Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PICK OF THE WEEK: Dad and Daughter by the Canal

Dad & Daughter by the Canal (Amsterdam The Netherlands August 2013)

As you will all know by now, we are in The Netherlands right now and have been for about six weeks. We're leaving in three days time, and really that is the reason I chose this image as my Pick of the Week. Let me explain.

A couple of days ago I went into the city of Amsterdam for the "last time" (the quotes are because we will be back!). Specifically, I wanted to revisit the Van Gogh museum (I'd only been three times already!) and I wanted to spend some time in the area called Museumplein, which is a huge open space bounded on all sides by great museums. But for me the attraction is that it is always full of people relaxing, making photographs, having picnics, playing ball games or just resting between museums. I had been really keen to spend a few hours there with my camera.

So I did both. Revisiting Vincent was wonderful and lead to some really nice insights. But, that's not why we're here today. Before the museum, I spent a few hours in the park and it was great. So many people, all friendly and so many wonderful street photography opportunities. I will be working on the images for months to come! Couldn't resist an hour back in the park after my time with Vincent either!

Anyway, tired and very satisfied I caught the tram to head back to the station and home. I couldn't resist the urge to check out what I had, so got busy peering at the screen on my camera. Suddenly, I stopped and realized what I was doing: Here I was on my last day in Amsterdam and what was I doing? Exactly what i advise other people not to do! Chimping! Canals, gorgeous architecture and the street scenes of a great European capital were rolling by and here I was with my head stuck to the small screen.

So, I became a sightseer for a while. Then, at a tram stop I looked out the window and there in front of me was one of the canals with a father and child posing for Mum's smartphone. So, although I had assumed my work was over for the day, I raised the camera and made this image you see here.

And you know what? It's probably the pick of the several hundred I made that day. It says Amsterdam; it says street; it says social documentary. But more than this it says to me: Keep your eye on the street; remember where you are and what you are doing. Really it says most of all, just be where and when you are at every moment you can! Which really should be the street photographers mantra

Not bad for my last day in Amsterdam. And I saw some of my favorite Van Gogh paintings and drawings as well!

Peace to you all!

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