The winter has come to an end for some time now. This blog is about a street photography session at the beginning of spring. I must admit I didn't walk the street much during the winter. There is no excuse for this behavior. Streets are living, and it's never the same.
I love to come back to Amsterdam over and over again. I get familiar with some sweet spots to visit more than once. Trying to get that perfect image, but does it exists? Your thoughts about that ideal image can be different the next day, and something else too, I am also still learning about light, composition and using my camera. Every time I get outside, I see my quality and skills grow.
It was of those days, and I waked up, went downstairs to grab a coffee and looked through the blinds. I was surprised, After days of dull weather finally a sunny day and bright blue sky. I jumped up and though, yes, silhouettes, great lighting. It's time to grab my cam and hit the streets. It is still spring, and the sunset will be at a decent time after my day at the office. It was an amazingly busy day with a killing deadline. I managed it to achieve it, and on the sly, I do like them from time to time.
I did a street tour for about 6km. I used my Strave running tracker to record my hike, so it is easy to remember where I went and to write about on a blog. And another advantage. I draw them in google maps so that you can get some inspiration if you are visiting Amsterdam.
I always challenge myself to improve my skills and try new techniques. This time it was about spot metering to create interesting shadows and silhouettes. I get myself inspired by looking at somebody's else work and think about how they achieve these. What do I need to complete my challenges? I believe High buildings, small corridors, partially exposed. So let's find out!
The map below is my recorded tour were the green photo camera icons are spots were I snapped images that I will share with you.
From the office, I drove to the parking garage “Oosterdok” A big parking garage and always free spots to park your car, TIP: drive to this place if you have a hard time to find a parking spot!
The first spot I found was at the exit of the parking garage. It is a construction of metal and glass and therefore a perfect place of lights and shadows. My idea was to capture people who came from outside back to their cars. When they appear from the corner, it could create mysterious lightning with the beams and the shadow. With a lot of patience, I think everybody was on a terrace in the city on a day like this.
Moving from Oosterdokskade into the city center. I walked over de street Geldersekade and arrived on the Nieuw Markt. I looked for spots where people would rise from the shadow into the bright sunlight, where I could create shadows and silhouettes. I love these shots because they are always quite challenging. First I look around for these spots with enough people passing. When I found a place, I try to keep the same position and wait.
I continued along the canals of the Kloveniersburgwal towards the Oudezijdse Voorburgwal. My eye caught a cute little bridge "Maakelaarsburggetje." Let me take you to the history of this small bridge.
This bridge was built on his own initiative in 1893 by a tobacco broker Frederik Olie because he would have a shorter route between his office and the tobacco auction. He got permission from the city of Amsterdam, but he needed to pay, build, maintained and to keep a free path for pedestrians.
On this bridge could capture a nice street photography city life picture.
I continued to the Sint Barberenstraat which was a lovely spot with excellent backgrounds, great light and enough people crossing that street. Although I did not capture the picture I was looking for, I tried to get a shot with exciting people but was not able to find one. I definitely coming back to this spot. Besides a right eye for moments, places and compositions. You need have the luck to get the right people in front of your camera.
From there I moved on to the Nes street, acros Rokin to Spui street onto Spui Square. I found a great frame with some the fantastic yellow-gold light of the golden hour. But yeah, I choose for an Across Black and white film simulation picture. The details of the person, the shadows and the stone of the building created a perfectly framed picture.
From the Nes street, I crossed the Dam street and towards the Oudezijds Voorburgwal. Still, if you are thinking, it okay for today, you always have to get your camera ready for action because you can have a moment where you have to react in a split second, like this one.
For me, this is typically the streets of Amsterdam. An older couple fascinated by the erotic shot. For a typical street photography shot, this a great one because of the place, situation, people and the moment. Besides the techniques and unique photos you like to have with layers of silhouettes, these have so much character. That is why I love street photography so much!
From the Dam street to the Zeedijk, to have dinner at one of the best Chinese restaurants to the Stormsteeg, crossing the Bantammerbridge towards the Oosterdokskade. Where the golden-hour is at is his best! These were my last shots before I entered the parking garage again!
This was my first spring session of street photography in Amsterdam since I bought my camera about six months ago and started my career as a street photographer.
I hope you like to read about my tours through one of my favorite cities in Europe, Amsterdam.
This year I will visit Ibiza, New York, and Barcelona again. And many many time I will be wandering the streets of Amsterdam.
Please leave a comment if these blogs help you for an inspiration of your street photography tours.
All the best!