A Little Bit of Everything

Rick amsterdam, B&W, bikes, europe, monochrome, netherlands, Night Photography, nightphotography, SonyAlpha, Urban, urbanexploration 0 Comments

I walked through central Amsterdam on a Saturday Night and saw a little bit of everything. Having landed only that morning it was my first exposure to things which I’ve only read about. A lot of people were out having fun which in and of itself is not unusual. However the city of Amsterdam is anything but usual.

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A Little Bit of Everything

A little bit of everything can be seen on a Saturday night in Amsterdam

For instance, I’m not used to seeing people smoking weed and hash out in the open. I’m not used to seeing shops where hallucinogenic drugs are sold. I’m not used to seeing brothels in and amongst the shops, restaurants and bars. Perhaps most unexpected of all was that people seemed quite blasé about it all. These things are just taken in stride.

Honestly I don’t know what I expected. I have this feeling that if we did the same thing in the United States it would be havoc, but that’s probably just my own ill-conceived ideas. I did not see junkies strung out on the street corners. There appeared to be very little crime, I felt perfectly safe on the streets even late at night. It’s the kind of town I could easily live in. In fact Amsterdam has a night mayor. It’s a real position that ensures all the night life runs smoothly.

street gallery

Anyway, it was early November and they already had Christmas lights up. That, along with all the happy (and possibly high) revelers out having a good time created a fun atmosphere.  If I had to sum it up I would say that  Amsterdam at night is an exceptional party town that could only exist in a European society. At least that was my first impression.

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Dawn on the Bridge Street Pier

Rick Florida, HDR, Landscape, Macphun, Manatee County, Night Photography, nightphotography, SonyAlpha 0 Comments

Here is another image taken at dawn on the Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach. To get this I arrived before dawn on a Sunday morning. Each time I do that I see the staff still cleaning up at the local tavern, but then I’m here only three hours after closing. The coffee shop on the pier is already open with a few early birds already sitting at the counter. 

The water is always calm and the sky starts turning deep pastel colors. In my humble opinion it’s the best time to be here, assuming you are a morning person of course.

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Dawn on the Bridge Street Pier

Dawn on the Bridge Street Pier in the town of Bradenton Beach

On this last Saturday night I was just a few hundred meters away taking pictures of the gulf in the other direction. This is on Anna Maria Island which is a long narrow island. As I drove past the center of the town there were a lot of people at the outdoor restaurants. It seemed that live music was playing on each corner. 

I’m fortunate to live here, especially during winter. Its human nature to forget and take it all for granted. When I see folks that have travelled here I am reminded how lucky I am.

European Gallery

Even so I travel to take photos of other places. But when I’m home I have so many things to take pictures in my own backyard. I’m always taking pictures of the water here. The reflections, the waves, the colors, all of it combined .

I’m not really going anywhere with all this.

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Doing the Same Thing

Rick bridge, Bridges, Florida, Landscape, Macphun, SonyAlpha, Sunset, Tampa 0 Comments

When I show up here in the morning there is usually someone else doing the same thing. I cannot imagine how many photos of this bridge exists. I am one in a long line of bridge photographers. When I got my first DSLR this is the first place I came to. I’ve been here since and I’ll be back again.

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Doing the Same Thing

Doing the Same Thing – Photography of Familiar Places

Sometimes I’ll do an outing with my camera and not get any good photos. That’s subjective and long after I may change my mind. Photography is a state of mind and what you perceive as good changes over time. It also has to do with mood. We watch movies based on our mood; drama, comedy, thriller and romance, they all appeal to different moods. So it is with photography. One day I may like one photo, the next day another.

Sometimes I’ll go back and look at a shot I did years ago and have a completely different appreciation of it. I might no longer like it. Or I might see something I like but missed.

abstract images

On this morning I met a man from Newfoundland who was also taking pictures of the bridge. It was perhaps his first and only time he would be here. In that case I hope he got some images he likes.

