A Street Photography Project in Amsterdam
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines landed me on a motorway bridge on the outskirts of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and with a short train ride to arrive at Centraal Station, taking in the track side views of rural, residential and industrial landscapes.
Once settled in the hotel, I hit the streets ready to put my new Panasonic LX100 to the test. Up to this point, i'd only used the LX100 a few times but not under any pressurised commercial situations. It was only up on writing this blog that I discovered a fast AF setting within the menu's. I'm kicking myself now because I spent the whole time in Amsterdam, anticipating photographs because I was worried about how slow the AF was. I put it down to being spoilt using a dslr with almost instantaneous focusing and having owned a Fuji XPro 1 for a short part of its life.
Julie Hrudova, a street photographer based in Amsterdam became a source of inspiration for me prior to my trip.
When I first discovered the pictures by Julie, I was blown away by her presentation, modernity and classic style of street photography. I recommend taking a look through her Flickr website.
Jonathan lives in NYC and has recently collected the amazing recognition he fully deserves with his coincidental work around New York in what Jonathan describes as his love letter to New York. I've included Jonathan here because his work is so cool that when I'm out on the streets looking and searching for scenes, backdrops, places and people to photograph, I always have some of his strongest images in the back of my mind but I never ever come across similar.
I can only put that down to different minds and a different set of eyes. Proof that it's the photographer that makes the pictures as opposed to the camera!
Don't take my word for it anyway, please head over to Jonathan's website and see how good he is for yourself... https://www.jonathanhigbee.com
I'm currently influenced by many photographers and with all good work, it's informed by others.
So this is my Amsterdam project...
I've created this work from a perspective full of influences from street photographers that I've discovered around the world. Julie Hrudova, Jonathan Higbee from New York City and many of the artists showing their work with the Pure Street Photography collective. These photographs are intended to show my view of the quirkiness of the streets in Amsterdam, day and night. I've found myself being drawn to almost surreal, graphic and intimate stories at the side of the canals and narrow roadways. Amsterdam really is a beautiful city and a giant habitat that just keeps on giving, which ever direction you walk in. With a good eye for a a photograph, it's difficult not to find something you can make great photographs of.
So this is my visual story of Amsterdam.
Black and White Street Photography
I also made some in colour because Amsterdam is too colourful that I couldn't resist having a play with the beauty of the city.
Colour Street Photography
I still feel like I've only skimmed the surface of Amsterdam. There's so much to explore and I only had three days to look, learn, discover, feel the heart of the city and show that in my pictures.
As this was a test for me working with my new LX100, I feel compelled to tell you what I think of it. Had I discovered the fast AF setting, I may have enjoyed this camera more. I still enjoyed playing with it and am learning new ways to work the streets with it. I found the light meter to be accurate and I shot in RAW, knowing that I didn't fully trust the camera, I wanted that flexibility. The manual controls are very intuitive and I found it easy adjusting the iso, shutter speed and aperture to suit each scene.
The challenge as always with street photography is not so much the technical side, but more the story and visual impact. You can't just make a good picture, a view of the world develops in your frame and if you're ready with your camera and become part of that moment in time. It's an honour, especially if you can overcome the initial anxiety of pointing your camera at people on the street. Breathe and feel the world living.
The photographs that appear in this blog can be made available as artwork and I've discovered new suppliers for my prints, who offer excellent quality.
Prints available poa.
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