Daily Inspiration #359 by Henning Nilsen

Hey Steve,

I’ve been reading your website for a little over a year now and I think it is time that I finally get involved instead of just staying a silent reader. Therefore I have a set of images I’d like to share with you and the rest of the community. Next month (when I wrote the e-mail) it will be exactly 1 year since the bombing in Oslo and massacre on Utøya by Breivik. This was something that not only shook the Norwegian people, but a great part of the world as well. It was an emotional time for many, not knowing if your loved ones were fine or not. It was the first time we saw military forces on duty in our streets. Heck, seeing police is a somewhat rare sight.

So, I brought my Leica M8 with me to downtown Oslo the day after, seeing if I could capture some of the distress and emotion it brought with it. Here are some of the results from that day.

You can find my work at http://500px.com/HKNphotos.


Photo Nr.1 – Leica M8 + Voigtländer 35mm f1.2 Nokton ASPH @ f1.4 160iso

Photo Nr.2 – Leica M8 + Voigtländer 35mm f1.2 Nokton ASPH @ f1.2 160iso

Photo Nr.1 – Leica M8 + Voigtländer 35mm f1.2 Nokton ASPH @ f1.4 160iso


  1. Photo Nr.2 – Очень классное! И живое. Очень понравилось.

  2. Great shots. I have to say that I’m continually surprised at how shots taken by the M8 possess more of that “Leica look” than do shots from the M9. I’ve just never been all that impressed with the M9’s output.

  3. Hello from Denmark. We were and are also still shocked by what that psychotic lunatic did. I hope he will never be let out in society again as a free man.

    The first picture captures some of the dismay you are talking about. The second is also a very good shot, although I feel it could have been taken on any day.

  4. Love the detail, the light, the atmosphere and above all the sense of being. Lovely work.

  5. The M8 does a great job in Henning’s hands. Love the sook dog. ))

    Off topic somewhat, maybe because I live a long way from any city; there seems a proliferation of so- called “street” photos these days. The low cost of digital capture, good low light performance or increasing urbanisation might be contributing factors, or have I missed something?
    What happens to these shots – do the snappers print and place in thematic albums? Framed wall hangings? Or look and ditch?

    Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand and others must be wondering..

    • Digital has created a flood of all kinds of photography, not just street shots. However, real talent remains as uncommon as ever.

      • You’re right of course, Doug, but I still think there is a greater increase of “street” shots.

        I’m not complaining, although many strike me as rather repetitive and I don’t want to read the term “gritty” again )).

  6. Fantastic all of them great street work wow that 35 nokton is starting to pull on my heart strings which are connected to my wallet

  7. very moving images Henning…..you captured the soul and the atmosphere very well

  8. Love how these images have been rendered. Really like the second image. I may have to investigate some more on adding the Voigt 35mm f1.2 to the kit.

  9. These are very strong images. The first and third are my favorites. Though, if I didn’t read your story first I don’t think the images would portray any sense of distress. Living in Seattle, they look like a normal day in the rain.

    On a technical note, based on looking at my on screen version of the first image, try to hold back the hot spot above the umbrella as this draws the viewers eye away from the woman face. If necessary, you may need to crop a little from the right and top to reduce the size of this hot spot. But crop in small steps, as going too far will ruin the over all look of this image.


      • I appreciate the feedback.

        My monitor is not calibrated so it might be the reason why I didn’t catch it. Could also be that when I did edit these my “technical aptitude” wasn’t at the level it is now and it didn’t bother me.

        In regards to the link, there is a unintentional period on the end of the link. Remove that and the link should work.

        • I disagree, I like the hot spot, while not technically “correct” I think it adds to the feeling of the image.

          Great B&W set.

    • On a NON-technical note, Paul, I think that “..hot spot above the umbrella..” gives the picture charm: it provides brightness and optimism despite the rain.

      I wouldn’t crop anything from that photo, either ..her left eye is bang on the “golden mean”; dead-on two-thirds the way across the picture (and a smidgen above half-way up). Caught perfectly.

  10. love your photos, i m thinking of buying Voigtländer 35mm f1.2 Nokton ASPH on my NEX 7. would it be a great combination???

  11. Really strong work – one thing I don’t understand though, I I thought you needed a OM-5 E=MC² to be able to shoot in the rain 😉

  12. Beautiful images. I love the atmosphere you have captured in the rainy shots. Very emotive.

  13. I love the second pic, but the powerlines and the road have very strong doubling in the bokeh which makes it too distracting for me. Is there any way to avoid that? Or can that be removed in post-production?

    • Doughnut shaped highlight broken and line doubling –not pleasant to my eye. That bokeh is a characteristic of the lens and aperture used — no simple post production fix unless you use photoshop tools such as blur and layers or spot cloning.
      Nice atmospheric photos with good composition and tonal range.

    • Hey Henning,
      I love those pictures, the only strange thing is the Bokeh, a little funky some times, but I like it :D.
      I wanted to follw the link to see more of this amazing work, but it didin´t work 🙁
      Greets, Timo

  14. They hit a sweet spot. The first two show that great shots can be made in all conditions. I am not overly enamoured of high contrast black and white, frankly most do nothing for me. But, for me. on this occasion the first 2 hit the spot even before I looked at the large size. Also, I tried the link but it does not work in my brousers

  15. Wonderful images that both capture and invoke a depth of emotion. Thank you for sharing.

  16. I really enjoyed your photos. I keep coming back to the second image and those beautiful faces. The first one tells a story, the white dog in a sea of grey was a nice catch.

  17. Very stunning B&W photos, i m planning to get that lens on my NEX 7. Is it would be great combination?

    • I have used that lens on my NEX 7 and other than the lens being a bit heavy, it has achieved great results, especially with focus peaking!

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