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Plenty of Options

Rick amsterdam, B&W, bicycle, bikes, europe, monochrome, netherlands, Night Photography, nightphotography, streetphotography, travel, Urban, urbanexploration 0 Comments

From the central station in Amsterdam there are plenty of options as far as transport goes. You could take a train, bus, taxi or ferry. You could also take a bike as tens of thousands are parked here. And if all else fails you can walk.

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Plenty of Options

This side of the station is modern and designed to accommodate these various types of transport. The other side of the station maintains old world classic architecture and is unrecognizable from the front.

On the upper deck to the left is the bus platform which is adjacent to the train platform. Below that is the car lane, then the bike lane and finally the walking lane. On the right the ferry can be boarded, free of charge.

I wasn’t thinking any of this as I took the photo, but Amsterdam Centraal is a monumental feat of engineering, architecture and design. This is where everything and everyone comes together.

monochrome images in the gallery

My short visit was spent mostly around this section of the city. I missed much and so I plan to come back and explore more. Having time to process what I did see and then go back will make the next trip even better.

And when I do go back I’ll have plenty of options for transport.

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The Other Morning

Rick bridge, Bridges, Florida, HDR, Landscape, Macphun, photography, Sarasota, SonyAlpha, Sunset 0 Comments

The other morning I came here to a little park by the bridge. There are nice views all around despite the urban setting. I had the new wide angle Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens. I used it to pull a lot of the scene into the frame. Wide angle lenses are good for that but we have an even wider angle of view with our eyes. I was wondering why don’t we see things this way all the time.

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The Other Morning

The Other Morning on Siesta Key

It was early and I had the place to myself. I took a lot of photos in various directions. The lens gives the water and clouds equal prominence. The texture of the clouds this morning was balanced by the texture of the water and creates an interesting effect.

This is the bridge to Siesta Key in Sarasota. Its sunrise and were facing east so I crossed the bridge to get to this spot. As soon as I finished I crossed back. Bridges like this are the lifeblood of Florida communities. They make living on small islands possible for people without boats.

bridge images from the gallery

Anyway, I’m still learning about the new lens and so far so good. I’m reshooting old locations for a new perspective. That’s probably something I’ll be doing for a while.

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Ladies in the A’DAM Lookout

Rick amsterdam, B&W, europe, monochrome, netherlands, streetphotography, Urban, urbanexploration 0 Comments

I noticed these ladies in the A’DAM Lookout sitting and looking out over the city. I’m trying to figure out why I like this. I think its because when we see an image of someone or something we subconsciously project ourselves into the scene. In addition, maybe what they’re looking at creates a question. We see hints of the city beyond.

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Ladies Sitting There

Ladies in the A’DAM Lookout

This is a type of street photography, even though it didn’t occur on the street. It happened inside an observation lounge of a tall building. Some photos don’t easily fit into a category, maybe this is one.

Rather than analyze this, perhaps its better left to imagination. There is a story here that is unique to each person. We each see this though the lens of our own minds.

Because the woman’s coat is red she is the focal point. I made it that way on purpose. It’s a technique that, for me, conveys individuality. Images of people are about, well, individual people. At least that’s the point I’m trying to make. You can interpret something else regarding the red coat, it’s entirely up to you.

Portfolio

At this point I guess I’ve answered my own rhetorical question. Perhaps now I can move on to something more concrete. Or not.

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Saturday Evening at the Beach

Rick beach, canada, Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, SonyAlpha, Sunset 0 Comments

This is Saturday Evening at the Beach. After an early dinner I noticed the clouds looking good for a sunset so I headed towards the ocean. I’m glad I did because the display was well worth the effort. At times like this everyone is lined up along the shore with their smart phones snapping away, I arrived just in time and this was the first shot out of my camera. Talk about cutting it close.

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Saturday Evening at the Beach

Saturday Evening at the Beach on Anna Maria Island Florida

I stress myself out sometimes when chasing sunsets. Getting in the right place at the right time can be easier said than done. That’s mostly because I have to drive here. I suppose it would be easier if I lived right on the beach. (Note to self).

