555 in Amsterdam

Bicycles and Row Houses

This scene caught my eye walking back “home” (hotel) while in Amsterdam from Anne Frank Huis. The yellow bicycle against the mostly monochrome row homes really stood out in my mind in this way. It was only later that I noticed how fun the most prominent home number is here. I also saw my first Banksy in the wild nearby. Amsterdam is a wonderful city for cycling and walking, you can’t get away from the general humanness of the place…which I just adore.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 19 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 20mm
  • ISO: 320
  • Shutter speed: 1/1000s
  • Title: 555 in Amsterdam

Red Room in Amsterdam

Draped in Satin

I visited Amsterdam earlier this year and found a new member on my short list of favorite cities. It’s an amazing city in many respects with a rich and interesting past. I was taken by this scene…I’ll let you guess WHERE the red room is located and WHAT its propose is, but it oddly made me thing of death; and a little person speaking backwards in riddles (thanks David Lynch). It turned out not the greatest of photos, but I like it all the same. How do you feel about the red room?

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 20 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 3200
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Red Room in Amsterdam

Mechanized Horror

It’s Why I Love Art

I, like everyone, am drawn to certain kinds of art. I generally am drawn to, photography, abstract expressionism, impressionism, expressionism generally. I tend to dislike realistic depictions and prefer abstract, often obtuse allegory. When I go to museums, I tend to spend most of my time in these areas, but I try to spend time leisurely perusing though other galleries seeing what strikes my fancy. I especially tend to appreciate the depth afforded to special exhibits, but I always to the same thing. I see something I don’t care about and start to discard this event as boring. Almost always I push though this and am nearly universally rewarded with the unexpected. So was the case when I visited the Stedelijk and saw this massive collection of animated sculptures and automated art machines by Jean Tinguely! Not only was this show incredibly put together with a HUGE space dedicated to so many of his Machines, it was also interesting to see the decay of these monsters.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 6400
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
  • Title: Mechanized Horror

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