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.

Queen’s Day accidents

Happy discoveries on Queen’s Eve and Queen’s Day. Thanks to Natasha for pointing out the latter two.

On Queen’s Eve I was at bar Festina Lente where The Lovers from Sheffield, UK, were playing. The bar has a bench outside with a bronze statue of a faithful regular guest.

After the nation-wide Queen’s Day flee market, a lot of the wares on sale are left as garbage, such as these two copies of The Mark & Clark Band’s Double Take.

A book among shards of pottery titled The Arrangement.

Snowy Easter 2008

I was on my way for a walk to the Amsterdamse Bos, when I thought “curses”, and turned around. The dreariness had gotten to me. Still got some photos though.

The bicycle tunnel at the court house:

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Melting water brought out the colour on one side of this plane:

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A dying daffodil in the snow. (Not shown here: the snow.) Same patch as last year.

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