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 🙂
I like how lines can create something that resonates with the very thing that ignites your sense of beauty, especially if they are a result of functional design. Walking on the Museum Plein in Amsterdam after visiting the Stedelijk Museum, I passed one of the entrances to the underground car parking. The lines and lightning immediately caught my eye. These kind of pictures work best in monochrome, so I already had my eyes in ‘monochrome mode’ when I took this picture.
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.
As I stated before in this blog, photography is sort of walking meditation for me. It calms me down and makes me more aware of my environment. I practice meditation at home too, but to be honest I enjoy this kind of calming down the mind more than just sitting down. It is something I cannot do in the companion of someone, let alone the fact that I am not in very communicative state when I am in this mode…..
The gentle window light strikes your face,
highlighting your beautiful lines and femininity.
Revealing the boundless greatness of your soul and being,
your true love, compassion and wisdom.
Capturing your beauty and grace is something I truly can not do with words
so let my camera do the talking while I am left speechless and in awe.
Through my girlfriend’s professional network, I recently was asked to document a charity event. This event was held in a youth hostel where vintage clothes, books and all sort of used stuff were being collected and passed on to other people. There were also services being offered like hair dressing, learning guitar and massage. A wonderful initiative which not only helps people in need but also brings people together (hence the name ‘Blend’ Market). I saw this girl, emerged in looking at the picture she was holding. Her bright pink sweater and orange butterfly tiara made this an even lovelier scene. As I post only black and white pictures at this blog, you have to use your imagination here ;-). I noticed the man, probably her father, behind her but caught his admiring look only when I was processing the image.
As my subscribers know, I like to combine my passions and that means photography and live music. A good friend of mine and a former band member plays in a Beatles tribute band. I have captured multiple performance of them so I have become kind of the band’s household photographer. I even played along at one of their performances and that was awesome. At a recent gig, they played in a small venue. I sat behind this boy who not only recognised the music from the times his father played the songs in the car, but also was enjoying himself immense. It is quite fascinating that after 50 odd years the music of the Beatles is still relevant and appealing to the youngest generation. Truly timeless musical art!
With all the focus (no pun intended) on high ISO performance these days, one might be inclined to forget about the other things that make you shoot great pictures. I don’t want to go into a rant, because that is unnecessary anyway. I understand that the aspect of high ISO capabilities can be crucial for being able to take that shot that you otherwise could not have taken. But…..working with both the Leica M8 and Leica M9 but also shooting analog, I have learned to appreciate the limitations of my equipment and to adjust my technique whenever it is what helps me to take that shot. Furthermore, it supports narrowing down my photography to the style and subjects that really resonate with me. Last but not least, it lets me appreciate the unique qualities of the gear I use even more. Naturally, this applies to shooting analog. Although not known for the high ISO performance, the Leica’s CCD sensor designed by Kodak (!) creates a truly unique look. Combined with lenses of Leica or Zeiss the results can be stunning. I don’t want to call this picture stunning, but I like it though. Shot in a very dim-lit room, at ISO 800 and wide open with the wonderful 50mm Summilux lens.