When the sun gets low on the horizon there are only about three minutes to get a shot. Its better to get here a half hour ahead of time but I’m rarely that organized.

sunset photos from the gallery

This time of year we start to getting tourist and winter residents so the traffic also plays into the equation. Even though I know all these things I still manage to show up at the last possible moment.

I suppose my tombstone will read, …”He arrived at the last possible moment, better late than never”.

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EYE Filmmuseum

Rick amsterdam, europe, netherlands, streetphotography, travel, Urban, urbanexploration 0 Comments

I hung around here for bit looking at EYE Filmmuseum. It’s a museum dedicated to the visual arts and so while I was here there were a couple of student crews working on video productions. In such a setting, a photographer taking images of odd angles around the outside was perfectly normal. Not that I’d mind if it wasn’t.

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EYE Filmmuseum

EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam

Amsterdam places a high value on the exploration, creation and display of art. I believe that goes hand in hand with the tolerance and diversity of its residents. It is true that arts and diversity make a city vibrant.

more street photography

Amsterdam seems to be thriving, there is a lot of construction, in fact a new building was going up just behind me as I took this. I had to be careful to mind the tractors and cranes as I walked around looking for compositions. When I’m in the zone my focus gets narrowed and even a tractor might not register. No one seemed to mind, in fact I blended right in here.

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Wide Angle View

Rick Florida, HDR, Landscape, Macphun, Manatee County, Nature, SonyAlpha, Sunset 0 Comments

This is a wide angle view of the Gulf of Mexico I took from Emerson Point in Florida. I made this with the new Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens that was created through the help of a Kickstarter. The claim to fame on this lens is that there is no distortion. That’s something hard to do but someone figured it out and this is the result. Generally we use software to remove the distortion of a wide lens, but in this case it’s not necessary. Anyway, it’s kinda cool in a geeky kind of way and I’ll be carrying the lens with me in the next little while.

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Wide Angle View

Wide Angle View from Emerson Point

Sometimes I’ll drive to this spot if I think there’ll nice sunset. It’s one of my goto spots for sunsets since it’s so close to home. Normally there are a handful of other peopler her with cameras looking to snap some nice pics.

I don’t mind repeating myself because mother nature never does. So no matter how many times I come to the same spot, it will always be different.

After the sun sets the park ranger usually comes along to shoo everyone out of the park. It closes right after sunset and if you linger too long they will let you know. I used to get annoyed by that but I have since come to realize that the park is the domain of the wildlife. As soon as it gets dark the road fills with all manner of creatures coming out for the evening. So it makes sense that we should give them their space not to mention it can be dangerous if cars are on the roads at the same time.

sunset images

So basically I come, I shoot, I depart. A very quick excursion close to home and without a whole lot of effort.

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First Impressions

Rick amsterdam, europe, Macphun, netherlands, SonyAlpha, Urban, urbanexploration 0 Comments

This smokestack was one of my first impressions of Amsterdam as I took a cab to the hotel. I shared the ride with another traveller who asked our driver about it. Slightly annoyed, the driver replied that it was obviously a power plant. Perhaps a lot of people ask the same question upon first arrival.

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First Impression

First Impression of Amsterdam

A few days later I spied the same stack from atop the A’DAM Lookout and thought it and the clouds made for an interesting image. With this images I’m not trying to make a statement about fossil fuels, pollution or any such thing. Just the spectacle of a cylinder venting warm vapor into the cool November air. It’s something I could see myself staring at if I was a child. But I’m not, yet I stared just the same.

I recently posted a stack like this that we have back in Florida. Again, the spectacle of it against the sky is an odd attraction for me. It defines the horizon and connects the earth to the sky in a strangely fascinating way.

urban exploration images from the gallery

This abstract image is nothing more than a spectacle. It may be a first impression or it may be something for a child to stare and wonder. Or, …it may be nothing more than the musings of my wandering mind.

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