Dark Canal in Amsterdam

Stepping Out of the Conventional

People who know me would likely never call me conventional. It’s almost a laughable notion, one in which I happily participate. I have been reminded of this over and over again trying to “find myself” (as if I really went anywhere other than where I am currently). In honor of these notions, I decided to dedicate the month of May to experimental work. The odd stuff I assume nobody but me with enjoy. I always seem drawn to the mistakes of the world. Somehow there is an purity most miss when all that can be seen is the difference. This photo is out of focus. It’s too highly contrasted. It lacks color. These are things you could say…but I see honest feeling, beauty and hope.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1s
  • Title: Dark Canal in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canals at Sunset

Sunsetting

This is one of the last trips I have planned this year. It’s sad really. I’ve been trying to wrap myself around the notion of traveling fewer places, but for longer trips…I’m having a hard time adjusting. Regardless, Amsterdam is a beautiful city. Not just physically, but the people here are so kind and accepting. Amsterdam quickly hit the top of my favorite places list. To get an idea of the beauty, I give you a sunset.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 20mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
  • Title: Amsterdam Canals at Sunset

Ancient Armaments

War

I often find the fascination with the tools of war sort of morose. To me, war is the worst of humanity. Even in conflict of purpose or humanitarian resolve, that genesis is to battle some horror, some Inhumanity. Art, and again this is to me, is the exact opposite. Art, and I mean art very broadly, is the greatest of our achievements. I am very often acutely aware of these feelings when visiting a museum like Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam which houses relics of many themes. Perhaps, this is a more balanced view, the best of worst of what we do as a species. Reminders that humans can disembowel someone they don’t know for an unknown reason, or paint “Night Watch”.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s
  • Title: Ancient Armaments

Begijnhof, Amsterdam

Perfect Timing

I have this theory of travel. I believe trips come to us, sometimes in unexpected ways, just when we need them. That is probably less metaphysical that it first sounds. We are often drawn on some subconscious level to the things we need, real or perceived. Amsterdam has been a city high on my list for years but I had yet to visit until last week. I was drawn there (though largely by an airline fare sale) but it fed my soul all the same.

There is a constant question that plagues many and it can take many forms. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Who am I? These essential musings on our very nature are often lost in the wanderings of day to day existence. Travel helps us see though the daily haze and wonder at the incredible beauty in the world. It helps us question our place and seek new possibilities. It helps us see the universality of pain and see our own pain through the lens of others suffering. It helps remind us of the amazing talent and beauty people share every day, and the genius of artists of the past that still make us cry in joy that such a thing of beauty could even exist.

Many of the residential areas in Amsterdam contain a wonderful courtyard called a hof. Begijnhof is perhaps one of the most famous, but hidden from view behind a door. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is one of the great lessons Amsterdam taught me.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • ISO: 1000
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s
  • Title: Begijnhof, Amsterdam