the fast movement of the disc. So, I chose the shutter speed which was good enough just to capture the movement and also its the approximate time that the disc stays at its topmost position before changing its direction. Now that we have set our shutter speed, it is also important to adjust our focal stop. In technical terms, the focal stop or f-stop is the ratio of focal length of the lens to the aperture size. In other words it affects the light gathering area and helps to make our subject distinct from the background. Since I did not require any distinction between my subject and the background and I also wanted to reduce the amount of light going into my camera without changing my shutter speed, I had to increase the f-stop to f/22. As I could capture the image I wanted with these settings, I kept my ISO at 100. These three main settings play major role in photography, shutter speed, focal stop and the ISO.

Last but not least, I want to quickly talk about the lens I used to take the shots. Since it was very crowded and I did not have the kind of place I needed to capture the entire ride in my frame, I used my wide angle lens. All the pictures here are taken from my Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC lens and according to me it does a pretty good job.

Few more basic but important suggestions:

1. Most of the night photos might require post processing and hence I would suggest taking the shots in RAW format.

2. Always use tripod for night photography.

3. Try experimenting with different settings. The photos which might look good on the camera LCD screen might always not look good on the computer screen.

Enjoy the rest of the pictures and let me know what you think about them. Pour in your comments or suggestions down below.

Chairoplane

Chairoplane

The Tower

The Tower

Riesenrad

Riesenrad

Frisbee again!

Frisbee again!

Carousel for children :)

Carousel for children 🙂

Riesenrad - Ready...Get set...Go...

Riesenrad – Ready…Get set…Go…

House hunting

From the past few weeks it has been a very annoying and frustrating and irritating experience. All I want is to shift to a new house and is it so hard to ask? The answer to that would be “Yes, because it is Munich”. I actually thought that it is difficult in India to find a place to stay but in Munich it is next to impossible.  I mean I had heard before, that it is pain in the a** but never believed it to be so tough. Let me take you all briefly through my experience so far.

For the present house of about 40 sq meters if I ask any of you to guess the rent, I think no one would come near. It is beyond imagination. Simply put in words, it is just 1100 Euros (nearly equal to 75,000 Rupees). Fortunately, my Company will be paying till end of this month and from July I need to pay the rent myself. I think that is good enough reason for me to relocate. So, I convince my friend to shift with me thinking that it might be easy to get 2 BHK house. But for my surprise it was the most difficult one. The procedure goes like this… you need to call the agent or the owner and make an appointment. Sometime they provide the appointment date and time on the website (immobilienscout.de) where we search for apartments. Here I was holding my first appointment, waiting to see it. When I went to the address, I was dumb folded to see so many people there on the same time. I mean, it was really like one of our marriages, where people just keep pouring in. This is the only the first hurdle. Once you enter the house, you are allowed to look around and decide for yourself whether you really want to rent the place or not. If you are interested you are suppose to fill a form. If you are thinking it is a simple form with our name and phone number then I’m sorry to disappointment you all. In this form you are supposed to give details about our current address, our employment including salary, any unpaid bills, and references if any. Along with this form a copy of salary slip as a proof of income and a copy of our passport and visa. Oh wait! It is not yet done. So this is the application part. There will be around 30-50 people who will be doing this. After couple of days, the person in charge lets you know if you are that privileged tenant who will be staying in the house. And in my case it was usually a ‘No’. Till today I have no idea on what basis they make their decision. This was the story with 2 BHK houses.

Since it was getting painful, I chose the more painful way (figured that out later :D). I decided to look for shared apartments (Wohngemeinschaft-WG). The procedure is quite same as looking for apartments except here you need to meet all the person living in the apartment. In reality, it is lot more tougher job to convince the guys to choose you. By the way that’s just the pre-selection process :D. After they have selected around 3-4 guys out of 30-40 applications, they provide all details to the house owner. And it is the final call from the owner based on our background and income which decides who is going to stay in the apartments. The best part is there is a website called wg-gesucht.de where one can look for all the shared apartments in Germany and choose to apply which ever they want to. And the worst part is, when you are looking in a big city like Munich, people usually do not provide their contact number and therefore you are forced to email them and at the end of it you hardly find people responding to your emails. Believe it or not, out of 60 emails, I hardly got 7-8 responses. Sometime it even happens that you show up in front of the apartment only to find either no one is there to open the door or the appointment is cancelled because of some ridiculous reason.

After going through so much drama, I was still unsuccessful to find a place. So, I decided to go for third option, which were Studio apartments. In Munich one can find high number of Studio apartments, as there are lot of working professionals come here to stay for short durations. Keeping that in mind, I thought it might make things little easier. But in no way it seemed like that.

Finally I was able to find a Studio apartment only because the agent of my current house referred me to the owner. And the reason for that is, the agent is referred by my company, who are much familiar with foreign professionals (I might sound little racist here, but I am afraid it is one of the criteria.). They are many other factors that are important while finding an apartment like,

  1. Which area you want?
  2. Whether you want furnished or unfurnished?
  3. With furnished kitchen (Einbauküche) or without?
  4. How big and how much you can afford for the rent?
  5. Do you also want Cellar and Garage?
  6. Whether you are fine with paying commission for the agent or not?

This is the whole story of what I have been doing from past 6 weeks. At the end, I would like to give a basic idea on different costs one has to bear while looking for an apartment in cities like Munich (below are only the approximate cost indication),

  1. Rent – Studio: 500 Euros/month, 2 BHK: 900 Euros/month
  2. Additional Rent (water, electricity, etc…) – 100 to 150 Euros/month
  3.  Deposit – 3 x Rent – 1500 to 2700 Euros (one time refundable)
  4. Commission – 2.38 x Rent – 1100 to 2000 Euros (one time non refundable)
  5. Kitchen furnishing – 800 to 1000 Euros
  6. House furnishing – 1500 to 2000 Euros

P.S: I hope I did not bore you guys with my house hunting story… 😛 Wanted to post one from a long time and could not think of any thing else… 🙂