Great street photography makes ordinary things look extraordinary. It is the beauty of the small things that often are overlooked in every day life. It is there for everyone to see but only the photographer is able to catch the moment and create art. I live nearby the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, so visiting this great museum is something I regularly do. As the museum was packed with tourists the last time I paid the museum a visit, I decided to put my focus on the many visitors instead of the displayed art. Due to the fact that it was so crowded and everybody was taking pictures with their smartphones themselves, I was free to take some pictures of the visitors, something you actually hardly can do anymore these days because everybody is so hyper sensitive for having a picture taken without their strict permission. Looking through the crowd, I saw the three figures on the paintings looking at the three persons sitting in front of it and quickly took a picture. If this is an example of great street photography is for others to decide, but it made me chuckle nevertheless 🙂
The picture you are looking at, is one of an old Mercedes Benz Estate (a W123-T to be precise). It is being used as a daily driver by one of my neighbours in Amsterdam and was parked just around the corner when it caught my eye. Battered and used, with quite a lot ‘patina’ (well, dents and rust to be honest), but revealing a beauty many vintage cars can have. Bathing in the evening light, certain details just caught my attention. Like this detail, shot wide open with the Summilux lens…smooth as silk.
Surrender. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I look at this picture. What I’ve learned throughout the years, is that letting go of the need for making pictures results in the most valuable pictures. So, to surrender to the moment and space you are in, means you tap into your subconscious mind and great opportunities appear in front of you. That surely is the case with photography. This time I was taking a stroll through my Amsterdam neighbourhood, feeling a bit out of sync. As I was sitting on a bench staring at the water, I noticed the pattern in the water and decided to make a picture through the fence between the bench and the water. Post processing it in monochrome did the trick. Not an unique picture at all, but I like the ink-like look of the water and the diagonal line within the framing.
I am fortunate to live just a couple of minutes away of the famous Van Gogh Museum. For a lot of tourists, this museum is a must-see when visiting Amsterdam. For a good reason; both the collection as the building are impressive. The only downside of this museum is that it is packed with visitors all-of-the-time.
I like strolling through the city at night and took this picture from outside the Van Gogh Museum. Although in monochrome, it resonates well with one of Van Gogh’s famous quotes:
I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
-Vincent Van Gogh
I can really get annoyed by all the scooters in Amsterdam. I try not to (non-responding is a spiritual practice you know….) but boy they can get my nerves as they spit out so much pollution and noises. Foremost however, it’s the way they are driven; often in a reckless way. Having said that the Vespa is true design classic, just like the Leica M and iPod Classic are.This Vespa caught my attention as I walked out the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. I like the structure of the background and the great detail the Zeiss lens produces.
This will not be the last post in which I praise the Leica M8 I’m afraid. There is something about the files that keeps me grabbing the now 10 year old M8. I recently read an article by Thorsten Overgaard where he confesses a return to his M9, letting the ‘better’ Typ M240 collecting dust. There is something about the CCD sensor that sets the M8 and M9 apart to all other camera’s, in my opinion that’s to say.There has been enough written about this (and fiercely discussed), so I won’t go into this any further :-). Having said that, one of the qualities the M8 is praised for, is its black and white conversion, which this picture is a fine example of (see my pictures here and more to follow in future posts). I shot this picture after visiting the Starbucks at the Rembrand Plein, Amsterdam. I noticed the man directing the traffic and took the shot at a high ISO (eeeek!). Although the bright yellow light he was holding in his hand did me grab my camera, in post production a black and white conversion yielded the best results.
Shot from the hip as they say. I can’t get enough of watching children exploring the world. As my daughter is growing up to be a wonderful adult, I keep being fascinated by small children. Besides the symmetry in the composition, I like the way the child moves its arms while walking down the path. The sheer wonder of a young human being exploring all that’s new, is a never-ending inspiration for me to keep grounded and have that beginners mind.
Together Alone is a song by Dutch singer Anouk. A song in which she sings about her betraying her man. Heavy stuff alright and a strong title for describing the lack of fulfilling she apparently felt at that time. This title crossed my mind when I saw this man sitting on the park bench all on his own….except for the dove that seemingly is not intimidated by the man. The web is flooded with street photography showing people sitting on benches, I know, but the fact that the man sits on the very end of the bench en the dove just minding his own business I found quite funny. I hope you too. When showing my girlfriend this picture, she mentioned the white bird on the right, turning it’s back to the two. I like it when a photograph reveals these kind of details. Shot with my dear M8 paired with the lovely Zeiss ZM Biogon 28mm.
If a city can be a muse, than Berlin certainly is. It oozes with good and inspiring vibes and makes you want to visit one place after the other. I took this picture while I was strolling through Berlin with my girlfriend. I did not wait particularly for someone to pass by (a technique used often in street photography, see this post) but this person happened to walk into the frame of my rangefinder. I like the atmosphere, the lines and the silhouette-like figure of the man walking.