Oud Zuid

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I tried to experiment with lines and shapes, but that did not work out as much as I had hoped. Nevertheless there were a couple of photos I liked.

Amsterdamse Bos with a new old lens

I unscrewed the lens from my Praktika L, screwed it on top of my EOS 1000D’s body, and took the contraption to the Amsterdamse Bos to practice. First thing I noticed that in full sunlight and with a wide open aperture, I had to set the exposure time to the fastest setting, 1/4000th second, to avoid large areas of pure white in the photo. Another thing, which I had noticed in tests before, is that everything that is out of focus gets a very dirty sheen about it, as if I had smeared grease on the lens. Great kit for wedding photos I guess, :-) but does anybody know if this is normal for fast lenses?

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A wide-angle shot of the water under the bridge effect can be seen here, taken two years ago during the Summer.

Spring

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Bought me some flowers and a vase.

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Amsterdamse Bos revisited revisited

Near Nieuwe Meer:
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Sky, trees:
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Ruins:
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Would you please leash your dog? Please please please, pretty please?
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Ingrown name tags

A better camera does not make a better photographer. I knew that going in, yet when I produced photos with my new DSLR (a Canon EOS 1000D) that were just as bad as those taken with my trusty Canon A620, a digital pocket camera… Well, I had to swallow for a bit. Pride mostly.

But I had decided to treat myself, and so I did. One of the things that irritated me about the pocket camera is how much light it needed to get anything done, and in this respect the new camera is clearly better. I especially like how my trees now have frilly branches instead of a sort of blue aura. Also the macro shots come out nice and crisp, even though they’re a horror to get in focus.

Today was the first sunny day since I bought the camera last weekend, a good time therefore for an outdoors test run. My regular route to the Amstel park leads past the Zuidas, an area in which lots of high-rises are being built, and in the park there are always grateful models in the shape of very tame ducks, chickens, pheasants and peacocks.

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Herengracht

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Taken two weeks ago, looking West along the Herengracht in Amsterdam standing on the Vijzelstraat bridge, when the ice on the canals started thawing. When I took the picture I thought the lights would add something, now I think they are a dissonant element. The view can be breathtaking early in the morning when the direct sunlight picks up all the whites and beiges in the gables, but I’ve never had my camera with me at that hour.

Trees and the Nieuwe Meer

Yesterday I walked around the Nieuwe Meer, the body of water that used to connect the Schinkel river which flows through the west of Amsterdam towards the IJ with the Haarlemmermeer, a large inland lake that has been turned into a polder with mainly farms and a large airport.

You could tell the days are getting shorter quickly. I left my house at 1430, and soon I was taking only blurry photos because almost all of the light had gone.

Trees casting shadows on the Sandberg Institute (the neighbour of the Rietveld Academie):

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The shore of the Nieuwe Meer:

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Walking through the Amsterdamse Bos in a direction opposite from the one I usually take, I came across these shiny stems:

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Zie de maan schijnt door de bomen / Makkers staakt uw wild geraas

(Traditional song sung by children the weeks before Sinterklaas visits their homes and brings them presents. If you look closely you see black dots in the branches: jackdaws.)

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Shrooms

I know little more about mushrooms than that they make good photographic subjects: they sit still (most of the time), and they contrast well with their surroundings.

Today my brother, his girlfriend and I went to Baarn in Utrecht to traipse around both the current and former park of Groeneveld Castle. More photos below the fold.

[photo of Castle Groeneveld]

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From and to work

I am doing a job for a customer in Zuid-Oost, which takes me along routes I’ve never been before.

This bridge though is right around the corner, and I have crossed it myself many times:

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Sun set:

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Subway station:

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Last beautiful day of the year

Today it’s 24 degrees outside, but from what I understand the cloud cover that should be familiar by now to anyone’s who’s stayed in the city this summer will return tomorrow. The next time the sun will be back it will be autumn.